Someone's Gonna Die...
(A fugue experienced while driving at night through a winter storm)
“Someone’s gonna die tonight.” The realization felt like a slap in the face. I sensed dread fill the warm interior. I felt the wheels beneath me slipping...ever so imperceptibly...as I, myself, teetered on the brink of mayhem and disaster. The night trembled with treachery.
“Someone’s gonna die tonight.” I was certain. I wonder if the EMT’s in every firehouse felt the same dread? Do they carouse during the idle hours to fend away grim misgivings? Or do they sit quietly...waiting...
waiting for the inevitable?
“Someone’s gonna die tonight.” Who will it be? As it stands, I should be the sacrificial lamb. Parent-less, spouse-less and child-less, my passing would leave few ripples of grief. Better to sacrifice a solitary pilgrim than a pillar of the community. There are those among us who are indispensable to many. Death would come at a high price, a price almost too much to bear.
“Someone’s gonna die tonight.”
* * *
Someone did die that night. More than one. The deaths that affected me the most were those of a young wife and mother who skidded off the road into a pond. She dialed 911 to report that the van carrying her and her three children was sinking. By the time the rescuers arrived, the van was completely submerged. One child is in critical condition. The rest are...gone.
* * *