An Awkward Situation | By: Kevin C. Pearce | | Category: Short Story - Dark Bookmark and Share

An Awkward Situation


An Awkward Situation

I’m shuffling along a dirt road just outside of town. The sun is beating down and I’m starting to get a little dizzy from dehydration. My shoes are falling apart and the gravel digs into my feet as I toss my cigarette butt into the bleached out brush beside the road and wonder if it might catch fire. Suddenly I hear the sound of an engine in the distance. A few seconds go by and I turn to see a car pull around the bend heading towards me at a pretty significant speed. As I stare down the car it veers sharply off the road, through a meadow and over a cliff. I hear it hit the water below with a thundering splash and immediately run over to the edge. By the time I get there the car is completely submerged and on its way to the bottom of the lake I suppose. I try to estimate the distance to the water. Thirty feet? Forty feet? Maybe more as I dive in and soon I can see the outline of the car at the bottom of the lake. I grab a large stone and start smashing the windshield with it. It takes what seems to be more than a minute but it finally gives. I grab the woman in the passenger seat, undo her seatbelt and help her to the surface. I instruct her to swim to the other side of the lake where she can reach dry land. Off she goes as I dive under again and see the man in the driver’s seat waving his hands frantically. He’s trying to speak but all I hear is a muffled sound and watch briefly as the air bubbles dance from his mouth. For some reason he still has his seatbelt on although it looks like he has the means to undo it. Nevertheless, I undo it for him and we head for the surface. The three of us finally reach the shore and struggle to catch our breath. I feel like puking. The man turns to me and looks me dead in the eyes.
“You son of a BITCH.” He says.
For a moment I am deeply confused.
“Why couldn’t you mind your fucking business?!?” He says.
“Mind my business? I just saved your life…you and your lady friend.” I say.
The lady starts crying. At first sobbing then soon hysterical.
“That you did. What you don’t know is the circumstances prior to the
FUCKING CRASH. I want this bitch dead. You ever heard of a murder-suicide son? You read the fucking paper much? I suppose not. Goddamnit you FUCKED UP.” He says.
He pulls a gun out of his pants, aims it at the ladies head and pulls the trigger. Not a sound. He aims it at my head. Nothing.
“Well fuck me…it really isn’t my day.” He says.
I’m starting to get a little agitated and I still feel like puking.
“Sir, I apologize for saving you and your ladies life. If that’s what you want me to say then there…I said it.”
“I don’t want you to say anything. You sit there and let me think for a goddamn minute.” He says.
His lady makes a sudden move for the gun but takes a fist to her temple for her efforts. Knocked out cold. I sit and watch as he reloads his gun and drains the water from the barrel.
“Sir? I just want to say I’m not a great lover of life and I’ve had more pain than most but I do want to live. You finish your business and I will walk away.”
“OK. I can live with that. Or maybe more appropriate to the occasion I can DIE with that.”
He puts the gun under his wife’s chin and pulls the trigger. The gunshot echoes for a few seconds and then trails off. I won’t describe the brain matter and blood in detail. There’s no need really. Although I finally did throw up. He aims the gun at his heart and pulls the trigger. Done. Two dead bodies sprawled over some rocks on a beach and a car at the bottom of a lake. The whole situation confuses me. I don’t know how to feel about it. I have never before witnessed violence so up close and personal. What more can be said really. I get up and start walking. Not so sure where I’m going but I think I need some alone time. Which is what got me here in the first place. Funny how things work out. Or maybe not.





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