Mike plucked the fluff from where it hung, sniffed it for reasons he didn’t quite understand, and then held it up to the bridge of his nose for closer examination. The hairs were short and coarse, the kind you might find on a small dog. An older dog at that.
“Bees in the cheese dip,” he muttered, then heaved a sigh. “Cheese on a bee’s knees, I mean. Sure hope I didn’t kill some big-eyed kid’s stupid mutt.” The car was neither dented nor scratched, after all. A little elbow grease and it would clean up fine. A child’s broken heart, on the other hand, was something an angrier man than he might want him to pay for out of his ass.
He gazed down the long strip of cracked grey asphalt that stretched out behind the SC. A half-mile away, maybe more, a small dark lump lay in the middle of his lane. It was cloaked in the long afternoon shadow of a gigantic red cedar that leaned threateningly into the oncoming traffic, as if at any moment it might topple onto some unsuspecting commuter. From this distance, he could see neither colors nor a distinct shape that might indicate what sort of critter he’d accidentally snuffed. He thought it was probably big enough to be a dog, but more likely a cat. Or an opossum. Or a rabbit. More than a few of those last had dashed in front of him as he’d made his way home in the evenings of the past few weeks, all of them just narrowly escaping death by squish. By the hairs of their chinny-chin-chins, in fact.
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