Please let it be only a bunny.
He started the car, shifted into Reverse, and backed carefully along the solid white line that marked the shoulder of the two-lane, leaning his jowly head out the driver’s window the entire way. As the shadowy lump behind him grew larger in his vision, his heart finally began to beat again, climbing down from his throat.
He saw two long ears flattened on the pavement, looking like dried up four-leaf clovers pressed into the family bible. By the time he had closed the distance between himself and the corpse he could see the tuft of the rabbit’s small cotton tail perched on its bottom, which was the only part of the critter that was sticking up in the air. By itself, it might have been funny. Combined with the pool of bright red fluid that surrounded the body and the three stark white ribs that protruded from its middle, the whole scene just felt awkward and sad. Undignified.
One of the bunny’s eyes had vacated its socket and lay on the road like a glistening bloodshot marble, still tethered to its stalk. Mike grimaced and averted his gaze.
“Gross! Dumb bunny,” he chastised the mangled mass of flesh. “Ought’ve watched where you was going. Guess you’re probably too bruised up to make a good stew, ain’t ya?”
He licked his lips and grinned. “Well?”
The bunny did not respond. It only gawked at him from its one escaped orb.
“Ah, poop on a platter,” Mike Bragg stated, his voice low and solemn. “Too many of them hoppers around here anyway.”
He guided the SC back onto the road ahead of the corpse. A lone fly lit on the point of one of the dead rabbit’s protruding ribs, but lost its grip in a burst of hot exhaust when Mike stomped his foot on the accelerator. Seconds later, the bunny had once again become a blackened lump in the rear-view mirror.
Then the lump became a dot.
The dot became a speck.
The SC rounded a curve, and the speck became a distant memory.
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