The Initial Moment of Shock
The drive was scenic, the road winding past several lakes and a surging stream that dropped off over a small waterfall. However, the same child stared out across the rainy road way with that same confused look. His arm was still extended in that same reaching motion, palm opened and fingers slightly curled.
What crossed his mind over and over was the fact that he hit the child and didn't stop. If he did the answer to his problems would have been easier to handle. An accidental death would have been listed on the child's autopsy report. The sight of a young child sprawled across the road, his torso gutted, his neck completely contorted, his face smashed and his screams muffled under Firestone's best all weather tires froze him momentarily.
What made him take off and leave the scene of the accident was the initial moment of shock, and the child was evidence against him and taking off kept his mind away from the horror.
He was still riding parallel to streams, under the moon, among the naked leafless trees that seemed to bow when he drove by. A new feeling moved through him, it was cold and final, but he fought through it. He had to get away as far as he could.
The terrain flattened as he reached the State line. He drove slowly into a new city until he spotted a State Police Barracks. Life has always challenged him and he fought his share of battles, but he never thought he'd face this. He wanted to turn himself in. Face the music so to speak. The image of that child's last stare strangled his mind. There could be no mistaking that critical moment, the emotive crest of a guilty man's actions when his crime plays over and over in his head. If he decided to turn himself in, there would be months and years of litigation. The news headlines would call him every name in the book. They want to sell copies while there are two victims. The child he killed and the family that will grieve for years to come.
His mind was lost in confusion. Although turning himself in was what his heart wanted to do. He knew leaving the scene was wrong, but somehow he just had to. It was time to pay for his crime. He knew what was coming was exhaustion, followed by depression, and perhaps there might even be a suicide attempt. He realized that just before a man gives up life and liberty, his body would have acknowledged the defeat.
His blue eyes were glazed, his jaw was slack, his body shifted onto the driver's side door, while the seat belt buckle grinds into his side. He became physically sick, holding his stomach as if the problem was digestive. There was ten seconds of silence before he made his decision. Someday he would turn himself in, but he was hoping that the passage of time would damage the credibility of a confession...
© 2015 Frank Atanacio
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