Started a short story this evening. Please enjoy.
I read the bumper sticker ahead of me: “DONT FEED THE ZOMBIES,” it said in a gross green font of all caps, the colors reminiscent of snot and ooze. Believe it or not, almost all of my focus was sucked into that grammatical black hole, the fact that whoever made the sticker, whoever sold the sticker, whoever bought the blasted thing, had no regard for basic principles of the English language. Seriously, contractions aren’t so hard. I wondered if I would live long enough to crawl over there and correct it.
The jeep had rolled over on me, crushing my thighs into the blistering summer pavement, so the odds favored this illiterate sticker. The wavy atmosphere coming off of the road periodically blurred my vision of the offensively promoted advice.
The thing was, I was in pain, like a lot of it. However, the pain was somewhere else right now, and I wasn’t too eager to go looking for it. Instead, I just kept staring through the haze, assured in my convictions regarding grammar. It was something to hold onto anyway; as the world fell apart I could go on correcting something—maybe insubstantial—whose arbitrary nature was at least fixed.
This is opposed to the ever-changing arbitrary nature of life, the roulette wheel always turning. Just look at me: This morning I thought I would be scavenging around in a desolate city. The wheel turns, and happy day, the cavalry has arrived. But the wheel is always turning, and low and behold I’m stranded here under a jeep. My rescue transformed into death.
I smell gasoline now. Picturing the erupting fireball that I soon will be engulfed in, I console myself: at least this will be quick. With nothing else to do, I claw and scrape at the un-kept freeway, trying to pull myself free. No good. Frowning, I stare at that bumper sticker.