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Endings by TanyaSimoneSimpson


“I saw the way you were looking at him. What were you trying to do? Humiliate me in front of our friends? On our anniversary!”.

“No, of course not. I’m sorry. I wasn’t looking at him. I mean, I was but I was just talking to him. He was talking to me. We were talking. I wasn’t doing anything. I didn’t mean to do anything. Please”.

“Are you calling me a liar? Are you telling me I didn’t see what I saw? He was flirting with you and you were letting him. You were enjoying it. And everyone was watching”.

“He wasn’t flirting with me. We were talking. And no-one was paying any attention, honestly. I wasn’t . . . I’m not calling you a liar, of course I’m not. I just . . . maybe you thought things were a certain way but they weren’t, I promise. I would never . . . I love you. I was there with you. He started talking to me and I thought it was OK, it would be rude not to . . . please, I’m sorry, please”.

You started driving faster. “You’re sorry? Sorry? Do you think that even means anything Jen? If you actually loved me you would –“

“Shit, Darren, STOP!”.

The car screeched to a halt.

“What the fuck, Jen? What the actual FUCK?!”.

“There’s a deer in the road”, I said, “Just up ahead. We nearly hit it”. I took a deep, slow breath then exhaled with as much control as I could manage. It sounded wrong, uneven.

“Where?”.

“Just up ahead. Lying in the middle of the road”.

“LYING in the middle of the road? Jesus, Jen, it’s probably already dead. You scared the shit out of me. Why do you have to do things like this?”. You let go of the steering wheel and pushed your hair back from your face with shaking hands.

“It might not be dead. It might just be hurt. We need to . . . do something”.

“Do what? Do you actually know what to do in this situation?”.

“If it’s dead, we should move it to the side of the road so no-one hits it or swerves to avoid it when there’s a car coming the other way. It could cause an accident. And if it’s not dead, I don’t know. We need to call someone or something. We can’t just drive on”.

“God, Jen, it’s not our problem. Whoever hit it in the first place obviously didn’t care enough to stop and it’s their fault it’s lying there. Why the hell should we care? And who are we going to call anyway? Who do you call about a deer that might or might not be dead? Fuck! I thought something had actually happened. Why are you like this?”.

“Something has actually happened”, I replied, my voice calmer, quieter. I didn’t want to make you angrier than I already had. “I’m going to go and check it out”.

“Fuck’s sake. OK. Let me pull the car over first. I don’t want someone to drive into the back of us just because you had to stop and look at a fucking dead animal on the road”.

“Or dying animal. Or injured animal”.

“What did you say?”,

“Nothing. I’m sorry. You’re right. Pull over first and then I’ll go and look. I’m sorry”.

You drove up onto the grass verge at the side of the road, shaking your head in that way you do when I’ve done something stupid and you can’t believe you have to put up with me. When I got out of the car, my legs were like jelly. I’d never actually seen a dead animal up close before, or a dying one. I wasn’t sure what I was going to do but the unsteadiness came more from my uncomfortable awareness of your mood than anything else. I turned on the flashlight on my phone as I walked towards the deer, needing to see but not really wanting to. I felt sick.

“Oh god, Darren, it’s not dead. It’s . . . almost dead. Oh god, it’s horrible. It’s looking at me and it knows. It knows”.

“And what now? Seriously, Jen, you can’t even walk past a butcher shop without getting all upset. What are you going to do about an almost dead deer in the middle of the fucking road in the middle of the fucking night? You better not expect me to deal with this. You always expect me to handle everything for you and I swear to god I’m not . . . “

You kept ranting but I’d stopped listening. I kneeled down beside the deer who looked so young and fragile, so broken. Its body was bent and twisted and it was bleeding from its mouth. It didn’t seem to be able to move but there was an awareness in its eyes that tugged me away from the low level fear I was feeling about what you would do when this was over. Suddenly, I felt steadier as a sense of purpose worked its way in from the edges of my mind.

“Darren”.

“What? Were you even fucking listening to me?”

“Darren, get me the hammer from the car”.

“What the fuck are you going to do?”.

“Darren, just get me the hammer. Please”.

We didn’t speak on the drive home. I expected you to be angry or disgusted but I don’t think you were. I think you were scared. When we arrived at my house, I got out of the car and paused, savouring the moment.

“I’m done, Darren. We’re done. It’s over”.

“What? Why? You can’t do this”.

“Yes”, I said, with a smile more genuine than any I’d found in the whole year we’d been together, “I can. I really can”.

I closed the door gently, leaving the hammer lying on the seat behind me and finally, with the deer’s blood still on my hands, I walked away.

I'm honestly not sure if this requires a Mature Content tag or not but it involves mentions of animal suffering and I'd like to let people know about that in advance so they can decide whether to read it or not. Also, I have absolutely no idea what category it belongs in.

- - - - -

For the month of January 2017, I'm writing a piece of flash fiction every day based on a set of prompts. You can see a list of the prompts and links to the stories on my blog, here. I'll be posting the pieces at TanyaSimoneSimpson.com first, followed by DA a few days later so you can read them in either place depending on how long you want to wait. Obviously I'd love it if you visited my blog cause that's where all my writing and lots of other stuff lives so a wider audience there would be awesome, but I'm happy to share with my DA family here as well.

Some of my written work tends towards the darker side of things so for the purpose of posting it on DA I'll be applying the Mature Content tag if I think there's any chance at all that any of the content in a story might not be suitable for younger readers. I'm generally massively over-cautious about this kind of thing, partly because I genuinely do not want to upset anyone and partly because I don't want to be on the receiving end of the bile and rage that is sometimes directed at people who work in more subversive creative genres.

If a Mature Content tag isn't necessary as per DA's guidelines but a story contains themes or details that it may benefit people to know about up-front so they can make an informed choice about reading without risking being retraumatised, the appropriate content warnings will be included in the description of the piece.

I love having the opportunity to share words as well as pictures and I hope you enjoy reading my creations :heart:

- - - - -

TanyaSimoneSimpson.com
Add a Comment:
 
:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2017
Putting an animal down is not an easy thing. It changes how you see yourself in the world, which is exactly what happened to Jen. Solid story telling that is enhanced by how much you leave to the imagination. Excellent work.
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2017
Thank you :hug: Even though I write about really gruesome stuff happening to humans I can never bring myself to write any detail about anything bad happening to an animal (I guess I like animals more than people) so I'll always leave that kind of thing to the imagination :aww:
Reply
:iconeremitik:
Eremitik Featured By Owner Mar 2, 2017
For some reason it is not as bad when we write about something horrific happening to people. With animals, its almost wrong, lol. If that makes sense.
Reply
:icondottys-friend:
dottys-friend Featured By Owner Jan 21, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
Very gripping writing in this story!
Reply
:icontanyasimonesimpson:
TanyaSimoneSimpson Featured By Owner Jan 22, 2017
Thank you :hug:
Reply
:icondottys-friend:
dottys-friend Featured By Owner Jan 26, 2017  Hobbyist Photographer
You're welcome!
Reply
:iconphenix59:
Phenix59 Featured By Owner Jan 20, 2017
Those subtle turning points in our lives, a pure moment of clarity that can change everything and the direction we travel in.  :clap: 
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