Beyond Flickering Lights
It was a bitter cold December evening, and Officer Pierce wished he was home with his family. It was the holiday season, after all.
Soon he arrived at the scene, which had an ominously festive appearance. Blue and red lights flickered, reflected in the glass shards that covered the ground like a light dusting of snow. The crunch of his boots on the glass sounded like a stroll through a winter wonderland. But there was death here.
It was a dangerous corner, a turn that coincided with an intersection established long ago, when drivers heard hoof beats or the jingle of horse-drawn buggies, and paused, tipping hats and bidding good evening to neighbors they knew, not only by name or appearance, but by voice and words and deeds.
Officer Pierce had complained, but it was just this sort of curious merger of lanes that drew visitors, gave impulse to the wanderers who came here to reminisce over what they had never really known, but somehow understood was lost. The city council stonewalled, and his stack of accident reports climbed.
He looked beyond flickering lights; saw the rose encrusted crosses, the photographs of those who paid the ultimate price for sentimentality and carelessness. The paramedics were waiting for the Jaws of Life to disentomb the teenage boy’s body from the crumpled vehicle. They stood about, restless; this job was tedious, one of gloom. They were only here to testify to what already was fact.
The car had been t-boned, struck as it passed the intersection by a pickup pulling into the main road. It had been launched diagonally and flipped several times before slamming into one of the large oaks that lined the ambling country lane. The driver of the truck survived, having departed minutes earlier in another ambulance, its paramedics busy, hopeful for success.
Officer Pierce continued to survey the wreckage and finally saw the elderly man, leaning on the hood of his undamaged car, head in hands – a witness. He walked over to the man, waited for him to look up.
“Mr. Brogdon, may I take your statement?”
Moist cheeks and reddened eyes soon emerged from behind the shelter of his shaking hands. His voice was quavering, but full of conviction, agitated.
“I killed him!” Continue Reading »