Excerpt from my story titled “Traffic”

character, death, excerpt, excerpt of the day, life, sad, writing

Like a greyhound off the starting line, Dory shoots past me before I have time to grab him. He hurtles down the street, and in a matter of seconds, collides with Kale. They go down in a heap, rolling and shouting. Christian is bowled over and lands on his hands and knees, the umbrella landing a few feet away.

“You bastard! You slept with my girlfriend!” Dory yells as he sits on Kale’s chest, pounding into his face.

I run to them, catching sight of people’s shocked expressions in the café window. “Stop!” I plead.

Christian looks agitated as he stands and grabs the back of Dory’s sweater. “It’s not worth it,” he says sharply.

I come to a stop and kneel down beside Kale. His lip is split and the rain mixes with the blood, creating a read waterfall down his chin. “Kale, just get out of here before—“

His eyes flash angrily and he pushes me away, “Get away from me.”

I hear a yelp from Christian and in a second Dory is back on Kale. Kale throws a punch and Dory’s head snaps to the side with the impact. He recovers quickly and grabs Kale by the jacket, hauling him to his feet.

Christian jumps in again between them. His nose his streaming blood. Dory must have got him when he was trying to free himself. “Cut it out,” he shouts this time, pushing Dory back a step. “You’re better than this.” Dory’s face is a mask of rage as he tries to get past Christian a second time. Dory is as loyal as it gets, if you go after someone he cares about, you can guarantee he’ll come after you.

Kale’s face turns into an amused grin as he wipes away blood. “It’s better you hear it from me now, you know, before you guys get really serious.”

“Shut up Kale!” I bark. I can’t believe Kale continues to egg Dory on. Does he want his ass kicked?

Kale smirks in response and turns to go. Dory gets around Christian by elbowing him in the ribs. I run to Christian as he doubles over, the wind knocked out of him. At the same time Dory grabs Kale arm and Kale spins around landing a punch to Dory’s stomach. He grabs his sweater and thrusts Dory to the side. He stumbles forward and into the street. Into the street right into traffic.

Before I can react, before I have time to scream, Dory looks up just in time to strike the windshield of a red SUV. His body flies up and over the vehicle, landing with a sickening crack on the cement. He doesn’t move again.

In a matter of seconds all hell breaks loose. People are screaming and yelling around me, running to where Dory lays motionless. Cars are honking their horns. Christian lifts his head and sees what I’m seeing. I look over Christian to watch Kale’s face pale before he turns and darts away across the street. Tears mingle with the raindrops hitting my cheeks and I choke back a sob.

I wonder if Lena will feel bad about cheating on Dory with his friend. I wonder if she will know he died protecting her reputation, one that she tarnished herself. I wonder if she’ll know he died for nothing.

I sit on the curb with Christian’s arm around me until somewhere in the distance, sirens sound.

-Collins

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