Daily Flash Fiction 7/1/21 W/C 293
Jackie seemed distracted, not himself.
I tried to engage him in conversation with no luck.
“You need to talk about this. Think, what happened next?”
Jackie turned from the window. His eyes were wide, black pupils crowding out those signature blues.
“I don’t know. You left me there. You drove away. I don’t remember after that.” He turned back to the window, traced the raindrops with a fingertip.
“Now, you know I had to. I couldn’t stay. You got out of the car. You chose to run.” I tried to touch him, but he shrugged off my hand.
I remember that night. We were coming back from a hike near the top of Avalanche Peak. The shadows grew deep as we drove down the forest road. Suddenly Jackie yelled. A large moose stood before the car.
He got out of the car. The moose slowly moved into the trees, as behind us a grizzly bear appeared from the darkening woods.
“Jackie! Get in the car!” I yelled to him.
“I’m going after that moose,” he shouted, then disappeared into the trees.
With a moment to decide, I sent the car speeding down the gravel road, that bear galloping behind me.
The bear chased me a ways, then crashed into the woods. I stopped the car, then drove back to where I thought Jackie disappeared.
“Jackie! Are you in there?”
The black woods seemed impenetrable. No tracks, no sounds. I began to worry.
Suddenly he was beside the car, appeared out of nowhere. Torn clothes, bruised face. It started to rain as he stood motionless.
“Get in the car. You’re getting soaked.”
Jackie moved slowly, automatically with not a word.
“Talk to me. Where did you go?”
“You were gone, George. They came.”