Flumes Vol. 5: Issue 1, Summer 2020 - Page 36

26

Crash

By Cameron Jackson

It was a Tuesday when Matt died. Just a boring, slightly breezy Tuesday morning.

Matt had been crossing the street (at the signal, between the lines, perfectly reasonable) when the bus had knocked him half a block up the road. An already mangled form, just rag-dolling through the air. It would’ve almost been funny, if it hadn't been so morbid.

At least, Matt thought so.

Matt stood (or, he guessed, floated? He was standing, just about twenty feet up) above the very same intersection, about a week later. It was the first time he had been back since he died, for no other reason than it was a rather boring place to be. There were still a few mementos scattered around a small, impromptu memorial. Some candles, and wilting flowers around a framed picture Matt didn’t remember taking. The draft of passing cars had knocked some of it over.

Matt sighed, and drifted down to where he had been hit.

The workers who had cleaned the wreck had done an excellent job, Matt noted. There was a lot of blood on impact; like he had been a water balloon, and the bus a pin. He used to be grossed out by things like that. It didn’t really bother him anymore. He remembered watching the crash as it happened. The impact had killed him immediately, he supposed, and he had been suddenly standing two thirds of the way back in the bus as it screeched to a halt, in the middle walkway at about hip level.

Matt turned, as he caught the glint of a car approaching the intersection. He recognized the driver as she came to a stop at the light - a younger woman who worked at the grocery store near his home. She was snacking on something, and bobbing along to whatever music was playing. Matt couldn't hear it, of course. His hearing had faded, or something like that, since he died. It was almost like his head was stuck in a fishbowl now, the world around him muffled to the point of inaudibility.

He almost wished it had gone away entirely, right at the beginning. He had tailed along after his body following the accident, not really knowing what else to do. He had joined in the back of the ambulance as they loaded him up. The paramedics knew he was dead, of course. He was already in a body bag. He listened to them casually talk about what they would be doing that evening after work, as they sped off to the mortuary. One of them suggested a strip club, another a local bar.