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Blacktop

Alright everyone, this is the first short story I've ever finished that wasn't a school assignment. Please tell me what you think, I appreciate constructive criticism.

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You can't begin to imagine how badly this hurts. In the middle of the desert, against the road, I lay in a bed of sand and blood and oil. My left arm, along with the ribs on the same side of me, they're crushed. Warm blood spurts out onto the hot sand, coloring it a deep shade of red. I glance up for a moment at my chariot, my steed: an old Jaguar XJS coupe, finding itself in a condition which is not dissimilar from my own. The driver side door and much of the left front fender have crushed in on themselves. Oil drips profusely from the underpowered V12 engine as it humms away, occasionally barking in agony. It's that engine that's keeping me alive right now. Here, in the middle of the desert, I may be next to a strip of highway, but that doesn't mean I'm anywhere near what you might call civilisation. There are who knows how many rattle snakes, coyotes and another plethora of animals out there who can't resist the smell of a dying animal, and right about now the only thing that's keeping them at bay is the sound of the engine's barking. Of course, it's bound to run out of premium gasoline within the next couple of hours, and night's beginning to set in. Already I can see the twinkling of stars as they come out to play, and the sun is starting to make way for it's lunar counterpart. In the distance, a pack of coyotes howl, signalling to eachother that they've found tonight's meal. Food is scarce out here, particularly in large portions. And the sound of a badly damaged british coupe will only keep a pack of hungry coyotes, apex predators, away from an easy meal for so long. If I want to make it out of here alive, I'm going to have to forget about the pain that I'm in right now. I've got a bottle of prescription painkillers - in the glovebox.

I try to haul myself up off of the sand, but fail, momentarily joining the Jaguar in a symphony of agonizing pain. Then I try again, and I make it this time. Now, I've got to get to the car. I drag myself over, falling over atleast once, but I manage to make it. Now, I reach over to the glovebox, rummaging around for the right bottle. I find it. With my right arm, my good arm, I manage to get through the child-proof cap, and drop a couple of white chalky pills down my throat. It will be a little while before they start to do their job, but thanks to what doctors call the placebo effect, I'm already feeling fine. Now, I have two choices: postpone the inevitable and let the gas run out, or use whatever reserves of fuel I have left to get into the nearest town, maybe even a hospital. On this stretch of road, it's a longshot, and in my current state I'm more than likely to crash into something. But then again, a slim chance is better than no chance. I step on the gas, snake my way onto an otherwise empty road, and I'm on my way. Thank god that it's an automatic transmission, or else I'd be as good as fucked. Of course, I've still got to cradle my left arm while I drive, or atleast, I have to do so until the pills start to have their effect. But once they do, I'll start to lose my concentration on the road. I don't know how many I took, but even a few will knock you out cold. If I took more than a few, then a busted arm, ribcage and Jaguar won't be my only problems.

The pills are starting to kick in. My eyes want to close, and the Jag wants to steer straight into a group of cactai. I grip the wheel, concentrate on the two lane blacktop in front of me. People think that a yellow divider line will save them, like it's some magic fucking force field, but it's not. It's just reflective yellow paint on an asphalt canvas, and all it takes is one injured driver, high on pain killers, to break through it and ruin your weekend. I pass a green road sign, advertising that there's a truckstop just off the next exit. It may not be a hospital, but surely there will be someone who can call for an airlift, or an ambulance. Even a compassionate trucker, anyone who can get me to a hospital. I break my concentration for a minute, and the tires start kicking gravel. I want to get back on the road, but this tired feeling of detachment, it's soothing. It's peaceful, and somewhat euphoric. This is why people get fake prescriptions written up, so they can escape the stream of reality. Check out for just a little while. This is why, when people choose to take their own lives, pills are a common means of doing so. They associate their eventual death with the feeling of euphoria, and they come to terms with whatever drove them to do it. Then, they accept their own mortality. The pills, they just make it easier.

But no, I'm not going to die. Not tonight. I'm just, I'm just going to check out.
I'll check out for a moment.
Just a moment.
I'll slam the brakes, and I'll shut off the engine. I'll let myelf fall asleep to the serenade of coyotes and fruit bats and burrowing owls, my lullaby. Then, I'll wake up. I'll find the truck stop, a hospital. I'll be patched up in no time.
Before I drift off, I see lights.
I see a pair of lights, coming at me. Oh crap. Have I accidently overdosed, have I killed myself? Are these the lights at the end of the tunnel? I always thought there was only supposed to be one light. And what's that honking noise? Why do I hear a diesel engine, and screeching tires?
An impact, metal crushing metal?
An intense rush, like really bad whiplash?

In case you were wondering, that car that I hit, the only other car on the road - it was an ambulance.