The Other Side
by J. Scott Ellis
Bobby couldn’t move or feel, lying cheek down in a pool of gravel and blood. The air from his lungs expelled with a ragged wheeze, bubbling from his submerged nostril. Through dimming unblinking eyes, he beheld the moon’s burgundy reflection upon the bloody surface atrophying like a dying torch.
He woke later and sat up; surprised he was able to move at all. Tentatively at first, Bobby curled his toes and clenched his fists, then took a hungry pull of the brisk evening air. It reeked of burnt rubber and gas fumes.
The hood of the family car gripped a tree trunk like a sword hilt. Brilliant shards of glass were strewn about. The rumpled, wasted windshield lay to the side with a bloody hole through the middle.
He barely recognized his father behind the wheel of the car, his smashed face a ferocious crimson mask of open-eyed death. His mother stirred in the passenger seat and wiped blood from her eyes.
“Bobby,” she screamed.
“I’m ok momma,” he said. But she didn’t seem to hear him as she struggled with her seat belt. She scrambled over the dash onto the remains of the hood and dropped to the ground running.
She was hysterical as she rushed through his open arms, to a crumpled body splayed in a puddle of blood. Cradling the boy in her arms, rocking back and forth, she sobbed, “Mommy will make it all better now.”