An Unsuccessful Suicide
by Jean M. Adams
"Damn, son. What have you done?"
He opened his eyes. Saw an old man's worried face above him.
Couldn't make his body move. Could see the .357 still in his hand and the thick red puddle on his chest. Still breathing. Still here.
The old man was kneeling and talking to him. "You're too big for me to carry but the parking lot isn't far. Someone probably has a phone and can call the park rangers. Should be a crew of us back here in no time. Stay awake, son! Doesn't look like you were meant to leave just yet. Can't imagine why you'd want to, especially so young. Just hang on now. I'll be back with help."
He could hear the old man hurrying away through the trees toward the path.
The trees above him, where he lay, were empty branches silhouetted against the empty sky.
A shadow dropped to a lower limb above him. Stretched its neck then dropped again, landing on the toe of his boot.
A crow, perched and staring, focused on his face. Took a careful step, then two, up his leg. And, again.
He couldn't move. He couldn't scream.
The crow was on his chest.
Pecking at his eyes...