The wind howled through the tall dark trees, swirling a few leaves into the street. Their wrinkled edges rustled against the asphalt, and for a moment it seemed as if though were dancing. Zach caught one in his hand and crushed it in his fingers.
“How’d you find me?”
The knowing scoff that passed for a reply left Gentry to quietly add, “There’ll be another bus here in five minutes. If you still want to go.”
“And what, leave this deer for a drunk driver to roll over? Seriously; does it take a law for you to do the right thing?”
Gentry breathed a heavy sigh and didn’t answer that, while Zach glumly fell silent and stared out into the darkness, towards the flickering light in the distance. Things stayed like that for about a minute, until Gentry said:
“Never thought you were into Deer Rights. Maybe you should start a club for that. Deer, Christians, gays… same difference.”
“Stop making fun of me.”
“I’m not, I’m just thinking. Why wait for the GSA to promote you? Make a club about anything. Hang up a poster and call it ‘raising awareness,’ ask your parents for donations and call it ‘fundraising.’ As long as you’re President, it won’t matter of what. You should show up to prom just to mention that there’s a deer in the road. Kennedy would probably promote animal rights over gay rights.”
“That’s messed up.”
“You know what’s messed up? Even if that deer survives, the pack will reject it because it smells human. If you care, you’ll kill it yourself.”
Zach made a face, “We don’t kill humans just because they don’t fit in to the pack.”
“That’s not a human.” Gentry reminded him, at which Zach angrily shot back,
“What if I told you I’d shoot humans?”
“Then I’d say you don’t mean that.”
“Because if it was someone you liked, you’d take it back.”
At this point, Gentry realized that arguing about this wouldn’t solve a damn thing. So he shrugged carelessly, then turned his attention towards the dusty street. Somewhere in the bushes a frog was croaking, and the undergrowth rustled from the wind and tiny creatures scurrying about their business. Although the burning stink of blood hung heavy in the air, curdling every sense it reached, the creatures of the night went on undisturbed. Life went on, even when it ended. Gentry didn’t believe in any after-life but the one on earth, because the world didn’t stop after death.
“How’s prom?” Zach asked for the sake of asking.
“You aren’t missing anything.” Gentry snuck a glance at him.
“And this is much better.” Came the sarcastic reply.
Zach stalled, and glanced back at him quickly enough to catch him looking away.
“And?” he teased, just a little.
At that moment the sirens flashed and yelped in the distance, along with the rumbling noise of a small police car.