The moon hung high over the sky, and a few feet away a lone streetlight flickered dimly. A bone-deep chill hung in the night air, echoing an equally lifeless silence along the tree-lined street. Occasionally the frantic chirping of crickets would punctuate the quiet, usually followed by a dove’s remote hooting. The deer had stopped screeching and wheezing from pain some time ago; and now just grunted with occasional discomfort. It no longer attempted to stand on its two good legs, since the cold had numbed the pain as effectively as paralysis numbed fear. Presently the animal took to lying on the ground with two murky black eyes patiently staring out at the lonely night, looking up at Zach’s dark form and standing beside it on the lookout for rumbling hot heaps of metal that weren’t coming.
The sudden flash of headlights in the distance made Zach jump, and the deer jolt its head up. A shiny silver shell whooshed so fast down the road that the air wailed with metal cutting wind. It shot through the dusk with roaring grit and steely determination, leaving a whirling trail of leaves in its dust. Zach stood in its way. Legs steady and arms at his side, holding nothing but an unwavering demand for it to break. The car screeched to a bare split second stop, motor rumbling and music blaring.
“Turn back.” Zach’s voice firmly rang out over the booming noise, “There’s a deer in the road.”
“A deer’s in the road!”
The sportscar flashed its high-beam headlights, and its driver leaned his head and elbow out the window to yell,
“Then move it out of the way!”
Zach moved in front of the bumper and leaned his palms flat on he hood, hunching over it as he slowly ground out:
“It’s hurt. And bleeding.”
“Then drag it to the side.”
“If I touch it, it can’t go back to the wild.”
“But uh, hey, why’d the deer cross the road if it didn’t want to get to the other side?”
The engine rumbled and laughter erupted from the backseat. Zach shot them a critical look and said:
“Hah-hah-hah-Go join the circus!” he glared back at the driver and said, “Turn around this car, there are other roads that don’t have hurt deer on them.”
At this, the driver flashed his lights and honked so loudly that the deer’s neck jerked up, and Zach slammed his fists on the hood. Abruptly the music switched off, and the man stopped honking. His face contorted in a grimace of disbelief and he shouted out:
“Crazy motherfucker! If that left even one scratch, I’ll sue you! You either move that deer or move out the way, this road is public property!”
The engine roared. The exhaust pumped breathed smoke into the darkness, and Zach squinted from the high-beam headlights that glinted in his eyes as the driver ordered someone in the backseat to:
“Hey, call the police---”
“I already did!” Zach retorted proudly, "But go on and tell them how you wanna turn a helpless animal to roadkill!"
After twenty minutes of arguing and countless obscenities exchanged, the driver turned around his sportscar and sped off in the other direction.