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R David Fulcher

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No Place to Hide
By R David Fulcher
Sunday, December 23, 2012

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Summary: An accident brings about a revelation.

            The uncanny silence of the hour, the puffy clouds of a strange violet hue, and an eerie full moon left me in a strange, trancelike state of mind as I sped down Route 29 late at night.  There were very few other motorists out at this time of night, and for some reason I felt very small and insignificant under the violet sky.  I felt guilty for intruding upon this silent landscape with my noisy automobile, even though it was not a place of natural beauty but rather a bland stretch of highway lined with offices and shopping malls.

               I remember thinking about all of the things I noticed about that stretch of roadway that I had never noticed before in the daytime.  An office building with particularly interesting architecture, neon signs, and several lonely stretches of woodland were just some of the things I noticed.  In the daytime Route 29 was a flowing river of traffic.  Hundreds of people frantically attempting to reach an unknown destination, car horns, and blaring radios were enough of a distraction by themselves; one rarely got a chance to observe the roadside fully.

               And then it happened, in the midst of my thoughts, leaving no time for avoidance.  A screech of the brakes, a gleam of bright eyes, and a deathly thud! passed all too quickly.  It was a fox, there was no doubting that.  And it was dead, there was no doubting that either.  The thought of going back to check on its welfare seemed senseless and repulsive.

               As the shock wore off it was replaced by a sickening feeling as I realized what I had just involuntarily done.  Somehow the knowledge that my actions were purely accidental consoled me little.  I felt very guilty, guilty for bringing death to this animal whose only chance may have been to live by night while humans slept.  I was the exception this fox had not counted on.

               As I calmed down I translated the strange feeling of the night which I had previously experienced into a feeling of death.  The sky of a purplish hue and the shapeless but imaginative cloud cover seemed the perfect backdrop for what had just occurred, and somehow I felt that it had been planned by a higher power.  Time moved much more slowly than it had before the accident, and although I fell deeper into a trancelike state, I felt extremely alert.  My senses seemed to be taking in every stimuli offered by my environment and yet still seemed to crave more.

               Getting close to my destination every minute, my mood slowly changed from one of depression to one of reflection.  The fox, like so many other animals, had no chance.  Open space is rapidly being eaten up by shopping malls and apartment complexes, leaving wildlife to fend for itself.  If only we were out there getting pushed out of our homes every day instead of them, maybe then we would realize that these creatures have no place to hide.

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