Down The River by Erin Zulkoski

The river was frigid. Branches, empty cans, and used condoms float past me.

I lost my jacket when I became snagged on a tree branch. My shoes are gone.

My skin is blue-grey, as are my lips and fingernails. I’ve been face-down in this river for two days, my body dumped there by teenagers that had hit me with their car as I was going for my morning jog.

I was running on the wrong side of the road. Their vehicle crested the hill and struck me from behind. I landed in a heap near the river bank. Maybe that’s when I lost my shoes…I’ve heard of situations when people are hit by cars and the impact takes their shoes off.

The kids panicked and did what they thought was best–roll my mangled body into the river.

After dumping my body, they got into their car and sped away. When asked about the damage to the car, they told their parents they hit a deer.

My disappearance didn’t raise many questions. I was new to the area. I think the police did search for me, but after two days floating down the river in fast currents, it was called off and I was put in the missing persons file.

This is fine by me. I will continue floating away.

.

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10 Comments

Filed under Erin Zulkoski

10 responses to “Down The River by Erin Zulkoski

  1. Randal Houle

    Nice approach, telling the story from the corpse’s point of view. The voice is neutral, which always interests me when corpses have to tell their own stories. Nice job.

  2. Interesting idea to explore! The dead character is observing, detached from his usual/earthly concerns, happy to float away in the universe…

  3. That last line makes the story!

  4. guy

    Many moons ago, on a snowy november day, something like this happened in our town. Some of my friends found the body in the spring while fishing.

    I agree that the detached neutrality of the voice is a nice touch.

  5. Love how this seems more from the point of view of his dead body than his actual ghost…

  6. Unusual POV and the symbology of the river is powerful against the kids accident and consequences from their choices. I think there is more to the story than what is told here.

  7. Ewww. Spooky and lovely story. Enjoyed this a lot.

  8. Kim Hutchinson

    Great voice! Like this a lot.

  9. The voice so effectively dead-sounding here, almost like a police log. This could be the backbone of something longer. Peace…

  10. Pingback: Week #34 – Floating away | 52|250 A Year of Flash

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