I took the train back Boston with some friends, for it is generally a much more pleasant and short trip. This time, however, it took four hours to get back, not including the fact that it was already 40 minutes late.
First, we stopped to let an express train pass. Second, we stopped to let another train go the opposite direction. Then, as we trundled along, a splintering noise sounded beneath the wheels.
“What was that?” My friend asked.
“Sounded like sticks.” I replied.
The train stopped. People, seething, mumbled amongst themselves.
“What’s going on?” An irate passenger asked of the conductor.
“We hit a deer and need to check for damage.” Came the reply.
It was not sticks, we all realized. The crunching and scraping under the wheels was flesh and bone and sinew. It was the tearing and snapping of something warm and once very much alive.
“Attention passengers, sorry for the delay. We had a deer strike…”
I can still hear it.
Ripping and popping and then utter silence.
It was sticks. It was sticks. It was sticks.