The Laws of Motion
This isn’t a costume party, and Misfortune doesn’t bother wearing a mask.
No one takes the time to look him in the eye before inviting him in, setting him up in the living room and offering him a red Solo cup filled with lukewarm beer. Someone passes around a joint; he shotguns the smoke into a girl’s open mouth. She doesn’t know his name, but she thinks it may be Derek. Someone puts on 1993’s Doggystyle album and he nods along to the beat, watching the tangle of sloppy hands and alcohol-stained smiles that make up the makeshift dance floor. A raised chorus of voices call out for shots, and a tray comes bearing small cups filled with colors, wiggling their way down every throat.
Misfortune shoots one down; it tastes like cherry.
The girl who thinks he’s Derek stumbles out of the house and into the night, and he trails after her like cigarette smoke. Car lights ricochet off her glazed eyes, pupils expanding like the universe. She struggles to breathe while she laughs, which makes everything even funnier. She reaches into her bag for her phone, and it nearly cracks when it hits the ground. Somewhere in there is a joke about iPhones, and she giggles as she grabs after it.
Misfortune watches as the car slams into her.
Glass explodes like comets colliding. It’s so fast there is almost no sound, as if the vacuum of space sucked up the scream of screeching tires and snapping bones. When it’s done, the car and the girl don’t move.
He walks over to her, kneeling beside her twitching fingers. Her pupils are no longer changing shape. There is a moment where he is sorry (he is always sorry), and he brushes his mouth against hers, a kiss that tastes of cherries and cannabis.
Misfortune moves on.
College girl killed in drunken car crash
Maggie Dawlins, a 18-year-old freshman at Richland Meyers University, was killed this weekend in a car accident involving alcohol. At 1:00am Saturday morning, Maggie Dawlins was walking along Hutchins Drive when a speeding car going 45 mph in a 30mph zone struck her, killing her on impact. The driver, Derek Strickens, also a freshman at RMU, was reported to have a blood alcohol level of .15, nearly twice the legal limit. The coroner’s office reported that Maggie Dawlins had a blood alcohol level of .23 at the time of her death, a potentially lethal level.
“She was likely on the brink of losing consciousness...the ability to breathe,” stated Assistant Medical Examiner Jackie Gutierrez. “She was already on the verge of dying.”
“Tragedy would have struck either way that night.”