Red Asphalt


His face hit the pavement hard.  He tried to remember what just happened, but his thoughts wouldn’t sync.  The pain in his head felt like he’d been whacked by the claw end of a hammer, only he remembered a loud blast.  Maybe a gunshot.  Blood was pooling on the ground by his eye.  He watched the pool expand.  He closed his eyes against a stab of afternoon sun reflecting off the crimson expanse.  Blood must be his.  Bad sign.

A relentless pounding in his head accelerated like the sound of a train starting up from a dead stop.  The insides of his eyelids darkened.  He opened his eyes.  There was no more sunlight stabbing off the glossy surface of his seepage.  Someone was blocking the sun, standing in his blood.  He saw steel-toed work boots but didn’t have the strength to lift his eyes to see who wore them.  He waited for his life to flash before him but all he saw were the boots in the slow-flowing blood.  The world was running in slo-mo.  If this was death, it was taking its fucking time.

Then something new moved into his line of sight.  A dog.  A brindle chihuahua.  It occurred to him that the dog seemed familiar.  Then he realized it was his but he couldn’t remember her name.  He watched her wade through the ooze near the boots and start lapping up his blood like she was in doggy heaven.  Lapping up his life’s blood.  Lapping up his life.  Bitch.

~ fin ~

Craig Faustus Buck is a journalist, TV writer-producer, screenwriter, short-story writer, nonfiction book author and novelist.  He co-authored two #1 NYT nonfiction bestsellers (one pop-psychology the other pop-gynecology), wrote an Oscar-nominated short film, and co-wrote the original miniseries V: The Final Battle.  His agent is currently shopping his first noir novel, Go Down Hard, which won First Runner Up for the Claymore Award at Killer Nashville.  His indie feature, Smuggling for Gandhi, is slated to go into production in June.  His first novella, Psycho Logic is due out from Stark Raving Publishing in February, 2014.  He lives in Los Angeles.