The Hole — Chapter 4

A Novel of Supernatural Apocalypse

Aaron Ross Powell

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Elliot pushed himself off the steering wheel and moaned. He ran his hand across his forehead. He felt the heavy weight of the seat belt across his chest and the heat of blood in his cheeks. He saw blood on his fingers. Blood on his palms. He watched it drip. He watched it drip up.

He was upside down. Hanging — held fast in the truck’s seat. He could see loam crushed against the windshield. He heard the sounds of the forest and saw the early morning sunlight through the smashed driver’s side window. Everything was all distant — like watching a television across the room. He wanted to close his eyes. A short nap would clear his head. Just a nap.

He thought, No. He thought, That’s not right. Don’t sleep when you’re like this. Don’t sleep when your head’s been knocked around.

He groaned and forced himself to look around. Only his window was broken. Out the back, he could see the scattered supplies. Beyond that, the slope of a hill. He swore. He remembered the time they’d taken to collect that stuff. To get it stowed in the truck.

He remembered Evajean.

She wasn’t there. He looked at the passenger seat. Panic made his face even hotter. The seat was empty. Her seat belt was retracted. It was twisted around the headrest. He didn’t see any blood. Not there. Not on her side. He looked up — which was down — and did see blood. A pool above — below — his head. A lot of blood.

“Evajean!” he tried to call out. He only croaked — an inarticulate vowel.

She was gone. So was the dog. He was bleeding. He missed Evajean. He missed the dog. Elliot missed the dog more than Evajean — and this made him sick and ashamed. The dog was his, though. He’d found it. He’d name it. Fuck her. She wouldn’t name it — he would.

His thoughts were fuzzy — confused. He needed to focus. Evajean trumped the puppy. Of course she trumped the puppy.

He looked at the windshield. No blood there, no head size fracture. She couldn’t be hurt, at least not too bad. She must’ve gone for help.

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Aaron Ross Powell

Host of the ReImagining Liberty podcast. Writer and political ethicist. Former think tank scholar.