FICTION: Accident by Brian Ellis

I was struck from behind by a solid gold car. Well, gold as in painted gold and solid as in made of matter. It was really more of a piece of crap on closer inspection. Cracked side-view mirror, dimpled hood, dented grill, rusty caps. The car wasn’t without charm, though. I mean, it was gold.

The owner of the vehicle (Molly, according to the name tag on her black vest) exited the car and asked if I was all right. I said I was all right. She said the collision had surprised her because her attention had been drawn toward an advertisement for discount dry cleaning. I said I had seen that, too. She then asked me to forget that part. I said I would. She smiled.

It was then I saw my own share of the damage. Quite simply, I was never going to ride my bicycle again. Flattened tire, crushed spokes, mangled rear frame, severed chain. I suppose more pressing were the injuries to my person, having been flung a fair distance into the air, but I figured they would heal. The bike wouldn’t be so fortunate.

Molly’s eyes swung wildly across the slow-moving traffic, her hands passing through her auburn hair with every other breath. As blood pooled in my nostrils, I felt sympathy for her predicament and said she shouldn’t worry. It had been nice to meet her, I told her, adding that the time had come for me to take my leave. I’m glad I did, too, because she brightened in an instant and said it had been a pleasure.

While I limped away with the remnants of my bicycle, she yelled to me, saying I shouldn’t walk home in that condition. I said she probably was correct. She pulled up nearby in the solid gold car and said there was a taxi stand half a mile down the road, take two lefts and a right. I said thank you. She said you bet.

Molly turned up the car stereo, from which emerged that song about wanting to dance with somebody. With the final verses blaring, she and the solid gold car sailed down the road. I waved, but my hand was pointing in a funny direction, so I stopped.

Nice woman.

Brian Ellis is a writer and editor based in Roanoke, Virginia. A graduate of the Hollins University Creative Writing MFA Program in 2022, Brian is currently at work on collections of fiction and personal essays that use humor to shed light on the unfortunate decisions made by his characters and Brian himself.