If agony were the least of my sensations, then the taste in my mouth would barely register. Blood, its tang and slick coating, dribbled down my chin. Too bad it’s my own, I thought. If it were his… I could have called this adventure a success. The man deserved to die, no, not just die, suffer. Like a surfer upon a coral reef; like a skier entombed in a snowy coffin avalanche; like Dressley, his EpiPen cracked down the side, the nest of hornets erupting its occupants from the spherical paper-mache home they’d built to endure the winter.
I could still move my head. Wow, I breathed, the fall hadn’t broken my neck. To my left the sand stretched out to a metal pole stuck as a sign. My eyes rotated up its length. NO DUMPING glared at me from on high. Ha, the cabrones who’d kicked me out the back of the pickup had broken yet another law. Didn’t they realize that laws provided the very foundation of civilization they were trying to undermine? I coughed into the dust. The ants were congregating. Their leader, the one with a tiny gospel held in his mandibles, jerked his head my way, his antennae wiggling like props. I saw the third in line clean his forelegs in preparation.
Little did they know I could detect something brewing on the wind. I grinned internally, externally, it turns out my neck was truly busted, even my jaw had hardened to concrete. Rain was coming. Big, fat, dollops of desert rain, held aloft by circulating air currents, tumbling over each other, growing bulbous in their attempts to free themselves and arc to the ground, they were headed my way. The ants’ way.
The first drop struck me right in the eye. The rest was a blur. I suppose the ants got theirs — what they deserved, thinking they could take what they want from the world without repercussion. Without payment. Without an obligation to history.
The drops cooled my grey skin; washed it clean. Absolution from the heavens. It wouldn’t last, I knew. But it would be enough to wipe the ink from my forehead. Right?