Character: Ray K. Mentions Ray/Stella.
Word Count: 300
Written for the ds_snippets challenge 93.
Prompts: crunch, flicker, knees, screen and ticket.
Warnings: Canon animal injury/death. It's not Dief.
An: Thanks to akamine_chan for betaing.
As Ray walked into his house, he left the screen door open behind him. He was thinking about asking Stella out again. He could still taste her strawberry Chapstick on his lips. His dog, Sparky, ran through his legs. By the time Ray had turned around Sparky was already to the road.
The accident happened so fast it was a flicker in Ray's field of vision. Sparky was standing in the middle of the road sniffing a bag. The car was a blur of red as it sped down the road. Ray knew what was going to happen next because the car wasn't slowing down and Sparky wasn't getting out of the way. Ray closed his eyes, but he still heard the sickening thud.
Years later, Ray still blamed himself for leaving the door open.
The snow crunched under his feet as Ray ran to Sparky. His ticket stub from his date with Stella lay crumpled on the ground, forgotten.
Ray dropped to his knees. Sparky was struggling to stand, his hind leg was bent like an old nail. As Ray carefully picked him up he tried to keep his hands from shaking. The snow under Sparky was pink with blood; Ray tried not to notice it.
As Ray drove, he kept his eyes on the road, not looking at the whimpering dog in his passenger seat. He reached over and rubbed Sparky's ear until they arrived at the veterinarian's office.
Later that night, Ray took Sparky's old chain collar out of his pocket and put it around his wrist. The metal links felt strangely comforting against his skin. If anyone asked Ray would say he wore it because it looked cool.
Three weeks later Ray bought a turtle. Turtles couldn't run into the road and get hit by cars.