Torrential rain splattered against my windshield as I made my way home last night. The old country road I travel is full of twists and turns; as well as a half-dozen neglected potholes. My headlights were painfully inadequate as they sliced through the moonless deluge.
Rounding a sharp corner less than a mile from my house, I was startled to see a large, hairy creature by the roadside. It fled into the forest to elude my gaze; but not before I caught a glimpse of its unfamiliar, humanoid features. Most alarming was that it stood upright and ran on its hind legs with an ape-like stride! This gangly, unknown primate lumbered into the pine thicket with a sense of secret urgency. Once in the relative safety of the trees, it shot back a look of rebellious defiance. I might have thought the whole thing was a colorful hallucination, had I not locked eyes with this frightening thing in the woods.
In that singular, moment of focus, there was a wealth of unspoken communication between it and I. It demanded to be left alone and I had every intention to obey that decree. While still distracted by the nocturnal encounter, my car collided with its hapless, smaller companion around the next bend.
The bone crunching impact echoed in my mind while I tried to recover from the unexpected collision. Unfortunately my car lost traction and slid into a nearby ditch. My simian victim lay crumpled in a motionless heap, beside the rural blacktop. Witnessing the ugly accident from it’s safe vantage point, the larger, masculine beast howled with so much raw, emotional fury that I shall never forget it. The inhuman, guttural snarl conveyed pure, unadulterated pain.
I didn’t know what to do. I was filled with genuine remorse, panic and fear of the murky unknown. I had injured or killed it’s loved one. That much was clear. The rain pelted down upon us. I moved toward my victim to determine its fate but quickly recoiled. The male barred it’s fangs in a primal display of rage as I advanced. I raised my hands in a gesture of good will but wasn’t sure how well my sincerity translated under the circumstances.
My headlights partially illuminated the smaller, feminine creature I had collided with. The larger, male sought to defend her by adopting a silverback gorilla-like, posture. It clearly wanted to physically bar my path. I was at a loss of how to handle the crisis. Without the benefit of verbal communication between us, the bridge of understanding was tenuous. I had to find some means of convincing the beast in front of me that I meant the other injured creature no harm. Time was of the essence and I had to act before it was too late.