Literary Fiction rideshare death Magical Realism jen knox fiction short fiction Fantasy Satire

Rideshare

By Jen Knox
2,352 words · 9-minute reading time

black and blue LED light

Photo by Barna Bartis via Unsplash.

From the author: "Am I dead?”  “You should be so lucky. All this craziness going on in your world.” As she spoke, a child who looked like Peter from The Snowy Day, the first book I remember reading, ran alongside us on the street in his red suit.


I was close to death that winter, but we all were. The flu was the worst in decades, and the blizzards were no help. News reporters stopped covering stories outside of Ohio. There were only “breaking reports” from specialists or “urgent updates” from meteorologists who were adept at saying nothing in complex ways.

It was the middle of a whiteout, and I was stuck at work with a flat tire. The snow was beginning to fuse with ice, and no spare hid under the philosophy books in my trunk. Resigned, I covered my head with my briefcase and trundled toward my classroom. A woman with roadside assistance said there was a two-hour wait, so I sat at my desk watching oak trees crystallize outside the picture-frame window.

“Oh good, you’re here!” Seuss, a student named after the Doctor, said.

“School’s cancelled.” I gestured outside, as if he needed me to point out the weather. The only footprints on the quad were ours.

Seuss took a seat. “Yep. Snow day,” he said, pointing to an email on his...

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