The Man Who Sneezed His Head Off

blue sunglassesDown the road, he felt his nose itch. The sun was bright and hot, and slight steam rose on the glass, by the dash. “This town sure can melt you,” he thought out loud.

He flipped his shades down and basked in the new, dark, blue world — fast, fast.

An itch. He reached up with his right hand and speared the spot on the left side, close to the bridge of his nose, near his eye. He scratched. Aah, he thought, that felt good; that’ll soothe it.

Near the Loop now. A green Jag is on his tail — hugged in real close. Must be one of those oil rich S.B.’s from Tech, home in the Oaks ’til school starts in the Fall.

He rounds the curve to the Loop — fast, fast — heading north now.  I’ll give her a race, he mused. At the same time, far back in his throat, right mid his eyes and at the tip of his nose, all at once, he felt the bud of a sneeze.

On the Loop now, the Jag so close he can see her short, blunt cut blonde hair. Just as I thought. Once more, his hand goes up as the sneeze grows this time. He turns his head left to look for an open spot. He shifts into high gear and stomps on the floor.

His eyes start to close to guard from the force of the sneeze. As they do so, from the far left side of his sight, out of his blind spot, he sees the truck. In a stroke of time, as fine and small as half a split strand of hair, as long and drawn as the flow of the sea, he sees the crash come.

He sees the truck swoop in from the left, to try and cut to an off ramp, and the spot he had aimed for. He sees the Jag pass on his right, fast, fast, with no room left for him to veer back to his first lane. Caught in Houston, caught in the heat, caught on the way to a plane, caught in a hold on life that won’t end, he closed his eyes and had his sneeze.

“Who have we got here?”

“Tag says ‘Steve G.'”

“Where’s his head?”

“They say sliced off by a break in the front glass. Must have been a tough day for this guy. They still can’t find it. Looked all on the road ’til night. Cops say it must have been some weird shit, like a V.W. came and picked it up in its grill.”

“Aaaaa-CHOOO!” A pause.

“Bless you.”

AUTHOR’S NOTE: This short story was composed nearly entirely of single syllable words, as a practice exercise to reduce fog index.

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