The Communicator

The Communicator

The Communicator

Decaying Fox

Luca Hinesman’s daily walk is disrupted by an animal’s defeat. 
Artwork by Kaylee Gadepalli
Fatal Fall

I stress and overthink to the point of screaming. I ran out of the house and down the dirt road. Aggressively fast cars zoom by, causing me to step sideways onto the grass. The cars smell of gasoline and don’t bother to slow down. They supposedly have places to be. I’m overdressed this time for my walk, and I wrap my coat around my waist as if in kindergarten again with my big, heavy jacket.

I’m in my head, thinking of my future. I strut past the haunted 1970’s house on the hill. I follow the curve of the road, and I see it — a once lively fox. 

The fox is at peace, carefully placed on the side of the road. Filled with orange color and serenity up to the neck, where I see a red slash. It doesn’t smell, and everything remains still around it. I see an animal suffering and hear nothing. Everything feels frozen as a result of the fox’s death. All looks fine besides the mark before its neck. It goes deep into the fox and feels like a mistake. I debated touching the fox or moving it, but eventually concluded that it felt wrong to interfere. 

I’m confused by its careful placement. Its death looks staged and unreal. I went from being lost in my tangents to being unsettled by something that shouldn’t have happened. I feel unlucky, as if this is a sign of something bad coming into my life. Possibly an injury or an emotional event that will cut deep. 

My mom suggested burying it or covering it, but I decided I didn’t want to interfere. I’m against holding a proper goodbye for this beautiful fox, so I walk on. I walk on the dirt path every day when I’m overwhelmed and stressed with life. I walk on and notice little pieces of the decaying fox missing. Fur is lost, and so is its once-liveful spirit. The wound grows darker and deeper, revealing the fox’s ribs.

I walked on some more and more until, eventually, it was freezing outside again. This time, when rounding the curve in the road, I saw a flock of birds. I watch as the birds pull and tear the fox apart. Digging deep into the fox and flying away once satisfied. Chirping and swarming this fox up as a meal and as a task. They don’t realize that it has been lying there for weeks with nothing disturbing it. I debate whether I should’ve done something with the fox. It deserved a happy ending, but who am I to decide its ending?

I haven’t walked a real walk in days. I get to be in my head and go down rabbit holes and imagine my future until, suddenly, I realize where I am. On a dirt road surrounded by nature, the world is decaying. The world is falling apart and I possibly am. The fox has decayed, and so has the world. 

I walk on after being frustrated and tired from my job when it lies there in front of me. Once again, I rounded the curve. Now I see the next stage of the fox’s death. The aftermath of the birds’ feast is horrific. 

The fox has significantly lost any liveliness it had left over. Fur is scattered everywhere, and there is very little left of it for anyone to see. I can see its whole skeleton and mouth. It looks unmasked and is an invasion of something I shouldn’t be seeing for a good reason. 

I walk on and think of foxes. I think of them as intelligent animals that provide luck in one’s life. But a dead fox must provide the opposite. This is what I thought when first laying eyes on this fox. It has lost its intelligence and is slowly decaying like the rest of us. A decaying animal can resemble the death of one and the growth of another. Soon, the fox will be gone, leaving only a memory for the very few observant walkers on the dirt road. 

The fox has died while the birds thrive. The fox has died while I continue to grow and learn. I don’t believe I received any bad luck, but maybe it’s waiting and creeping to happen. I don’t have any regrets about how I handled the fox. The fox deserved to leave this earth properly and without human interference. I wondered what would happen to me after seeing something rotting on the side of the road. Nothing did. I kept moving on.

Leave a Comment
More to Discover
About the Contributor
Luca Hinesman
Luca Hinesman, Journalist
Luca Hinesman is currently a Sophomore at Community High School and a believer in buying expensive coffees. When not in CET rehearsals or mock trial practices, you can find them reading books about revenge, catching up on homework, or hanging out with friends. Luca is currently in their first semester with The Communicator and is excited to contribute their ideas this year!

Comments (0)

All The Communicator Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *