Andrew and I were on the ride home from the book conference talking about how cool Tea Obreht was when I saw the brightest lightning storm of my life. There were many moments when it looked like broad daylight. I was so busy watching what looked like white tree limbs tapping the horizon that when I noticed a dog in the road, it was too late.
I screamed and covered my face. Andrew made brief eye-contact with the dog before we hit it and felt it's body under the wheels.
I wasn't as upset as I thought I would be because I had emotionally prepared for this. The moment I moved from Utah to Mississippi, I knew we would kill a dog. There are dead dogs everywhere. You can't leave the house without seeing road kill. I've seen so many smashed armadillos that I've come to associate them with death.
We were driving my in-laws' car, and the whole bumper was smashed and hanging off the car. The crazy thing is only two days prior, my husband made a survival bracelet out of 20 feet of parachute chord. Neither of us thought he would ever use it. He untied it and used it to tie the bumper back on the car. I felt like a boy scout.
A cop saw us on the side of the road and offered to write an accident report. It was pouring down sheets of rain, so he asked Andrew if he wanted to sit in the police car while he wrote it out. Cool, huh? You see, when you go to book conferences, you never know what kind of opportunities will arise.