Flattened by a car, its arms spread out, a little like Jesus. The sun had baked it as crisp as a potato chip.

“Poor toad,” Maria said. “Didn’t know how to cross the road.”

“Maybe he thought the car was a new friend,” I said. “Rushing to greet him.”

“Or he was puzzling how such a small thing in the distance could become so large.”

We spent hours in such conversations. It was nice, how we never talked about what was next, who we were together. As if the toad wasn’t part of every story, in its way, even ours.

Photo by alexisnyal

Grant Faulkner

GRANT FAULKNER is the executive director of National Novel Writing Month and the co-founder of 100 Word Story. His stories and essays have appeared in The Southwest Review, The New York Times, Poets & Writers, PANK, Gargoyle, eclectica, Puerto del Sol, the Cortland Review, and Word Riot, among others. His stories are also forthcoming in our spring print issue. He's currently in the process of finishing a collection of one hundred 100-word stories, Fissures.

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