It was not an educated guess. Edward (Bun Bun) Taylor’s formal schooling had promptly ceased after a miraculous, possibly fudged, graduation from the State-required Eighth Grade. Not for any practical reasons. Edward just didn’t ‘get’ school, is how he put it. In fact, if eight years had not been required, Edward would have removed himself sooner, which, in truth, would not have upset the teaching staff at Middleton Elementary in the least. They didn’t ‘get’ Edward either.
But Edward didn’t need a higher education to determine, from a single glance, that his mother was dead in the passenger seat of his father’s ’05 Caprice Classic.
She'ad fallen asleep, as she always did, ten minutes into the trip home, doped up and exhausted after her weekly visit to the doctor. On every other occasion, the seatbelt had engaged when she lolled forward, limp with sleep, restraining her in a mostly upright position, where she would simply nod in silence as Edward navigated the Caprice homeward.
Perhaps her weight had deteriorated beyond that which the seatbelt’s catching mechanism could recognize. She was so tiny, light and frail that Edward himself had begun to see her as one of those mosquito-like creatures he called Gallinappers, a winged manifestation of dust, dried air and cobweb.
Whatever the case, the seatbelt hadn’t caught. Edward’s mother had listed steadily leftward, toward him, until the belt reached its full extension, where she had come to a stop, suspended just above the Caprice's center console.
She had rolled in her downward journey, and when Edward glanced at her, his mother was looking up at him, like some kid, goofing, her mouth agape.
Edward (Bun Bun) Taylor looked back to the road. Traffic was light. He sensed his mother swaying gently in the harness beside him, her eyes opened and rolled back white behind her Solar-Guard sunglasses. He listened to the steady click of his father’s Caprice Classic, its rings long burned from lack of oil, lowered the visor to shield his eyes from the sun and drove his mother home.