‘Snow White’ by Antonya Nelson
From American Scholar:
The dog had two impulses. One was to stay with the car, container of civilization, and the other was to climb through the ruined window into the wild. Wait with the woman, or dash toward the distant rushing water?
The woman hung suspended, patiently bleeding, barefoot, all-over powdered by deployed airbag dust, one palm open like a forget-me-not in her lap, the other hand raised unnaturally high, as if thrown up to respond to a question, fingertips caught in the teeth of the ripped-open moon-roof. A signal chimed, tiredly announcing that a door was not latched, or a passenger was not buckled, or a light had been left on, or that some other minor human infraction had been committed. The machine was made to attend to these. Additionally, the tape player played on, a man reading aloud. In other instances, recorded sound sometimes roused the dog’s interest–animals on television or computer, the doorbell at home in Houston–but not this man’s voice.