The Intersection of Life

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Mystery and Crime  |  House: Booksie Classic
Stallion never expects anyone to stop and give him anything, even though on the days before someone usually does. He turns to Darla to make sure that she is alright. He realizes that he is rather frightening in appearance, with his skeleton like build and his long spider like legs and arms. His dark tanned skin makes him look like the crispy living dead, and his long hair and graying blond beard constructs the kind of image of a psycho killer from a Rob Zombie movie. Stallion recognizes this, but he’s never cared to change his image. He’s never even known himself well enough to recognize that the reason he has never cared too much about personal hygiene in general, is because most of the time he’s trying to hide. This is why he was such a piss poor dealer, till Darla came into his life. Darla started to break him in just enough to have him be loyal to her and no one else in every way. Darla’s selfishness is very simple when it comes to Stallion. When she saw him for the first time, (him hiding behind his thick beard and long hair,) she saw someone who would be easy to manipulate; someone who would love her…and just be there. At the present Darla cannot even be referred to as a weathered beauty, there is no beauty left on the outside, and very little left on the inside. Her eyes once had thick eyelashes that are mostly plucked out now, never to grow back because of all the poison she has taken into her worn body. Her once upon a time kissable lips are now badly chapped and thinner in appearance with premature lines coming out from the corners of her mouth. Her once smooth face now looks tarnished as if she had been stranded in a desert for years. Stallion loves her just the way she is though, scars and all. She had never been with a man like Stallion before. Her variety before him was big, strong and tattooed, and in an age before that she preferred her man to be tall and pretty. All she had discovered about men before Stallion, (starting with her Daddy,) was that every man will leave her disappointed, and in most experiences severely broken. When she met Stallion she was at a point where she didn’t expect anyone, male or female, to be able to satisfy her in anyway. This man is different though and although she would never admit it, not even to herself most of the time, everyday with Stallion is one of her better days. She always expects that the next day he will leave her unsatisfied in some way, even though the days before he always had her feeling accepted and special…he didn’t even need to try to, he just did.

Submitted: March 23, 2011

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Submitted: March 23, 2011

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“Here we go…I gave the kid what he asked me for and I gave him what he paid for. Why should I have cared if he was fourteen or forty? He would have found a way to get what he wanted from someone else anyway, so why not from me...?”

“You’re mumbling to yourself again…” A weathered looking lanky woman with a smokers croak says.

“Yeah, don’t worry,” the suited in appearance partner replies, “I hear no voices in my head answering back yet…”

“I ignore the voices in mine,” the woman replies. “So you remember the plan for today?”

“Yeah…”

“Well tell me again Stallion,” the woman replies, “I want to make sure we get it right, this time.”

Stallion sighs and then moves his head side to side cracking his neck. “I cross after the ‘Don’t Walk’ sign stops blinking, and I do this when the sun is just starting to touch the horizon,” he says, “you will stay on the other side and after I cross the intersection you will run to me just at the moment the sun disappears behind the mountain.”

They stop on the sidewalk at a street corner as a red 2009 Monte Carlo turns in front of them. The man notices a baby girl sitting in the back seat of this car; he sees the pudgy cheeked girl smiling at him, a big cheesy grin showing her fresh front teeth. He smiles also, and reaches up to rub his cheek as if his expression surprises him.

“She was a cutie,” the woman croaks.

“Sure was…” the man replies. “Do you think we would have had as cute a kid as that one?”

“Hell no,” the woman replies with a following raspy chuckle, “which is why I never had babies with your ugly ass.” The man laughs as they cross the street, while the woman nudges him playfully.

“This isn’t going to work is it..?” The man sighs.

After a long pause and the crossing of another block the woman replies, “Try to be positive… it just might. We have nothing better to do than try something new every day.”

“Yeah..?”

The man takes his grimy white tee off and holds it scrunched up in his left hand. A couple more vehicles drive by and he doesn’t feel the least bit concern for being modest. The thought does cross his mind though- maybe tomorrow I’ll try walking down this street in my underwear. It’s been hot enough these last couple days.

The sight of snow topped Mount Ranier looks larger than usual this day and this volcano looks like it’s erupting because of the way the clouds seem to come out from the summit. The rest of the bright blue sky looks bare and the sun continues to exert the unusual amount of heat that this part of Washington is not used to receiving. The couple doesn’t seem to mind the heat too much, they like the change, for nearly any change is gratifying to them at this point.

“What were you saying earlier,” the woman asks, “what were you thinking about when you were mumbling?”

The man sighs and then moves some long strands of his stringy blond hair back behind his ear. At first his partner thought perhaps he didn’t hear her. He turns to her for a moment and looks into her squinting brown eyes, she smirks.

“I was just thinking about one of my last sales…some punk kid. You remember him, we called him Beaner.”

“Oh, yeah,” the woman replies, “he wanted to know who “our suppliers” were. And if I recall right, you told him…you old stupid ass.”

“Yeah… “

The woman sees something she doesn’t like in her partner’s expression, something that makes her very uncomfortable, something unbearable that she wants to go away.

“He was a dumb kid,” she says in an angry tone, “a spoiled brat from a rich family who is probably living the good life now somewhere. Society would accept a punk like him before us Stallion.”

“Yeah…”

“What the hell is the problem,” the woman growls. She stops walking and her partner stops a couple steps ahead of her. Stallion looks down at the ground as his partner shouts at him.

“We never really talk about why we’re here…” Stallion sighs.

“You know what..?” the woman feels frustrated and before she continues she starts coughing profusely, and then takes a breath. “Shit Stallion! I don’t even know why I am pissed right now, because I know exactly why we’re here now. This is a dream, and you are not even really here honey. I am laying down somewhere with you by my side, and we are probably strung out on meth. None of this is even real!”

“Yeah…I guess we did talk about this before.”

“Right,” the woman says in a tone of relief, “now I think that if we follow through with this plan today I’ll wake up, and…well, things will go back to normal again.”

“That’s a pleasant thought,” Stallion mumbles as he rubs his lips.

The woman glares at him for a moment and he doesn’t look up at her.

“Let’s go,” she growls.

Stallion starts moving forward again when she is by his side. A sudden breeze rushes by them and Stallion smiles at the cool feeling against his hot flesh.

“There’s the intersection ahead,” the woman says, “we still have plenty of time so let’s sit at the corner and try to get some dinner. I’m starving.”

“We don’t really need to eat do we,” Stallions asks. “This is just a dream after all.”

“Well I feel hungry here and now, and this is my dream, so I want some food. It’s a psychological thing, and if I don’t eat here maybe I’ll never wake up.”

“That’s far out…” Stallion says.

They reach the end of the street and the woman goes to the nearby shade of a tree whose branches are hanging over a fence. She sits down and watches as her partner pulls a cardboard sign out of the grocery cart. The letters on the sign are written out in bold black ink and the message says, “Trying to get home, please help my wife and me with whatever you can spare- some change, food, or water. Thank you and God Bless.” Stallion pushes the cart towards the shade where his partner is sitting and then he heads back out to the street corner with the sign in hand.

As the woman sits back, watching Stallion situate himself and hold the sign up high, she ponders; ‘no one gets used to us being here around the same time every day. No one thinks anything of it because this is a dream. We always get food, somehow. This is definitely a dream.’ She then goes onto doing what she has done before, she closes her eyes tightly for a moment, trying to wake up, trying to focus. She opens her eyes and then closes them again for a longer moment repeating over and over again in a whisper; “Wake up Darla! Wake up Darla! Open your damn eyes Darla! Snap the fuck out of it Darla! Wake up! Wake up!” She rubs her forehead with her right hand and then makes a fist proceeding to tap her forehead after every sentence she mumbles. “Wake up Darla!” (Tap) “Wake up Darla…”

Stallion never expects anyone to stop and give him anything, even though on the days before someone usually does. He turns to Darla to make sure that she is alright. He realizes that he is rather frightening in appearance, with his skeleton like build and his long spider like legs and arms. His dark tanned skin makes him look like the crispy living dead, and his long hair and graying blond beard constructs the kind of image of a psycho killer from a Rob Zombie movie. Stallion recognizes this, but he’s never cared to change his image. He’s never even known himself well enough to recognize that the reason he has never cared too much about personal hygiene in general, is because most of the time he’s trying to hide. This is why he was such a piss poor dealer, till Darla came into his life. Darla started to break him in just enough to have him be loyal to her and no one else in every way. Darla’s selfishness is very simple when it comes to Stallion. When she saw him for the first time, (him hiding behind his thick beard and long hair,) she saw someone who would be easy to manipulate; someone who would love her…and just be there. At the present Darla cannot even be referred to as a weathered beauty, there is no beauty left on the outside, and very little left on the inside. Her eyes once had thick eyelashes that are mostly plucked out now, never to grow back because of all the poison she has taken into her worn body. Her once upon a time kissable lips are now badly chapped and thinner in appearance with premature lines coming out from the corners of her mouth. Her once smooth face now looks tarnished as if she had been stranded in a desert for years. Stallion loves her just the way she is though, scars and all. She had never been with a man like Stallion before. Her variety before him was big, strong and tattooed, and in an age before that she preferred her man to be tall and pretty. All she had discovered about men before Stallion, (starting with her Daddy,) was that every man will leave her disappointed, and in most experiences severely broken. When she met Stallion she was at a point where she didn’t expect anyone, male or female, to be able to satisfy her in anyway. This man is different though and although she would never admit it, not even to herself most of the time, everyday with Stallion is one of her better days. She always expects that the next day he will leave her unsatisfied in some way, even though the days before he always had her feeling accepted and special…he didn’t even need to try to, he just did.

About an hour goes by and Stallion’s sign is starting to hang low past his knees and nearly touching the pavement. The red Monte Carlo he saw earlier stops at a red light being only a couple feet from him. Stallion glances towards the vehicle and sees the same chubby faced girl sitting in the back seat, leaning forward so as to get a better view of him. She smiles like she did before, not seeming to be in the least bit disturbed by his appearance. She starts to laugh and shows her little red tongue as she does so. Stallion starts to chuckle as well, and he doesn’t understand it but his eyes start to well up with fresh tears. The passenger side window rolls down and Stallion walks up to the vehicle.

“Are you a veteran,” a woman’s voice asks.

Stallion shakes his head no, he avoids making eye contact with the driver and he also keeps his eyes from the giddy child who is chattering up a storm now. He doesn’t want to creep them out.

“Well here you go,” the driver says as she holds out a paper bag, “I ate half of a sandwich but there is another in here. I am not quite as hungry as I thought I was. Here is a bottle of water too.”

Stallion smiles with appreciation and takes the bag and bottle. The light changes as he pulls back from the car. The lady drives off before Stallion can say thank you.

He lowers his sign and starts heading towards where Darla is sitting. She looks up at him and smiles as he approaches.

“My hero, coming back from the hunt,” Darla says without humor in her tone. “What do we got here?” Stallion hands her the bag and she pulls out a half eaten turkey sandwich and another unwrapped one. “Oh, we have a good meal here Stallion.”

“Yeah…”

“You feel hungry?”

“Kind of,” Stallion sighs as he sits on the ground to the left of her.

Darla gives him the half eaten sandwich and then quickly unwraps the paper around the fresher one and takes a big bite out of it. Stallion hands her the bottle of water.

“Mmmm, this is good.”

“It’s almost time,” Stallion says as he nibbles on his sandwich.

“Mmmm,” Darla says as she scarves down the sandwich as quickly as possible, “we better hurry,” she says with her mouth stuffed full. She takes a large swig from the bottle.

Stallion takes a couple more bites out of his sandwich before he stands up again. They head towards the crosswalk and then stand there, waiting, like runners for the gunshot. They watch intently as the sun reaches the horizon just above the trees in the distance, as soon as the sun touches the horizon Stallion runs. A car zips by in front of him and he pauses momentarily, then another car coming from the opposite direction honks its horn and screeches to a halt, stopping inches from Stallion. He continues running, (his wrists flopping rather flamboyantly as he does so.) The next lane has no cars coming and Stallion reaches the other end of the street safely. He is ignoring the young man who is swearing at him loudly before revving up his engine and taking off, barely making the light. With a trembling hand Stallion takes another small bite from his sandwich, which is more like two pieces of bread with some lettuce now since most of its guts were squeezed out onto the street when he ran.

Darla smiles and gets ready to run also, they both look back up at the sun, waiting patiently for the orb to disappear from sight. The minutes go by like hours and Darla is rocking in place, rubbing her arms like a drug fiend. As the sun is nearly gone beyond the horizon Stallion starts to feel a familiar sensation and Darla feels the same. The sense is like being in a sailboat that is rocking with the waves that are slowly starting to grow larger. Stallion steadies himself by grabbing hold of the steel pole to his right. Darla spreads her legs and looks like she is balancing on an invisible surfboard. The last of the sun lowers and Darla runs, luckily at a time that the crosswalk displays a walking figure. She moves as if she is drunk, and she feels like a child who has spun around in circles multiple times. Staying in the crosswalk is no easy task for her now and reaching Stallion seems like a difficult challenge alone. He holds his hand out to her and at this point a familiar ringing starts up in their ears, and they both know that the tone will be painfully loud soon.

“Hurry,” Stallion groans.

Darla stumbles and falls to her knees, being merely inches from her partner. She holds her hand out to him and he steps away from the pole and grabs her wrist. He pulls her towards him and they both fall to the ground onto the concrete island near the other end of the intersection. Stallion holds her against his bony chest and then squints as the ringing sound intensifies.

“I don’t think it’s going to work,” he groans.

“Shut the fuck up,” Darla screeches as she closes her eyes.

They feel now like they are on a giant carrousel spinning out of control and in danger of falling out of.

“Let’s keep moving,” Stallion says.

“Right,” Darla replies.

They both try to crawl to the other side of the intersection, which is only across a smaller street, merely a few feet from them. They see no cars coming, but they don’t see much of anything since they don’t open their eyes for long, being too painful to do so. They know that they are heading in the right direction. Their crawl is more like a scoot across the pavement, a dragging of their legs as they claw at the concrete. The painful ringing in their ears intensifies and the vertigo does also. They feel as if they are dragging weights behind them, and their frustration grows with every subtle movement.

“We’re going to make it,” Darla shouts. “I’m going to wake up!”

“Keep reaching,” Stallion calls back to her. She is near his knees now as he is slightly in the lead. Stallion reaches out his left hand in front of him and feels cool grass to the touch. “I feel the other side. Keep moving.”

Darla has paused and is now grabbing the sides of her head in pain, lying on her back she groans. Stallion reaches back for her and grabs the strap of her tank top to help drag her along.

They both keep their eyes closed now as Stallion feels more grass in front of him. With his other hand he pulls Darla up next to him. He uses all the strength he can muster as Darla struggles to push off of the ground with her feet. Darla feels grass now also and she smiles with satisfaction. They both rest now and try to catch their breath. Stallion coughs and then turns to his side and throws up, spewing up mostly water and stomach acid. Darla is coughing profusely also. They open their eyes and the familiar feeling of disenchantment envelops them.

When before Darla would have cursed or wept, maybe even yelled at her partner and placed all of the blame on him…not this time. This time she just sits up without a sound, not even a groan of disappointment. Stallion doesn’t even sit up; he just stares up at the sky scratching his chest. He’s in no hurry to see what Darla sees now, for he can feel where they’re at now. Like what happens with most places we visit frequently, Stallion can just tell. With some unnamed sense he knows where he is at now. Like a frequent scent, or taste that one grows tired of, the place feels so bland. He thinks back on a time when he worked for a carpentry shop, he had worked there for years. His life had a routine back then that on most days he went through in autopilot. Every morning he drove down the same road at the same time, and whenever he entered into that shop everything was always the same. The smell, the placement of seats and tools, even the coffee stains near the old pot, all the same. His everyday life was groundhogs day back then. He remembers being at the point where he felt that he could go through a day’s work in that shop, maneuvering from place to place without even opening his eyes. The old carpentry shop became personified boredom to him, the memory of the place has a certain feel to it similar to the place he knows he’s at now.

“Do you want to try going the other way today, or maybe just napping here all day, hoping we wake up tomorrow somewhere else?” Stallion speaks in a passive and exhausted tone as he puts on his grimy white tee.

Darla does not reply at first, she just stares down the long street, seeing the reddish orange taint in the sky where the sun will soon emerge. There are no cars on the street now, and they are sitting in the grass in front of a large steel fence. She knows that they are roughly near the center of this long street. In one direction there is the intersection where she recalls being only a short time ago, at the other end there is a large park across from another intersection. Where they are sitting now they cannot see either end of the street, just the familiar sight of what appears to be an endless row of old wooden telephone poles, and the large shadowy figures of trees in framing the street, going on for miles. Stallion sits up beside Darla and gazes out at the distant red taint in the sky.

“Maybe we can try going down one of the blocks again, but we’ll wait till the sun sets,” Stallion suggests, sounding unconvinced that this could work.

“We’ve done that before,” Darla sighs. “Maybe we can search the side of the road for some ruby slippers, and then I could just put them on and tap my way out of this nightmare.”

Stallion smiles and then rubs his wrist against her shoulder. “Maybe we could try that. I’m pretty sure we have not tried that yet.”

“I don’t feel like walking much today,” Darla says. “I think I’m just going to sleep.” She lays back and then assumes the fetal position on her right side.

Stallion looks down at her and watches her close her eyes. He stares at her for a while as the sun emerges. He starts to feel dreadfully sad, as he has days before while sitting in this same place. He feels frustrated, his mind tired. ‘Why can’t I think more clearly? What am I missing? It’s so hard to think…I must be drugged in some way. Maybe some psychic vampire is feeding off of me. I remember reading about them once. They feed off of people’s emotions instead of their blood, maybe one has me locked up in a room in some kind of coma. And they are just draining me. I hope they are not feeding off of Darla too. They must be…No, no, this is stupid. I’m stupid. Son of a bitch…!’

Stallion stands up and sees a silhouette of someone in the distance, heading his way; they are coming from the direction that leads to the park.

“Maybe I’ll try talking to a passerby again. I can do that…” Stallion mumbles, “I won’t freak them out this time. I won’t scare them. I’ll try talking to them, just casual conversation. The last time Darla and I spoke with someone on this road we tried following them down a street block…but the ringing started again, and that dizzy feeling…then we was here again….”

“Shut up…” Darla groans. “Quite, you’re fucking mumbling. Just lay your ass down and sleep Stallion. I don’t feel like trying anything today.”

“Maybe this one is like us,” Stallion says as he scratches his chest. “Maybe he’s trapped here too…”

“We tried that before with people Stallion,” Darla says in a muffled tone as she buries her face into her arm. “They thought we were crazy than and they will again.”

“It will be different this time…It could be…” Stallion whispers. “This person is different.”

“Hopefully this time whoever they are won’t beat your ass,” Darla says as she turns her head to one side trying to find comfort. “I remember you approached a group of teenagers once, and told them we were trapped on this road and needed help. They laughed at you. When you pushed the issue one of them shoved you and told you to “back the fuck off crazy old man!” If I recall correctly, it went something like that.

“Yeah…” Stallion looks down at the ground with an air of disappointment in his crazy blue eyes. “It went something like that…”

“Go to sleep Stallion.”

“I am going to talk to this guy,” he bites his bottom lip as he speaks and his eyes widen, “I have to try…Yeah… I have to try to get you out of here. I can’t stop trying.”

Stallion starts walking towards the approaching stranger, whose face he cannot see too well yet. The shadows from the trees to his right cross over the stranger as he walks. Only when he passes under a street lamp does Stallion see him more clearly. The man is wearing a green baseball cap and a blue jacket. His hands are in his jacket pockets and he is walking with a slouch, holding his shoulders up high as if his neck is cold.

Stallion stops walking, and he quickly turns his gaze away from the approaching stranger. He doesn’t want to creep him out. He decides to lean against an old fence post, trying to look casual, he just waits.

As the man draws nearer he shouts, “Hey there!” he quickens his pace, “Hey, mister!?” Stallion steps off from the fence post.

The stranger stops a few feet from Stallion and he looks up at him with a rise of two pronounced eyebrows.

“Hey there, can you help me with something, shouldn’t take long?”

Stallion doesn’t reply at first, and he resists looking back at Darla, who is still laying down, being hidden in the shadows a short ways back. Stallion nods.

“Great! Great…” The man replies in a kind voice. “Just this way,” the stranger says as he turns around and starts heading back the way he came.

Stallion feels hesitant but he follows behind anyways.

“Do you think maybe you could help me out with something after this,” Stallion asks in a passive tone.

“Yeah, sure man!” The stranger quickly replies. “I have a fairly large favor to ask of you so I’ll try to help you with whatever you need after.”

“So what’s wrong,” Stallion asks.

“I’ll show you, it’s my truck.”

“Okay…”

The two men walk for a few blocks and then the stranger turns towards the next block seeming to be about to head down this street. Stallion stops. The stranger stops also and looks back at him with a smile.

“You all right,” he asks with a turn of his head.

“Yeah,” Stallion replies. “You heading down this street?”

“No, not really,” the stranger says. “My trucks right there.” He points towards a dirty black Ford that is parked just off the side of the street in a small ditch with its backend facing down the turn.

“Alright,” Stallion replies. He doesn’t hear the ringing in his ears, nor does he feel dizzy in the least. “I can’t go too much further.”

“Okay…” the stranger says sounding a little confused. “I tell you what,” he says after a moment. “I’ll move my truck up to this point.”

“Okay…” Stallion is confused now, because he thought the problem was that the truck wouldn’t start.

Stallion watches the man head towards his vehicle. Before he gets in he looks around, seeming to be hoping no one else is near. He opens the driver’s side door and then slams it shut once he’s inside. In the next moment he starts the engine and then slowly drives up to where Stallion is standing. The truck stops a couple feet from Stallion and the stranger shuts the engine off. He gets out but doesn’t close the door behind him. He presses a button behind his seat and then pushes the seat forward exposing the back seat of his truck. Stallion sees a large red sleeping back in the back, that’s clearly not empty.

“Well this is what I need you to help me with,” the stranger says in frustration.

Stallion is confused, and as the man looks at him again he suspects that he has seen this stranger before. The man scowls and then rubs the side of his face.

“You look familiar,” the stranger says, “real familiar.”

Stallion looks into the man’s eyes and sees something he should have recognized sooner. The strangers eyes are dilated, his dark pupils fill the white of his eyes. The smell is obvious also.

“Yeah…I know you,” the stranger says. “Wow, I sure do.” He sounds humored. “You still working this street? After all these years…That’s crazy!”

“I think you might have me confused with somebody else…” Stallion says, sounding unsure.

“Ha! No way man! You don’t have a face that can be mistaken bro.”

Stallion does not reply, but he stares at the man in a more inquisitive manner now.

“You took my cherry man!” The stranger says, “I bought some junk from you back when I was kid. The place was not too far from where we are standing now. Damn, it’s been a long time! The last time I was here was years ago, and I am almost sure that the last person I talked to on this very street was you.”

Stallion’s eyes widen and the stranger takes a step back.

“Man, your eyes are still tweaky.” He laughs after saying this, a nervous chuckle.

“I remember you…” Stallion sighs before saying this. This sigh seems to drain all of his energy and his arms hang limp at his sides. He closes his eyes for a moment and then lowers his head so that his chin is touching his chest.

“You okay man?”

“Yeah…” Stallion says before raising his head and looking at the man again. “You look different.”

“You don’t look like you’ve changed much at all,” the man replies. “In fact…I think you were wearing the same clothes when I saw you last…”

“Yeah…” Stallion looks at the sleeping bag. “Whatever you need me to help you with, I will. I owe you kid…”

“Well alright than, cool,” the man says as he climbs into the back seat of his truck. He is hunched over now because of the small space. He beckons for Stallion to come closer. Stallion moves forward and leans into the vehicle.

“Now, don’t freak out now man,” the man says, “I was driving down a dirt road the other day. I was trying to take a shortcut on my way to visit my old buddy from high school. I saw this in the field and checked it out. I found her like this…I swear I didn’t do this…” he turns to Stallion now and is smiling. Beads of sweat are forming on his brow and he sounds like he is out of breath.

Stallion smells a less familiar scent now, something unlike the meth fiend who is talking to him now, something worse.

“What were you wanting to do with…this?” Stallion asks in a scratchy tone.

“Well,” the man chuckles again, “at first I was thinking…” he wipes some sweat from his face with the back of his hand, “ well I was thinking that I wanted to save the woman’s family from paying for a funeral…I mean I could tell that she is from a poor home. They’re probably some hillbillies that live out there deep in the Washington woods.” (Stallion looks down at the floor of the truck as the man is talking, and he sees some zip ties and a rusty ten pound weight. He turns his eyes to the cup holder on the driver’s side door and sees the top of a black cell phone also.) “So, I at first thought that maybe I would find a swamp and…you know get rid of this…sad mess.” He chuckles again. Stallion looks up at him now with his wide bright blue eyes.

“Why didn’t you do that,” Stallions asks.

The man chuckles nervously again and says, “Ah, man…I had been on the road for a while. I was tweaking out when I came across…this, and well, I originally intended to just toss her into some swamp but…” He laughs more, sounding a little more hysterical this time. Stallion continues to stare at him.

“But what..?”

“Well I had sex with her man, instead…” he looks at Stallion for a moment, while chewing on the inside of his right cheek for a painfully long moment. He then bursts into laughter again and says, “Man, I tell you, those eyes of yours! So anyways, I decided to drive her back to my place after I…”(he turns his head to the right and nods, stretching his neck out far he does three slow and long nods of his head), “you know, after I did the deed.” (Stallion continues to stare at him.) “You know maybe you can come by my new place sometime, and we can catch up man…You still with that girl? What was her name?”

Stallion continues to stare at this old acquaintance. He was not caring too much for the conversation they were just having and he cares even less for the change of conversation to involving Darla. He is suddenly feeling very much awake in these moments. His mind does not feel like his thought processes travel from place to place through a thick sludge, like his mind usually feels. He notices now that the wheels in his head have been oiled, and they are turning at a much smoother and faster pace. His engine is revved, adrenaline pumping, and he knows that he must act fast….somehow everything is starting to make some kind of sense. The man stares back into his eyes trying to hold back another outburst of laughter. He tries to widen his stare, trying to outdo Stallion’s wide glare. Droplets of sweat are coming down from the sides of his face now.

“Soooo,” the man says, “you ready?” He pulls back the flap on the sleeping bag and reveals the woman inside.

Stallion glances down and sees what appears to be a fifty something year old woman. Her eyes are closed, and her bottom lip hangs down grotesquely. Some dry blood comes from her hanging bottom lip and goes down to her swollen neck. Stallion doesn’t need to see anymore, and he turns his eyes back up to the man’s face.

“What do you want me to do?”

“I was wondering if you could help me dispose of the body,” the man says in a strangely nonchalant tone. “If I go to the police now they’d think I killed her.”

Stallion nods and says, “Okay. The man smiles and in the next moment Stallion grabs the cell phone from the cup holder and then slams the door shut. The man stares with a confused expression on his face as Stallion runs onto the main street heading in the opposite direction of where Darla is laying.

Stallion feels his heart trying to pound out of his chest but he keeps moving as fast as his scrawny legs will take him. He flips the phone open and dials 911. He looks back as he brings the phone up to his ear. He sees the truck turning in his direction, moving slowly. Someone answers his call and he starts spewing out his location before the officer on the line can ask him any questions.

The man in the truck takes his hat off and throws it onto the passenger seat, and then he cracks his neck and swears. “Damn it old man, you said you were going to help me.” He steps on the gas.

“Yes, she’s dead! He asked me to help him dispose of the body,” Stallion shouts to the officer on the line, “I’m sure she is dead, yes. Please hurry!” Stallion closes the phone and drops it to the ground as he hears the truck speeding up onto his tail.

“Why are you running,” the driver shouts out his window as he is only a couple feet from Stallion now. “I didn’t kill her!”

Stallion steps off to the side of the street and then jumps over a small ditch. The truck zips by him, being merely inches from running over him. Stallion’s ears start to ring and the familiar feeling of vertigo hits him hard, causing him to fall to the ground, being only a couple feet from the street.

“I can’t go now…” Stallion moans, “I have to get Darla.”

The truck turns around and then pulls up to the place where Stallion jumped out from the street. The driver gets out with haste (leaving his vehicle running,) he then jumps over the small ditch. He scans the area in front of him but doesn’t see Stallion.

“Where are you man?” The man asks, “You said you were going to help me. Come on man, come out! I’ll help you. I know you’re behind that tree.” There are many trees in front of the man, but he doesn’t know that Stallion is behind the one closest to him.

Stallion jumps up from the ground and then pops out right in front of the man. Stallion feels less afraid when he sees the looks of fear in the killer’s eyes, (he had just scared the piss out of him.) He shoves the man back, knocking him onto his ass as he runs past.

Once Stallion is back onto the street the ringing in his ears ceases and he has his balance again. He gets into the man’s truck and then slams the door. He sees the man getting up from the ground and looking back at him with that same frightened expression on his face. Stallion switches gears and then takes off in the killer’s truck. He doesn’t have to drive much farther up the street to reach Darla, who is rising up from where she was lying.

“Get in,” Stallion shouts out as he reaches across and opens the passenger side door for her.

“What the hell are you doing,” Darla shouts.

“Trying something different,” Stallion replies, “hurry up!”

Darla gets in and closes her door as Stallion steps on the gas again. He looks in the rearview mirror and sees the killer running in the middle of the street behind them.

“Tell me what’s going on,” Darla says, “and can you slow down please?”

Stallion eases his foot off of the gas and says, “I ran into Beaner. He’s changed a lot. He’s a killer, and he fucks dead people.” (Stallion sounds out of breath as he says this and Darla just stares at him in silence.) “Look back there,” he says after a violent cough, “see for yourself.”

Darla turns to look in the backseat, and in the next moment she shouts, “Oh, my God! Oh my God!”

“Yeah…” Stallion sighs, “I know.”

After a series of swears and then taking a moment to catch her breath Darla asks, “So what are we going to do now.”

“I’m going to try to drive to the end of this street with the hope that we can get out this time.”

“Okay…” Darla says. “Why do you think this will work?”

They see the street lights ahead and Stallion no longer sees the man running in his rearview mirror, he’s too far back. The sun is just starting to emerge from the horizon.

“I remember when we got trapped here. It all came back to me when I was talking with that sick kid...he actually looks like he may be about forty now… I have to make up for what I did wrong so long ago. This is my redemptive action, or some shit like that.”

“Redemptive action…” Darla repeats. “What if this doesn’t work? Your talking crazy Stallion…this is a dream, I tell you…This is my dream!”

“Well then, I’m guessing once this truck passes the threshold it will be empty. The truck will crash, I expect… We will wake up tomorrow morning in the same place we always end up in.”

“And…” Darla shakes her head, “and then what? I mean what about all this?! What about the body and the sicko who did this?”

Stallion feels like saying, ‘this is your dream, so why don’t “you” tell me’, but instead he says “I called the police. I think all this shit will be resolved soon, the cops are on their way.” He turns to Darla with an awkward smile of assurance.

They draw closer to the street lights and the sun is more than halfway surfaced from the horizon. Darla continues to stare at Stallion, thinking that he seems so different in these moments. He seems more awake. He seems alive. She turns to the sight of the approaching intersection and sees that the light has just turned green.

“Here we go,” Stallion whispers.

Darla reaches over and grabs his right hand. She then clears her throat and says, “I love you, you know.”

They drive under the green light with no traffic coming from any direction at the moment; the truck clears through the intersection in a matter of seconds. In a couple moments the vehicle veers off to the left, crossing over a few lanes and then crashing into a large wooden sign that says, “Point Defiance Park.”


© Copyright 2018 Brunk. All rights reserved.

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