Saturday, September 24, 2005

Stupid Things I Could Do Vol. 3

It's a dark night of thunderstorms. Silver slashes of moisture hammer my car, and on the black horizon rickety lightning bolts cut jagged lines of light. The wipers work furiously and clear off just enough water to give me visibility to keep traveling.

My headlights coupled with the momentary daylight from a lightning bolt reveal the man standing on the roadside beneath the pointless shelter of an oak tree.

I turn down the radio storm warnings and pull over, keying the passenger window. It slides down, and the man leans in, my dome lights glistening on his slick black rain hood.

"Need a lift?"

"God bless you," he says, and I flick the electric lock to let him climb inside.

"Where are you headed?" I ask.

"As far as you can take me or a short a stretch as you can go, either way I get a little further down the road."

"Well, I get you a few miles before I have to turn off."

And the radio plays on
I dial the radio to a station playing soft instrumental music and we get moving.

"Rough weather, eh?" I ask.

"You got it. Worst I've seen in a while."

We travel on, making small talk, until he spots a turn off.

"Can you drop me down that road?"


Down the road

It turns to gravel shortly after I turn on to it. It's nasty mud with all of the rain, and the car vibrates as we move along through what feels like a tunnel of black. The headlight beams soon are bouncing off a pool of water that covers the road.

"That old washout is always there," he mutters.

"Better turn around."

I break to a stop and start to shift into reverse, but in the next lighting bolt that sends slivers of light down through the blackness I see the knife.

It's one from a book cover, a butcher knife, huge, made for chopping though it will serve for a stab as well.

The exclamation never makes it from my lips, only a hot quantity of blood that spills down my chin before everything goes black.

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