Monday, July 03, 2006

Just to shake her shaky hands... [Story here]

Based on the overwhelmingly positive response (all two) and the fact that around 5 people have been here and none of them have threatened my life, I have decided to post another story I had to write last night. Again, I don't have a title, but I guess I'll use the shuffle for iTunes and use a lyric from a random song. Flogging Molly "To Youth," I guess So Goodbye is the title now. Click below and if it makes your eyes bleed from badness, don't say I didn't warn you.

He hadn't stopped crying for the last twenty miles. As Eliza pulled into the gas station, the lightning flickered again. It cracked close and and she heard a car alarm sound briefly, then stop when it realized there was no danger. She clutched the baby as she ran into the brown wood paneled and white stuccoed building. A woman was sitting behind the counter, thick glasses, pale flabby skin and a large gap in her large front teeth that prevented her from being bucktoothed. The floor was wet and Eliza's shoes squeaked like vicious mice as she stepped across the aging white linoleum. The whole place reeked of wet dog and stale cigarettes, despite the signs that told her both were not allowed in the store.

“How can I help ya?” The woman behind the counter said, helpful, but loud to be heard over the thunder, now frequent, and the baby's crying, which was constant.

“Is there somewhere I could change him?” Eliza said, bouncing Jonathan jr. ad she said it.

“Bathroom's back there” The woman, Joan according the the hand printed name tag on her white polo shirt, replied gesturing towards the area to the left of the register. “It's purty small, but so's he” she grinned wide as she said it.

“Thank you” she ducked into the bathroom, which was as small as a bathroom could be without using the toilet as a sink and changed him on the lid of the toilet. Washing her hands she looked at herself in the mirror, and proceeded to agonize over her wrinkled, sun-damaged tan face and bottle blond hair, which was matted from the rain. She spent several minutes trying to dry her hair with the cheap, ineffective hand dryer, giving up she grabbed her baby and made another mad dash around the building to her white, late-model Trans-Am. As she did so the woman behind the counter shouted “Aren't ya gonna buy something?” then when the answer was clearly no, she added “Bitch!”

She would have felt bad about not buying anything on any other night, but tonight she had to keep moving. If someone had asked her why or where she was going, she would have been at a loss, unable to explain it. She just knew that staying still for any longer than absolutely necessary was not an option.

Of course she knew why she had started moving, it was over, everything, it was all falling apart. It had happened in her first marriage, the hanging feeling that it was over, all but the lawyers and custody battle, but this time it was different, stronger and more terrifying, it wasn't just her marriage, it was her who was falling to pieces. She had decided to go to a friend's house about a hundred miles away, wait for the feeling to abate, call her lawyer and go back home. The friend was out of town for the week, she forgot to check ahead, she got in her car and drove away from home, that was three hundred miles before.

Jonathan was crying again, she kept driving, while trying to comfort him. The crying kept going, she turned, and screamed “Shut up, why do you keep crying? We can't stop again, we just can't, so stop it.” As she turned to look back at the road, a flash of lightning showed the milk truck she had been following jack knife, the trailer snapping loose and twisting to reveal Garfield the Cat declaring his love of milk. She realized just before the car hit that she was going to have to stop, the terror of stopping flooding away the fear of her or Jonathan jr's death. The car crumpled, the milk tank burst and leaked into the ditch mingling with the rain water. The paramedics arrived 30 minutes later, the milk truck driver needed a dozen stitches in his forehead, Jonathan had miraculously survived the crash unharmed, and Eliza just sat in the puddle of milk and rain water and laughed, the water soaking her red sleeveless shirt and faded denim shorts. She stood up after they had checked her over and began to run the direction she had been driving. The paramedics grabbed her and forced her onto a gurney, strapping her down. Jonathan had stopped crying and slept gently during the long drive to the hospital, while Eliza screamed and the truck driver stared.


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