June 5, 2010

Five o’clock in the evening and it’s 106º here in the Mojave High Desert. It’s been that hot and hotter before, but for June, good grief! Must be a story in there somewhere…

I can’t say water sizzled on the pavement, because there’s none around. Maybe the sand was melting — nope, not hot enough. How about a noir short story that starts…

The heat on my skin felt like a blast from an open kiln. The air tasted like dead dirt, and all living creatures with half a brain had retreated into the meager comfort of the closest slice of shade they could find.

Following Route 66 through the California Desert in Summer was turning out  not to be one of my best ideas.


3 Responses to “Whew!!!!”

  1. Trouble was my sister. SLAP! My daughter. SLAP! My sister AND my daughter. She was actually just my sister, but every time I got within two miles of her I started thinking about Faye Dunnaway in Chinatown. Maybe it’s because Trouble is a beautiful liar. And she speaks Chinese.

    Delmar and Trouble had been dating for six months–a new record for both of them.

    The only thing they had in common was a love of easy money. Easy money meant schemes, and schemes needed a fallguy.

    I suddenly wished I had left Ranger at home.

  2. I got an itchy feeling in the back of my neck. The last time I did a favor for Delmar I earned a bullet hole through my right leg. I still had the limp.

    I pulled off the highway, kicking up a cloud of dust that added another layer to my eight year old caddy.

    Ranger bolted out of the car and found the only scrub bush in three miles and took care of business. I did the same thing, pulling my trusty .38 from the back of the car and tucking it under the front seat.
    The ache in my leg told me to be prepared.

    The scorching sun blinded me for a moment as another vehicle zoomed past, nearly pulling me after it in its wake.

    I grabbed the driver’s side door and watched the sleek, yellow beauty tear up the highway. That’s when I recognized the license plate.

    “Oh, brother,” I said to Ranger as I pushed him inside the car. “Looks like we’ll have company.”

    But that kind of company only meant one thing. Trouble.

  3. Jackie said

    No, not my best idea, but I didn’t have a choice. Delmar called late last night, said it was urgent that I come, and that I bring the gun and the dog. The gun lay cool and blue in it’s padded case in the trunk. Ranger sat panting beside me, the tempermental AC not keeping either of us cool.
    A sixteen-wheeler hauled past, rocking the car with it’s blast of split air, tumbleweeds in its wake like angry bees.
    I dodged a dead something in the road and wondered what Delmar wanted.

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