I have a full tank of gas. My car recently passed inspection and had an oil change. I carry pepper spray. I’ve got a cell phone. All my paperwork’s in order: my license, registration and insurance card in case I have an accident. I don’t plan to have one, though. How could I ever explain having an accident miles away from our Long Island home?
She walked through the halls with his picture in her hand. She stopped the hotel’s staff and other guests alike. She struggled to keep her tone of voice even, despite the desperation of the last 24 hours that had pushed her to this point. Every person she stopped was asked the same question. “Excuse me, have you seen my husband?”
But every time he drifts off for a couple of minutes, his head plopping onto Anna’s shoulder (or occasionally her right boob) for a quick snatch of NREM sleep only to slop back to grubby wakefulness a little later, there’s another empty seat, another gap missing a passenger and overnight bag.
The tent up, I crawled inside, admired that new-nylon smell, unrolled my sleeping bag, lay down… and frowned: the stitching–it formed a pentangle, as promised–but upside-down. And there, in the middle, those dye-blotches: they looked like some horrible leering face.
He followed her instructions, snapping a few pictures. He’d tried this last night, but the light was stronger. He looked at what he’d shot and shrugged. “Probably a dancer lives there. Swan Lake? Isn’t there an opera about birds too?” “No one could dance wearing wings that big.” She was positive, having taken dance for years.
They had started out early that morning, taking state highway 87 north from Plainview, ranches on the Texas panhandle alternating with patches of city, through Amarillo, taking a westerly curve into New Mexico. The whole time Aaron went over and over again rifle safety and field stripping, where to cut and how deep, though till now Jesse had only given “yessirs” as he stared out the window.