Sunday, January 24, 2010

Up The Road

A rear-view Jesus on a plastic crucifix spins and swings and flips. A boy and a black cloth ceiling and a cracked mosaic blacktop and a blurred yellow line and an old man and an eight ball stick shift and dizziness and warm glass and a sideways Jesus on a plastic crucifix and a long black bonnet with a gilded scoop and power poles skewering tawny earth and a blue sky and the sun.

The boy's brain bangs against bone inside his skull. Dry air pops and snaps against his ears. He traces the word Camaro in raised silver across the glove box. His tongue finds cracked lips and he bites off a piece of loose skin.

"Sixty-eight," says the old man.

The boy's eyes creep left. Silver hair splays and rises from a balding head. A barnacle blisters across a droopy earlobe, porous and yellow and brown like a dried dollop of spicy mustard.

“Where are we going?”

“Crazy,” says the old man. “You ready?”

“Where is that?”

“Just up the road.”

Up the road, the road boils and bubbles a blurry liquid mirage.

“I have to pee.”

The man nods, stretching and deepening the fissures across the back of his neck.

They stop at a gas station twenty miles up the road. Along the right, a row of semi trucks and trailers line the lot: Peterbilts. Macks. Freightliners. Volvos. Kenworths. Myriad colors and chrome grills and pipes gleam beneath the desert sun.

The car comes to a stop and the old man removes the keys. Stillness follows and fights to find its way inside their rattled bones as they leave the car.

The man holds his hand as they cross the sliding glass door entrance and into the cool air.

Is that thing on his ear catchy?

They boy jerks free and says, “I don’t have to go anymore.”

“Well, I gotta piss like a double-dicked racehorse. You wait out here,” says the old man, fingering hair across his bald spot. “We can get you some candy and a cold soda for the road.”

The man disappears into the bathroom and the boy darts for the parking lot.

He finds a Peterbilt, the same bold red as his bicycle, and scales its silvery steps, his sneakers squeaking across spilled coffee as he climbs inside.

A faded school photo of a gap-toothed blonde girl is taped to the dash. Cigarette ashes sprinkle the seats and plastic floor. The cab smells of smoke and old french-fries and spray deodorant.

The boy climbs into the back and hides beneath piled blankets and soiled laundry, ready to go anywhere but crazy.


  1. This is very good. Scary and strange and good. I like it. More?

  2. Hi, Tina. Just playing around with this one. It's a one-and-done for sure...

  3. Your words create powerful imagery, my friend. Brilliant!

  4. Very descriptive.

    I've never actually SEEN a double-dicked racehorse but I hear they can urinate quite a bit. :-)

  5. Hi, Richard. Thanks for popping by and commenting.

    Hi, Charlene. That makes two of us.

    Hi, Eva. Thanks. Glad you enjoyed this strange little post.

  6. Very good! This left me wanting to know more!
    Hope there are more stories like this strange little post. What happened next? What happened before?
    You need to write more,Hunter, and tell us more of this story!

  7. Yep, left me wanting more. Which is good - but not if I don't get more! Love your style, Hunter.

  8. Hi, Ellie. Thanks for swinging by and for the follow.

    Hi, Alice. I do write more. Just not all of it is for the blog. ;)

    Hi, Jimmy. Thanks. I'm a little surprised that people are wanting more from this one. It was really just a chance to play with point of view in a little piece of flash fiction.

  9. Yikes. Excellent. And no, I for one think it's perfect as it is. The scariness is in the guessing what came before and after...

  10. well you sure captured the little boy's overwhelmed state! i, like all your other followers, am curious as to what will happen next...

  11. This is excellent, Hunter. You paint such a vivid picture with words. But i get that this is flash fiction. Sure, i'd like to read more but it's not necessary. It stands quite nicely on its own. Any more and the effect may be ruined.

    Good job! :)

  12. it's a strange and interesting story. leaves me wondering and i like that.

  13. I crave an expansion.

    I want to know more.

  14. Hi, Leah. My sentiments exactly.

    Hi, p.ham. You've been mystery-boxed. It's like an episode of Lost that way. ;)

    Hi, Lou. Thanks!

    Hi, Sarah. Leaves me wondering too.

    Hi, Hannah. I have no idea what happens next. That was the point -going somewhere you don't want to go and changing the path for something mysterious.

  15. so then i guess it's all up to my interpretation, and will go wherever my imagination does?

  16. Interesting, I like it even though I have no idea what's going on!

  17. I hope there is more to this!! I love it

  18. Hi, p.ham. Yes, ma'am. That's the deal.

    Hi, S&C. Thanks.

    Hi, Laurnie. Thanks so much for popping by and commenting. That's probably it for this one, but I'm sure similar stuff will find its way to the blog in the future.

  19. Love it! Hopefully you will post more of this, please? With sugar on top?

  20. I felt like I was right there with him, hiding. I didn't want to go crazy, either.

  21. This post feels like I have fallen down the rabit hole... and I like it.

  22. Hi, Melissa. I think that was it for this one.

    Hi, Uber. Thanks. I'm just now starting to send a couple things out for potential publication. We'll see.

    Hi, Sal. Felt like I rushed it at the end as I was ready to get it posted to the blog. Glad it didn't suffer too much for it.

    Hi, Lola. In my best hippie voice, "Right on, maaan."

  23. I really like this one although it seems a little different from your usual stuff. I hope there is more to follow.

    Kate xx

  24. Hunter,
    whoa and wow, what a graphic insight into the insanity that we all call reality.
    crazy ride down the road and put right into the drivers seat of escapisim.
    very very nice

  25. Yup, liked this little slice of life. Makes you wonder about the beginnings and endings. Nice to read something that makes you think.

  26. Hi, Kate. Thanks. I try to mix things up. That's about as close to a unifying theme as you're likely to find on the blog.

    Hi, Bob. Thanks. Nice to see you back in the blogosphere.

    Hi, Madame. I'm at a point of wonderment these days, especially regarding where to go next. Hopefully that played out okay in this quick little post. Thanks for popping by and commenting.