The Three of Us. Part Two of an eight part serialized short story.

Miles later, back on the turnpike, at some point, perhaps a State-line, a river, or a ravine; I passed from North and East to South and West – from plain and pain to sand and mad. It was now daylight, and I was driving through brown hills chocked green with Chula cacti and Joshua trees. Smoke stung my eyes from the cigarette clenched between my lips. Ashes fell into the beer can stuck between my thighs that were squeezed together so that my knees could press the wheel and steer the car. This freed my fingers to roll a joint while gospel music blasted from the car’s radio. Every few miles, along both shoulders of the road, a small wooden cross, splintered by the sun, broke through the gravel and glass, to announce the spot of a road death by accident or suicide, and to warn motorists of death in the shadows around each bend. Dusk began to sprinkle lights across the Mesa: constellations and installations, Cassiopeia and Pegasus, penitentiaries and power plants. My tires rubbed against miles of asphalt that had recently been poured steaming over scorpions and sand, needles and snakes. Like twin x-ray beams my headlights revealed branches of bat bones, narrow as veins. My windshield splattered with frequent enough violence that moth juice began to smear my vision like cataracts. I turned off the Freeway onto a road that was not patrolled by aircraft. I screamed past bodies sunk like fence-posts in the sand, and drove until I hit Joshua Tree, California where I stopped to sleep for the first time in thirty-seven hours. The Living Spirit Christian Fellowship Church next to my motel screamed, “Jesus Loves You.”, and still stunk of hot dogs steamed and served during last month’s ‘Halloween Fun Fest’, when that night, all souls eve, a young minister wearing blue jeans and smiles said, “No vampires, witches, or horned devils here tonight.”, while a pink princess tossed rings at the Twelve Apostles for Snickers Bars. I barely slept that night and hit the road early enough to watch the rising sun decay pink clouds into gray. I pulled over and took a leak. I saw a kicked and bleeding Rottweiler sniffing Ether rising from an old shack that stood wretchedly in the sand about a hundred yards from me. Inside that shack Methamphetimine cooked on a cozy stove. I followed the two-lane blacktop through the Mojave. Around Indio, the coyotes stopped and the Poodles began, At the bottom of a long hill, basking like a lizard in the warm sun was Palm Springs. From there to the coast, a solid ribbon of concrete, eight lanes across, guided me past windmills and mountains, and dumped me into a basin so blue that I whispered, "Metal and feathers fill the sky, above L.A. the dead things fly.

The Three of Us. Part Two of an eight part serialized short story.

Roger Hilleboe

Phoenix, United States

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Artist's Description

Micah, continues through America’s South West on his Rhode Trip to Los Angeles

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