HumpDay Quickie #74

Posted: August 19, 2015 in Hump-Day Quickies
Tags: , , ,

Sometimes a Little Is Enough

by AV Laidlaw

It hadn’t rained for five years when the ’57 Thunderbird drove into town with dust streaks across the doors and Elvis playing on the radio. It was driven by an Indian. Not Indian. American Native these days. Hell, she didn’t care if people changed their names. She’d done it enough times. Marilyn. Jezebel. Whatever the John wanted although the Johns didn’t want much anymore, not in this breathless heat.

The car pulled up at the gas station.

“No gas.” Cooper said.

“I’m fine for gas. Could do with some water, though.” The driver took a ten dollar bill from his wallet.

Cooper eyed the bill. “No water.”

“It’s been a long drive. Pretty dry out there.”

“We’re out.”

That was a straight lie. Cooper had plenty of water – she’d just a bought a bottle herself. But people round here didn’t like strangers much. Too many years without rain, the desert dust blowing through the streets, the shops boarded up because anyone with a couple of dollars had left long ago and left the town to sinners like her and Cooper.

The man looked resigned. Maybe this had happened plenty of times before. She knew about that, the times she’d been turned away, heard the word “whore” whispered behind her back. There should be humanity even in the dust.

“Hey.” She held out her bottle of water.

He wanted to give her the ten dollars but she had taken enough money for what should be freely given. She was sick of the sin, the curse of heat and drought that had fallen over this town like one of the plagues from her dimly remembered Bible lessons.

He sipped the water then handed the bottle back.

“Take it all,” she said.

“Sometimes a little is enough.”


Coyote pushes his foot down on the gas. One time the people would have danced for rain, but he liked to do it with style. “Hound Dog” on the radio. The needle creeping up to eighty-eight. The wings of the Thunderbird spread and turn into black storm clouds above the road. Lightning streaks and thunder roars as he guns the engine.
And the rain falls.

  1. keeneshort says:

    Reminds of me my childhood road trips across Arizona.

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