Back to the World
by James Shaffer
Table of Contents|
1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10,
11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16, 17, 18,
19, 20, 21, 22, 23, 24, 25
Half an hour later there was a pounding on my door. I stood by the bed with my hand inside my jacket pocket, the Colt’s grip warm in my hand.
“It’s Darlene. You ready?” I recognized her muffled voice through the closed door. I strode over to the door, opened it and stepped through. I pulled it shut behind me and twisted the knob to make sure it was locked.
Darlene and Jamie Sue were wearing matching cowgirl jackets, fringed buckskin, the standard buff color, but Kelly Jo sported a red-fringed skirt. She had to be different, and she was. Her legs, her breasts, and those bright green eyes could stop a train.
“Ya’ll ready to go?” Darlene asked. “I promised you a hot shower and a cold drink, cowboy.” She headed off in the direction of the T-Bird. We all followed behind.
“Heard you got your hot shower, Jake?” Kelly Jo was teasing. Jamie Sue smiled sheepishly. She was a talker. I’d known that from the beginning.
“Where we goin’?” asked Jamie Sue.
“The girl at the front desk said the Lizard Lounge is the only place to go,” I offered.
“The Lizard Lounge it is,” said Darlene.
“Turn west out of the parking lot,” I said. I checked the lot again for anything out of the ordinary. Nothing aroused my suspicion. The weight of the gun in my jacket pocket offered some comfort.
We piled into the T-Bird, pulled out of the motel parking lot on to Tucumcari Boulevard and headed west into a setting sun that had almost disappeared. Jamie Sue and I sat scrunched together in the back seat this time. To Darlene’s chagrin, we acted like two love birds. Darlene had learned to live vicariously, but she was determined not to like it. Kelly Jo, true to her nature and with the help of a compact mirror, applied the last touches of make-up.
If you wanted to apply make-up, Tucumcari Boulevard was the place to do it. Flat and wide, it headed straight as an arrow heading true west. The sun had dropped completely below the horizon and, in its wake, left a pink glow in the open sky. It brushed everything it touched in the pastel shade of a young girl’s first blush.
As Jamie Sue laid her head on my shoulder, I watched the gas stations, fast food joints and hotels drift by. Tucumcari wasn’t anyone’s destination; it was just a stopover on the way to somewhere else. That suited me just fine, ’cause that’s where I was headed.
Copyright © 2015 by James Shaffer