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Death on the Roadside Part 1

2004-07-27

Category: prose

The black-robed figure strode smoothly through the twilight and opened the door of the economy sedan. It lowered its head to look in. A woman sat the driver seat wearing a frilly Little Bo Peep costume. The dark hood cocked to one side and said, "I thought you were going as a zombie and I was going as Death?"

Bo Peep glanced away to the side. "Yea, well, the zombie thing wasn't really working for me." There was a awkward silence. "So, you going to get in, or what?"

"Yea, I'm getting in." Death unscrewed the two pieces of his scythe handle and put them in the back seat. He then gathered is robes carefully and slid into the seat.

She didn't wait for him to fasten his seatbelt before accelerating away from the curb. The little car launched out into the empty street and west where the sun had just dropped below the horizon. Bo Peep didn't look at Death once.

Their path took them out of town and into the country, headed for the Old Barn where the party was being held. Death pulled his hood down to reveal a very alive man of twenty-three. "Danielle, what's wrong? Yesterday you couldn't wait for the party and now you're obviously upset about something."

Danielle pushed aside part of her Bo Peep wig. "Peter, we need to talk."

Peter felt a coldness that suggested the real Death was upset about the trademark infringement and was coming to settle up. "Talk? Talking is good. What do we need to talk about?"

The card pulled hard to the left and turned right a little too fast. "It's about us, Peter. I've been giving it a lot of thought and I don't know if we're right for each other."

He shifted in his seat to face a little more forward. "What's brought that up?" He then noticed that they were coming to a stop. "Where are we stopping?"

"I told someone we would pick them up." She pulled up at the home of Will.

Will came out, locked the front door of his house and went strait to the rear driver side door of the car. He wore a sheep costume.

He let himself into the back seat. "Hi Dani." He turned to face Peter and offered his hand forward. "I'm really sorry, Pete. But you know how it is; you can't argue with love."

"What!"

Danielle put the car and drive and stepped on the gas. "You idiot! I haven't told him yet."

Will's face went white and his jaw dropped.

Peter spun as well as his seatbelt would let him and lunged at the panicked sheep. "You bastard. You couldn't even wait till she dumped me?" He fell back against his door as the car turned hard again. "And you," he spat at Danielle, "you could at least have let me know before the party. What were you thinking getting me into the car with both of you? That's just sick."

She slammed the brakes. The car spun forward across the road. Both men screamed. Danielle gripped the wheel till the bones of her hands showed through. Peter's head hit the side window. The car came to a stop.

Peter's chest heaved, gasping for air. Will, who hadn't been strapped in, picked himself up off the floorboard. Danielle turned her fierce gaze on Peter. "If you don't want to be here, then get out."

Adrenaline jerked his hands around as he unfastened his seatbelt. He pulled the door release but it wouldn't work. Something fired in his brain and he unlocked the door. The door opened and he backed out of the car. "You're nuts," he said to Bo Peep.

Danielle turned to the back and tugged on Will's wool. "Get up here in the front seat."

The man climbed clumsily over the seats as Peter walked away from the car and toward the shoulder. He thought he heard Will say he wet himself. He stood there, in his Death costume, and watched as Danielle and Will drove away toward the costume party at the Old Barn.

A quick check of his pockets (he wore jeans and a t-shirt under the robe) reminded him that his cell phone was on his kitchen table. Looking around showed that the nearest house was Will's. With a heavy sigh, he started walking home.

He felt the spot of coolness on his forehead. He reached up to find a drop of water there. Another drop joined the first. Finding his forehead to be an inviting place, those drops invited several thousand of their friends.

Peter sighed again and pulled up his Death hood.

To Be Continued...


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