Monday, January 30, 2006


Roger cruised down Route 66 in his 1967 T-Bird. The motor was music of driving days gone by. The wind shaved past him. The sun on the open road seduced him into ever higher speeds. The landscape whizzed by in a frenzied blur. He was free. But something looked wrong: a blockade in the road ahead. As this loomed larger he saw it was a couple prone on the highway, smiling stupidly as he approached. How dare they!? No way would he stop. He accelerated right into them. No one would ever know he'd done it. Seconds later he was too far ahead on the deserted stretch of road to look back. There hadn't even been a bump. "Oh, wow," he thought to himself, marveling at the surreality of it. Then he saw it again, the blockade that resolved itself into the boy and girl directly before his approaching vehicle. All the while they grinned, as if inviting him to rocket into them. He tried to force the gas pedal through the floor, to get that one spurt of acceleration to bring him over the edge - into what? Now they appeared on every horizon the instant he hurdled into them. He rammed them again and again crazy with the thought of ultimate triumph, sending them into a death from which they could not return. But they always returned. Smiling at him. Laughing. The adrenalin soaked into his psyche until the sweat and the tension caused him to tremble. Then the light flashed "Game Over" and everything stopped.

.
.
.

He turned to leave the booth, then walked enthusiastically to the owner of the establishment.

"That was so cool, especially how those ghosts kept popping up. Really cool."

The proprietor looked at him strangely. "Ghosts? There are no ghosts. You just drive."

Story #331

Thanks to all who contributed! Stories have been reposted at indeterminacies. The next story here will be Wednesday. (This story is no author's cut. I went and reposted the additional ending).

20 comments:

Doug said...

Lightforce and Bob waited, dreaming of their ironic retro wedding. They're still waiting. Route 66 doesn't go to Funkytown.

The Mushroom said...

Their love went from Missouri down to St. Louis, and in Oklahoma City it looked so pretty. But somewhere between Barstow and San Bernadino it hit the asphalt. They got their kicks on Route 66, but when it was no longer an endless road for them they took their exits.

(Oh, and you, miss, in the picture? Get hip to this kindly tip, and take that Washington trip... I-5 ain't so bad this time of year, but I am.)

A Little Bar of Soap said...

Alice and Steve were filthy fornicators, just one 6 short of complete surrender to Satan.

Indeterminacy said...

Doug: I wanna drive Route 66 once even if it goes nowhere.

Mush: So they took the song literally. I never thought of that.

Little Bar: I really like your one sentence short story. Somehow I never thought of you having a sense of humor. Now you really made me mlaugh. Isn't that a sin?

Doug said...

Mushroom, something always goes wrong between barstow and San Berdoo, Always.

viruswitch said...

Cant think of anything :( maybe later?

Indeterminacy said...

Viruswitch: That happens to me a lot too. ;-)

The Mushroom said...

Little Bar: Actually, did you notice the bit of black graffiti at the bottom of the Rt 66 sign? Someone already beat you to it, it's a 666 with a circle-slash over it. No evil allowed here! Can't say whether that primrose path is paved with good intentions, it looks like asphalt to me... but you would know what lurks in their hearts.

Indie: I think that the legacy of that song will outlast the legacy of that highway. Or maybe run parallel.

Doug: Must be California's fault... but that's what you get for motoring west to LA. I'd understand if it were in the span between Amarillo to Gallup to Flagstaff it'd be a problem with heat.

taorist said...

They are the new members of the suicide ganagbang parade of 1967.

They choose to die lying in the sun.

But they get hit by a mack truck instead.

Jamie Dawn said...

That's a very cool pic!
I don't have a story for this one.

April Girl said...

The road is long, and time is short.
But together, we will make it.

Joon said...

Neat story, Mr. Inde!!!!!

Cool!!!! My varifire is ouish!!!!!! I think that's the noise he woud of made if he coud of hit them!!!!!

ariel said...

I knew I was going to read special stories when saw "Route 66" in the photo.

Indie, you stopped the story just when it started! and I too want to drive Route 66, the legend of that road is one of those America shared with us.

Doug, there's something you want to talk about, isn't there?

Mush, that's not 666 in the graphity.

LBoS, can a number save one's soul?

Doug said...

Indie, Rte. 66 still runs from Navy Pier in Chicago to Santa Monica pier in, well, Santa Monica although with a few interruptions. I'm typing this about 1.5 miles of a section of it. Let me know when you make the trip. I'll bring you water and a spare tire in Barstow and help you hide the bodies.

Mushroom, the part of 66 between Needles and Barstow is some of the hottest (in Fahrenheit) land in the U.S. Not that it isn't California's fault.

Indeterminacy said...

I like how everyone wrote mini-short stories this time. Thanks Taorist & April Girl.

Ariel: I wrote a little bit more than I published. My muse thought the ending after the ending wasn't so great, and on ssecond thought I thought it was more powerful for it to end with the "Game Over." But for the record, and because it's you, here's the rest of what I wrote:

He turned to leave the booth, then walked enthusiastically to the owner of the establishment.

"That was so cool, especially how those ghosts keep popping up. Really cool."

The proprietor looked at him strangely. "Ghosts? There are no ghosts. You just drive."
-----
Doug: It's a deal. I'll let you know when I make that trip.

Brighter Death said...

Cheeky looping mirage !

ariel said...

thank you, Indie! I did miss that end!

still life said...

I kind of like the second ending or would it be considered the first (the unedited) it kind of made the story continue on in the mind...

Indeterminacy said...

Brighter Death: Thanks for commenting. I've been known to be cheeky. This story has echos of "The Hitchhiker" by Lucille Fletcher, a story where someone driving west keeps seeing the same hitchhiker on the side of the rode.

Ariel & Still Life: If you two say the original version is better maybe I'll have to put it back.

Joe King said...

...a couple prone on the highway, smiling stupidly as he approached...

He looked at her, his chalk-white teeth dull against the midday sun, and put his hand in hers. With her free hand, she wiped her eye, for a moment nearly losing her balance. The fast-approaching vehicle a glistening teardrop in the distance, she gripped her hand in his and forced a smile, her mouth suddenly dry. Just another moment, just one more.