LEVELS Sneak Peek: “The Straightest Road in Maine”

cover-smallSo it’s night, black night, not even the moon is out, and we’re driving a road that cuts through the pines on either side and not a house anywhere. Every once in a while I see the light from a house far back in the trees, but I can’t tell for the life of me how you’d get to one of them because there hasn’t been a crossroads or a fork or even a driveway for miles and miles. Not that I want to turn, this is the road I want, but still, how do people get to their homes? Hell, why do they live here in the first place?

Mary is in the passenger seat and I hate to glance over to her because everything that’s wrong with her now is right in her profile. Nose is still cute, sure, but under her chin I can see all the stuff that wasn’t there before she had kids, and that always reminds me of what’s under her coat, hanging over her belt. After the kids were born I said, Better exercise and do something about that or it won’t stay empty, it’ll fill in with fat, but she didn’t appreciate me saying that and didn’t exercise and what do you know, what I said happened. I think she did it just to spite me or something, because honestly, who’d want to look that way? Sure, I got more pounds on me than I had when we got married but men carry it better.

And it doesn’t help things that Mindy is in the back seat, Mary’s kid sister, and she leans forward between the front bucket seats to see the road and talk to us when we talk. She’s got a perfect set of knockers, better than Mary’s ever were even before she started squeezing out babies and her boobs inflated and deflated and inflated and deflated until they look like old pillows, and when Mindy leans forward toward us the V-neck of her shirt lets you see all the way to Florida. I adjusted the rearview mirror so I could see better because, hey, just because you’ve bought a horse doesn’t mean you have to close your eyes when you pass a stable, right? And anyway, it’s not like there’s anything else to see out here, the road goes straight in front of the headlights and disappears into the dark and there’s nothing but night further on and to the sides and behind us. That’s why I’m okay with twisting the rearview mirror to check out Mindy because it’s not like there’s anything behind us, hasn’t been for probably an hour, and anyway that’s what side mirrors are for.

Mary says, Keep your eyes on the road, almost like she knows what I’m looking at, but she can’t because she’s just staring straight ahead, has been all the way up from New Hampshire. Mindy’s got a job in Maine at some resort that wants her there this early in the spring to help them get ready and she doesn’t have a car, so we’re driving her up to drop her off until October. Nothing good on the radio, and Mary doesn’t say anything except stuff like Keep your eyes on the road, and Mindy’s a hottie but she’s dumber than hell, so it’s been a long silent ride…


This story and sixteen more are included in Levels: Fantastic and Macabre Stories, now available! Buy the ebook on Amazon or Smashwords, or the print edition on Amazon!

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