Brian drove the beat up Ford Taurus over the gravel parking lot before coming to a stop in front of the ocean. It was a spectacular view; the waves were gentle and expressive, the sun was procrastinating in the purple sky and the wind carried just enough wind to remind him that Autumn wasn’t quite there yet. He shut the car off and looked over at his passenger.
“Here we are.” Brian said.
“Yep. This is the place.” His passenger said just before he pulled the shiny pistol from his jacket.
As much as he wanted to, Brian couldn’t bring himself to react to the weapon. It’s existence had worn out its effect five states back. The whole trip he could see it glimmering under his companions jacket. Everytime he began to feel normal about the situation it would capture some hidden ray of light and present itself just to make sure Brian acted accordingly.
When the pistol was fully exposed it lost a bit of its horrid mystique. Patrially hidden it was a device capable of devastation. Revealed, it was just a bunch of springs and metal bits. It’s purpose was still something to be dreaded but Brian found himself more comfortable with the mechanism doing the job instead of his own imagination.
“So I didn’t pull it off?” Brian asked.
“I haven’t quite decided yet. Figured when I come to a decision might as well be ready.”
“Man, I thought you were having a good time. Remember Kansas?”
“Oh yeah! Those girls we found in the cornfield. Freaks.”
Brian hadn’t been free of those girls since he saw them. He wished he would’ve pulled over. Just to figure out just what exactly they were doing. Now that he was facing down his likely death, he also began to wish he joined them.
“Yeah, freaks.” Brian said.
“You know, for what it’s worth, however this plays out, I thought it was really cool what you did in Denver.” The passenger said.
“It’s nothing, I think anyone would’ve done something.”
“You have more hope in humanity than I do then.”
Brian looked at the gun again.
“Fair enough. So I think I made up my mind. But before I do anything, I want to know, what was your favorite part of the whole trip? From Maine to California, what sticks out the most.” The passenger asked.
Brian didn’t have to give it much thought, the girls in Kansas were a constant in his head
but it was Kentucky that held his heart. He had never been there, but he was now thinking about a family with southern accents. He would go back to that small town. The one with the little grocery store. That had to be the sweetest plum he had ever eaten. The ground had never been so soft and he had never smiled at so many strangers as he did in Kentucky.
“Kentucky.” Brian said.
“I was hoping you’d say that.”
The stranger twirled the pistol around a few times in his hand. He checked and then re-checked to make sure there were bullets inside.
“Have a good one Brian.” The stranger said before getting out of the car and walking
away. Brian didn’t watch where he went. He just sat there waiting until he was certain that no amount of twisting roads or happenstance would ever bring him in copntact with the passenger again.
“Told you he wouldn’t do it.”
“Hm, I was almost certain he was going to kill the kid. It says so right here.”