Junto Magazine Vol2_Issue2 - Page 28

Junto Magazine, Volume 2 Issue 2 as a man in a black suit comes sprawling out of the front door. The man stands up straight, rushes his words out—the stick shifter moves to Drive. Everyone on the colonnade stops mid-syllable. A silent volley of glances moves around them. The man says something and shoves his finger out, directing a coordinated swiv- el of heads looking down the dogwood lined driveway, a beat-up red pick-up speeding away. An old mother shrieks, faints. Men snap out of incredulity, red-faced, sprint- ing down the steps. Mark’s elbows are locked pushing him back in his seat, and leg stretched all the way down the gas, shooting the pick- up down the driveway. In the side-view mirror, Objects Are Closer Than They Appear underlines the five men whose sprint down the driveway is trailing off. Mark does not use the brake, one palm spinning the wheel and pulling out onto County Route 9. Jimmy has both hands fisted on the seatbelt. He’d heard shout- ing, tried looking out the back window, but the tint was too dark. The truck blisters down the road, tail- pipe bouncing. There is a cap on the bed of the truck, sun-faded navy-blue, gray duct-tape covering the windows. “Dad? What just happened?” Jimmy has big, wet eyes, distorted and enlarged by the magnification of quarter-inch glasses. “Not now.” Mark is leaning into a GPS on the dashboard, entering destina- tion. He glances up and jerks the pick-up back to the legally-preferred lane. “I’ll tell you later.” Jimmy’s sense of loss was vague and disconnected during the wake. He’s look- ing out the window pretending he is a video-game character, running 100 mph along the road-side, jumping over trees and other hurdles. He hasn’t done this in a long time. Maybe this makes the emp- ty sadness retreat awhile again. She died in a tent sauna on a retreat for something somewhere in Nevada. He’s still unsure what sort of retreats his mother went to. Dust curls in two trails on the road be- hind the pick-up. Summertime dusk in Georgia hills is grapefruit air: hot red. The sun is a pas- sionate eye with pink cloud lashes, fall- ing asleep down over a hill in the distance along the road. Jimmy watches the shad- ows grow, darken, coalesce and devour. He pretends they reach and seep into his skin, blending into the kindred sensation inside him, deeply. The pick-up’s headlights are cockeyed and faint, shearing away forward into the dark. The grill rattles. Through the windshield Mark is uncomfortable in the dashboard light. He looks like he needs to fidget but does not move, only guides the truck. Jimmy rests against the door. The cab has a single bench, is spacious in a bare-minimum sense. The back win- dow is an empty darkness into the capped bed, a void inhaling mind-over-matter. The dashboard’s green digital clock is the only light in the truck. The clock is stuck on 66:99, numbers built by little green logs with tapered edges. The dots between the numbers are solid, but on magnified look have dots in their centers, smaller dots further within: ring around a smaller ring, around another ring, around a solid black hole: Jimmy’s pupils dilate inside his big wet eyes, magnified by glasses. He blinks, and the digital green disappears. The truck’s red taillights drive off into the distance, disappear around a bend. Another pair of bright headlights appears and shoots by, a license plate with gov- ernment listed on the bottom, flanked by