“Faster! C’mon hun, get the lead out!”
She called herself Sandy; Walt had picked her up on the desert road out by the Granger place, after work at Smitty’s Electrical Store. He stepped on the gas, surreptitiously admiring her long tanned legs. She’d stood, hitching in the dust, tall with undulating blonde hair. He’d stopped against his better judgement. If Smitty could see him now though!
“Say Walt, where’d you say you was headin’?”
“Jonesville … drop you in town?”
“Well, that’s mighty kind of you but howsabout we take off somewhere more interestin’?”
Walt felt embarrassed. A middle-aged repairman with a girl like Sandy!
“Happens I’ve got some dough, I’ll treat you. You’ve been so kind an’ all.” She revealed a wad of notes.
“I’d love to Sandy but Smitty depends on me.” As if!
“I need to get away hun, the air don’t suit me here.”
–He noticed she was cleaning her red-painted nails with a long sharp knife. He imagined it slashing his neck, blood spraying across the windscreen, hot and viscous. “Hey, you can borrow the car, I ain’t needin’ it much anyhows!”
Shivering despite the heat, he watched the dust rise as she sped away.
Featured in the book, To Cut a Short Story Short: 111 Little Stories
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