a short story by Dave Brosius
Strands of night filtered through the sleepy streets of Dale, New Mexico. The air carried the iron scent signaled arrival of a much needed rainfall. Dusty roads absorbed the first drops eagerly. The end of a recent drought brought hope to the fields. The rumbling clouds brought with them hope. Hope for all but one anxious soul.
Loose asphalt and lingering dust scattered underneath the roaring wheels of an aged brown sedan. As though possessed, the car boomed down county road eighteen. Behind a cracked windshield sat a panicked young man.
Tad Walker was once Dale’s favorite son. But in the span of a few desperate minutes, he suddenly found himself on the wrong side of the law. Confusion put him in the driver’s seat, and chaos pushed the pedal. Anger, rage, panic, fear–his emotions spun as furiously as his battered tires.
He was at least twenty miles from civilization before he stopped to really notice the rain, feeling loose drops pelting him through a broken side window. His fingers ached as he pried them from the wheel to sweep the rain and sweat from his forehead. With a snap, he set a pair of squeaking wiper blades into motion, squinting as they smeared the distant lights into a blurred arc.
He wasn’t capable of actually killing someone. The whole town knew him as a gentle soul, a good kid who would never have even considered something so… foul. He obeyed the law like every other decent human being. Hadn’t he?
Song: “Paranoia in B Major”
Artist: The Avett Brothers