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The start of a story i am writing, enjoy!

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Chapter 1: LUCY

We blew across the desert pushing one twenty and leaving a trail of dust in our wake. For the last two days Ryan and I had rode through west Texas on Route 89 and were faced with more dirt and more dust as far as the eye could see.
Route 89 was paved between two long and rolling hills that stretched nearly four hundred miles across west Texas like a canal. The scenery was blandly beautiful and a refreshing break from the everyday busyness of the East’s urban lifestyle. Towns we had passed were unremarkable. Strewn with trailer roundups and equipped with a gas station and mini-mart, kids hung out in the back of worn down pickup-trucks drinking soda-pop in the hot sun. The modern world had forgotten about Route 89.
My name is Mason and the dusty haired one sitting next to me in the passenger seat is Ryan. Ironically, it was Ryan’s idea to come out here in the first place. Not Texas specifically, but he had convinced me to go out on the road with him.
Ryan always talked about going cross-country together, since we met during our stint in the Marine Corps. We had gone our separate ways throughout the war and the years after, but stayed in contact as best we could.
We finally met up just a few months ago. I can’t explain why, but we finally took off on the trip Ryan and I had talked about. As they say, some things in life are just inevitable.
The radio call us maniacs, I don’t think either of us meant to end up this way. We never actually had a plan, or meant to hurt anyone, things just got out of control. If an apology is possible, let it be now, written in this guilty ink. I hope this tale will show everyone what really happened, and maybe put some closure to it all.

My brain was pumped full of mescaline and my heart was beating a hundred and twenty miles an hour, teetering to overcome the steady hum of the engine. The world was vivid, foreign, and my instincts energized. I felt like a cowboy running from the law in an old black and white western flick. Above anything else I was feeling a change, a metamorphosis from the order of my past to the chaos we had created. The reality of our actions had not quite set in, but was just looming over the horizon.
Frail and sundried bushes zoomed past in a consistent blur and the sky resembled a great wide ocean as if the natural world had been turned upside-down. The secluded desert scenery misconstrued my sense of time and place; it all seemed to lose focus and mesh into movement, momentum. Like cocoons, Ryan and I had hatched into something truly terrible.
Exhaling, I let the wind and the sun wash over my face as I tipped my head up to the sky, succumbing to the euphoric wave which was flooding my senses. I let go of reality and my hands fell from the steering wheel limply. In that moment, gazing up into the deep blue sky I felt entirely awake as if for the first time in my life. Noticing my surroundings with a sense of completeness I had never felt before.
I still recognized what was happening around me, but also, an awareness of what wasn’t happening. It was a unique perspective, a strange realization of the vast potentiality of each and every moment. With the Bird burning down Route 89 I marveled as individual light rays came down from the clear sky to lather my skin. I enjoyed the heat, being content to be alive, and more important, not to be dead.
By now the car should have swerved off of the road and my heart should have stopped beating from the concoction of mind altering elements in my system. But I kept breathing, Ryan kept tripping, and the Bird kept straight down the road as faithful as ever. Simply put, we both kept on living and everything was exactly as it should be.
In the next instant I was back on the road, head still tipped back to the sky and blindly cruising one thirty five. It took a good while to remember myself, who and where and why I was. My body was really buzzing and my vision kept splitting double, but it all eventually came back together.
I half-reached for the radio before realizing it was already on, no stations in range. The steering wheel was beaded with drops of sweat that had tipped off of my hair or maybe my nose as I fidgeted uncontrollably. I tossed my head to and fro, to bemuse myself, perplexed at the sensations as I moved.
Ryan and I were high and bound for destruction. We felt ten feet tall and bulletproof. Together we had forgotten morality, substituting it with violence. We were searching for something, anything. We were living life by the mile and success was measured in blood, because you only live once.

I downshifted as a dirt road teed off of 89’, letting off of the gas with enough time to bottom down to sixty or so. We slid through the right turn and fish hooked. Drifting off of the road and pummeling through brush that let out a snap and a cloud of dust and a swarm of gnats flew out in the calamity.
The tires kicked up rocks and Ryan hollered a “Hell yeah”. His shrieking laughs trailing out into the distance, faintly echoing back from the hills we were now facing.
“FUCK YEAH!” We were both laughing now, cruising down the dusty road without a care in the world.
Looking over I saw Ryan gripping the door frame so hard his knuckles had gone painfully white. He was hanging off of the side of the car like a dog taken out for a joyride. Tipping his head over the passenger side door of the convertible like he would have preferred chasing the car rather than riding in it.
“The car did that and we are here!” Ryan said incoherently, looking over his shoulder. “We’re there, man, we’re finally there” and he let out another twisted laugh, sitting back into the bucket seat.
The drug surged again and the world around me twisted tightly into a spiral, like looking through a fisheye lens. Quickly counter-correcting the wheel to compensate, I was barely able to keep the automobile pointed straight down the road. My jaw was fearlessly locked into a criminal smile and with a firm grip I steadied the Bird, struggling to overcome the intense visual hallucinations. The fisheye flexed tight and shot out in every direction and I was swept into euphoria.
It felt like swimming or falling through lukewarm water. The indescribable feeling junkies like me know all to well. I knew Ryan felt it because he was twitching again. His face was red hot with excitement, eclipsing.
“Push it, man; push her she can take it”
“On our way buddy, you just wait” With one hand on the wheel I accelerated, still grinning. The moan of the engine rose to a climax as we closed the distance to the hills.
Ryan’s cheek was twitching fiercely. Up and up to his eye his cheek bounced and then slid back down, over and over as he rambled on. I hadn’t seen him roll this hard before and a shiver ran up my spine. Honey drops of enlightenment were shooting through our brains, squeezing them like wet sponges.
At a smooth hundred we passed a sign reading ‘CAUTION’ and swerved through a left turn, crossing between two rock moguls without a second glance.
For the first time since turning onto Route 89 we were riding against the hills, no longer parallel with the stone bodies that had been guiding our way. They had been our protectors, keeping our route separate from the rest of the world and our secret from civilization. The hills loomed ominously, now much closer than before, just barely out of reach. I could see telephone wires stitched up at their peaks, who knows what lay beyond them?
For some reason I felt a strong urge to turn back. Something was telling me to get away, pulling me from the hills; I could feel it in my gut. I wanted to get back to Detroit and the world of reason, to get far away as fast as I could. But I didn’t have that option and I knew it. I tried to force the thought out of my mind, but it lingered still, whispering to me in the silence as we drove.
The road was bumpy and we continued forward, with a slight incline as we hit the base of the hills. It felt like the point of no return, but that place was far, far behind us. The 65’ Fire Bird screamed down the dirt road, against the grain of the land and shining with a purple glow as the setting sun reflected off of the slick black paint. I pushed the Bird, picking up speed as the road steepened and we crossed into the unknown.

Flying through the inclines and turns we finally broke the hills that had framed our path. From atop the peak the land ahead looked gloomy and uninhabited. We came down the slope and into the clearing as the sun was setting, not on a highway or any identifiable road but bouncing along a dirt path.
Having escaped the desert and survived the seemingly impenetrable hills, we now inhabited a terrain only describable as the wastelands of west Texas. The sun was setting low to the horizon and casting a lavender tint over the barren landscape.
We followed the path for miles, down the reaches of the hills and into the flats. The ground was crusted over and cracked in many places from drought. There was no movement, in any direction. No animals or plants, pure nothingness. It was as if we were the first life to enter this land in a very long time. We continued to drive, slowly now, keeping sure to stay on the path which was now barely visible. Ryan told me to keep going, for he knew where the spot was.
Miles later Ryan spoke up. “Here, man, up ahead” The terrain looked no different than it had for the past twenty miles, but I had learnt to trust Ryan’s instincts.
I let the Bird coast for a good minute before she came to a stop. Steam pumped out of her front grill like a rabid dragon, amped up and ready to fly. Resisting her urge I carefully eased on the gas and we started rolling forward.
“Here, it’s RIGHT HERE” Ryan said. I still didn’t see anything.
I steered off of the road as Ryan directed, following his directions to a T. The path we had been traveling on was barely recognizable. Now it had become indistinguishable from the barren terrain of the desert flats. The road had simply faded into dust as if no one had ever come further than this point.
The Bird, she wanted to run wild into the cold night like an untamed horse. I could hear her gears turning, churning, tight and smooth and ready to shoot on my command. But I was wary of our speed and kept an eye to the rearview mirror, tracking our way back to 89’. With no point of reference it would be too easy to get lost out here.
Then I saw it, shining in the distance, maybe two hundred yards away. It was a faintly visible box, a grayish outline in the early night. Our headlights reflected back at us off of the aluminum surface, a trailer. It was bean shaped and metallic with rust forming around the rounded edges, abandoned, decades ago by the appearance of it. And so we approached our destination, an unwanted space-Twinkie.
The Slipstream trailer was exactly where it was said to be. But it was still a relief to find it here, and exciting too. Stopping our automobile just a few feet away we hopped out without saying a word.
Ryan was sporting an overgrown shadow from cheek to cheek and we had both abandoned our shirts somewhere along Route 89. Maybe what the radio said was right; maybe we were lunatics. If not, we played the part well, unshaven and stank with days of cold sweat layered on our sun scarred skin. Our eyes were dilated to shiny black tar pits from the mescaline and reflected the ambient moonlight with a shine.
No longer within the protective reach of the hills, a cold wind blew and the night was getting colder. The cool breeze felt good though, it was a long and drawn out desert breeze.
I was beat. Starving, dirty, and still rolling on the drug. But Ryan and I had a sense of purpose here and felt more and more galvanized as we approached the trailer. We were no longer tripping in our own separate realities but now acting together, standing just feet from the trailer, with a singular goal in mind. We had arrived, quick as a bunny we came, because she was waiting on us.

“I can’t believe its here” I said, fighting to keep my voice to a whisper.
A sobering aura seemed to resonate from the junket.
We had left the Bird running and exhaust lingered around the body frame. The headlights were shining onto the metallic monument.

“It’s supposed to be unlocked” Ryan said in a low voice. We were both on our toes, just inches from the trailer door, not knowing what to expect and our hearts were pumping full with adrenaline. I put my hand on the aluminum door handle and looked over and we both held our breath.

The door opened without a creak and the musk of dry rot pushed out in a wave. I felt like an archeological explorer, the first man to enter a lost tomb in thousands of years. The air was dusty and I held in a sneeze. Ryan entered first and I followed. We stepped in low, with an athletic prose as we had done in our military days. We moved in slow; because slow is smooth and smooth is fast.
It brought back a flash of memories and some were worse than others. Ryan moved to the left and I instinctively took to the right. The trailer was obviously uninhabited and needed not to be tactically cleared, but our combat training lingered and even surfaced at times like these.
Surveying the dimly lit area I could see piles of junk all around and some stacks of cardboard boxes, chest high and crooked like crumbling pillars.
There were old porno magazines and sheets, lots of blankets and lots of sheets as well as an old microwave and newspapers dating back ages. In the rear corner of the trailer there was a charred circle marking where a fire had once been lit, the ashy remains were settled and had been undisturbed for years.
Oddly enough, all the junk appeared to have an offbeat organization to it. Piles of the trash, junk really, were strewn about and each pile had its own allotted space. Things were haphazardly strewn together, yes, but there was no mixing between the stacks. There was enough room to walk between piles and I felt an undeniable feeling that I was trespassing. It was like showing up at a football game without having a home team to cheer for.
The place was dirty, filthy actually, but everything had a function. The old porno magazines had pages torn out to fuel the fire (as well as the obvious human fulfillment). The sheets and stained sweatshirts, ragged, but still capable to weather the cold. Everything had an inherent value of survivability. It was junk, but it was useful junk.
“I’m telling you man, the markings are real” Ryan said
I made my way around in the dimly lit receptacle, sifting through things, checking out each individual item. The gear was hackneyed and, strangely, had a sense of power to them like antiques on display in a museum.
This rickety old trailer probably housed more collective experience than an entire suburban neighborhood. This place resonated with something, and I can’t quite describe what it was. It was as if the trailer had its own gravitational field, everything here carried the weight of experience, the weight of the road.
“This is hobo, Mason listen; you must understand this with absolute clarity. This is beat” I put down the tin cup I was holding and turned to Ryan.
“Its purity and its chaos, it’s the only pure thing left in the world. You can feel it right?” And you know what, I actually could feel it.
“It’s the culture dude; beat, the Beat Culture. It’s why I love the road. It’s why I hitchhiked around the country so many times” This was something Ryan really believed in. The road was quite possibly the only thing he has ever loved.
“The culture, the writing, everything about it. We’re not fucking bums, Mason, we’re hobos” He spoke with malice now, but it quickly faded into the sound assurance of a teacher and he explained many things.
He showed me where a bunch of the things in the trailer were marked by their previous owners. Like the tin cup, on the bottom, Tennessee Slim was scratched into the metal and under that was a star with a pointed arrow through it, from left to right.
“See the arrow? The hobo’s writing has a lot of widely used characters, but is flexible enough for improvisation too. We don’t like people knowing what it all means, they give us trouble a lot and that why we use the pictographs. People usually don’t know where to look for them, or how to read them, anyways. It’s a whole different world” Ryan pointed to the arrow, “All Slim is saying is that he’s going through Texas the same way we are. Who know how long ago though, it seems like ages since anybody’s been through here” He carefully set the cup back exactly where it had been.
“Tennessee Slim, that’s a Tramp I’d really like to run into one of these days. I’ve seen him around before. Not personally, but I’ve seen his marks around and heard some pretty wicked stories. That’s what we do, tell stories, we travel. I mean, we don’t just go places, but actually travel. The culture, it’s about people man. The things we’ve seen. Places we’ve been. It’s not about the Latte’s. It’s really about the people”
Ryan and I bounced around the trailer. He ecstatically, and I followed, investigating the sights and listening.
“Like when I was down out Portland, I crashed for about a week in an old crack house. It was really wet and muggy and the roof leaked, but we had adopted it as a place for storage, like, as a community. I saw at least ten; maybe fifteen people come through that week. That’s how I got that black bandana that I used to wear; I used it as a brace that week because my ankle was pretty messed up”
Hobos call it the code, the writing and the culture alike. Sometimes though, if you lucky enough to run into an old timer, a real road vet, they call it the Vagabonds Code. There’s an entire history that has been passed down verbally, for over a hundred years and probably more. The Beatniks, Hobos, Train riders or Tramps, whatever you want to call them; together they make an underground subculture. They even have their own cities.
Our initial excitement with the trailer began to run dry and all at once realized how fatigued my body really was. I was hungry and worn out, my head ached and my legs were stiff from the long road. We had been perusing through the piles for a little over an hour and our search had become more desperate. We rummaged through the piles, tossing things to and fro. Stacks of boxes fell and scattered their contents across the floor. The tidy organization the trailer once had was now unrecognizable.
We were working up a sweat and I was hot with frustration and coughing from all the dust that was kicked up in the commotion. Ryan came up with the idea to move everything to one side of the trailer, so we started throwing mags and blankets and plates and coats to the rear. Within minutes we had finished clearing the space and to no avail.
I went over to the giant pile in the back corner of the trailer and dropped onto a cardboard box. It gave way to my weight and I sat there ass deep in the pile of trash. I let out a long sigh. Ryan leaned against the front wall and cursed under his breath. I was about to speak up and was pissed off but then I realized the one place we had missed in our search. It was a small closet cut into corner just behind the charred circle. The door was tainted black, apparently from the smoke, and was nearly invisible to the eye in the dimly lit cabin.
I tried to jump up but the cardboard box I had fallen through kept my legs cocked and I was sunk into the pile of junk squirming. Ryan went over and yanked the door open. He reached inside just as I was standing up and turned to me with a wicked smile.
“We’re back in business” Ryan said, pulling out an old rustic shovel.

We took turns digging with the shovel, working late and into the thick of the night. I had dug knee deep and my shoulders burned with each movement. The weight seemed to grow heavier with each pitch and so I stepped out and rested, handing the shovel to Ryan. The man could work like a mule and his arms were built overly disproportionate to the rest of his body. He was built and weathered from his time on the road.
It was a long an exhausting job; the work of men. When we finally finished I was sweating and breathing hard. With a grunt I heaved the shovel into the ground and it stood straight on its own. Now there were three of us, listening to the wind as we inspected our work. Standing there in the dark and in silence until we were shivering, cold from the sweat and the howling wind.
It was time and we both felt it. Our eyes had adjusted to the dark and the bright desert stars gave off just enough light for us to see into the distance. The Bird no longer glowed with the purple hue that it had before, and the shined chrome baseline looked dull. Tonight the entire valley was dead.
The trunk lifted with a click as the spring released. The smell was instant. It was neither foreign nor familiar, but the inherent stench of rotting flesh. It was putrid, unmistakable, and stung the eyes. I fought the urge to gage, turning away as I lifted the trunk the rest of the way open.
Ryan’s face was pale, but not scared. Was it evil, the look I saw in his eyes, I turned my attention back to Lucy, avoiding the question altogether. Seeing Lucy there in the trunk, the stench palpable, she looked up at us with milky eyes. Her body was a web, entangled into the trunk as we had stuffed her like a manikin. But her face looked up at us boldly and square. Her figure no longer resembled the human form, but more like a spider with all eight legs curled up into a ball with limbs cocked into every which direction. Her head, in the middle of the mess, looking up at us, demanding we acknowledge her presence.
I puked and then dry gagged two or three times and it all landed on the lifeless bumper. A drop had splashed onto Lucy’s face, just below here eye. Faint streams of tears that had dried onto her skin sparkled under the stars as if she had just been weeping. I bent over and wiped the bile away and a single tear rolled down my cheek; now we were crying together, faces just inches apart. It was a bitter reunion.
Sidestepping the vomit, Ryan and I positioned ourselves on opposite ends of the trunk to lift her. The problem was that she wasn’t shaped that way anymore. We stepped in closer and reached in.
Her body had been stuffed into a rigid ball and was stiff with rigger mortis. Her limbs folded and clamped in different directions; Lucy’s foot facing her chest, her arm wrapped backwards around her back and her head, somehow smack-dab in the middle of it all. Grabbing an ankle and supporting her with my other hand on her ribcage, we lifted. Baby stepping and adjusting once or twice to get a better grip, we hauled her. She was heavy and her neck, purple and bloated and smelling horrific the entire time. Ryan and I nearly tripped twice from stepping on each others feet; we hobbled to where the shovel was waiting.
At the edge of the hole we stood and paused for the slightest second, our faces only a foot apart and Lucy staring up at us, remaining proud and elegant even after death. On the silent count of three we slung her into the pit. That was the last the world ever saw of Lucy.


I hope you guys enjoyed it! Feeback please, and be brutally honest! I think my dialogue sucks, if anyone is good at dialogue drop me an email please.

I had a bit of trouble towards the end and I think it kind of fell apart transitioning from trailer to digging.