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“Wow,” said Annie, her arms tightening around his waist. “Are you feeling it too?” He focused on a dark shape hovering just above the wheat—several dark shapes—like hummingbirds, but big. Something glinted blue-black in the sun. “What do you mean?” “The mescaline … I’m still tripping, baby.” Her inner thighs constricted against his hips and he thought of the fantastic shag they’d shared in California—while standing doggie-style amidst the Vasquez Rocks, the famed location of so many westerns—and found the fact that she was hallucinating also reassuring, even if it did mean they were barreling down the Interstate at 74 mph while still under the influence. “Yeah. Me too. I’m going to pull over at the next rest stop until it passes.” “DJ is expecting us at five. And it isn’t polite to keep the head of a motorcycle gang waiting. They’re my friends, Sammi. This is important to me.” “God forbid, we miss a party. We’ll make it.” “Not if we take too long at the rest stop … Jesus, I’m seeing dinosaurs back here. What the hell did Jackie give us?” Her voice had dropped a couple octaves and the wind and engine noise were making it difficult to hear her. Not gave, he thought, a little resentfully. Sold. And the money’s starting to run out. “Say again?” “Dude, I’m literally seeing dinosaurs. There’s, like, a T-Rex back there. Trying to eat a tractor.” She laughed. He turned and looked over his shoulder, saw the tyrannosaur brushing its massive head against the cab of the combine, attempting to roll it over. There’s no way we can be seeing the same thing. There’s just no way except— “Baby …!” He spun around in time to see a blue-black thing, an insect, a dragonfly, which was at least as long as his forearm, hovering directly in their path—before it smashed against the windshield like a rock and splattered like a cantaloupe, hurling watery green blood and guts everywhere, some of which landed in Sammi’s mouth. And then they were careening out of control in the general direction of the gravel shoulder, and while he didn’t experience anything so dramatic as his life flashing before him, he did revisit, in a kind of time-out from time itself, the months since he’d received the Lotto payout and met Annie—a fast-living spitfire who was 29 to his 39 and whom he had nothing in common with beyond how well they got on sexually—and recognized in himself an increasing dissatisfaction with, well, all of it—the gambling, the drugs, the sex—everything. But then the time-out was over and they were laying on their side near the edge of the road—yet still in it—as the 18-wheeler bore down upon them, close enough so that Sammi could see the driver’s face, and thus knew the driver had noticed them too late.
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“Thunder Lizard Road”
Wayne Kyle Spitzer
A Short Story
Copyright © 2018 Wayne Kyle Spitzer. All Rights Reserved. Published by Hobb’s End Books, a division of ACME Sprockets & Visions. Cover design Copyright © 2018 Wayne Kyle Spitzer. Please direct all inquiries to: HobbsEndBooks@yahoo.com
Based upon “Flashback,” first published by Books in Motion/Classic Ventures, 1993. Reprinted by Hobb’s End Books, 2017.
All characters appearing in this work are fictitious. Any resemblance to real persons, living or dead, is purely coincidental. This book contains material protected under International and Federal Copyright Laws and Treaties. Any unauthorized reprint or use of this book is prohibited. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, or by any information storage and retrieval system without express written permission from the author. This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you are reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.
By the time they’d passed Khitomer Butte and were well on their way to Pine Stump Junction, the two beers he’d had at the motel were a distant memory, much less the mescaline from the previous day—at least Sammi thought so until he saw the Tyrannosaurus Rex attacking the big, green tractor combine.
And yet was it the mescaline? Nothing in his field of vision was moving or wiggling, there were no multicolored lines, the sense of euphoria had long since vanished along with the feeling that every cell in his body were somehow orgasming; no, everything seemed perfectly normal to him, from the rumbling of the Harley to the farmland passing by. And yet, there was a tyrannosaur. He could see it just as clear as day through his marginally tinted goggles—even as the thing gnawed upon the combine’s enclosed cab like a dog with a chew toy, holding the tractor fast beneath its tri-clawed foot as the grain stalks waved in the wind and the sun dipped below the horizon. Just keep riding, he told himself. At least until the next rest stop. It’s some kind of after-effect—hadn’t Annie’s friend said not to drive for at least 24 hours? Just keep riding ...
That’s right, came a voice, wan, disinterested, her voice, following him still, as it had followed him since the divorce and the buying of the winning Lotto ticket, as it had followed him since meeting Annie and across the entire country ... just keep riding. After all, that’s what you’re good for, Sammi. Riding and driving away.
“Wow,” said Annie, her arms tightening around his waist. “Are you feeling it too?”
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