Friday, April 27, 2012

PICK ME UP ON YOUR WAY DOWN (#fridayflash)

Press play for some mood music

first hour

It had been a long drive for Grace -- like can't feel your legs long.

Somewhere between the grime of Los Angeles and the burnt palette of the Nevada border, she ditched her pumps altogether. As she drove over the cracked asphalt, she heard them rattle underneath the passenger seat and it bothered her.

third hour

She looked for a gas station or roadside slophouse. Nothing. Despite the growling in her gut, she wasn't hungry. She needed a cup of Joe. Anything would help now and she couldn't help thinking that even the mud Gus sold on his hot dog cart outside the courthouse would do. Without caffeine, the radio would have to do. Nothing but Patsy Cline and Charlie Walker for hundreds of miles. It helped for a while, but she had a deadline so Grace pressed on because she knew there'd be a reward. Especially after what she'd done.

sixth hour

She was now in Nevada and the boys would soon be by to pick her up after ditching the toaster she was driving. At least that was the plan. Or was it?

seventh hour

Sweat dripped down the back of her neck and all Grace wanted to do was rip off the deluxe over-the-shoulder-boulder-holder she bought from the five and dime. But then, that would be unladylike so unbuttoning a few extra buttons would have to suffice. Besides, who was watching?

eighth hour

By now, the sun was sleepy and she leaned against the car and wondered if there was any beer left in the cooler of the trunk. There was, but those Lowenbraus were floating in ice water hotter than a two-dollar pistol.

Then it hit her. They weren't coming. They never were. But it was okay. Truly okay.

Her plan worked. She knew those fellas were lower than the belly of a snake and she smiled at the very thought of how truly dumb they were.

ninth hour

As the sun set on Grace, she hopped back into the heap and headed back to Los Angeles to where she actually hid the money.

Music: Charlie Walker, "Pick Me Up On Your Way Down" via the Internet Archive. It can be downloaded here.


  1. Man. I've driven the old road to Vegas (before the I-15) Lots of black desert night and old, old two lane road with long, long streams of oncoming headlights. It got so boring a guy'd take a chance and redline the tach trying to pass before you got a hundred miles an hour, headed straight at you, Cadillac grill full in the face. Or, you'd be bouncing across the desert, white knuckled on the wheel just trying get your car hauled down before you caught a Joshua Tree. You're right, Patsy Cline and Hank Williams on the hissy AM bands. You're right about driving with your shoes off too. grreat story, Ant. And thanks for taking me back. The Mob ran Vegas in those days and it was better then.

  2. what I really like about this is that instead of the landscape outside her car window, you give us the landscape of what's happening to her body frozen in place behind the wheel. Great job

    marc nash

  3. Clever girl - I like Grace ^__^ I loved the descriptive writing of how she was feeling. I laughed when I read this line "shoulder-boulder-holder " I haven't heard that term in years. ^_^

    As always Anthony, wonderful writing.

  4. I fear they aren't as dumb as she thinks. They're probably waiting for her back in town...

  5. Great story, per usual Ant! I've been away a while and am trying to catch up with everyone. I'll definitely have to scan back and read all your flashes I missed, (though it may take me days) for I love them!

    P.S. I have a CD of Martina McBride doing a lot of these old country songs and Pick Me Up on Your Way Down is one of them - as soon as I read the title I heard her singing it.


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