Walkin' After Midnight

Mary Jane gulped down a large coffee and hummed as she ate her enormous McDonald’s breakfast sandwich. The sun shone high and sparkled and danced in the shine of her hair as it whipped out the window.

Mary Jane made up her mind right then and there, pieces of rubberized bacon and egg dripping down the front of her dress, and the coffee flowing fast through her veins. South. She was going south.

Mary Jane had always dreamed of the desert. As many people think of such things like France, or pirate adventures as being romantic, Mary Jane thought that way about the desert. Heat, sun, lizards and cactus were all she could possibly dream of at that one time and place, so she turned on the blinker and smoothly guided the old vehicle down the path.

She was free. Cliche like a bird, open and ready to scream. No more of him, no more house, no more damned lawn gnomes clawing at her skirts telling her to stay in one spot, in one life. No, Mary Jane was going to live all nine cat lives and then some.

One more time to kill the pain… Mary Jane could hear it, somewhere in the back of her mind, coaching her to take this turn, that turn, one exit after the next. The song that vibrated somewhere inside of her. She knew it had some power over her. She could hear it every time she made an important decision. It was her guide, her guardian angel in song form.

She took a deep breath of the sunshine, golden rays and warmth and didn’t breath again until she crossed the state line into Nevada.

She could hear her cell phone ringing. It was him. His name flashed across the caller ID screen. He probably figured that something was wrong, she thought. Well, there was something wrong, but she wasn’t going to answer it. She picked up the phone and angrily tossed it into the back seat and stepped hard on the gas pedal.

He called, and called, and called. He called until her cell phone’s battery finally died. If he called the police reporting her as a missing person, she wasn’t going to care.

Mary Jane blasted into the Nevada border as fast as the little bus could carry her into the night. She stopped at an old sixties roadside motorlodge with pink flamingos happily welcoming her in. There was a diner that was so full of people she wondered where their cars were. She got herself a room, but went straight to the diner afterwards, slumping herself into a ripped red vinyl seat at the counter.

She ordered a coffee from the waitress in a horribly vintage red uniform. The coffee tasted like flowery soap, but Mary Jane ignored it and kept it coming. The people looked happy, chatting loudly over the jukebox that played Hanky Panky on what seemed like repeat.

A wrinkled and warm brown hand touched Mary Jane’s arm and she jumped startled and turned around. An old native woman was smiling at her through yellow, crooked teeth. She was holding up a string of small glass beads of red, blue, purple, and white, colors that went on and on in tiny prisms.

“I’m not interested,” Mary Jane said.

“Pretty child, these are for you,” the old woman said, putting the beads around Mary Jane’s neck.

“But…” Mary Jane protested.

“Free of charge, for a good spirit,” the old woman smiled her toothy grin.

“Good spirit?” Mary Jane said confused.

“You are, you are,” the old woman nodded, “So colorful, all the colors of the beads are floating around you. You have a calling.”

“What? A calling?” Mary Jane said, thinking the woman to be mad.

“Its not your last dance,” the old woman said, her eyes locking with Mary Janes, “You have to help someone, two people, a man and a woman. You will meet them on your journey. I know you are on one.”

“Kinda…”

“Good, good, keep going. You have to find them, they are out there, in the desert. They need your help.”

“What help?” Mary Jane said, getting sucked in.

“They are both searching for something so distant to them.”

“What?”

“Love, you have to bring them to love,” she crooned.

“How?”

“You’ll know when it happens.”

The End

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