They left the woods and entered a large clearing on top of a hill.  In the middle of that clearing stood an old stone church.  The church's white-washed walls gleamed like the luminous belly of a beached whale in the bright light of the full moon.

     As they drove down the gravel lane, beside the church, Kevin noticed a mailbox attached to the corner of the building.

     Kevin threw his car into park.  He leaned over and reached his right hand into the tight darkness under Jill's seat.  "What are you doing?" she asked.

     He found the empty wine bottle.  "You'll see," he said and smiled a mischievous, little-boy smile.

     Kevin leapt out of his car and dashed like a crazy person to the mailbox.  Opening the box, he slid the empty wine bottle inside, closed the mailbox, and put up the little, red flag.  He rushed back to his car and jumped inside, slamming the door behind him.

     Jill was bent over in her seat, clutching her stomach in both hands and laughing hysterically.  Tears streaked down her face.

     "You're crazy," she managed to gasp, shaking her head.  "You should be on television."

     "Yeah, I know.  Then you could turn me off."

     His response made her laugh even harder.

     Kevin made a right and drove on down the hill, passing row after row of pallid tombstones, on either side of the car.

     At the bottom of the hill, he made another right.  They were now on the main drag of some sleepy, little village.  The short row of wood and brick homes, on the left side of the road, was dark and quiet.  So was the local tavern, a sleazy-looking dive, called, Robin Hood's.

     Suddenly, he felt Jill's sharp fingernails bite like razor blades into his brawny forearm.  "Oh, Kevin," she breathed, in a frantic, desperate whisper.  "There's a cop car right behind us!"

     Kevin's gaze darted to his rear view mirror.  Sure enough, he saw a state trooper's car travelling close behind them.  The red-and-blue lights on top of the car were still dark, the siren still ominously silent.

     "I'll bet he saw you put that empty wine bottle in the church's mailbox," she hissed in the same breathless whisper.  "And now, he's going to arrest us.  What are we going to do?  I don't want to go to jail!"

     "Hang on a sec."

     Just a few feet up ahead, the road branched off to their left.  Kevin flipped on his signal and made the turn.  He kept one eye glued to his rear view mirror and held his breath, expecting at any second to see the state trooper's car come barreling after them, its blue-and-red lights flashing and its siren screaming like a vengeful banshee.  Instead, the state trooper's car continued on straight ahead, at the same slow, steady pace, as before.

     Jill finally released her vise-like grip on his arm.

     "Whew!" she exclaimed, heaving a great sigh of relief.  "That was too close!"

     "I'll say," Kevin said and laughed.  "I don't know about you, babe.  But I think we really should head for home while the getting's good."

     "I'm with you."

     "Oh, and before I forget.  One more thing.  I'll pick you up at seven o'clock."

     "Seven o'clock tomorrow night?"

     "No, seven o'clock tomorrow morning."

     "Why so early?"

     "Well, first we're going to go to the Wellness Center in Wexlerville and see get our blood tests done.  Then we'll drive over to the courthouse in Ellentown and see about getting a marriage license."

     Jill was astounded.  "You mean you want to marry me, after all?"

     "Hey, somebody's got to make sure you stay out of trouble while you search for your big break in Hollywood.  I guess it might as well be me.  Besides, like a wise man once said, hitch your wagon to a star.  And babe, you are my star."

     Jill laughed her signature laugh, one high, light, lilting note.  She shook her head.  "Oh, Kevin," she said.

The End

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