The two of us stood in front of old red, I had been appointed the designated flashlight manager. So far, things were going as planned. Half of Peters body was stretched under the hood adjusting things that seemed to need mending.
There was now a vacancy in my duties, so I jumped back into the truck and started to munch down some more caps and stems.They were stale, and not a delight of taste.What I needed was something to wash them down, but all I got was a few drops of Pepsi, Which was not sufficient.
"Where's the cooler Pete? I'm parched, I'm no lizard, I need liquid sustenance" I blurted this out, rather then just thinking it in my head.
"The cooler?" Came his dilapidated confused response, which was followed by a few large clanking and twisting sounds of metal.
I took the initiative to take a gander in the back of the truck. Still no cooler, in fact, nothing was there. Where had all our stuff gone? This question normally would have seemed like a simple one to answer, but not at this moment. I was puzzled, things don't just disappear. I fell down on to my butt, into the sand and began to contemplate.
" The stuff was there, now it's not. So we had stuff, but now we don't."
I was thinking out loud.
"Did our gear just float away"
Then it hit me, that brief momentary flight that had brought us to a stop in the first place. Thats it, the light bulb effect. The cooler must have been catapulted from the back out into the desert. So all was not lost, beverages, chips and our other necessities of life should be a few hundred meters or less laying lonely in the sand.
Time to pick myself up. "Pete I'll be right back, going to go find our stuff"
As I followed the tracks behind the truck, I could hear Pete yelling.
"Don't you dare come back without our goods we can't go on living like lizards. I've got sensitive skin, I couldn't live with scales "
I agreed, we would never survive as lizards.We haven't got the stamina for that, and I didn't need any extra limbs, one tail, is one tail to many. My mission was of the utmost importance, without our nourishment, we'd be sure to be eaten by raging hawks or a vicious pack of buzzards.I would not let that happen. I had no choice but to interfere.
So here I was, under the desert sky, alone. The truck was no longer visible behind me, just a sheet of darkness that reached from the ground to the stars. I followed the tracks for about fifteen minutes before I came upon any signs of our luggage. Here it was, a dented can of beer. I lunged at it, tearing it from the sand. I popped it open, and heard it hiss. Though it's hissing didn't stop even after I sank it down.
This can sure was a persistent hisser, I stared down into the dark hole on top, then placed my ear to it. Though it seemed the hissing wasn't coming from the can. I directed a stream of light towards my side, and was greeted by an angry snake. Startled I fell back and it began to approach. I kicked it away and it slithered away into the Bush's. That was a close call, and at that moment, I was glad not to be a lizard.
" Devious serpent, trying to steal my beer!I showed you!" Shouting into the air.
Time to hurry on, I made a few more steps forward, franticly waving my flashlight in every direction. There it was, treasure. I found it, laying open in the sand, on it's side our precious cooler. It seemed to glow. All around it scattered was cans of beer, pop, chips, the necessities of every Americans life. As I collected them, I wondered what Pete was doing back at the truck.
It was time to find out, so I packed the cooler full, tryed to salvage what was left of the ice and began to march my way back. That may sound like a simple process, but it took a ton of focus and determination. Things were beginning to look allot different then they had before, and by the time I reached the truck, it had taken on a whole new tone.
"You're back just in time, look at my modifications, I've taken this old truck and transformed it" Pete's eyes had an air of pure euphoria.
His joy could not accumulate any longer, it exploded out and he began to roll around in the sand.
"It's about time we get going, there's a strange presence here, I can feel it, we've got to go, get some distance between us and this thing"
I had no clue what he was saying, but I complied with his demand, and we were off again speeding through the desert, gulfing down sweets and goodies including the mushies. Sand covered the windshield so wipers were a necessary tool in guiding our way. Also guiding our way was the radio, that could probably be heard on the other side of the world. Blaring from it was a grateful dead song. How appropriate!
"Driving that train, high on cocaine, Casey Jones you better, watch your speed.
Trouble ahead, trouble behind, And you know that notion just crossed my mind"