The road runs ahead along a razor’s edge to the mountains, but the heat coming off it gives it the look of a ribbon in wind. Long stretches of it seem to be melting away into the sand. It’s easy to imagine this desert is left over from some apocalypse, and the AC blasting across our faces is a shield against the fallout.
We keep the music loud.
He glances over to me in the passenger seat, leaned back in it, my hair blowing wild in the cold recirculating air, singing loudly along to Creedence Clearwater Revival. One corner of his mouth is always smirking. He pushes the gas harder, and we tear along like a bullet through the world.
I love the way he looks at me when he thinks I don’t notice.
The way the world blurs as it passes by us makes it seem like we’re time travelling. If we are, then soon the desert really will lead us to nowhere. At night, the stars will come out and we’ll see what we’ve been missing. On and on over mile after mile through the heat of this bone-dry land I hope we never stop speeding.
When I wake, the car is slowing. I didn’t mean to fall asleep. He’s pulling over to the shoulder as I rub my eyes and try to see into the night that’s fallen outside the car.
“Why are we stopping?” I ask. He says nothing, only stares straight ahead, or maybe upward, I can’t tell. Then he’s squinting, his hands on top of the steering wheel, leaning forward as far as he can and twisting his neck to see up and out of the windshield. “What is it?”
He grips the door handle and opens it to let in the dry desert air. I shiver as it passes over me. He climbs out and begins walking away from the car.
“There’s something in the sky,” he says.
To be continued…?