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Driving to Tulsa (standard:drama, 1811 words)
Author: Ross O. CorridoreAdded: Nov 30 2000Views/Reads: 2462/1404Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
I wish I'd taken something of hers when I left her but I figured at the time that if they caught me then my carefully prepared alibi would be for nothing...
 



Driving to Tulsa 

By Ross O. Corridore 

(c) 1999 

The blacktop of the highway unfurls before me like a dark scroll, pieces
of mica in its surface bouncing sparks of brilliance onto the fly 
specked glass of my windshield. From the amount of daylight left I 
surmise that I have been driving for only a couple of hours but the 
ache in my arms and shoulders tells me otherwise. I would like to stop 
somewhere for something to eat, a cup of coffee and a cigarette maybe, 
but time is very precious and I know I can't afford to squander it. I'm 
thankful I've gotten this far, really, and I know I've been blessed 
with a large slice of good luck (the cop who stopped me fifty miles 
back down the road seemed to buy my story about a sick child in Tulsa 
and let me off with a warning) but it wouldn't do at this stage to take 
any unnecessary risks. 

I wonder if they've managed to get into her apartment yet and if they'll
like what they find there. I also can't help wondering, with no small 
amount of trepidation, if I've done something really stupid, like leave 
some trace of myself at the scene, something that would incriminate me 
as surely as if I'd been caught red-handed. Even something as small and 
insignificant as a particle of skin could be enough. Visions of 
whirring hard drives, computer printouts and smugly efficient lab 
technicians flash before me. They have the technology, you know. 

I look into the rear-view mirror, twisting it with one hand so I can see
myself better. God, look at me. I look as if I've been on the run for 
days already. I'm desperately in need of a shave and I look as though I 
haven't slept in weeks. Well, I haven't - I've had so much to do, what 
with planning this thing, the stress of seeing it through to its 
completion, that I don't know whether I'm coming or going. I know one 
thing's for sure, though: I'm gonna die if I don't get something to 
eat. 

I wish I'd taken something of hers when I left her but I figured at the
time that if they caught me then my carefully prepared alibi would be 
for nothing. So I didn't, but I still wish I had something other than 
that crummy, blurred photograph I'd managed to take of her all those 
months ago when I'd first gotten to know her. I pull it out of my 
jacket pocket now and squint at it. The light's fading quickly but I 
can still make out her long blonde hair and the way it tumbles as she 
bends over to dry herself with a towel that's large enough to cover 
most but not all of her. She's slim and has a good tan, and top class 
breasts (I'm not shallow or anything but I do appreciate these things). 
The sun was very bright that day and her features are partly fuzzed out 
by the reflection in her window. I'm not too upset as her face was 
never her strong point. Besides, if I recall, my hands were shaking a 
great deal so that would explain the blurry quality of the shot. 

My stomach growls noisily and I try to ignore it. I switch on the radio
and look for a news program but all I seem to get is hillbilly country 
music and football scores. Goddamn yokels. Even if they have found her, 
I reason to myself, and I am a suspect, they've got no proof, nothing. 
All my photographs, blown up and covering every inch of wall space - 
torn up and flushed down the toilet. All the letters I wrote her and 
never sent - burnt. The Valentine's Day present I never got round to 
giving her - destroyed. 

My dilemma of whether or not to stop for food is going to be decided for
me pretty soon, I fear, as the gas gauge is swinging rather too near 
the zero mark than I'd like it to, and I curse loudly because in spite 
of all my careful planning and preparation I'd forgotten this one 
thing; to fill up with enough gas to get to Tulsa. Idiot, idiot! Fuck! 
I slam my hand hard against the steering wheel. Now I'll have to stop. 

The neon lights of the diner shine with tawdry belligerence, blinding me
as I swing into the parking lot. I park beside the building and sit for 
a while; there are two other cars here besides mine, both with out of 
state plates. There's also a rusty old pickup truck: it's up on blocks 
as two of its wheels are missing and it looks like it's been there some 
time. After about five minutes I'm satisfied there's no one following 
me and I get out and walk towards the diner. 


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