ronnie woke up.
what a bunch of crazy dreams!
she half sat up and looked out the window.
it was still dark. they were still driving across the desert.
there were no other cars in sight. and no lights from any towns. they hardly seemed to be on a road.
and the dreams.
the wild party in the big house. and the storm on the island.
and the girl crashing the plane. and then in the forest, with the old witch and the little witch.
and then on the ocean liner…
and the bandits waiting for the ocean liner back in old mexico…
and before that, driving across the desert…
oh wait, that was “real”…
“how long was i asleep?” she asked. jenny was scrunched up beside the car window.
“too long,” jenny said. “and you were kicking me the whole time you were asleep.”
“she only kicked you a couple of times,” mom said from the front seat.
“i only said ouch a couple of times,” said jenny. “she kicked me a million times.”
“well now it’s your turn,” mom replied. “ronnie, sit up straight and let jenny lie down.”
ronnie half sat up, then slumped back down.
“ronnie, sit up and let jenny lie down!”
“oh, all right.” with a sigh, ronnie sat up straight. “but i had some really weird dreams.”
“why don’t you tell us your dreams?” mom said in a soothing voice.
“fuck no! i want to go to sleep, not listen to her asshole dreams!” jenny snarled.
“maybe her dreams will help you get to sleep,” mom answered.
but before either jenny or ronnie could say anything, dad exploded.
“all of you just shut up! shut up, do you hear me! i mean it!”
the car fell silent. ronnie sat up against the window, as jenny, after a final victorious smirk, snuggled across the back seat, put her head on her arm and closed her eyes.
outside the desert looked darker than ever. there was no moon.
suddenly ronnie saw the face of satan in the sky.
it was no big deal. she was always seeing the face of satan in the sky, or in puddles, or in cheeseburgers, or in the windshields of cars passing by or almost anywhere.
the face of satan, or the faces of hitler, or einstein, or marilyn monroe or jackie kennedy or ted bundy or other famous people.
the face disappeared as quickly as it had appeared.
“let’s see if there’s anything on the radio,” dad said in his i’m-sorry-i-yelled voice. he turned on the radio but there was nothing but static.
they continued through the desert., peacefully enough .
maybe ronnie should have taken the face of satan as a sign.
because what she and ronnie didn’t know was that dad and mom were taking them to sell them to a commune of satanists in the desert.
then dad was going to continue on to san francisco to join the homosexuals, and mom had a ride lined up to go join a coven of bigfoot-worshipping witches in washington state.
but ronnie and jenny didn’t suspect a thing.
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