by Jake Barnes

It is getting dark, and I am on a back road that I am not familiar with. I'm looking for a route that will take me home. I don't want to take the highway, because I have had a few. I'm not drunk, but I'm not sober, either.


I am impatient and feeling a bit of panic. I don't know where I am. It is summertime, at dusk; the dying sun and the newborn moon are low on opposite horizons.


I turn off the blacktop and take a gravel road south. I am driving too fast, and coming over a rise, I discover that I am approaching a T-turn; the road I am on branches left and right. I am going too fast to turn. I hit the ditch, bounce, go through a fence, and end up in a dead car in a country graveyard.


I trudge back up the gravel road to the highway. Where am I? All I know is that I am somewhere north of where I want to be.


I see a pair of approaching headlights, and I stick out my thumb. A car slows and stops. It's a cop. The driver is wearing a deputy sheriff's uniform.


Fortunately, he's a good fellow. Also I know his brother. He lets me off in front of an old hotel in a small country town. I decide I'll get some sleep, worry about my car and what lies I am going to have tell in the morning.