The beat rolls, hills move silent across the tarmac sky. Gone, far away, jetted someplace left of nowhere in a stolen ride. Silver candy in my pocket, howl goes the tangent night. Another city gone, another midnight trail. We break our backs to flak the frigid air. Spit shot high and mighty my, my God; a pale everglade passes on our right and we hear the mermaid’s music so clear it was colors in the far beyond. Black trees with neon painted leafs burn on that melody.

A man on the road wearing goggles and a bandana over his nose and mouth is playing his bongos during a dust storm. He waves as we pass by at 75. We feel his rhythm in the road bumps for miles.

Buddy yells at me across the dirt about a friend he had back south that lost both his hands panning for gold. His veins turned to rust before they crumbled entirely and drifted away with the waters. Made a fortune though. Said he made more money than he could hold.

We pass bubbling tar pits stiff with dinosaur bones, past giant industrial cigarettes puffing smoke into the air, past islands made of garbage, past fields of prosthetic legs with stilettos stuck to the sky, past abandoned buildings half-devoured by the encroaching wasteland.

This is the kind of place where a bottle of water is the only thing that exists, I think as the machine’s engine echoes a rumbling jank through and through the dry desert dregs. Coughed-up lungs litter the sand. Somewhere from afar, the stench of smoke sulks in so thick you could taste it. “There’s a single smoking spot in this whole county, and we just found it!” yells buddy in the passenger.

“No,” I yell, “it found us!” And we blaze by, counting the power wires on one hand and roadkill on the other three.

Lots changed after the wars. Things have a habit of changing after everything dies.

This ReadWave has travelled through…

  • College Station - United States 4 reads
  • Ashburn - United States 3 reads
  • San Francisco - United States 12 reads
  • Boardman - United States 2 reads
  • Dallas - United States 1 read
  • Montréal - Canada 3 reads
  • Seattle - United States 8 reads
  • Redmond - United States 15 reads
  • Palo Alto - United States 16 reads
  • Absecon - United States 1 read
  • Austin - United States 2 reads
  • Mountain View - United States 7 reads
  • London - United Kingdom 1 read
  • Princeton - United States 2 reads
  • Bulverde - United States 1 read
  • Kirksville - United States 1 read
  • Morgantown - United States 1 read
  • Chicago - United States 2 reads
  • Collierville - United States 1 read
  • Harrisburg - United States 1 read
  • Atlanta - United States 1 read
  • Oxford - United Kingdom 1 read
  • Scottsdale - United States 1 read
  • Fleetwood - United States 1 read
  • Hayward - United States 1 read
  • San Antonio - United States 1 read
  • Mount Laurel - United States 1 read
  • Southlake - United States 1 read
  • Woodbridge - United States 1 read
  • Copperas Cove - United States 1 read
  • Houston - United States 1 read
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