The Road Home
By Jeff Baker
AUTHOR’S NOTE: The draws for this month’s Flash Fiction Draw Challenge were:
A Romance on a Country Road including a sopping wet sponge. Here’s what I came up with.
There should have been a Moon, Shawn thought as the horses pulled the old wooden wagon full of hay down the old dirt road in the starlight. Trees to one side, open field to the other.
“Bet the horses would go this way even if you weren’t holding on,” Lonnie said sitting next to Shawn on the wagon’s front seat.
“My Dad always told me to hold on to the reins anyway,” Shawn said with a grin. “Anyway I think Summer Hayride ‘22 has been a success. Everybody seemed to have a good time.”
“Yeah, we didn’t even have to use this,” Lonnie said tapping the bucket full of water and a sponge on the floor beneath the seat with his foot.
“Still not sure why we bring a wet sponge along on the ride every year.” Shawn said.
“Tradition,” Lonnie said. “When my Granddad ran this ride his Dad kept a wet sponge around to throw at girls who got too fresh with their boyfriends.”
Shawn laughed. “Wish he could have seen the necking going on tonight.”
“Yeah, now that’s tradition,” Lonnie said. “Hey, what time is it, anyway?”
“About eleven-thirty,” Shawn said.
“Let’s make our own tradition,” Lonnie said sliding close enough in the seat to kiss Shawn on the cheek. Shawn turned around and kissed Lonnie’s lips. They lingered. The air felt warmer.
“That’s about the first time we’ve done that in public,” Lonnie said breathing heavily.
“What public?” Shawn said. We’re here alone.”
“Alone, my butt!” The voice came from behind them. “Get a room, guys!”
Shawn’s brother, Sky stuck his head out of the straw, his girlfriend hanging on to his neck. They were both laughing.
Shawn and Lonnie joined the laughter.
“Hey, you two behave back there,” Shawn said. “Or I’ll use the sponge on you!”
“I gotta work tomorrow morning,” Sky said. “Just decide. Either neck or get us home.”
“We can do both!” Lonnie laughed, kissing Shawn again.
The horses pulled the wagon down the well-worn road.
They had seen it all before.