Travel “The Road to Nowhere” with Friday Flash Fics by Jeff Baker. (February 10, 2023.)

young man reads the map and looks for the destination driving his car. Travel and trip concept

On the Road to Nowhere

by Jeff Baker

AUTHOR’S NOTE: Special thanks to Kaje Harper for providing the picture that inspired this week’s story! —jeff

Greg Gerber held tight to the steering wheel and let the breeze from the open window wash over him as the car raced down the desert highway. It made him feel cooler for the first time that day and he felt his sweaty t-shirt drying out.

Greg turned his leg a bit and adjusted his stiff knee. How long had his foot been on the gas pedal?

He glanced over at Rich McAllister, sitting in the passenger seat, staring out the window, probably enjoying the breeze.

“You doin’ okay?” Greg asked,

“As well as I can,” Rich said glancing over at Greg. “At least the Sun’s going down, kinda. Not as hot as it was.”

“Yeah. Wish we had A.C.” Greg said. “Or a radio. I’d settle for a radio.”

“Me too.” Rich said. He cleared his throat. “Look, I’ve been, well, checking you out the last few miles.”

“Yeah?” Greg said with a grin.

“Yeah.” Rich said. “I guessed you noticed. You look, well, real good with the sunlight hitting your tan like that.”

“Thanks.” Greg said. “You’re nice too.”

They drove on for a while. Then Rich spoke up again.

“Look, I’d help you with the driving if I could,” Rich said.

“Yeah, thanks.” Greg said. “I don’t think we’re supposed to have any kind of help.”

“Yeah,” Rich said. “Hey, do you remember anything else? I mean, besides our names and that we knew each other? I mean, right before we found ourselves in this car? On this road?”

“Not really,” Greg said. “Just this vague…impression. That we went after some guy. In this car. That we hit him.”

“And we hit him in this car.” Rich said. “I remember some of it. “And there was money. And that this was his muscle car.”

“Yeah,” Greg said. He stared back at the road and didn’t look at Rich as he spoke. “You think this is the road to Hell?” Rich shook his head.

“I think we may be there already,” Rich said, his throat feeling very dry.

After a few minutes, Greg sighed again.

“This is just driving me crazy. The heat, the boredom. The fucking uncertainty of this.”

“Yeah.” Rich said. “I’d almost settle for driving through big iron gates and seeing the guys with pitchforks. I could deal with pitchforks.”

“The boredom is probably the idea,” Greg said. “The pitchforks might be easy to handle. The boredom isn’t. I’ve tried to run off the road a hundred times and can’t even cross the center line.”

“I wish there was a motel and we could stop there for a few hours,” Rich said. “I’d settle for a cold burger, a soda, a place to pee and, and…”

“And a room where we could be alone for a couple of hours.” Greg finished.

“How long have we been here anyway?” Rich asked.

‘Check the odometer.” Greg said, squeezing the wheel tighter.

Rich looked at the dashboard. “Six-Hundred-Fifteen?” He looked up. “Miles?”

“Years. I think.” Greg said in a low voice.

Rich sagged into his seat and tried not to think.

They turned a curve and the sun was directly overhead and the breeze blew hot. Again.

“Look,” Rich said. “I can’t you know, reach over there or move over there but I think I can do this. Lean over this way as far as you can.”

“Lean over?” Greg said. “I’m driving. What happens if I lose control of the car…”

“And we get killed?” Rich said with a bitter half-laugh. “We passed that a while back. Okay, lean over, just try.”

Greg couldn’t take his hand too far from the wheel but he was able to lean towards the passenger seat just a bit. He realized what Rich was getting at. And he managed to bend his right elbow until it started to feel stiff.

Rich leaned to the left as much as he could, maybe a few inches and tried to raise his left arm. It felt stiff away from the area above his passenger seat.

Then the tip of Greg’s elbow touched Rich’s biceps, just below the shirt sleeve.

It was warm. Body warmth not desert heat. It felt good. They held the position as long as they could.

The car sped down the long and endless road.


This entry was posted in Fantasy, Fiction, Friday Flash Fics, Friday Flash Fictions, Horror, Kaje Harper, LGBT, Short-Stories. Bookmark the permalink.

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