Elster's World

Monday, August 29, 2005

The Road Less Travelled

At some point in the evening, the sun dropped down on the horizon and blazed orange, purple and gold across the violet blue sky.

But Horatio Keller was barely able to process the road in front of him, let alone the gift of twilight set forth like an Impressionist painting. He swerved and veered on the rain slicked surface of Highway 54 with the zeal of a man on the run from demons you can never escape. In reality, he was just another lost junkie, hopped up on cheap brown skag and crystal meth. The beggar's combo was shooting through his system, feeding him with the sense of omnipotence and disregard for mortality that can only be felt by those with great power or those fueled by the Devil's Brew.

His re-tooled 1987 Ford Mustang roared around a sightless bend on the wrong side of the two-lane road, narrowly missing an eighteen wheeler making the long southern run from Bangor, Maine to Atlanta. Blood was singing in Keller's ears like a siren's song, blocking out the deep shout of the truck's horn and, more importantly to Keller, rational thought. The roar of the overworked engine cut the stillness of the sunset.

But it's always the most foolish of people who end up making their own beds. Usually they shoot themselves in the foot and occasionally, they even burn out in a fantastic blaze of light, like a shooting star across a cloudless, clean night sky. People with humanity and goodness only hope that the innocent don't get folded in together with the guilty.

The low slung monster had been running forty-two miles over the speed limit when Keller tried to pass a souped-up Jeep Grand Cherokee when a van full of elderly people returning from a day outing popped into the edge of Keller's consciousness he slammed on the brakes and tried to jam his way back into the right lane. The Mustang fishtailed so violently that Keller lost control of the wheel and the car raced off the road and into a tree filled embankment at over ninety-five miles an hour. The car travelled with the force of a .45 shell ripping through hollowed-out rotten wood.

When the local medical examiner completed peeling what was left of Horatio Keller from the inside of the twisted remains of his car, there was barely enough left to fill a brown lunch sack.


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