Marjorie Carlson Davis

“You’re speeding.”

Craig accelerated and loosely hooked his fingers over the steering wheel.

“I can handle it. I know this road like the back of my hand.”

God, she hated that phrase.

She stared at the back of her own hand, the thin fingers, chewed, dirty nails, veins just starting to show her middle age.  

A stupid saying, unless of course, Craig spent hours staring at his own hand. Which maybe he did. He was that self-absorbed. How did she end up with him?  

Stupid too because if anyone knew the road,  it was her. She was the one who grew up on this mountain. Craig had only been driving it the last five years they’d been together. He liked to think himself one of the locals, the original back to earth hippie types who camped, then built their sustainable cabins on this mountain, like her parents, like Skye’s family. Craig didn’t have a clue.  

No, she was the one who knew every curve on the highway, like the one just a mile up.  

Ryerson’s curve it was called, according to road maps; dead man’s curve, according to legend; good-bye, Skye, according to her. She could see him now, the boy she’d been raised with, running naked through the woods, dancing around the campfires. The person she grew to love. Tall and skinny like a birch tree, skin the color of hummus, his dark hair in dreadlocks, crooked smile. She and Skye, that was knowing something, someone well.  

He’d been coming to see her, his parents said, excited that he’d finally sold a song, that the future was theirs, wide open. How could he not have known to slow down?  

Over the years, sometimes she’d push it as she reached the curve, see if she could handle it because would it be so bad if she couldn’t? If the car flew off the mountain?  

Craig was looking at her, smirking, challenging her to say something else.  

She leaned against the head rest, closed her eyes.  The car motor revved. She could almost feel what it would be like, the tires leaving asphalt. Airborne and sailing off into the sky.  

First published: November, 2007
comments to the writer: knob'