20080324

Mirage

by Joseph Grant

Walter laughed to himself as he thought of the stupid, white-trash trucker he had cut off a few miles back who thought he owned the road as he drove through the Mojave, a flash from workers were blasting ore in the shadowy mountains caught his attention, their bright orange burst of dynamite and C4 repulsing into columns of gray smoke that rose like Indian spirits into the cloudless desert sky. From years of being in construction management, Walter knew that the rocks being blasted were being taken over to Ludlow or Barstow for milling and grounding and as much as he drove this desolate area on his way to Havasu or Vegas, it didn’t change, only the years, the people and the makes of cars changed; out here time did not make as much an impact as it did in the cities and as a result, the Mojave was the last vestige of fools, dreamers, criminals and the western promise gone mad. It would be a hell of a thing to break down out here, thought Walter, but not like the old days where all one had to pray for was a wayward hauler or a highway patrol on his way home and the answer to that prayer would be for them to be neighborly enough to stop, but people weren’t like that anymore; Walter knew. Walter’s wife, Camille, slept blissfully beside him as he drove on, thoughts of their reaching Lake Havasu in record time where they summered preoccupied his road-weary mind. He smiled at the memory of taking out their pontoon boat last year, drinking spiced rum as he piloted the vessel and floating in the cool yellow-tinged river water once they docked and how free from his aching arthritis he felt drifting there and how when he submerged his balding pinkish pate, the boats zooming by on the surface sounded like electric saws beneath the water. His mind on other, more agreeable things, he did not see the chunk of truck tire splayed on the road or the jagged steel of the wrapped steel wire of the radial tire that would soon flatten two of his own cheap tires or in his anger see the psychotic trucker he had cut off miles back now coming towards him as he struggled arthritically with the lug nuts; nonetheless, there had been strange disappearances in the Mojave that summer, this one yet another unexplained rear-view mirror mirage.

6S

Joseph Grant, whose full catalog is here, is the first featured author in our "Six Sixes" series.

22 comments:

Leatherdykeuk said...

Superb piece, Joe. I loved the foreshadowing in sentence three or four. Beautifully executed.

austere said...

Lovely.

natasha said...

Excellent. The last sentence does it for me.

Adam J. Whitlatch said...

Awesome story, Joe. A new Joe Grant story is always a good way to start the morning.

Well done, my friend.

mgirl said...

You set everything up perfectly, and all in just six. I love it. You are amazing, Joe.

Linda said...

Guess ole Walter got his. Nice karmic 6S, Joe. Peace...

Anonymous said...

Nice.

Baby Island said...

Oh fun! I am always a little daunted by the length of you 6S's, but in the end I love all the content. How do you do that?

Thanks Joe, nice twist at the end.

:)

Kevin Michaels said...

Good job Joe! Good set up, nice foreshadowing, and as usual - strong visual descriptions that put you right on the road with Walter. Nice way to start the week!
KM

G & G said...

Another Joe Grant masterpiece!

Joe said...

Thank you all for your nice comments. I appreciate them all.

Sara said...

Great writing Joe. Loved every word.

Joe said...

Thank you, Sara. I appreciate your kind words.

Anonymous said...

Joe - I want to crawl inside your head and have a peak around - just for a little while, I promise, and I'll walk gently. I must find out what special ingredients are there that make your sixes remarkable. Please?
caccy46

colombian lady said...

As always, very vivid and well written.

the fan said...

JG kicks much ass.

Liz said...

Another great 6S. It is like reading about one of your worst nightmares. Everytime we pass some crazy driver out on the roads, I always wonder, what if... Now I know my answer! As always, this was an amazing read. Thanks.

Luv4snoopy said...

What hasn’t been said about the talented Joe Grant? His writing has a way of bringing the reader right into the heart of the story. Only talented, gifted writers have the ability to make you feel emotion through their works and Joe has certainly done this for me.

Adam J. Whitlatch said...

Hence why I have dubbed him "The Word Weaver." :)

kr said...

Always a pleasure.

Joe said...

Thank you all again. I absolutely appreciate your feedback. Yes, Caroline, please walk softly! LOL

Mary said...

Joe,
Another great one. I loved the last lines "unexplained rear-view mirror mirage." Caroline wants to walk around in your head? Hmm, I would be a little frightened to do that! Just kidding, Joe. Great job. Keep up the great writing.