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by Harry Shannon
Description: A man with nothing to live for but his sexual fantasies has his dreams come true.
eBook Publisher: Fictionwise.com, 2000 Bad Seed
eBookwise Release Date: December 2002
22 Reader Ratings:
Available eBook Formats: OEBFF Format (IMP) [12 KB]
Reading time: 5-7 min.
All Other formats: Printing DISABLED, Read-aloud DISABLED
O'Brien sat quietly in the truck-stop diner near Bakersfield California, sipping his third cup of dishwater coffee. He studied his face in the chipped mirrored tiles that rimmed the pass-through from the kitchen. He looked harmless. O'Brien had short auburn hair, blue eyes and wore the black garb and backward collar of a priest. He watched the slender blonde waitress as she went about her rounds, a placid expression on her weathered features. His thoughts were feral.
Startled, O'Brien turned abruptly. Said: "What?"
"The weather. She's chilly." An old man, in his seventies maybe. He wore a turquoise cowboy string tie and had foul tobacco stains on his pale blue work shirt. "My bones say it's fixin' to rain shortly."
O'Brien remembered where he was. He forced himself to smile. "That so?" he said. "I always thought bones predicting the weather was just superstition."
The wizened man cackled. "Naw father," he said. It seemed strange to have a man this age call him that. "It's true enough. When you get on in years, you'll see. Rain is on the way."
Some thunder rumbled in the low foothills. The codger shrugged. "Told you so."
The old man got up and waved goodbye to the young waitress, leaving half a sandwich and more than two dollars in change on the counter. "Take it easy, father," he said. He limped away.
O'Brien watched him go then yawned, stretched and looked around carefully. He scooped up the money and the half-eaten sandwich and started for the door. The waitress called out: "Father?"
O'Brien stopped, the hair on his neck rising. He turned with a smile.
"Coffee's on the house," she said. "Have a nice day."
"Oh, thanks," he said. "You too."
The little truck stop parking lot was nearly deserted. Icy rain began to fall in frigid waves. O'Brien pulled his coat up over his head and zeroed in on the 89 Mustang hatchback. Before he could step down off the porch a motorcycle cop pulled up, bike belching fumes. O'Brien forced himself to smile pleasantly. The cop smiled back.
"Get where you're going, father," he said. "This one looks nasty."