3/30/10

Robert Swartwood

Summer of ‘84


New Jersey
Mama says Kim’s white trash, that I should stay away. So when Kim asks if I want to go for a ride, I say sure.

Pennsylvania
At an Exxon station I ask where we’re going. Kim asks if I want a cigarette. I lie and say I do.

Ohio
The left rear tire goes flat just outside of Zanesville. Kim changes it herself, her muscles writhing underneath her sweat-stained tank top.

Indiana
We sleep in the car behind a truck stop. Kim asks if I am scared. I say no. When she is asleep, I quietly masturbate.

Illinois
A skunk lies dead on the side of the highway. Flies blanket it. Kim pulls over and stares for a long time. Then she laughs.

Missouri
The sun dipping below the horizon lights up the bugs splattered on the windshield. I reach out and with my finger trace their chaotic pattern.

Kansas
Kim asks if I’ve ever seen The Wizard of Oz. She says she is Dorothy, I am Toto. I look out my window and bark.

Colorado
With the Rockies looming before us, Kim buys me a Coors Light. When I finish the entire bottle, she kisses me on the cheek.

Utah
The moon shining on her naked body, she asks if I think she is pretty. Then she takes my finger and guides it inside her.

Nevada
At an Indian casino we hope to turn twenty bucks into one hundred. Kim leaves me in the car. She comes back with five hundred.

California
This is it? I ask, staring at the ocean. You’re just eleven, she says. What do you know? She lets me drive back home.



Robert Swartwood's work has appeared in Wigleaf, elimae, Hobart, PANK, and Monkeybicycle. He is the editor of Hint Fiction: An Anthology of Stories in 25 Words or Fewer, forthcoming from W.W. Norton. He blogs at http://www.robertswartwood.com/.

4 comments:

  1. I'm a simple soul. I like explosions and car chases, but that was superb. So simple, so effective. Love it.

    ReplyDelete
  2. I agree...love the structure...and the story!

    ReplyDelete