THE KWIK MART KRONICLES...41
I could get a good look west across the open fields around the quik mart, dark clouds, more dark clouds, distant thunder, and I was in a fury to get movin‘, screw the damn radar, I could smell trouble ahead, no doubt whatever. The card reader on the pump wouldn’t work. The card reader on the pump over on the next island wouldn’t work either. Fire was shooting out of my eye sockets, smoke billowing out of my ears, I was about to go postal, keep 911 on speed dial.
A young lady approached, she’d seen what was going on, maybe saw the smoke and was angling for the fire extinguisher, don’t know, but she said lightning had knocked out their com link, cash for everything. Ok, got it, and she was damn cute, beautiful smile, too bad about the dipped-in-orange-mud spray tan.
Stomped through the front door, twenty-five people in line, no way I was going to be number twenty-six, walked right up to the register, launched a twenty at the cashier, “Turn on the pump“. Must have had that certain look, nobody said a word, nobody make eye contact, mainly they were all lookin’ a little fidgety, nervous, upcoming events uncertain. Filled the tank, marched back in for my change, it was waiting for me on the top of the register, no delay, no small talk pleasantries, the line was even longer.
Man, I needed to get away from here, daylight and weather against me, I wasn’t properly attired for this place anyway, kinda like showing up for a black tie event in John Daly golf wear. Ain’t got the wife-beater, ain’t got the ripped board shorts, ain’t got the flipflops, ain’t accessorized with a color coordinated 12pack in each hand. I was hopelessly outta touch with the mainstream rural quik mart masses, oh well.
Back on the bike, gear vents locked down, and I charged a stop light a mile away, the exhaust note soaring up and down in deafening whoops, my brain molecules were now lined up in neat rows, my head was back in the game, and I was gone to Winchester. Got the green light, on the gas, a monster lightning bolt hits a tall Loblolly pine at the other end of the bridge, I’m freakin’ blinded by the arc flash, sounds like a huge bomb went off, and at that exact second, the rain starts comin’ down, cats and dogs.
I was off the gas, the bridge deck vibrating under the bike from the blast, the pressure wave had smacked me right in the chest, unbelievable, without ear plugs in, I’d have been deaf. Quick glance at the mirrors, the car behind had run up on me in the lightning strike and rain, I could have nearly reached back and touched it before the driver hit the brakes, stopping dead on the bridge, stunned most likely.
Lucky I was playing horseshoes today, and with the euphoria that a near miss produces every single time, I was pounding on the shifter, rolling northwest, the horizon a little lighter.
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