The Dark Light of Day
Author:Frazier, T. M.

I still desperately needed money. Once the coast was clear of Miss Thornton, and I was back living in Nan’s, I’d need to be able to feed myself—and hopefully keep the lights on. If I couldn’t get a job, I would have to resort to stealing.

 

Bubba’s words stuck with me as I walked down the main road between the shadows of our town’s few light posts. God’s people stick together. It actually started to make sense to me as I thought about it. If God’s people stuck together, and I was all alone, then I certainly wasn’t one of his people. As much as Nan took me to church and prayed for me, I’d never felt like I was being watched over or taken care of by some higher power. I knew then that this was because I wasn’t one of God’s people.

 

I probably never had been.

 

I walked with no destination in mind, with the new knowledge that if there actually was a God, he’d likely forgotten about me from the beginning. It wasn’t even a second after this thought crossed my mind when the ground beneath my feet started to shake, and the bulb on the light pole over me rattled out a warning. The night went dark.

 

What the fuck?

 

A single round light, brighter than any I’d ever seen on a car appeared before me, breaking through the darkness and casting away the shadows of the night around me. It sped directly toward me. The rumbling of the earth grew more violent the closer it came. The light overhead buzzed as it struggled its way back to life.

 

Just when I began to believe it was God himself making his presence known to me, to punish me for my blasphemous thoughts, the thunderous hell-machine that carried the light barreled past me in a blinding blur of chrome, black and blonde. The force of its stream sent me flailing into a nearby thicket of prickly bushes. It wasn’t God. It was just a fucking motorcycle. A big one for sure, but still, just a fucking motorcycle, going at least three times the speed limit.

 

Just my luck, I thought. I pulled myself up from the brush and bent over to pick the sand spurs and shell fragments from the skin on my calves.

 

Just my fucking luck.

 

***

 

The sound of my own sneezing woke me. I wasn’t surprised. It seemed that if I moved at all, I kicked up a dust bowl and the result was several earth-shattering loud sneezes in a row.

 

I hated dust.

 

I hated allergies.

 

And I definitely hated sneaking into the junkyard behind Frank Dunn’s Auto Body to sleep in Nan’s old truck. She had taken it there in an attempt to get it running again, but since she’d found out it would take over two-thousand dollars to make that happen, it had stayed at Frank’s, untouched for almost a year.

 

Past experience had taught me that the child welfare social worker types didn’t stake out kids for too long. Once they’d spent a solid twenty-four hours looking for you without any luck, they’d list you as a runaway and move on to the next unfortunate case. So I needed just one night away from Nan’s, maybe two, to make sure that meddling bitch Miss Thornton would be long gone before I went home. I checked the time on my watch. It was almost four in the morning. I figured I could get in another couple hours of undisturbed sleep, so I tucked myself in under my hoodie and closed my eyes.

 

I tried to ignore the dust and pretend I was home in my bed at Nan’s. I curled up and had almost drifted back to sleep when I was startled by the same thunderous sound that had knocked me to my ass earlier. Careful not to be seen, I sat up and peeked over the dashboard. The yard motion light clicked on, and I saw two figures walking around in the night. They were too far away for me to see them clearly, but I heard a feminine laugh and the click-clack of heels, so one of them was probably a woman.

 

I quietly sank down to the floorboard under the steering wheel and tried to make myself as small as possible. The last thing I needed was a breaking and entering charge. I think I had one of those already, anyway, and I knew that Frank Dunn wouldn’t be happy with me when he saw the trash can sized hole I’d cut in the fence in order to break into the yard.

 

A solid five minutes passed before the weight of the truck I was in shifted to the driver’s side, and the unmistakable sound of moaning filled the silent night.

 

Yes, it was definitely moaning, and it was close.

 

The passenger side window became a wall of black leather. Metal grommets scratched at the glass each time the figure stirred.

 

The moaning started moving... lower.

 

I crunched myself up as small as I could, trying to make myself invisible. It was still dark out and my black hoodie covered most of me, so even if whoever it was could see through the dirty window, they would hopefully think I was just a bunch of random crap piled on the floor.