This week’s prompts are at the bottom. Feel free to seize the prompts, twist them, form them, play with them as you will. All comers are welcome. The words below are just practice for me. I had a lot of fun writing them, and you know what I always say, “Practice makes perfect.”
Here’s how to play along, if you are unsure.
It was late in the day. It was full-on nighttime, dark, and probably late in 2003 or early 2004; cold outside with light snow falling on I25 northbound. I was just above Socorro and about an hour below Albuquerque, heading north on my way to Santa Fe. I felt an urge to stop and pee. I should have done that in town, but I did not know then that I needed to stop. I spotted a billboard advising a Marathon Station at the next exit.
I got off the interstate and turned left underneath the highway, as the sign had directed. The place stood almost deserted. There was one car in the lot, which I surmised belonged to the attendant and my truck. I parked and pushed through the front door. Looking around, I saw a tall thin Hispanic girl in her mid-twenties standing behind the counter, ignoring me as she smoked, surveilling the pumps and klieg lights in the parking lot in front of the store. The place sold coffee, snacks, sodas and touristy things. There was a row of creepy-looking dolls, each about two and a half feet tall, standing between me and the Men’s room. The dolls looked like they would be friends of Chucky, you know, Chucky. He was that possessed doll of cinematic fame. They creeped me out, just a little bit.
I am tough, and unflappable. Too much so to be fghtened by a satanic doll from the movies. I concentrated on where I was going and edged past the display. I ducked into the toilet. When I reemerged, those demonic friends of Chucky were still standing between me and the exit, but I managed to get safely past them. I snagged a Strawberry Cream Paleta from a freezer next to the cashier and set it on the counter. The tall thin girl who was waiting, turned toward me. She was beautiful, with slender hips, long legs, long dark hair, and a smile that lit up the night. Embroidered on her blue cotton shirt was the name Blanca.
“Good evening, Blanca,” I said, smiling and trying to catch her eye.
“I’m not Blanca, I’m just wearing her shirt,” the girl replied, her grin twisting downward, “Soy Hermosa.”
“Lo siento, Hermosa,” I smiled again and placed my Popsicle on the counter.
I wanted to talk to her more, but I was at a loss for words. Finally, I blurted out, “How do you work here at night, by yourself with those creepy dolls staring at you the whole time?”
“By watching the freeway and the lot,” she said. “Solo miro a esos tipos cuando tengo que,” she smiled and the room lit up once again.
“¿Quieres un helado, Hermosa?”
“No, gracias,” she replied, and this time when she smiled, Hermosa looked a bit like those friends of Chucky whom, I knew, stood in menacing formation right behind me.
I shrugged and considered my situation. I determined that as beautiful as she was, I might be better off leaving Hermosa alone again. Just as she had been when I found her. It seemed that her smile had become less bright, less warm, and downright scary. I threw some money on the counter and started towards the door.
“Wait, hermano,” she shouted at me.
I kept moving.
“Your change,” she explained, and I could feel her eyes glowing, burning holes between my shoulder blades.
“Keep it!” I shouted and lunged through the doors, sprinting towards my truck. Burning rubber back towards the interstate, I glanced in the rear-view mirror. The front window of the Marathon Station exploded. I noticed I was clutching the stick of my Paleta. My knuckles were white. I tossed the ice cream out onto the road and headed north.
I could not get to Santa Fe quick enough. I needed to put miles between me and that Marathon; between me and Hermosa.
This week’s prompts are:
- a long ago Sunday
- it don’t mean much
- charcoal eyes
You can start writing whenever you want, just write, get the words down – and have fun!
7 thoughts on “OLWG #270- Marathon Gas”
Relevant imagery – though it’s Arizona, not New Mexico https://mzannthropy.tumblr.com/post/689161244819718144/nevver-sleepless-patrick-joust
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Those are great shots! Did you take them?
Nooooo, I hardly go out of Manchester and never been to America. Credit goes to the original photographer Patrick Joust https://society6.com/patrickjoust/wall-art. (Tumblr works by users sharing other people’s content, “reblogging” it.)
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Well now… I may just have to watch another episode of Midsummer Murders to get your story out of my head!! EEk!
I played with a bit of ‘fiction’… nd 7.27 The Dove and the Bea
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I seldom write stories like this. I’m glad it was scary for you.