Cowboy

The ancient Chevy pickup chokes, rattles, and dies with a long sigh outside the small hamburger joint. As old cowboy boots crunch through gravel, he looks momentarily back at the quiet highway as a lone flash of illumination zips through the night. Slowly he hobbles up the steps, grunting as he pulls the door open, greeted by a small bell friendly warmth, and the sizzle of hot food

The elderly waitress gives him a friendly smile, calling back to the cook to tell of the familiar customer’s arrival. He comes to the table, lowering himself down on one of the faded red stools. He orders his usual meal; burger, fries, and a small, Styrofoam cup of steaming coffee.

He eats steadily, chews deliberately, silence reigning in the small restaurant, save for the angled whir of the fan above, and the crackling of the small radio upon the counter, the melancholy voice of Jim Morrison slowly, softly, singing “Riders on the Storm”.

When he is finished, he slips off the faded red stool, fishing in his pockets, searching for three dollars and fifty cents. The waitress shakes her head, smiling “keep the fifty.”
He nods his thanks to the waitress, and steps out into the cool air.

The man runs a gnarled hand through his short, white hair, listening to the incessant buzz of the street light above, the rumble of thunder in the distance, the mournful dirge of the lone cricket in the surrounding woods. Fumbling within his frayed denim jacket, he locates his lighter and lights the day’s last cigarette, white puffs rising in rings about his aged, weathered face.

He stumps down the stairs, crunches his way across the gravel, opening the door of that ’65 pickup. It wails piteously, then coughs and sputters back to life. Off it goes, crawling back onto that lonely highway, heading into the overcast night.





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Authorgal98 said...
Feb. 18, 2011 at 3:26 pm
Blew me away. I love the scene, love the character. It's judt so alive in my mind right now... Keep it up!
 
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