Kyle rode in the backseat becoming increasingly disoriented. But he snapped to when Troy took a clover leaf curve too fast and came within four inches of the concrete barrier that separated them from the French Broad River flowing silently below in the darkness.
“It’s all good!” Troy yelled as he worked the wheel, his hands crisscrossed as the tires screamed before he righted the small white car and they all laughed.
“Holy shit,” Norah said. “I need a cigarette.” She smoked for a minute and then asked Troy if he would stop at the grocery store.
“Will you run in for us, Kyle?” she said. Still buzzed from the hairpin curve he thought it would be a good decision to get out of the car for a minute. Troy handed him ten dollars and said to get a couple of cheap pizzas and a Coke and maybe a pastry for in the morning.
The store was incredibly bright and Kyle felt a strange rush of drunken energy, a manic, confused excitement, as if he was just getting his alcoholic’s second wind. He did grab two pizzas and a Coke and some Pop Tarts and headed to the front. It dawned on him as he waited at the register that he hadn’t seen anyone else in the store. Not a clerk. Not a customer. Not a cashier. He thought about laying the ten spot on the counter, but he looked around again, and seeing no one, he walked out the door.
The excitement bit into him. The electric tingle of fear as he waited to hear a voice calling him to stop, footsteps rushing in syncopated loss prevention.
He exited the foyer and went through the large sliding door. Down the concrete sidewalk and across the blacktop to the white car. He could see Troy laughing in conversation. He glanced back over into the store and still saw no one at the checkout. It was like an apparition of a grocery store, a third moment between what normally is.