William Brower is the author of 32 books and also a Titanic historian in the South Florida area who has devoted the past 37 years researching the great ship. His fantasy series Chronicles of the Dragons Bane have been recognized by the city of Coral Springs Florida for its contribution to literature.
The heat of the desert sun was boiling by noon as Samuel Jenkins continued walking beside the road searching for movement on the horizon, “I can’t believe the idiots fell for it!” he said boasting to a passing coyote. His temporary uniform was clinging to his body an hour later as he fought his chapped lips in a losing battle of dehydration until as the world around him began to fade he stumbled onto the path of an oncoming truck painted olive drab green with the words “Damnatorum Delivery Services” highlighted in a crimson shade along the sides.
“Mr. Jenkins I’m glad to see you coming back to your senses again.” The voice called from amidst the cool fresh air teasing the sunburn that blistered across his body. Sage burning from a small lamp hanging from the mirror obstructed the man’s savior except for a dark silhouette.
“Who are you? How do you know my name?” Samuel asked with distrust as he searched the cramped compartment searching for the sidearm he had stolen along with the uniform only a few hours earlier. The figure chuckled lighting a cigar obscuring the cabin further as the acrid smoke made Samuel cough with the onset of an asthma attack. “Mr. Jenkins I’ve followed your feats ever since the police brought you in for the trial, I have to ask though just out of curiosity what was it like looking into the eyes of your victims as you pulled the trigger that night?”
“Why does it matter to you? I could easily just blow your brains out now regardless! Now give me your name!” Sam yelled sarcastically reaching around the seats searching for the gun.
“Karen Mr. Jenkins. My name is Karen and the gun you seek has fallen between the seat cushion beside you next to the door panel, just reach down and you should find it.”
“Karen! Either you are an ugly woman or your parents were smoking crack when they knocked heads to make you!” “It’s an old family name Mr. Jenkins but sadly that’s something that you don’t have a concept of to begin with since the neighbors buried yours after your indictment.”
Samuel tested the door a moment cursing to him as he found it locked, pushing on the window button he forced his anger back while the burning in his lungs took higher precedence. The road was still moving between the walls of smoke as he blindly reached for the grip.
“You know who I am and what I’m capable of Karen so stop pissing me off and give me answers! Damn it you have five seconds before I put a bullet in you!”
The truck slowed suddenly to a calm drift while the horizon darkened to twilight, nocturnal life emerged from their various dens sending a shrill cacophony of cries around the cab as the smoke inside thinned to reveal a large man in his mid fifties staring blankly with deep set eyes.
“You’re holding the gun too low Mr. Jenkins, striking me at that angle would only go through me like a glancing blow and run the risk of ricochet. I’m willing to bequeath your request though; I live my life delivering goods around the states. It’s the same thing day after day nonstop…I have no other life but this. Now are you satisfied Mr. Jenkins? Karen asked lighting another cigar and placing the match back into the burner filling the cabin again.
Among the shadows Karen raised his hand and looked down before picking up speed on the truck as he ignored the clicking of the safety release beside him. “Ok Karen how about you tell me exactly where we are going next?” Samuel asked repositioning the gun once more.
The man silently reached beneath his legs and moved the double seat forward another inch until his giant knees touched the base of the console, “you had the perfect chance Mr. Jenkins why did you hesitate?” “Call it your moment of reprisal but you are only granted one so use it wisely and tell me where you are taking me.”
A beam of light shattered the night farther down the road and began to grow in strength with each passing second. Karen pulled the seat to the maximum and gripped the wheel tightly. “I hate when I’m late on delivering.” He dropped his visor revealing the driver’s license now visible in the intense light. “Charon?” Samuel asked stunned as the truck vanished in a blinding surge of energy that hid his shrieks.
The guard wheeled Samuel Jenkins’s body past the warden shaking his head confused, “That’s the first time I’ve ever seen someone hallucinate from the gas!”