Smoking Honda Civic -- gray like my autumn's stormy sky above the gas station. There's no driver and the car sits there by the pumps, ready to burst into flames, and I hesitate, maybe this is my day, my day to die at the service station in Efland, just a quarter mile from I-85 south, I should have stayed on the highway, abandoned my thoughts of Root Beer. In the go-mart, there are four men, and me, the unlikely blond girl. Its 10 am and I'm on my way to my volunteer job. I look for the Root Beer and find it next to the Ginger Beer and near the Cherry Cola, and I wonder if its a Twist Off or will I need an opener? Hells Bells, who cares, I grab the beautiful amber bottle and almost swing into a young blond boy making his way through the Isle of Potato Chips and Roasted Peanuts to the register. He cocks his hip in his baggy blue jeans and I admire his strong left arm and the brown beaded choker that rests on the back of his tan neck just below the place where his blond hair falls, dirty but determined. And the pint bottle he sets down announces Colt 45 and I can't help but wince, cause its ten in the morning and the boy looks too much like someone I know to be drinking 45 in the morning. He pays with handfuls of change from the pockets of his pants and leaves.
I pay for my Root Beer and carry it out in the brown paper bag, not unlike the bag the boy carried his Colt 45 off with, but I think, I have nothing to hide, not at this time of morning at least, and I see him sidle into the passenger seat of the near-on-fire Honda Civic and the smoke is still drifting downward from the hood, and I see the driver, an old man, an old black man, with a sharp pork pie hat, and a cigar hanging in the corner of his mouth. The boy is handing him the Colt 45, the twist-off cap is gone and the man takes a long drag from the bottle, deftly keeping the cigar in place, and they drive off, with the acrid smoke pouring off their engine and i wonder what the day will bring for them?