Mitch sat down in the middle of the road and held his head in his hands. The Cadillac lay upside down in the ditch, tires slowly spinning to a stop.
“Why did you do it, Jimmy?” he moaned. “Why, why, why?”
A long grey truck pulled up behind him and an equally long grey farmer leaned out. “Hey? You okay?”
“Do I look okay?” Mitch snapped. He possessed just enough self-control to choke back the obscenity he almost blasted out at the old man.
The farmer hopped out of his truck. “Anybody in there? Anybody else, I mean?”
“How should I know?”
The farmer gave him a puzzled look then went over to the Cadillac. The engine made ticking sounds as it cooled off.
“Holy -- !” The farmer stumbled back. “That guy in there -- he -- he’s all messed up.”
“He was messed up before he hit me,” Mitch said.
The farmer looked at him even more puzzled. “You all right? In the head, I mean. ‘Hit’ you? You don’t look like you been hit, least not by no Cadillac.” The farmer pronounced it “Caddy-lack”.
Mitch ignored him, got up, dusted his hands off. The farmer could see his clothes were torn -- split open, actually -- as if struck by great force, but Mitch seemed perfectly fine inside them. “What happened here?”
Mitch shrugged. “Jealousy. Two guys, one girl. She liked one of us more than the other.” He gestured impotently to the Cadillac. “The other decided to so something about it.”
He stretched, shook himself. The farmer could hear dislocated joints popping back into place. “Ellie’s my half-sister, but everyone thinks she’s my cousin. She liked Jimmy,” he said, gesturing again to the wrecked car, “but not ‘that’ way, if you catch my drift.
“She felt closer to me, we could talk about things we couldn’t share with other people, but, jeeze, she’s my half-sister. Jimmy had nothing to be jealous about. She just didn’t like him as much as he liked her.
“Desired her,” Mitch corrected.
The farmer moved past puzzled and began sidling up next to befuddlement. “Was she with you?”
“Well, where is she? Where did she go?”
Mitch pointed skyward.
“No! Look up.”
The farmer did. A hundred yards above them a tiny figure hovered.
“C’mon down,” Mitch yelled. “It’s all over.”
The tiny figure dropped, coming to an abrupt halt about twenty feet overhead. “Is he unarmed?” Ellie asked. “He doesn’t have a gun or anything, does he?”
The astonished farmer gulped, his adam’s apple bobbing, then said, “I ain’t gonna hurt you, little lady.”
“Shut up,” said Mitch. “She’s not talking about you, she’s talking about Jimmy.”
As if on cue a loud groan emerged from the Cadillac and with great effort the mangled driver’s door was forced open by an even more mangled driver.
The farmer stood half paralyzed with fear, unable to articulate anything beyond a simple “-ah-ah-ah-“
Then, like a pound of ground beef slowly reassembling itself into a chuck roast, and the chuck roast back into a cow, Jimmy reassembled himself. His clothes remained bloody tatters but his body was intact.
He kicked the car and said, “I knew I shouldn’t have asked Gramps if I could borrow his Cadillac.” He pronounced it “Caddy-lack” as well. “If he hadn’t lent me his car, I wouldn’t have been tempted to run you over.”
Ellie swooped down, hovering nose to nose before him. “Oh, grow up! You always blame others for your own stupid mistakes! Now you’re going to have to pay for this car -- good! Maybe that will teach you a lesson!” Before Jimmy could respond, Ellie whirled and arced over the horizon in the blink of an eye.
The three males watched her disappear, then Mitch and Jimmy looked at each other, and then Mitch and Jimmy looked at the old farmer.
“You’ve had too much to drink,” said Mitch.
“Yeah, too much -- “
“Shut up, Jimmy!” To the farmer: “Sir, you’ve had too much to drink. Go home, sleep it off.”
The farmer gestured disjointedly, as if trying to link up the thoughts in his head with his fingers.
“Really, sir, it’s better this way,” Mitch said, not unkindly.
The farmer’s mouth worked silently, as if trying to think of something to say, finally coming up with, “Yeah. Yeah, guess you’re right. I’ll be going now.”
He climbed back in his truck without looking at them and continued down the road.
Mitch looked at Jimmy. Jimmy said, “What?” He sounded guilty.
“We can’t leave the car in the ditch,” Mitch said. “Somebody’s bound to find it, start asking questions.”
Jimmy sighed. He looked at the Cadillac. The wrecked car quivered for a moment, then leaped up into the air, floating three feet above the road. “I hate lifting anything this heavy,” Jimmy said. “It gives me a terrible headache.”
© Buzz Dixon