“What is that monstrosity in the driveway?”
I knew those would be my wife’s first words when she got home. I went to kiss her hello. Her eyes burned through me. I paused at a safe distance.
“It’s a hearse,” I said. My enthusiastic grin bounced off her like rain on granite.
“I know it’s a hearse. Why the hell is it here?”
A hell-oriented pun of a reply died on my lips. “We own it,” I said.
“Oh no. We don’t. What were you thinking when you bought it? ‘I’ve always wanted a car that transported dead people.’?”
“I think the politically correct phrase for them is ‘post-living’. It fits my image. I’m a horror writer now.”
“You published one book.”
“The Horror Writer’s Association says I’m a horror writer.”
“And I say you’re an idiot. And that rusting pile of junk in the driveway confirms my assessment. How do they back up theirs?”
Hard as it may be to believe, this encounter was going better than I planned. No china had been thrown. Yet.
“That car is a classic,” I said. “It’s a 1960 Caddy with suicide doors.”
“The only thing committing suicide is our marriage if that thing doesn’t find its way to the junkyard it deserves.”
“It will be like advertising. I can drive it to book signings.”
“You don’t do book signings.”
“Because I don’t have a car worthy of one. Now I do.”
“This is like when you bought that headstone and thought we were going to put it in the front yard. Or when you wanted to add a belfry to the house.”
“No, no. Those ideas were stupid. This is practical.”
“It’s got loads of room. We can get our money’s worth at Costco now. You can buy that 250-count toilet paper pack you’ve been eyeing.”
“And how many miles per gallon do we get on our embarrassing jaunt to Costco?”
“On the highway. But once I have the engine and carb rebuilt, it could go as high as ten. Plus we can use it as a camper. The back area can easily sleep two.”
“If it’s still in the driveway tonight, it’ll certainly be sleeping one.”
“Halloween’s coming up in two weeks. Think how cool we will be driving this baby to the Fright Night Party. You didn’t want to wear costumes. Ensconced in this Detroit classic, we won’t need to. We’ll just say we’re undertakers.”
“I’d rather wear a costume than be caught dead, well, alive in that thing.”
I sensed a risk/reward analysis calculating in her head.
“Yeah, sure,” she said. “Get that rolling wreck out of here first thing in the morning, and I’ll do costumes to Fright Night.”
“Ugh. Yes, fine, vampires.”
She entered our bedroom. I followed. A pillow flew out and hit me in the face.
“You’re still sleeping in Bleak Beauty out there.”
I smiled, victorious. I’d only borrowed the car. And we would be vampires at Fright Night.
TODAY’S GIVEAWAY: Russell James is giving away one signed paperback copy of his novel Dark Inspiration, U.S. shipping only.
Russell James has published the paranormal thrillers Dark Inspiration and Sacrifice, as well as the alternate history Touch and Go. His next novel Black Magic will be published in 2013. His short stories appeared at Tales of Old, Encounters and Dark Gothic Resurrected magazines. His wife reads what he writes, rolls her eyes, and says “There is something seriously wrong with you.” They share their home in sunny Florida with two cats.
Purchase ebook or paperback Sacrifice at http://www.amazon.com/Sacrifice-ebook/dp/B008DZNWCC/ref=sr_1_1_title_1_kin?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1347490083&sr=1-1&keywords=sacrifice+russell+james