CHAPTER six/part 1– Driving time
Garret was on the road. The weather was rough, but he’d got used to the pessimism of forecasters, ever since they screwed up the hurricane prediction in 1987. He switched on some music; he had a CD loader in the cab and was sort of into county music at the moment; he kind of imagined doing one of those real truck jobs in the States, or even Australia. He’d been there thirty years back; it blew his mind, how people would drive for nine hours to go to a party and what’s more it was more often than not pretty crap anyway. He could never remember the words of the songs but found the country stuff quite light and uplifting.
Garret had recovered well from the night before and the journey was going OK. A couple of hour in he stopped off for a coffee and rang his daughter: all was fine and he told her the weather wasn’t so bad, yes it was pelting down with rain but not really windy. He went into his favourite café for a bacon sandwich and a coffee. He noticed the décor of the place had changed, sort of retro feel to it. The staff weren’t the usual crew. Oh well, maybe it’s been taken over, he thought.
He sat down and a young woman came over to serve him. He asked for a sandwich and coffee when he noticed a really old duke box. It reminded him of the TV series he watched as a kid called ‘ Happy Days’ with the Fonz set in the fifties.
“Oh, how long you had that?” Garret asked, “It’s brand new, the first time we’ve had a duke box, it really exciting,” the girl was visibly thrilled about it. Garret felt the blood drain out of his face and thought he’d better go and get some fresh air, “Er, hold on a second, before I order I realise I have forgotten something,” Garret, charged with fear and urgency got up to leave.
As he went out, there were three people sat at a table who stared at him, or through him, or in him: he couldn’t tell all he heard in his mind was a question,” Why is it you, what are you going to do?” Garret hurried back to his cab and sat down and looked in his mirror. His face was white. After a few minutes he looked out of his cab window at the café; it was back to normal, nobody in the seats where the three people were and not sign of retro wallpaper.
Copyright Patrick Turner-Lee 2014