Amanda held onto the steering wheel firmly, hands at ten and two, but that didn’t stop the car from jittering across the broken pieces of road and stopping at the shoulder. She got out, took in the damage to her tires, and counted herself lucky.
Opening her phone, Amanda found she had no service. Raising the phone or circling the car didn’t provide any more bars. Slumping against the side of the car, Amanda looked into the light of the setting sun. It would be dark soon and she was stranded on a strange road that led to and from nowhere she wanted to go. She was tired and her hands ached from wrestling the car across that last stretch of broken road.
The sunlight glinted off of something off the road’s shoulder. Amanda walkedaround the car, hoping to see a police phone box or a working pay phone. Instead, her walk away from the shoulder brought her to an empty campsite. There was a washed-out wooden picnic table and a fire pit, empty of wood and ash. Amanda walked through grass that brushed the tops of her thighs, thinking that no one had camped here in a long while. She brushed the hair from her face and turned, taking the whole scene in. There were tiny mushrooms ringing the camp site. She had crossed over them on her way there, before she braved the tall grass. Sitting down at the table, Amanda put her face in her hands and held it before she checked her phone again. Still no service and she was afraid of flagging down the wrong sort of person for help.
Amanda was startled by the tones of a flute. Those notes were joined by other instruments, some she couldn’t name, and Amanda was filled with the desire to dance. She lifted herself from the table and began to turn in small circles, arranging them into a larger one to fit the ring of toadstools. She danced and danced, and did not notice when her car began to rust or when the highwaymen hauled it away. She was still dancing.
Kimberly Smith Williams is a Southern writer based in Colorado. She holds an M.A. in English from the University of West Georgia and is currently pursuing an M.F.A. in Genre Fiction from Western State Colorado University. She enjoys coffee and mountains.