For Brantley Colton, his crusade was over. There was nothing in the abyss left for him. Whatever he had once believed in had become a lie. There was no light at the end of the tunnel, just a long highway ahead, a dark road without signposts to direct him. Where would he go from here? The finality in his soul belied some joy in the closing moments. It was over, he could die now…but he couldn’t die happy. It had only been a few hours since he had put the Winter Glade Motel in his rear-view, but it seemed longer. Colton drove the desolate highway but felt tired and needed sleep. The air conditioning was on high to fend off the humid Florida evening. The air against his face was the only thing preventing him from drifting into dangerous sleep; even so he contemplated the series of events that had him traveling down 1-75 in the middle of the night…with the blood stains of the murdered man still present on his shirt. He had used an alias to register at the motel, paid in cash but feared something had been left behind which could tie him to the murder. He needed time to finish the job at hand and his sloppy second-guessing had placed him in peril. Colton had never been one for prayer, but felt like it was a good time to drop to his knees, to confess his crime and ask for forgiveness. Not that it would have done any good for him.
Once she noticed Colton spying her with curiosity, she bravely walked over with arm extended and offered a greeting.
“Hey there, my name is Virginia Marsden. How do you do, sir?” She bowed ever slightly at the waist and Colton took her hand in his.
“I noticed you looking in my direction, believing you were a soul of lost association, I thought it best to introduce myself and save us valuable time.”
He was slightly dumbfounded at the crazy woman brashly invading his world. She was undeterred though.
“It may be terribly presumptuous of me, but I have a male friend who is between lovers at the moment. He is a beautiful old soul, attractive, and since he’s single I would love to see him meet someone interesting. If it’s not too audacious for me to inquire, are you gay?”
He was speechless, since he had acquaintances sitting close enough to hear the conversation. It took him a minute to regain his footing.
“Brantley, Er, Brantley Colton. I suppose I am gay, but you just might be the one to turn me straight.”
He smiled warmly and she reciprocated, plopping down next to him uninvited. She began speaking fast of her friend Thomas, a man Colton ‘must’ meet. She giggled aloud and the two shared laughter in the quick conversation of a shared camaraderie. It would seem that her friend Tom would turn out to be a nice guy, but after Virginia had set up a blind date, it turned dismal and unrewarding. Colton never even had sex with the young student. Nice, but boring. But the friendship with Virginia Marsden was set in concrete from the moment she crossed the common and extended her arm with glistening green eyes under a billow of brown tresses. Their friendship would last many years and they would always speak of the day they first met with schoolgirl laughter, chatting in huddled closeness to protect their circle from invasion of unwanted guests.
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Rodd Clark currently resides in Dallas TX. He shares his life with numerous cats, dogs and his partner of many years. He has projects under his belt and is working on many others. Some of his works are “There Is Always Another Boogey Man”, “Jesse”, “Justice Denied”, “Short Ride to Hell” and the recently completed “A Cache of Killers”. Already penning his next work, Rodd likes to keep busy with writing and reading and of course his menagerie of critters.
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