Hot Dead Run

Sweat runs in rivulets and flits back in the oncoming breeze. Worn Reeboks pound out a desperate rhythm across gravel and cracked pavement. A pitiless Arizona sun watches the dead sprint with a burning eye.

With a hoarse swear, Mark skids around the corner onto Orange Road, almost losing his balance. He squints, sucks dry air that doesn’t seem to help his aching lungs, and redoubles his efforts all the same. Robbie had a head start; that was not good.

The trailer park appears on the right, the first sign of drawing close to his destination. Two towering cacti, flanking a petulant jumping cactus, wave in stoic greeting from the familiar gravel yard. Half blind with fatigue and the rest of the way blind pretty much from the glare, Mark tumbles through the oversized front door.

“Put…” That’s all he manages.

Robbie looks up with what should be a guilty look. Instead he looks mildly surprised and somewhat smug.

With a gasp, Mark manages, “Put down…the morphine…you dick.”

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