Friday Flash – “Riding with the Kings”

He stood at the crossroads, surrounded by the land he’d been born in. The suit he wore was cheap and threadbare, but it was comfortable, even in the moist heat. He leaned against the guitar case and held his thumb out. In the distance he could see something kicking up a plume of dust. With any luck it would be his ride.

The long, low Cadillac pulled to a stop, the the white paint job and chrome making it hard to look at in the delta sun. Its cloth top was down, revealing the two people sitting on its red leather upholstery. The driver had jet black hair and swarthy skin. He was handsome in a workmanlike way. He wore blue jeans and a linen shirt. His prominent nose gave him quite the dramatic profile. The passenger was a white boy with blond hair, styled in a pompadour. His full mouthed pout made him look a little sad, but his eyes smiled brightly. He had on a bright red Hawaiian shirt, and there were several gold chains around his neck each ending in a different symbol.

The white boy stepped out and held the door open. “We’ve been waitin’ for you. Hop on in and we’ll take you where you’re goin’.” The boy took the battered guitar case and placed it with reverence in the back of the Caddy.

The driver looked up from his place at the wheel. “Don’t just stand there. We’ve got a gig to get to.” He held out a thickly callused hand. “Pleasure to finally see you in person.”

The hitchhiker shook the driver’s hand as he slid into place. “Pleasure to meet you to. I wasn’t sure who’d be picking me up. I made this deal…”

The kid jumped into the back and whooped. “Deals like that aren’t worth the vellum they’re written on.”

The driver put the car in gear and the three men started singing along to the old gospel song playing on the radio.

We shall sing on that beautiful shore
The melodious songs of the blessed;
And our spirits shall sorrow no more,
Not a sigh for the blessing of rest.

They drove into the setting sun, the sound of the moaning wind playing a counterpoint to their chorus.

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