Lost Souls

Last Light

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Last Light

by Alex Kowalczyk

When the driver first sighted the object, it was an angular glint of sun marooned in the desert, miles to go down the highway. Arriving there and setting out on foot, it was still formidably distant from the road, not quite definite behind wave after wave of heat currants. There was a monolithic
quality to it ...

... turned out it was an abandoned refrigerator of all things, of all places.

Dust storms had scoured the earth behind, so that it canted backward at a steep angle. Curiously, the door was not removed as a safety precaution; instead, a lengthy bolt was driven through, front to back, securing the whole from opening. The bolt extended and continued into the earth behind. No doubt, the nut fastening the bolt was seized and the sun was in decline; not a safe place to be at night. Best to turn around and be on his way. It was then he heard a shifting sound, as of contents settling within the refrigerator.

After retrieving a wrench from the car's trunk, he was quite startled to find the nut offered slight resistance. Only moments earlier he had finger-tested the torque applied to the nut, believing it a fool's errand to think he could free the nut and thus open the refrigerator. Still there was that foreboding/intriguing sound to consider.

As the sun rapidly lowered, the nut spun faster, so slick that he no longer required the wrench, his fingertips more than adequate. A lone thunderhead materialized on the darkening horizon, swelling in intensity, until the last rays of the setting sun were entirely blotted out. Uprighting the tilted refrigerator, he extracted the bolt from the rear side, like drawing a sword
from an impaled heart. The door began to inch open of its own accord ...

Copyright Alex Kowalczyk 2006

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