• jill macdonald

True Story

Updated: Mar 11

There's a guy who lives in a gravel pit. From the outside his place looks like a shack, but inside, it's finished with whitewashed pine and concrete floors. Last week, he put in a new sink with a copper backsplash and inlays. He found the metal at a yard sale.

He goes by his nickname, most of the time. One day, he encounters Celeste, driving her Jaguar on the gravel road north of the dam. She has no business being there. It's like witnessing an elk roaming the aisles of WalMart; an ethereal being forced to wear gumboots. "Why would someone drive that car through potholes and dust?" He had to pull over and rest his head against the steering wheel. He was shaken. Then he turned around and pursued her.

His flatdeck truck, powered by a diesel engine, caught up easily. Once she caught sight of him in her rearview mirror, Celeste pinned it. The Jag fishtailed lightly, spitting up rocks. He rolled up his windows. They continued like this for 20 kilometres.

Water flashed past; dusty trees wavered in their wake. Animals hid in the fringes, wary. Celeste kept her fingers loose on the steering wheel and her open toed shoe smashed to the floor. The Jag was her sanctuary. Boxes of Hungarian cosmetics sat on the back seat; she was taking a shortcut to a wealthy client. In the rearview mirror, her pursuant came into focus: rough cut hair, sleeveless Tshirt, large turquoise and silver rings on his right hand. Late fourties to early fifties, weathered in a hard-working way, casually intense. With his left hand he signalled her to pull over.

She considered. Women are vain and complex, she was not different. She eased up on the gas and the man stopped right behind her. The first move was hers. This could be interesting.

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