It was golden she said-- ready to go. Pressing 1982 adidas blue and white striped tennies down hard onto the dirty pedal of the Cadillac, she sends the vehicle rocketing off onto cold midnight concrete.
The sky is warm. A faint smell of eucalyptus stings the air like the shrill voice of a soprano on opening night at the Met. And now she's so far from the Met, so far from anything that vaguely resembles New York City.
The hull of the Cadillac begins to creak and whine. Outside its thick scratched windows, the world blurs into an orange desert smear of Joshua Trees and soil.
Smoke tendrils flip and flop from thick red lips. She bats her eyes, the fourteenth eyelash of her left eye sheds two microscopic black dust balls of mascara. She pulls another drag off the cigarette, her lips leave lipstick stains on the filter. Evidence. She cracks the window a little more, the air momentarily swirls the smoke throughout the car and she takes a deep breath, filling her lungs with a fine coat of dust and gravel.
"It's almost as if the entire world fell asleep one night and never woke up" she grumbles to the empty passenger seat on her right. She hasn't seen anyone in days. How long has it been? She thinks back to the last time she had any sort of interaction with a living human being. Last Thursday, At the gas station? There must've been somebody working in the convenience store while she pumped another fresh 14 gallons into the hungry Caddy. Some pimple faced seventeen year old bumblefuck slurpy vendor crunching into a sodium heavy meat stick as she pumped gas in another town with a name ending in 'Ville.'
How long HAS it been?
She hadn't actually seen anyone in the convenience store.
A fly buzzes into the car, the kind of fly so thick and black you wouldn't want to kill it on a wall for fear of leaving a large fly stain. The girl, the woman, barely notices. She bites her lip. The fly buzzes around and around, drunk on the smell of nicotine and cheap pine tree shaped air fresheners. It lands on the woman's dark red bangs that partially obscure her right eye and she brushes the insect away. The fly flips into the backseat and sticks to the leather upholstery. It crawls into the gap between the seats and nestles itself deep into the body of the car. From inside the trunk, the insect claws its way across grey velvet lining dotted with oil stains. In the darkness of the small tight trunk, the fly buzzes over a rough red corrugated surface, around a cold metal clasp, under a plastic handle.
The car rocks back and forth, a boat wavering between faded yellow wiry asphalt.
The fly sits atop the small red suitcase nestled sweetly in the trunk of the car and rubs it's tiny feet together. With a hairy pair of lips, the fly quietly licks the top of the suitcase. Inside this red ballistic nylon shell, locked tightly in the trunk of a Cadillac going 115 miles per hour somewhere in the desert between New York and Los Angeles is six hundred thousand dollars in cash.
Celeste lights another cigarette and pushes the dirty pedal of the Cadillac a little further into the floor...