Here's the thing about Texas—now, don't get me wrong, Texas is great. Greatest state in the Union, don't mess with Texas, blah blah blah. Whatever. The thing about Texas is that it's real pretty like for a good six months out the year. I like to come down 'round November, right after it gets from coolish to colder 'n a witch's titty up further north, cuz Texas stays coolish all winter long. Too much cold, it's bad for the skin, and the bones, and the everything.
Summer in Texas, though? Hell no. I ain't stayin' there for all the tea in China. It's hot, it's humid, ain't nobody ever willin' to stop and give a girl a lift once people lock themselves inside against the weather. And the storms. Hooooo-whee, you hear all about them crazy ass storms up Tornado Alley and down Louisiana, but there ain't nothin' like a Texas thunderstorm to scare ya straight silly.
Some guys try to tough it out, head to the beach or to the panhandle, fleece some tourists and camp out in rest stops with free water and clean-ish swimming pools. Ya ask me those guys are damn fools. 's why I'm hoofin' it on outta here, hitchin' a ride up and out. Gonna get myself to Utah or Washington, maybe go all the way on up to Canada if I get to feelin' all motivated.
If I can get there, that is. I made an error, a fuckin' greenhorn mistake if I ever saw, got myself in a little spot of trouble and now I'm stuck in West Bumblefuck waiting for a trucker or a pretty boy with fancy toys to help me out of my pre-dick-a-mint.
I ain't seen no one for hours. That's the other thing about Texas—you get far enough out West and you ain't gonna see another living soul for a while. Someone always comes along eventually, and they always gonna fall for a skinny girl with big brown eyes and a story about a big bad boyfriend who dumped her ass at a motel offa Highway 29, so there ain't no rush.
It's a pretty day, all bright sunshine and blue skies and just enough of a breeze, and there's been enough rain that there's still bluebonnets this late in the season. I got nowhere to go and no one to see and I'm napping. Or trying to, at least.
Just as I start gettin' comfy a truck comes roarin' past, kickin' up dust and dirt and nasty and followed close by a broke-ass hauler that's seen better days. I'm busy choking, coughin' and spittin' to get the dust to clear, and I don't notice the Mercedes until it's right up beside me.
It's a convertible, top down, Jim Morrison blaring through the speakers singin' about strange strangers, and a little girl's behind the wheel. I stand up as she gets out, a midget with big hair and purple sunglasses and a blue striped dress and a hot pink cell phone in hand. "Hey, uh, are you okay?" she asks. "Do you need me to, like, call someone or something? I'm pretty sure I've still got service out here and I think there's a gas station, like, ten miles away or something like that if you need a ride or whatever."
I blink at her. This is unexpected. She gestures at the car, keeps talking, "It's totally not a big deal or anything, I need to get gas soonish anyway, but I'm kind of on a time crunch and I've gotta be in Vegas by, like, midnight tomorrow or else my boss is gonna kill me. So you coming or what?"
"Oh, yeah, sure. Let me just get my stuff. Thanks so much, I really appreciate the offer." I smile at her, easy and unassuming.
"For sure! Like I said, it's totally not a big deal at all. Do you need any help or anything?"
"Help would be great," I say, and she moves toward me, arm extended. I hand her my small backpack. She turns, stumbles a bit on loose gravel, and it ain't hardly nothin' to reach out, pull her back, slide my knife across her throat as smooth as butter.
She's dead and gone by the time I get all her stuff—keep the cell phone, keep my own pack. No saving the dress, which is a shame, but I grab the keys out of her hand and snag her sunglasses too. There's some blood on them, but it ain't nothin' I ain't dealt with before; there's a rag in my pocket for just this sort of thing.
There's a purse in the front seat, a wallet and a passport and a wad of cash tucked into one of the pockets. Slip the sunglasses on and the car purrs when I start it up. Morrison starts up again and I gun it.
Goin' to Vegas, baby.