The Red Mustang

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It was cold and colorless the night Mary died. She wore her black jeans with her favorite brown boots, and her heart beat rapidly and lightly as her night was spent. He came for her in his dad’s ‘67 Mustang and the hot air clung to them as they drove with the top down towards the movie theater in the low and very orange sun. His thick and lean arm reached over to her hand, and her body covered itself in tiny bumps. She smiled at him and her cheeks pushed her eyes up. They were young and invincible and the day was eternal.

The line at the theatre was long and their conversation came short, but it was flushed with excitement and anticipation. The night flurried with smirks and evading glances and what she would have remembered most would have been the smell of popcorn mixed with his cheap cologne. She felt in love and she thought her life would begin here with him, and the rest of the world dissolved into her memories.

The parking light threw its orange light down and around the top of the Mustang, encircling them, as he and Mary lay in the backseat. His hand went too far and underneath too much, and she stopped him. His blood surged further throughout his body and he pushed his hand and himself beyond her weak resistance. Her light heart pounded heavily as he had her and she grabbed the old door handle and slid out and fell onto the orange pavement and ran outside into the dark, past the warm circle of light. He stumbled to her, the boy back in control, pleading. She found the driver’s seat and when he reached the edge of the car again, all that was left with him was the slowly rising smoke from the newly made tire marks. The cocoon filled with sun and warm love burst, and she was left alone.

On the road, the great red car sped smoothly and each cylinder fired precisely when they should have and the speedometer ached for more. Inside, Mary trudged forward slowly in the thick darkness of the night. The flashing lines of the road blended with the light distorting through her tears until they became one ball of fire flipping over the hill and into the tall grass. The beautiful car melted into the dirt with each roll and hit and with it, it wrapped Mary with its cold hard steel.

As she had been emerging as a fresh and taut life into her brave new world, free of the limiting youth she knew, her ceaseless vitality came to its end. And in the stiff grass surrounding the red wreckage, her phone lay vibrating.