Friday, July 15, 2011

Fiction Friday: Seeing America, Part 2

Click here to read Seeing America, Part 1

Fortunately, we didn't have to experience going west because an RV came rattling down the road toward us. Dad stepped into the road and started waving his arms to signal we needed help. As if the station wagon fireball wasn't enough to give them a clue of what happened.

"Hey!" Dad yelled. "Over here!"

The RV rumbled to a stop and a white-haired, red-faced man wearing a red baseball cap stuck his head out the driver-side window.

"Boy, you must have been mad at your car!" he laughed. I laughed too, finally, until Mom shot me one of her death stares.

"Yes, we've had some trouble. Could you give us a ride to the nearest town?"

"Sure," he nodded, "hop on in!"

My mother started shaking her head, muttering, "No, Bill, no..."

My dad just picked up the suitcases, tucking the smaller one under his arm and said, "I'm not staying out here with you two anymore."

We walked around to the passenger side of the RV, dragging our things, when the side door flew open. A black man wearing some sort of ethnic garb smiled at us, the corner of his lips clamped around a short cigarette.

"Welcome aboard, folks!"

My dad stopped in his tracks. Oh God, I thought, my dad and his stupid fear of black people are going to leave us stranded in the desert with a fireball that used to be our car.

I couldn't see my dad's face, but I knew he was staring at the man's skin, weighing his options. Get on the blackmobile or wait for another car to come by. And how to tell these people that we'd pass on their generous offer.

My mother, for once, saved the day. "Well hello there!" she called brightly. "What an interesting dress you're wearing!"

"It's a dashiki," he drawled, pulling the cigarette from his mouth. "Belonged to my dad."

"Your dad wears dresses?" I asked, genuinely curious.

"Lizzie!" my dad hissed at me. But the man just laughed, his white teeth gleaming in the sun."

"Not exactly. But enough about that - let's get you folks on the road."

(to be continued...)

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