But we were so young and our parents were hippies, and our music came from the garage band up the street that played Wild Thing over and over because it was the only song they knew, and it was summertime and the only rule was to come home before dark, but dark was so far away and so sure to change, so we took the nickel jitney across the city, following boys with long eyelashes and moles on their cheeks like little pieces of chocolate, and when our nickels ran out and there was still the slightest amount of sunshine, which there hardly ever was in San Francisco, we asked Suzanne, the girl who had tasted the salted kiss of a boy, to give us a ride, but she didn’t have a car, so she led us out to the highway and taught us to stick out our thumbs and walk backwards until someone stopped to give us a ride, but they never did, so we turned back, marching toward the growing dark, until a dented yellow van stopped and the old man told us to get in, and Suzanne did just that, crawling blindly behind the dark paisley curtain, but you and I noticed the sneer on his face, the gravel in his voice, the danger in his eyes, and we stood there, our small sandaled feet stuck to the hard pavement, and when the van door closed, it slammed with such force we blinked as our wild little friend disappeared down the road, hoping we were right behind her.
Van Thaxton is an emerging writer, and an MFA creative writing student at San Diego State University. Her flash fiction pieces have appeared in the small literary journal, the Acorn Review, and an excerpt of her novel draft won the conference choice award at the SDSU Annual Writers’ Conference in January 2019.
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