Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Hand-to-Hand Transaction

Hand-to-Hand Transaction

The girls shake in their seats. Not their whole, thin bodies, but just a finger or two, the side of the neck, an eyelid. They scratch the tops of their summer brown thighs, pick at sores along their collarbones.

Bright lights along the side of Route 122. Pointing in opposite directions. Two vehicles parked police cruiser style. Two heads, the drivers, leaning just inches from the windows. They are masked in the darkness created by the bright headlamps. They are talking. One is smoking a cigarette, the other is not.

Both have passengers. The shaking girls. These two, thin and ravenous, waiting for their men to finish business.

An arm reaches across the span from window to window then withdraws. The other arm does the same. The trade has been made. What could have taken five minutes, instead takes nearly two hours while the drivers laugh and talk and the girls relax into the passengers seats and are still now.

All of this has taken place in the parking lot of the community post office at the intersection of Route 122 and Route 45.

We watched this from our bedroom window with the lights out. Bedtime and the sounds from the living room like the sounds from outside.

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Sheldon Lee Compton

Bio: Sheldon Lee Compton survives in Kentucky. His work has appeared a number of journals including Keyhole, Staccato Fiction and Pank. He writes and interviews and such at www.bentcountry.blogspot.com.

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