Incident at the Antiq**s and Eats Truck Stop
by Cassandra and Bik
Copyright Notice: This is Uber so the characters belong to the authors unless we get a better offer.
Disclaimer: This vignette is subtext friendly but not yet overt.
Dedication: We wrote this as an homage to Vivian Darkbloom's White Trash series.
Any comments, feedback, etc. may be sent to firstname.lastname@example.org
"Yes, ma'am, they do look a little like Precious Moments figurines."
The petite, blonde clerk was being patient. She must have answered that question a dozen times a day since she started working at the truck stop. She had been hoping for a little more excitement when she took this job. It did get her out of the house most of the day. And even though the pay wasn't great - just a nickel over minimum wage - at least she had her own spending money.
She sighed quietly to herself while she watched the tourist pick through the figurine rack by the cash register. That was all they got here. Tourists passing through who stopped for gas or a meal and then went on to some vacation spot she would never get to see. Or truckers. At first she liked talking and listening to the truckers. They had been places and seen things and told her stories about them. But after a while she realized that what the truckers mostly saw were warehouses and other truck stops; and most of their stories were made up.
She sighed again and wondered if the woman was really going to buy anything. Not that she was busy. It was mid-afternoon; lunch was over and the dinner rush hadn't started yet.
Her eyes began to wander but hadn't got far when they were stopped cold by a tall, dark figure approaching the counter.
What her eyes saw was a black t-shirt, since the figure was a good eight inches taller than her. As she slowly raised her eyes, she realized this was no trucker. The slim body. The long black hair that fell loosely below her shoulders. And the eyes. They were the color of the sky just before a tornado hits. When her John-Deere-green eyes reached that point in their survey, she felt like she had been picked up by a twister herself and changed forever.
Everything seemed to fade away, the truck stop, the tourist, and she just stared at the figure, their eyes locked on each other tighter than any Yale lock.
They stood like this for only a few seconds, melting into each other like ice cream in root beer. Then the figure walked up to the counter and put down a six-pack of Rolling Rock. Now that she could see her clearly, the clerk realized that she had seen that figure before.
"Hey, I know you. I mean I don't really know you but I've seen you before. You were in that monster truck rally over in Harleyville last month, weren't you?" She realized she was babbling, but couldn't stop herself.
The dark customer nodded and pushed the six-pack a little to get the clerk's attention. First things first.
Ignoring the beer, the clerk continued with the personal touch. "I thought you were great. I started calling you the queen of the monster trucks. You sure kicked butt that day."
This at least got a smile out of the customer. She looked closer at the woman behind the cash register. "You look a little familiar, too. But wasn't your hair more red then?"
When that smile hit her, she felt like she would pass out right there in front of everybody. She reached out to steady herself and grabbed ahold of the beer. Pretending that that was what she meant to do, she began to ring it up.
"Yes, my hair was redder last month. I did it blonde a couple of weeks ago. I can't seem to decide what color I want." She had to void the transaction and start over. 'Come on.' she said to herself, 'you can do this.'
The dark-haired customer squinted her eyes and looked at her hair. "I think I like it better this way."
She had finally managed to ring up the beer. "You do? It seems to change color in the light sometimes; maybe you should look at it outside." She didn't want this close encounter to end.
"Okay; let's take a look." The tall woman paid the clerk and picked up her six-pack. She turned to leave.
It took a second for the clerk to follow. She was mesmerized by the way the dark woman moved in her tight-fitting jeans that were tucked into cowboy boots. She was vaguely aware of a voice behind her. "I think I'll take this one, miss." She turned and looked at the tourist; she smiled blankly then followed her destiny out the door.
When she got outside, she saw the dark woman leaning against a Mustang convertible. It was desert gold, and had black lettering on the side - ZEENA. The Z was like a lightning bolt underlining the rest of the name. She walked up to the car and started to run her hand across the hood, reverently. Then she walked around the car like a pilgrimage. It was the most religious experience she had ever had. Her journey finally led her to the car's owner.
"You're right, your hair does look different in the light; but I still like it this way." She looked closer at the woman staring at her. "Are you all right?"
She was breathing a little heavily. "I've always wanted to drive a Mustang convertible."
The dark woman was startled. She hadn't expected this reaction. She looked puzzled for a moment, then her face cleared. She had an idea. "I don't let just anybody handle my reins, but you can ride shotgun for a while."
The blonde nodded and moved to the passenger door.
The driver jumped behind the wheel without bothering to open her door. She revved the engine and headed out on the highway.
Her passenger said, "Zeena, that's your name, isn't it?"
She just nodded, concentrating on getting to cruising, or warp, speed.
"My name's Gabrielle, but most people call me Bri; you know, like the cheese." She chuckled a little; it was a joke she always appreciated.
Zeena took her eyes off the road and stared at her blankly for a second. "What kind of a cheese is called Bri; it's not Velveeta, that's for damn sure. And why would anyone name a kid after cheese?"
Bri smiled at her indulgently. "Ride 'em, cowgirl," she shouted as they drove off into the sunset.