The old road is nothing more than a widened deer path leading deeper into the woods. No gravel, no civilization. The rusted Chevy’s bed is open and the pickup in front of us makes breathing a struggle. Airborne dirt stings my eyes and throat and shrouds the truck behind us.
“Keep yer mouth open,” the guy says and spits dirt into the wind.
When I was a kid, I’d ride in the back of Dad’s pickup looking for aluminum cans in ditches. It was good money for a kid and my folks knew every gravel road in the county. That’s probably how I got here.
No…not here in the back of this pickup. I never had a split lip or my wrists bound in binder twine in the back of Dad’s pickup. Six guys jumped me outside my hotel, if you could call it that. I’m guessing they’re related to one of the local attractions I’ve enjoyed.
I get my feet under me and move towards the tailgate. The guy moves between me and the tailgate as I expect. I drop-kick him into the brown cloud as he does not expect.
“One down,” I think and spit dirt into the wind.