*This piece is part of an ongoing short story*
I’m counting on you reading parts one through eight HERE!
Coffee rumbles in her otherwise empty tummy and Gladys takes her hand off the wheel to try and settle it. The building’s roof is slightly lopsided and the hand painted sign is in need of a fresh lick. As she takes a long drag and blows it out the open window, she tries to remind herself that these damn e-cigs are supposedly saving her life and that her life is apparently more important than her sanity.
A rusty groan fills the weighted air as the door to Billy’s Bait Bunker opens and a trail of dust shrouds a surly looking trucker carrying a couple of rods and a brown paper bag out to his grimy long haul.
It’s the perfect spot for the little shack, now a much-anticipated destination by truckers from all over the country. Billy’s Bait Bunker carries everything drivers need to catch and cook themselves a fish supper while camping out at the local riverside. It’s considered a relaxing break in the middle of a week long run and a welcome change from the watered down coffee and greasy omelettes they’re used to. Being located off a back road known mainly to those rolling through the dark of night, he’s always able to have a little something extra hiding behind the counter for his longtime loyal patrons.
No sooner has the dust settled than the driver pulls out, kicking up another mini cyclone in his wake. Gladys waits out the storm before heading inside.
The cluster of tin cans hanging over the door doesn’t even faze her. She keeps her eyes steady on the graying, warped floorboards until she hears his sigh coming out of the back room. It is however, when he leans his elbows on the countertop and drizzles his sandy voice over her that she feels weak at the knees.
“What’ll it be, Gladys? My money or my life?”