Tom Locke: Surviving Today XVIII
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- A Chariot to salvation or slaughter
Tom was always weary of mountain towns. It was just a strange thing. There were always strange flags flying and side road stands selling some concoction. This town seemed no different. Even in the dark he could see the rebel flags dancing in the wind and a large plywood sign in someone’s yard that read QUILTS. The houses were still popping up infrequently as they pressed further into town.
The night and forest took over again for about 2 miles. Tom sat uncomfortably close to two people he barely knew in the pickup. His adrenal glands seemed to be coming to the end of what was a marathon of terror. The shakes were beginning to leave him and in their place hunger and pain began to seep in. There was no facet of this reality that was pleasurable for him. He could talk but was just too tired.
Deciduous trees and patches of pines rushed by the truck on either side as they drove down the mountain. Beyond the tree trunks were barely visible patches of brush and beyond that was the darkness of the forest at night. Beyond that the wolves were searching the forest. Wolves with a very particular prey were just beyond this break in the mountain woods. The question was would Tom and Najair escape their crushing jaws and warn America of the onslaught that was coming.
Their driver had yet to give them their name and neither man was in a position to pry. They were just lucky to be moving away from their televised demise at such a hurried pace.
Light ahead broke the forest open again and a small town came into view. It was headed off by a small home with three wooden crosses hammered in to the yard. ‘weird mountain town stuff,’ Tom thought to himself. He understood faith but not really why it had to be hammered into someone’s front yard.
There was a great church at the end of the road and beyond that was the brilliant colored sign of a gas station. Tom looked over at the gas gauge on her dash and saw that it was full. This was especially alarming as they passed the church and turned right into the gas station.
“Looks like you are full. Don’t you have a police station around here? This is kind of a pressing matter,” Tom spoke as he looked over at their driver.
“Hey, Tom, how about you let me deal with this, in my town, in the middle of the night, the way I think it should be dealt with.”
He trusted her for some reason.
She popped the door and hopped her little frame down and out of the truck. Before she got to the gas station entrance a man came out. He was wearing a skull cap and with a buttoned down maroon shirt. He wore black slacks and hugged her when they reached one another. The long untrimmed beard and shaved upper lip assured Tom that this man was a Muslim. That was a little nerve racking after what had just transpired. He didn’t start to panic though. Until she pointed at the truck and he began to walk their way.