“Long Haul” by Brad Rose

Arlene’s bracelets are shiny, and when she slips in close to me, they jangle like loose coins in a metal lunchbox. I told her about the hour I spent in town, just before I met her at The Gas Light. Told her, this time, it was just a small fire. There weren’t any witnesses. Sooner or later Marcus, they’re going to catch up with you, and when they do, don’t smile in your mugshot. The music got louder, and the room was hot as an August Brownsville noon. She pulled me onto the dancefloor like she always does, like she’s running away from something chasing her, something only she can see. I think that’s why she’s stayed with me so long. That and her husband’s unsolved murder. What we did on the dancefloor wasn’t dancing exactly, but the lights were low and nobody cares about a balding long-haul driver and his middle-aged girlfriend. Not on a Tuesday night. Not in Lubbock. Sure as hell, not the cops.

Brad Rose was born and raised in Los Angeles and lives in Boston. He is the author of a collection of poetry and flash fiction, Pink X-Ray (Big Table Publishing, 2015, http://pinkx-ray.com and Amazon.com.) Brad has three forthcoming books of poems, Momentary Turbulence and WordinEdgeWise, from Cervena Barva Press, and de/tonations from Nixes Mate Press. He is also the author of five chapbooks of poetry and flash fiction. Four times nominated for a Pushcart Prize, and once nominated for Best of the Net Anthology, his poetry and micro fiction have appeared in The Los Angeles Times, The American Journal of Poetry, Sequestrum, Hunger Mountain, Folio, decomP, Lunch Ticket, The Baltimore Review, and other publications. His story, “Desert Motel,” appears in the anthology Best Microfiction, 2019. Brad’s website is: www.bradrosepoetry.com.