Sunday in the Truck with George By Jillian Rochelle Etheridge

October 29, 2015 Comments Off on Sunday in the Truck with George By Jillian Rochelle Etheridge

I had just fired up the chainsaw when something startled me. I turned, and everything became covered in red. I didn’t even notice Marla. I guess I sort of saw her when she fell down, but really, I didn’t notice her until I looked down to find the source of all the blood, and there she was, her mouth wide open, but I couldn’t hear her over the chainsaw in my hands, so I turned it off.

“Marla?” She didn’t say anything. I took off my gloves. The blood had stopped spewing but was still gurgling up through the slit in her neck. “I’m going to get you to the hospital,” I yelled down at her, emphasizing my words as if she had suddenly gone deaf. I ran the thirty yards to the house and pulled the truck around to where Marla had fallen.

“Don’t worry, honey. It’s going to be okay,” I said, reassuring her. “I’ll get you to the hospital.” I tried to pull her up, but she wasn’t much help, so I had to scoop her up into my arms. She was a lot heavier than she used to be. She had gotten quite a bit bigger, but I guess I’d gotten a little bit weaker than I used to be.

I slid her into the passenger’s seat and buckled her up.

“You’re going to be okay,” I told her as I pulled onto the road.

I patted her knee at a red light, but she didn’t pat mine back and hold it like she used to, and so I looked over at her. I knew she was dead. I hit the gas pedal, and the next thing I knew, there was a cop after me. I looked at Marla and looked in the rearview mirror. I was not ready to explain the situation, so I kept driving. I pushed on the emergency blinkers. The cop car pulled ahead, sirens wailing into the springtime sun. I held onto Marla’s knee the whole time, just in case she changed her mind.

I tried to stare straight ahead because blood was still coming out of her neck in little gasps, and I needed to figure out what to do once we got to the hospital.

“How am I supposed to explain this?” I asked Marla, but she was still pretty dead, and I’m grateful that she didn’t answer considering the state she was in, but I sure wished she could have. Blood was all over the truck, and on me, and layered thick on her Sunday dress, the one she bought last year for Easter. We’d fucked like rabbits that day, and the next morning she’d had to wear a scarf because of the hickey I had left on her neck. We were too old to be marking each other, and too young to be dead.

I realized I didn’t have my seat belt on. Marla did. Marla always wore a seatbelt.

© 2015 Jillian Rochelle Etheridge

Jillian Rochelle Etheridge received her BFA in performing arts from the University of Southern Mississippi. She is currently in the Creative Writing Program at the University of Southern Mississippi, where she is the PR representative for their in-house online journal Product.

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