The Paper Boy
by pamela ewell
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They had just passed through Reno on the long 1500 mile journey home. It had been over three years since either one of them had seen their families, so they were both a bit anxious and excited at the same time. They passed a sign that said" Next town 127 miles" She asked if maybe they should turn back to Reno and spend the night. With a grumbling "Nope" in a tone she knew to well, meaning she was stupid, he drove on. She, of course, overlooked the snide after all he was tired. He had driven all day and been drunk all night the night before.
The full bright orange moon looked bigger that she had ever seen in her 22 years of life and it's light illuminated the desert. Wide open land with nothing but shadows of cactus and hills far away in the horizon. The thought crossed her mind then that the moon was so orange that it almost looked red, which brought a long forgotten scripture to her memory about the moon turning red. She shook the eerie feeling off and turned up the radio.
After what seemed forever she asked how far they had gone. In his dry monotone, "about 50 miles are so, just go to sleep and shut up" That's when it happened the car began to sputter and jerk, he shifted gears, nothing happened, it just got slower and slower. He pulled off the road cursing loudly and jerking the gears in all directions trying to get some response from the machine. Nothing. The radio stopped,the lights blinked once and then they too were gone. Silence, in the distance the howls of the coyotoes echoed off the surrounding hills.
She looked out the window and could see the moon light hitting the tumble weed being blown by the wind. The moon looked even redder now. She started to cry, "This is like every horror flick I've ever seen. Alone in this place, we are going to die!" "SHUT UP!" he said as he beat the dashbord."The stupid transmission is out!So just shut up." It was if he thought it was her fault.
She cried in silence looking at the red moon and for the first time in years she began to pray.
She knew God since a child but had forsaken Him for this man that sat beside her, so now she prayed, for deliverance from this situation, for the man beside her and mostly for forgiveness for not praying sooner.
As he sat smoking and cursing under his breath, she watched the moon, prayed, and listened to the sounds of the night and the coyottes getting closer and closing in around her.
Lights, in the distance, coming down the road, oh no, what crazy person, other than them, would be traveling down this road at 3:00 in the morning. Her worst fears were happening.
He seen the lights too. "Ok Im getting out and flagging down this car." He grabbed an empty beer bottle out of the back seat as he opened the door. She started screaming," No please don't leave me here. Please, please don't go. What if something happens, what will I do?" " Oh, shut up, if they try anything I'll hit them with the bottle and come running back. Just lock the doors." he said in a tone that made her know he was afraid too.He slammed the door hard and took off walking to the road. She crumbled in tears praying frantically, this time out loud to a God she knew she didn't deserve an answer from.
The lights on the road stopped."Oh please God Please don't let them kill us. I'm so sorry I forgot you, please give me another chance." The sins of the last three years were running through her mind as she looked up at the hugh dark orange moon.
It seemed like hours, but must of been only minutes, when a hard knock came on the window. She jumped, she hadn't seen anyone walk to the car. By now she was shaking all over and was frozen in fear. "OH for pete's sake, open the damn door. It's me, it's ok. I got us a ride to the next town." he said.
She opened the door with relief, "Who is it, who would be out at this time of night?'
" Its a 16 year old paper boy making bundle drops from town to town and he's going to give a ride so quit crying, shut up, and come on before he changes his mind"
As she grabbed her purse and got out of the car she looked up at the bright orange moon and said, " Thank you Jesus, for this kind paper boy, and for not giving up on me yet."
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I could feel her terror - and her desire for God. Thank you for sharing this.