"Blowout" by Cheryl Anne Gardner

Categories: ISSUE 01: Babe

I was in way over my head. That's what I was thinking in the tense whiskey-fueled moments before I bled out and died. I wasn't thinking "Don't pull over," and I wasn't thinking about fine particulates or my asthma inhaler or the mummified remains of my boyfriend, which I had only just dug up from my backyard and placed in the trunk of my car. Probably a bad decision, since it's been so scorching hell-fire hot the past couple of days, but that's the thing, I hadn't thought about anything in weeks--years really--except that jughead in the trunk. I'd lost track of the time somewhere around Albuquerque in the 80s. I should have eased off the accelerator, should have known that the heat from the asphalt and the hail of rifle fire would blow out the tires. You'd be surprised how fast the details of your predicament emerge at one-hundred-sixty miles per hour in a shower of shattered glass. I WAS IN OVER MY HEAD. I knew this as I jerked the wheel and watched plastic Jesus fly off the dashboard with the wind in his hair and the stench of dry earth in my teeth.

--Story by Cheryl Anne Gardner

--Background photo by Jayme Joyce