The stranger sat across from me and set
down a bottle of beer. "You've been in the desert far too long."
I looked up. "Why do you say
He appraised me. "Rusty skin. You have the desert embedded in you."
"You got a problem with that?"
"Ah. Even your language has
changed. You are indeed a chameleon, Dr. Jacoby." He grinned.
"Most people who come to Sedona are seekers. But you--You're
hiding. Why here?"
I shrugged. "In a town full of
kooks, it's easy to blend in." I took a sip from my beer bottle.
"I'm just another weirdo."
"Selling rocks. That's a far cry
from plastic surgery."
"You believe in that shit?"
"No. But I don't pretend to
either. Tell the customers they're wasting their time. They buy them
anyway. Had a lady drop a hundred dollars on one this afternoon."
The smell of mesquite came through the open window. I gestured
towards the mountains. "That I believe in."
"So you're Thoreau, Westernized."
I laughed. "With about a third of
the vocabulary and less inclination to walk."
"But you did walk. You walked out
on your wife. Your kids. Your million dollar business. You had it
"One day, I looked out of my
window and realized that an eye lift isn't going to improve anyone's
confidence. My business was false hopes and sandcastle dreams."
"So you are searching. Your wife
is worried sick, you know."
"Not my problem."
"She paid me good money to find
I took a roll of cash from my front
pocket. "Tell her I died." And perhaps part of me had.
"You got a crystal you can
recommend for my wife? She's into that stuff."
"Don't waste your money."
The stranger laughed and stood. "So
you find yourself?"
"Thought I did," I said. "But
it was just a mirage."
"We're all mirages," the
stranger said, taking my money and his bottle of beer. "Rest in
"I intend to," I replied.
Kelly Garriott Waite on Google+
Labels: flash fiction, Trifecta Writing Challenge