Drove between the trees until they narrowed between my headlights. Shifted into park, left the headlight knob pulled all way out. Opened the door, interior domelight, the tan leather seats, the soft bingbingbingbing, the trees in front and all around not swaying.
Realized why Chrysler called this car the New Yorker.
Popped the trunk and parted the fence of trees, turned sideways, scooched, even as thin as I was. Set the suitcases down and slid through the fence before them. Dragged each suitcase through, one by one by one by one by one by one by one by one. Pushed the shovel through the ferns, one headlight throwing shadows at me, the other parting the fence line where I passed through, dulling the edges.
Scraped until the ferns were gone.
Plunged the shovel blade down and down, suitcases standing vigil. Dulled shadows, dimmed light. Sweat and dirt and faded bingbingbingbing into nothing, into all quiet and dark and the hole big enough to hold the suitcases, plus the gasoline, plus the battery, plus all of New York.
The shovel, the heap of drying dirt and dying fern. The ache of my shoulders, the burning numb of my arms and hands, the heavy weight of my back. Big throb in the soles of my feet, heart pushing all my blood with all its might down there, to hold all of it, just enough room.
But not me with it.
Stopped. Piled the suitcases on top of one another. Blanketed them with heap. Patted it all solid, the chemical pleasure of reversing every muscle, the new ache upon ache, burn upon burn, weight upon weight. Lay down on top. New throb upon old.
Trevor Dodge’s most recent work appears or is forthcoming in Little Fiction, Green Mountains Review, Hobart, Monkeybicycle, Gargoyle, Metazen and Juked. His latest book is The Laws of Average, a collection of 60 flash fictions recently published by Chiasmus Press. He is managing editor of Clackamas Literary Review, lives in Portland, Oregon, and can be found online at www.trevordodge.com.