Buckyboy's Sandbox

Cactus. Cactus. Yet another cactus. Oh, two cacti, at the same time! That was a pretty nice change of pace.

The sun-scorched Toyota sped aimlessly through the suffocatingly dark desert night. The road had long since vanished what little sight was available in the glare of the headlights, replaced instead with the crusty remains of seabeds having long since departed. Barely any of it was visible though, with only the occasionally jagged rock to break up the monotony of the journey.

Rachel checked the speedometer, fuel gauge and mileage meter. There had still been no change since the last time she checked. No matter. Keep marching on (well, driving on in this case), till a solution presents itself. No point crying over spilled milk and all that jazz. Her gaze had been fixed on the area of her vision just above the penetration of the high beams of her car. It was no very clear to her that she was making a monumental effort not to let her gaze drift to the rearview mirror. When was the last time she had done that again?

On cue, the her brain failed her, as if the mere effort of dredging up the meagre memory slowed her metabolism to speeds comparable to honey crystallizing. She should have known better at this point. It happened every time her mind wandered to things it shouldn't, like why she was out here, how long she had been out here and how the fuck to make this dream stop. She knew she couldn't be dreaming, because knowing you might be dreaming is one of the few things that simply does not occur until it was too late.

Just gotta keep driving. Always moving forward, never look back. That's the way to do it. A solution will present itself shortly.

Rachel rested her head against the fluff protruding from the head protector, vowing never to have that little detail fixed, no matter the cost. Words could not describe the adoration in her heart for this car and its various heartwarming flaws. The patches that resembled an anglerfish licking its own arse, the plastic that had been torn off the steering wheel by the previous owner, and finally, her groove. Her unique signature carved after years of intense sitting that proved beyond a shadow of a doubt that this car was hers, and her alone. It had been her escape after so many fights and skirmishes and knew that no human could possibly compare to its company. It's only real flaw was the broken radio antennae.

So content was she, that Rachel gradually neglected her foot off the worn accelerator pedal, until the sounds behind her. It was every sound a human being could possibly fear. Crunch, crack, hiss, slobber, snarl, scream, screech, growl, boom, whimper, rattle, roar; all rolled into one cacophonous monstrosity. Rachel woke from her all-too-temporary daydream, and slammed her foot with all her might into the accelerator. The rearview mirror hung enticingly above the dashboard, daring her for a peak. The memories of what followed her was already fading out of her mind, like water through a broken sieve. Rachel tried to calm her nerves by massaging her hands against the furry protective covering of the defective steering wheel.

Keep going forward. Keep going forward. Never look back.

257 cacti later, no change in any instruments. Not even the digital clock has changed, constantly blinking 23:12. Relaxed Rachel was starting to take a backseat for Indomitable-Bitch Rachel. She heaved a sigh that was all too familiar to anyone trapped in front of a screen for hours with no end in sight. The distant lights of isolated homes in the distance had remained unchanged since….at least a couple of thousand of cacti, give or take a few hundred. She angrily flicked the dashboard glass, but change seemed too good to be true. Desperate for some reprieve, she switched off Lou Reed's Transformers album that had been playing for the last few dozen cacti, and switched to the radio. Some static