“Crossing” was published by Deepwood Publishing in the Ruined Cities anthology on Thanksgiving Day, 11/27/13.
Who’d have thought there’d be so many wrecked cars on the Oklahoma River Bridge? Rusted out hulks, left over from the riots when people didn’t know which way to run. Mary makes the sign of the cross; the way old time Catholics did when things might go terribly wrong.
“In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost.” She synchronizes the words with the motion of her hand—exactly like Raj showed her before he went away.
It feels good to be in control of something, even if the something is a ritual from the olden times. There’ll be so many things Mary can’t control when she starts across the bridge. Every wreck is a hiding place for something deadly: a wild dog, a coyote, a man left over from the olden times.
A bad man; is there any other kind, now that Raj is gone? Mary crosses herself one more time, sucking up to God just in case he’s real. She whispers a silent prayer that there are men like Raj on the other side of the bridge. Exactly like him, only less dad-like. Men the right age for Mary. Good looking men who aren’t solitary killers or members of misogynist boy-gangs who give a whole new meaning to the idea of one night stands.