The interstate seems to be one long, straight line. Out in the blackness are about two dozen red lights, scattered across the horizon. They all go black for a few seconds, then turn back on. Missy’s mesmerized by the sight. Red lights. Black night. Red lights. Black night.
“Some kind of intergalactic communication going on?”
“Uhhhhh, not exactly.”
“What are those lights?”
“Lights on windmills. So no planes fly into them.”
Missy watches the lights blink on and off. There’s no moon and they’re between rest stops with no other traffic on the road. Missy glances up at the sky.
“Stop! Stop the car!”
“What in hell’s name—”
Matt steers the car over to the side of the road. Missy jumps out of the car and stares up at the sky. Back at the house, she’s usually in for the night by sunset. Tears stream down her face. No longer the odd things they once seemed to be, the tears actually feel wonderful.
“Damn, girl. I thought you were in pain or something.”
“Or something is right.”
The wind nearly knocks her over—but it leaves the sky completely clear of any dust. The stars sparkle in the firmament.
I can almost see home. I want to go home.
Matt looks at his watch. Again. “Missy, we’ve been here almost an hour. I’m freezin’. You about done starin’?”
A light streaks across the sky before fading to black. Missy looks at over at her husband. Or whatever he is. She’s starting to wonder about him.
“Shootin’ star,” he comments.
“Stars don’t shoot,” she replies.
He sighs. “It’s really space debris—a meteor or somethin’—just falling to Earth and gettin’ burned up in the atmosphere. Not really a star at all.”
“I’m sorry you have to explain everything to me.”
“I’m sorry you had to take me on this trip.”
But it’s not, at least not for him.
A few miles up the highway, they pull into a motel for the night. They set out early the next morning.
With the Rocky Mountains in full view ahead of them, Missy notices the clouds. “Look at all the spaceships!” She quickly covers her mouth.
“Missy, yer really scarin’ me. Where’d you go in that coma of yers? Those aren’t spaceships, they’re clouds—special clouds: lenticular. They form that way because of the high winds from the mountains.”
Missy nods but doesn’t say anything. She studies the clouds carefully, as if looking for something… perhaps a friend or two.
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