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Heading for Los Banos

"If you must go to Los Banos tonight, do not take the highway," said the bartender. "It is possessed by demons."

Scoffing, Harry ordered another tequila. "The only other way to Los Banos is a primitive, desert road. They say itís full of bandits. I donít want my motorcycle robbed, nor do I wanna get my ass shot off."

"Please finish your drink. I am closing early."

"I thought cantinas in this part of Mexico stayed open all night?"

"Not when the moon is full. Please, Senor, for your motherís sake, do not take the highway tonight. Go tomorrow after the sun rises and the demons are sleeping."

Snickering, Harry left a tip, and headed for the highway. What a terrific night for riding. The air was calm, clear, crisp. The only sound was the purring of his new, customized Harley Davidson. He tuned in Mexican party music. The tequila, cruising on his bike, and the music made him joyous. The thought of meeting Teresa in Los Banos increased his exuberance. Soon theyíd ride to the farthest regions of the heavens on a mattress.

Suddenly, lightening flashed across the road. Then an earthquake struck. Boulders rolled across the road. Harry lost control of the bike. His body tumbled down the road, stopping inches from a fissure.

The last things he remembered were the horrible stench, searing flames, and a weird voice saying, "You should have taken the other road, Harry."

Story by:

Michael A. Kechula

m.kechula@att.net

submitted at 1:24am

8 June 2009

Michael's stories have been published by 108 magazines and 30 anthologies.