“Rise and shine, honey.” Urs says, eye locked on the road. One hand on the wheel, the other gently patting the leather jacket Red uses as blanket. He yawns and lets in some fresh air. She stretches in the passenger seat, and throws a brief look behind them. On the back seat, Cornelius is sprawled out, softly breathing in the rhythm of a sleepwalking horse.
They are nearly over the mountains by now, the rain has stopped. The engine hums, as if was a part of the nature on the other side of the windshield. Bright yellow glows at the edge of the grey clouds. The sun is breaking through.
“Five more minutes.“ She leans over to his side using his impressive shoulder as pillow. “Will you keep that dust on your jaw?” Red peaks at him from her sleep drunken blue eyes. The clouds run before them on the road.
“Doesn’t make me look distinguished?” He asks her kissing the top of her head.
She shakes her crimson locks as answer. “You look like an old grumpy pirate… Especially with that eyepatch and bandana. Mhhm you look like a grizzly bear. I’ll call you Grizzly. My teddy bear.”
Urs strokes his beard. “Don’t you like it? One word, an it’s gone.” He caresses her cheek, as if she was a baby bird. “Red? Let’s not scare them, this time. Be a nice girl. If we look like freaks, we don’t need to act like freaks.” Urs throws her a mischievous grin.
She smiles her brightest smile. “Imma be a good girl, if you give me something good,“ she purses her lips, fingers tugging at his jeans. “Something really, really good?“
“Oh hell no! Stop that! Stop your cooing. I won’t wake up to you having another quickie. Again.” Cornelius annoyed voice breaks the expectant silence in the front section of the car. “You guys are worse than a couple of cats in heat. Ugh. Is there any coffee left?“ He asks pushing himself unto one elbow. Red glances at him, but he doesn’t notice her sympathetic face. “I feel like a moose ran me over, and you took me, and crammed me into the trunk. With a big band…“ Cornelius rubs his face. He looks pale, miserable, with dark circles under his burning eyes.
“What’s wrong? Don’t you remember?“ Red asks. “Warned ya! Don’t drink the nasty unlabeled stuff!“ She pulls a grimace.
The road meanders and climbs to the top. And the engine growls and whines, as Urs changes gears and floors the accelerator. “I think I’m gonna be sick. Stop the car.“
Outside, the mountains part and the wood pulls up its skirt. Little houses loom in the misty morning light, far away, at the end of the now opening valley.
The windshield’s dirty.