The Passing at Highway 10 – part 11

If anything, I’d just radio the accident, head into town, and tell the sheriffs about the whole deal.  Hell, let them sort it out.  Rim was only about 15 minutes down the road, and neither one of these guys were going anywhere fast.  I ain’t no paramedic and neither is Sally, so instead of taking a diseased ridden scratch from some half dead crazy, we decided on plan B.  I hopped into the cab and grabbed for the radio; Sally looked a bit shaken, so I grabbed her hand and told her that it would all turn out fine.  I spoke the words in the most soothing voice that I could muster.  Everything would be alright, I said.  I tried as hard as I could to be sincere, and I was.  I didn’t want her to worry about any of this; part of me was saying it in order to ease my nerves too.  I radioed for the station at Highland Rim; I tried a few times, and got nothing.  Zero.  Silence.  No response.  I shifted the rig into gear and started to pull off; the guy in the road was still hollering and crawling like a slug, and we both winced as we passed him and left him in the dust.  Nasty.  I thought to myself that he must be in a world of pain…I felt sorry for the guy and hated to leave him like that, but the cops would know what to do.  I kept trying on the radio, and kept getting nothing but dead air.

I kept my hand on Sally’s, and kept reassuring her that we had nothing to worry about.  I can only imagine what was going through her head after seeing that mess of that guy.  It felt cold in the cab, no matter how high I turned up the heat; I swear, it seemed like the temperature went down about ten degrees.  Outside, too…windier and colder than before.  And not just because we were wet dog soaked.  After a time, the signs showed up for Highland Rim, population 326.  I pulled off at the first exit.  I hadn’t stopped in Rim in ages; the gas station that I used to frequent on 5th street closed down about a year ago, and the auto supply store that I’d drop off at shut down too.  Rim got hit pretty bad when the economy went down the toilet, and damn it showed.  Rim was your typical small town; everybody knew everybody, including everybody’s dirty laundry, and jobs were as scarce as clothes on a hooker.  There were some small mom and pop shops and a bar littering Main Street, but the town itself seemed on the decline.  Sad, really…it wasn’t always that way.  As a result though, families just up and moved out whenever they got a chance.  People had to make a living, right?  I could completely understand why they split, but they left behind a sure as shit shell of a ghost town, alright.  I pulled up to the stop sign right off of Highway 10 and took a quick look around.  The roads were stark empty.  I mean, it was about 9pm, and in a town like this, you really couldn’t expect the place to be jumping anyway.

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