It was an atypical storm, even for springtime in California. Rain had been pouring steadily all day and now it slashed angrily from the sky, slamming against windshields and windows like angry fists.
Conal Benjamin squinted through the downpour, nose inches from the dash as he tried to see beyond the wall of water. Headlights from the other cars slid toward him and a knot in his gut kept him tense. This was a bad one.
As a result of the storm, the shop had only seen two customers all day long. Customers were staying inside and that left the garage Conal worked at empty most of the day, giving him plenty of time on his own to think. That meant a bad day at work.
The other guys had learned pretty quickly Conal liked to be alone. Unlike the rest of them, who liked to sneak peeks at Playboy on the job, go for beers after work, and dreaded going home to their wives, Conal preferred solitude. At work, he liked to stay busy, his hands and mind covered in grease and car parts, no time for thinking about anything else. At home, he was alone. Conal had no wife to hate and didn’t care to look at Playboy. There had been only one woman in his life, but she had disappeared and he missed her. Even if his heart had been able to get over her, his guilt wouldn’t let him get near anyone else. After what he had done, he didn’t deserve a wife. He deserved to be alone, spending his lifetime trying to fix this one mistake.
Thunder rolled across the sky, booming as though Thor’s hammer was being slammed down on top of him. Conal wasn’t ashamed to admit that part of him hoped there was a giant hammer that would turn out his lights permanently. An end to this monotony and grief would have been a gift. But he didn’t deserve that, either. And again, his guilt forbade him from swiftly bringing that end. If there was anyone who had even a hope of making it right, it was Conal. No one else. So that had become his life.
He embraced the fury of his surroundings, daring the other drivers, the elements, the universe to come at him. The bad weather was his respite. Nature was affording him a distraction and he was going to relish it tonight.
The other people on the road were driving like frightened rats abandoning a sinking ship. Blasting their horns; swerving in and out of lanes without a thought to use turn signals; drivers nearly killing themselves just to get somewhere five minutes sooner. The irony of five minutes saved. Conal laughed. A little more care could save their lives, but what did they know about that? No one ever knows that until it’s too late.
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Genre - Paranormal Fiction
Rating – NC17
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