The Loss Of The One
by Tesla

Sometimes they rode all night.

After the long dusty summer day, when she tried to make herself as small and worry-free as possible; after eating dinner with the sister's friends and pretending they all cared about each other, it was a relief to hear the stolen Harley's engine on the next block.

Dawn could fling herself out the window, down the shingles and on to the railing of the porch as quietly and quickly as ever her sister had. The two young women sleeping in her dead mother's room weren't listening for her, but whispering to each other. She probably wasn't fooling them any more than her sister had fooled Mom. It was something she could share now, with the one who wasn't there.

Regardless, she was racing down the cool night lawns to jump on the bike as the rider slowed it to a crawl. No helmets needed for former Mystic Keys, any more than for dead men driving. As soon as she had her arms around his waist, they were off into the back roads, where there were no streetlights and no houses, just the road falling away under the headlight, and the moon-bleached trees sliding away on either side. Her hair streamed away behind her, and the wind tangled it into a hundred knots. She didn't care.

One day, he would take her home, and ride off into the sunrise. When he was sure she was safe----if she went to live with Dad whenever he saw fit to reappear in her life---there would be no more midnight rides. She would play softball, and worry about her S.A.T. scores, and probably never ever need her knowledge of how to heat a mug of cow's blood in the microwave.

She knows all about his guilt at being alive, because she shares it.

She promised to live, though, and he didn't. So one night, he'll ride east, full throttle.

But it won't be tonight.

Tonight, there was no talking or being asked to tell how you feel; just the roar of the engine. When they went down a steep hill, Dawn threw her arms in the air and yelled like she was on the roller coaster, and Spike laughed.


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