In the Path of Falling Objects

Andrew Smith

Feiwel & Friends

The car was a 1940 Lincoln Cabriolet, black and white with broad white-walled tires. Its top was down, and, as it neared, crunching and kicking back the dirt of the road, I saw a man at the wheel and a pretty yellow-haired girl sitting in the front, and there was also what appeared to be a third person sitting bolt-upright in the back seat.

It was as out-of-place in that desert as a sailboat would have been, and it was the kind of car you knew had to carry stories with it, but I had no intention of finding out what those stories told.

“Let’s start walking,” I said. “Just don’t even look at them.”

“We should ask them for a ride.”

“No.” I looked at Simon, then put my head down like I didn’t even know or care about that car coming up alongside us. I began walking forward, just looking at the ground, listening to our feet, the scattering sounds of tires on the gravel and dirt of the road.

I warned Simon again, “Don’t even look at them.”

So I just concentrated on not paying that car any attention. I could hear Simon following along, scooting his feet in the rocks and dirt. And it wasn’t until later, until it was too late for both of us, that I found out Simon was sticking a thumb out to beg a ride.