Anniversary Concert by Ramon Collins

Kent caught his balance on the hood of the car with one hand. "Write this down -- you are a bitch. One might say a Constance bitch."

Connie's eyes flashed. "It's memorized. Give me the damned keys."

He leaned back. "I got this junker up here and I'll get it back down."

"Look, I'll drive or call someone."

Kent angled forward and fished in his pocket.

"You'll call someone all right. Monica-baby will be up here in a flash."

"You are SO cute when you're hammered."

"Screw you--"

"With what? Give me the keys."

Kent tossed the keys underhand, turned and bumped his way back along the side of the car. He opened the passenger door, lunged into the seat, reached for the handle and slammed the door shut.

Connie got in. "Buckle up, Superman."

"Screw you."

She started the car, adjusted the rearview mirror and backed out of the parking lot.

"You're a very original conversationalist."

"It wasn't my idea to come up to the lodge for din-din -- remember?"

Connie scowled. "It was my idea. This is where we started and this is where we end."

"We going to a damn funeral? Drive this son-of-a-bitch!"

"Shut up. I listened to enough of your bullshit during our enchanting anniversary dinner."

"Drive this piece of crap." Kent reached for the steering wheel.

Connie pushed his hand away. "Just sit back and relax."

"I said drive this fuggin' thing."

He scooted around and dropped his left foot on her accelerator foot.

The roaring car swerved left off the highway, then plunged into a dark ravine. It slashed through brush and snapped saplings before making a nosedive into boulders that bordered a slender creek.

Tiny tree frogs puffed out their throats and rehearsed a love song. Crickets who knew the tune stretched their hind legs and joined in. Kent heard someone calling him, but he couldn't see through the rosy film that covered his eyes. He focused on a lacy spider web in the windshield.

"Kent -- I can't breathe." She leaned back and grimaced. "My chest. Connie coughed up blood.

"Someone will see our lights:"

"Boulder in front. No headlights."

"Are we going to die?"

"Possible--"

Connie moaned. "My cell phone."

Kent looked down. "Purse under my damned foot."

"Can you reach it?"

"Can't move."

Her eyes flickered. "Can't we do anything?"

"Repeat our vows."

Connie coughed harder. Gobs of bloody phlegm ran down her chin. "Until death do us part--"

"Until death--" Kent's head rolled to one side.


The frogs sprayed their throats and called it a night. Crickets packed up and left by a side door. The only sound was the creek, drifting to somewhere.


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