State Trooper Olan Miller is headed home in his cruiser. His shift is over, finally. Five more miles and he’s got a cold one in his hand.
Up ahead, very dim headlights of another vehicle slowly come into view. There’s a figure too, standing to the side of the road. As he nears, he switches on his light bar and just gives it one quick yelp. No need to raise hell out here.
He glances at his dash computer and sighs, but then he recognizes the smoking truck. It’s Spider Poe’s old pickup. Back in the day, when they were both still alive, Spider’s daddy and Olan’s dad used to be buddies.
As he rolls up closer, he coasts right past the spot where Luke had crawled into the corn and then passed out. Miller takes a closer look at the civilian and realizes he knows the civilian.
It’s Spider’s girlfriend. The name’s not coming yet but she waitresses at Big Bill’s Diner over in Springtown. The girl waves and walks toward the cruiser. He watches her and mutters to himself, Oh man, her name is missing, but everything else is sure in place. Whoa now.
There’ll be no calling in this stop, no more paperwork. He’s got tomorrow off and that starts right the hell now. He angles the cruiser on the side of the road and puts it in park. His headlights light her up.
She stops about ten feet from his car. Hands on her hips. Nice hips too.
Miller exits the Tahoe cruiser and puts his resistol on. Bang, just like that he remembers. Alexis, Alex for short. He gives her his best smile.
“Alex, what on earth do we have goin’ on here?”
She shakes her head and forces a smile, “I’m so pissed off at Spider right now I could just spit.”
Her expression is pure anger but there’s another edge to it too. Excitement. Those fiery eyes rove slowly up and down him. Twice. Like a cattle buyer looking at a prize Angus. Her smile gets much warmer.
“Yeah, that Spider is a rascal.” Miller grins, tips his trooper cowboy hat back on his head and hooks his thumbs on his service belt.
“Told him to have that truck serviced a thousand times Officer…” She looks embarrassed now. “I’m so sorry, I can’t believe I forgot your name!”
“Oh that’s alright, I only come into Billy’s for dinner ‘bout three times a week.” He offers up his best aw shucks laugh. “Olan…Olan Miller, at your service.”
She takes a few tentative steps towards him. “That’s right. How I could have forgotten that, I have nooo earthly idea.” She takes a strand of her long hair and tucks it behind one ear. Those eyes are still blazing hot and if it wasn’t summertime she’d be freezing with the little she has on.
Miller put the brakes on right there. It’s fun to do this every once in awhile. Hell, he’s not married. Just flirt it up a little and all that, but you can’t let it go any further. He’d been warned him many times about this kind of fooling around. Sooner or later it would bite you. Hard.
“Well, alright then Alexis. Let’s shut those lights off so the battery don’t die.” He pulls his hat back down in a subtle sign of getting back to business.
“Sure, sure Olan. Thanks, I didn’t even think abo –“
Out of nowhere, like a bull waiting at a rodeo gate, Miller hears a pained bellow. He glances up and down the ditch and standing corn. Nothing.
“Alex, are there cows loose around here?” Miller looks back at her.
She blinks at him with confused big eyes. “I don’t know Olan, maybe a few got loose from the Coleman place…”
“GET…get away. She’s got a ….” The voice from somewhere in the corn started strong, but ended weak.
Miller looks again down the dark road, taking a step toward the corn. “Who the hell is that Alex? What ‘d he say?”
“He said,” She was smiling bigger than ever. “She’s got a …”
Miller turns back to her and sees her arm coming around from the small of her back. Then, a blurred shiny reflection.
She loops a big roundhouse with the butcher knife, tearing his neck open like a ripe watermelon.
“Knife”, she finishes the sentence in a hissing whisper.
Miller watched in wonder when the first gout of blood splattered laterally across Alex’s tight shirt. He staggers back a step, loses his hat, then feels the waterfall of dark red coming from the long deep slash. His hand reflexes for the strap on his gun but quickly goes to his throat instead.
She babbles something incoherent in a deep voice. Miller drops hard to his knees.
Leaning low this time, she comes up and in with the knife, burying it into his chest all the way to the handle.
She kisses the top of Miller’s bowed head but then pushes savagely with a foot on his shoulder to dislodge him.
It’s silent for a moment and she raises her beautiful, awful face to the cornfield. “Luke? Honey love? Is that you moanin’. Whatever are we gonna do now darlin?” Her laugh is insane but cut short.
She whirls at the sound of the Miller’s cruiser door closing.
That’s Luke’s answer for now.