I had taken up position on Milham’s ratty old lawn chair in the Rook’s parking lot. I was also drinking my fifth beer before 10 AM and wondering if my cleansing spell only removes the alcohol from my system and leaves whatever damage it did when an 18-wheeler pulled into the lot. There was a naked lady and the name Gertie painted on the side like it was a bomber from an old war movie.
I’ll admit my prejudice. I don’t expect truckers to be women. And if they are women I expect them to look like a vending machine with a mullet. The woman that stepped down was slender and almost as tall as I am. She had long blonde hair, fair skin, and movie star blue eyes.
She was wearing white business clothing with matching shoes and a very nice light yellow shirt. Seeing heels step on the side of a truck was really weird, like seeing a cat wearing jeans. She seemed like a cool confident corporate lady coming out of a meeting in a big glass building instead of a semi.
Suddenly feeling slobbish I sat up straighter and looked around for Milham, fumbling to say that I didn’t think the place was open to business yet.
“That’s okay, I think I’m here to see you.” She had a voice like a phone sex operator. One of the classy ones.
She had quite a story. The truck is possessed by a spirit that drove the former owner to kill. As Ruth tells it when Bubba was at home he was fine. More than fine, he was a good Christian boy who went to church and volunteered at the VFW and was active in the local teamsters union and said please and thank you and god bless you and never did nobody a lick of harm.
But when he was on the road the spirit inside the truck would whisper to him. The knife Bubba, wouldn’t it feel good to use the knife? See that woman with the flat tire? Tens of thousands of miles of road in this great nation and she thinks she’s going to get around without knowing how to change a tire? She’s going to site on her ass and waste good money to some conman towboy to change a damn tire? Help her out? No Bubba, she’s a parasite, she needs to go away.
Problem was that Ruth didn’t know it was the truck behind it when she killed Bubba. She thought he was just a plain old serial killer all on his own. I believe her when she says that feels bad about it now. She feels even worse about being stuck with the truck.
She doesn’t want anyone else to get the Bubba treatment so she kept it for herself. For some reason, maybe because she wasn’t a trucker before, the spirit has reversed it playbook with her. It only gets in her head when she’s not on the road. So she stays on the move, hauling an empty trailer around and around and around.
“So you were a cop? You shot Bubba trying to arrest him?”
Milham had wondered out in a bathrobe with a very Irish coffee in hand “No, she’s a wizard Grace.”
“Theurgist” she corrected him. She unbuttoned her white lady jacket to show two silver cowboy revolvers underneath, tapping the butt of one “I answer to a higher authority.”