The Mailbox

Scott Pearson

Ed and Claire drove out to the mailbox, the ’42 Chevy pickup running down the dirt road at an angle like a dog. Gravel crunched beneath the grinding of the old truck and dust took to the air behind them. They did this every day, six days to check the mail, and on Sunday to get the paper. As they neared the mailbox, Ed would always swerve toward it, then pull back at the last chance, making some excuse: “Whoa, that was a close one. Must have dozed off for a second.” Claire flinched every time he did this, then chuckled and said, “Oh, Ed, you’re just crazy. You really got me that time, I mean it.” She would clasp at her heart safely hidden under an apron and floral print dress.
       This time, Ed swerved and Claire flinched, but then he smiled and didn’t pull back. Through their open windows came the sound of a shattering headlight and wood cracking and metal twisting. After the pickup slid to a stop there was a startled silence as the dust settled. They sat in the truck, Claire with her mouth open, wringing her apron.
       “Wooo!” Ed laughed. “I always wanted to do that!” . . .

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