Donkey Lady Bridge, fiction by Misti Rainwater-Lites

There weren’t any prayers or tears left. Stor­mi was brought up Bap­tist and that shit was hard to shake. She was too intense and weird and had too many god­damn ques­tions to be a Pin­ter­est mom but her heart was too spa­cious to aban­don her only son so she stayed in the red­neck city in the red­neck state and clenched her fists and grit­ted her teeth through burn­ing hoops of fire. Bull­shit traf­fic. Strip mall dystopia. Glo­ri­fied trash cul­ture. Beer and boobs. Low­est com­mon denom­i­na­tor men­tal­i­ty. Ubiq­ui­tous short­cuts to think­ing. “And I was, like, lit­er­al­ly so mad I was, like, shout­ing? I mean…really? Are you…like…serious?” Anoth­er Eagles song on the radio. Anoth­er zom­bie on anoth­er Android walk­ing into Stor­mi as she strode across the park­ing lot to enter the Chris­t­ian Amer­i­ca approved ware­house where she could buy a bar­rel of puffy cheese balls for two bucks and buy a mag­a­zine that would tell her the real rea­son why Blake Shel­ton couldn’t get enough of Gwen Stefani’s pussy. Star Wars Pop-Tarts. Her son need­ed those.

We’re gonna do this, damn it. Mom­my hates dri­ving, espe­cial­ly at night, but we are gonna find Don­key Lady Bridge. I promise, baby.” The boy was con­tent in the back­seat with his Slim Jim and Pringles. He was eight-years-old and still sucked his thumb. Stor­mi would be rid­ing the bus some­times late at night because she was tired of dri­ving and a mem­o­ry from three or four years ago would hit her in the gut like a sledge­ham­mer and the tears would flow. There were plen­ty of prayers and tears left. The ex-hus­band had put a lock on the guest bed­room door in that house that rent house they left in the glo­ri­fied cow pas­ture south of Dal­las when the call cen­ter in Cor­si­cana got shut down and they moved to San Anto­nio. He put the lock on the door so that while he was at work she would take care of the boy. Change his dia­per. Feed him. Inter­act with him. Blow bub­bles. Read books. Rather than get on Face­book and send more pic­tures of her tits and ass to anoth­er writer slash edi­tor.

Don­key Lady Bridge was some­where over the Med­i­na Riv­er some­where south of San Anto­nio. There were dif­fer­ent sto­ries. In the sto­ry Stor­mi liked best the woman was on fire and she jumped into the riv­er and died two deaths simul­ta­ne­ous­ly. She burned. She drowned. She haunt­ed gen­er­a­tions of drunk Tex­ans with her rage and sor­row.

This was a bad idea,” the boy said when they final­ly found the place. It was too dark to see any­thing. Cars whizzed by.

No. It was a great idea,” Stor­mi said. She got out and stretched but didn’t make the boy get out. He would remem­ber some­day. He would remem­ber a lot of shit but maybe this mem­o­ry would com­pen­sate for a lot of oth­ers. He had a mom­my who loved him so much she bought him snacks and took him on a road trip to shoot a doc­u­men­tary for the YouTube chan­nel she had cre­at­ed for him. His mom­my was pas­sion­ate and brave and she drove while he ate snacks and sucked his thumb.

What if the Don­key Lady fol­lows us back to San Anto­nio?” the boy asked.

She won’t. She’s hap­py where she is.”

rainwaterlitesMisti Rain­wa­ter-Lites is the author of Bull­shit Rodeo and the CEO of Chu­pacabra Dis­co. She enjoys col­lab­o­rat­ing with her son and giv­ing the mid­dle fin­ger to haters and joykillers.

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