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.”
Misti 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.