The crate is in your kitchen where you left it, and you get down on your knees to embrace it more fully. It has grown warmer, even hot. It still is not ticking. It had taken you no time to get back home. Now that you think about it, were there any other cars on the road? Where did all the cars go? The man with the semaphore flags explaining the speed limit – he wasn’t there either. Your heart pounds.
Without allowing another stray thought to wander through your mind and delay you, you grab the crate and throw it in your trunk. You turn the ignition, and your car radio comes alive with a pop, just as the announcer says that your car radio comes alive with a pop.
Where to now? You don’t know, but you go there anyway. A pair of headlights, a pair of eyes, and two shaky hands, speeding through the silent town. Behind you, you see helicopter searchlights sweeping down onto your trailer. There are sirens. A purplish cloud hangs over the town, glittering occasionally as it rotates. The whole works.
You drive past the Moonlite All-Nite, still aglow and full of people eating what sounds good only late at night, and Teddy Williams’ Desert Flower Bowling Alley and Arcade Fun Complex, which has taken to not only locking but barricading its doors at closing time. You pass by City Hall, which, as always, is completely shrouded after dark in black velvet.
Moving farther out, following the pull of the distant, uncertain moon, you pass by the car lot, where the salesmen have been put away for the night, and Old Woman Josie’s house, where the only sign that the unassuming little home could be a place of residence for angels is the bright halo of heavenly light surrounding it, and the sign out front that says “Angels’ Residence”. And the town is behind you, and you are out in the scrub lands, and the sand wastes. By the road you see a man, holding a cactus in one hand and a pair of scissors in the other. He shakes both at you as you pass, and howls.