My soul has kidnapped me and is in the driver’s seat. She looks like me but wears hot pink jeans with rhinestones and her hair flies around the steering wheel like Isadora. She flashes iridescent sparks in the twilight and smells of rosewater, sweat and coffee grounds.

“I’m the one who should drive,” I shout but she stares straight ahead. My eyes grow dim as the road passes.

“You have no right to take my car,” I say.

“Oh, is that so?” she laughs over the roar of the engine. “What are your few years of wisdom compared to my thousands? ”

I grab her belt but it burns my hand.

“Hey, you better put the seatbelt on,” she says. “You’re in for one helluva ride…”

Her laughter peals over my head as she drives by a graffitied church. “Do you know where your soul is?” Uncle Sam asks, aiming a painted finger at me. The writing on the wall fades as we race past twisted fig trees, towards a cliff. Flames lick the wheels. I grab my soul, hold down her arms, struggle to control the steering wheel. She spits at me.

“Since when does a soul spit?” I ask.

“When a body doesn’t listen,” she says and slaps me. “Wake up for Heaven’s sake! Those gates won’t stay open forever.”

I dig my nails into her hands but she laughs.

“Slow down! I can’t think,” I shout.

“You think too much,” she says.

“Take me home,” I beg, arms now wrapped around her.

“How can I? You won’t let me.” She slams her foot on the accelerator, swerves to avoid an oncoming car and crashes into metal side rails.

I hear her moan as she lies skewered on a rosebush, shredded over thorns, hot pink jeans ripped, rhinestones crushed.

“I surrender,” I say. “I surrender.”

“It’s too late,” she whispers. “Now, you must travel the road alone.”

A fog descends and the rosebush vanishes.

Whispers from the Unseen, September 2009

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