This is the beginning of my untitled SNI.
Store-fronts and houses have long since morphed into tall, skeletal trees, that look like brittle bones in the pale sunlight. I won't mention it to my brother, but I have a feeling we've been driving around in circles. If I had a quarter for every time the car drifted pass the lake, I would be a very rich woman.
We were obviously lost, but Allan was just like every other member of his species. He was hell-bent on finding his way back onto the main road, without any help. Which meant no maps, and no stopping to ask for directions.
"You must really like that giant rock," I said, turning so that I was facing him. His eyes never left the road, but I could see the frustration boiling deep within them.
"Why do you say that?" he asked, dryly.
"Maybe because we passed it like three thousand times."
Allan gripped the steering-wheel even tighter. "No, we haven't."
"Yes, we have."
"We're not lost, okay."
I could feel my lips pulling up at the corners. "I didn't say we were."
"I know. You implied it."
"Did I?" I leaned back in my seat, and put my feet up on the dashboard.
Allan nodded. "And maybe it wasn't the same giant rock. There could be a lot out here. You never know."
"True, true. But not all of them would say Johnny plus Sam forever."
"You don't know that."
"You're right," I said, sighing. "But one thing I know for sure is that Annie is freaking out right now."
Allan reached over and tucked a strand of hair behind my ear, like he used to do when we were little kids.
"Don't worry," he said. "We'll get there soon. I promise."
I wanted to tell him not to make promises he couldn't keep but I was tired of talking, and all I could think about was Annie, our mother's mother. Not our grandmother. She hated that word because it made her feel old. So we called her Annie, all the time, even though we were taught that it was disrespectful to call an adult by their first name. But we respected Annie. Besides our aunt Jo and uncle Ben, she was the only family we had left.
All the rest were buried in the cemetery along with our mother and father.