The Slow-Cooked Sentence

What happened when
nothing happened

Rachael Conlin Levy

The highway cut through the hill and descended to a desert floor dotted with trailers, businesses and some casino neon. A stoplight where this highway crosses another forced cars to pause, then push on. The light blinked off and blinked on. Cars rolled through the intersection, not stopping for gas or pizza or real estate. A gust of hot wind picked up dust and sand, and tossed loose trash around the parking lot, empty but for a prepubescent girl standing in the shade of the town’s welcome sign. She turned her back against the stinging wind, and covered her eyes. When the wind died, she faced the road again, and waited for another car. The red light blinked on, blinked off. The girl watched ants climb the side of the sign. Nothing happened. Then more nothing happened. And then, finally, a car crested the hill and sped toward her. As it slowed to a stop, the girl breathed deep, cupped hands to mouth, and yelled at the closed windows to the driver inside. Fuuuuuuuuuck yoooooooou!

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