Heading for Los Banos
by Michael A. Kechula
“Senor,” said the bartender. “If you must go to Los Banos tonight, do not take the highway."
“It is possessed by demons.”
Scoffing, Harry ordered another tequila. “The only other way to Los Banos is a primitive, desert road. It’s fifty miles longer. They say it’s full of bandits. I don’t want my motorcycle robbed, nor do I want to get my ass shot off.”
“Please finish your drink. I am closing early.”
“I thought cantinas stayed open all night?”
“Not in this part of Mexico--especially when the moon is full. Please, Senor, for your mother’s sake, do not take the highway tonight. Go tomorrow after the sun rises and the demons are sleeping.”
Snickering, Harry left a tip, and headed for the highway.
What a terrific night for riding. The air was calm, clear, crisp. The only sound was the purring of his new, customized Harley Davidson.
He tuned in Mexican party music. The tequila, cruising on his Harley, and the music made him joyous. The thought of meeting Teresa in Los Banos increased his exuberance. Soon they’d ride to the farthest regions of the heavens on a mattress.
Suddenly, lightening flashed across the road. Then an earthquake struck. Boulders rolled across the road. Harry lost control of the bike. His body tumbled down the road, stopping inches from a fissure.
The last things he remembered were the horrible stench, searing flames, and a voice saying, “You should have taken the other road, Harry.”