Here’s this next week’s 100-word entry. I had the blues tonight, a bit.

She never told him what it was, the grief that stole over her during these moments. He wasn’t sure she knew what it was herself, the thieving sorrow that took her away from him to some place where he couldn’t follow. Between them were all the vastness of her sorrow, and all the aching in him to fix it, the desperate tugging at his inside when he saw her go so still and joyless.

So he drove, ripping through the stillness of the desert night. Sometimes she would just sit motionless, her eyes staring out at the dark while the gravel under the tires roared like a hurricane and the wind whipped her face raw. He would push the pedal down, spiting death at every turn to try to coax her back to him, but somehow each time they made it around a curve she remained untouched.

Sometimes she would cry, tears sliding down her cheeks in silence. Her wet cheeks would glow, luminescent in the light of instrument panel. He would reach over and take her hand, turn up the stereo and sing to her simply because he didn’t know what else to do.

And sometimes it was like this – stars and inky night and his fair girl sitting beside him with her eyes closed, the two of them in his car, the hours whirling past them in the darkness until at last, she would softly steal her little hand into his and press it into his.

Later, he reached across the bed for her and felt the warmth of her body. She moved next to him in the darkness and pulled him across the space between them. Afterwards, she lay in his arms breathing softly in sleep, he thought how the night, when it was over, would be one less night he would be alive. He thought of them in his car. He shut his eyes and remembered the smell of heat in the damp earth. He shut his eyes and he could see her sitting beside him, smiling and happy. His girl.

He held tight to her, dreaming as the hours went by, unslept.