No. 536

Richard Crabtree sat on his porch and watched the dust cloud approach down the narrow road into town.

He spat on the scrubby patch of land he called his front yard.

The dust cloud congealed into a formerly-shiny, expensive European car with two occupants that pulled up in front of Crabtree’s home. The driver rolled down his window, but continued speaking to his passenger, allowing Crabtree to overhear a part of the conversation that he likely wasn’t meant to.

“As if that hick knows the way. He’s probably never been further than the next town over,” said a shrill voice from the passenger seat.

“He looks like our only option. The GPS is no use, out here,” replied the driver in a hushed tone.

Only then did he turn to address Crabtree.

“You know how to get back to the highway from here?” said the driver.

With no “please” or “excuse me”, noted Crabtree.

“Today?” the driver said under his breath as Crabtree hesitated.

“Well, let me see,” said the long-time resided of Harrisburg, after thinking it over. “Sir, you’re going to want to head down Old Canyon Road down past the mill, turn left onto Battle Creek and follow that right up to where it hooks up with Highway 4.”

“Yah,” said the driver, who then rolled up the window and stepped on the gas.

Crabtree sat back as the new dust cloud settled over his lawn. He didn’t feel bad at all about his decision.

 

Twenty-four miles outside of Harrisburg, there is a stretch of road that is not a road.

It is a camouflaged plant. A giant relative of the Venus flytrap, it captures cars, not insects.

Locals know to stay away, but are not averse to giving ill-mannered tourists terrible directions.