Everything started out as planned. The kids were crammed into the mini van with all the usual crap we'd need for a picnic at the beach. I even had one of those stupid, giant umbrellas to block out the sun. Wife's idea naturally. Personally I've always felt the point of going to the beach is to get some sun.
We were about half way there, traveling down the quiet, road less taken. Wifey and I had argued about which route to take to the beach earlier that day. She wanted the highway. I didn't cause I knew she just wanted to stop off in some of the shops along the way. Last time we went the beach, she darn near cut our time in half because of her shopping exploits. The route I chose was full of sweet, little, picturesque roads. The kind that poets call "windswept" and other like romantic drivel. We were on such a road when my wife spotted him by the wayside. His car was smoking like he'd been grilling pork on the engine.
"Tom, let's pull over and see if we can help."
My wife. Not that I'm not the kind of guy to help a fella out, but when your car looks like a brush fire claimed it, there's nothing you can do except get a tow truck. Nevertheless I pulled over. Anything's better than a "discussion" at two in the morning. Always at two for some stupid reason.
"Hey, bud, need some help?" I hollered at him.
I'll say this for the guy, he was grateful. As I walked over to his vehicle, he was beaming at me. The biggest smile you've ever seen on his face.
"What seems to be the problem?" I asked.
"Have a look for yourself," he said, and gestured towards the engine.
A quick glance and I knew something was terribly wrong. For instance, there wasn't an engine.
"What the hell?" Not so much a question really.
"More like purgatory," he laughed.
I began backing away from him only to find that it was like wading through waist deep mud.
"Do you have any idea, how long I've been waiting for someone to pick me up?" he asked, and then continued without waiting for my answer, "At least 20 years I should think. The guy I stopped to help, had been here for 30 years himself."
"What are you talking about?" I was on the ground now, trying to crawl away, but there was no way to get free. I was tied to my spot.
"Don't worry about your family. I'll take good care of them. They won't even know you're gone."
I screamed some choice obscenities at him, but those were the last words I heard from him. As I watched he got into the mini van. My wife, didn't notice anything as she watched him get in. With no hesitation she leaned over and kissed him. I couldn't quite believe what I was seeing.
That was ten years ago. I can't really tell you anything about this spot. Just that I'm stuck here, with on a short leash around a busted down old coup. Once or twice a day a car passes by but no one stops. I'm sure one day I'll be free. I'll take over some poor suckers life the way mine was taken from me. And this circle of hell will continue on. The prison term may be temporary, but I know for certain this place is eternal.