The Driver

15 years had passed. The Driver had missed the draft. He had spent almost two decades behind concrete and iron bars watching sun rise and set. Was he guilty? Well, he did drive. He was the pilot man. Yet, he never fired a shot or took a life. That was all upon the passenger and well, the passenger had a way with fire arms and a taste for blood.

Driver was apprehended. Driver had succumbed to the advances of the police and surrendered. Driver admitted guilt and gave up a life of fatherhood. He often dreamt of tiny embraces and a bright future, but behind cold concrete and hidden steel, life passes. Lives were lost. Memories fade as the days go on.

Hardened life stares on as dark brown hair turns to grey.  He sat on that Sunday in the barber station and wondered. In his clip was a scroll of contacts for the outside world. A road of grey and black. Opportunities and treachery.

Years of good behaviour led to the day of his parole.  3 times he had been turned down.

He counted the steps and watched his feet take a trail of uncertainty. Many times he had done as such only to be told to turn back and go back to the horde.

But not today. It was fast, really. Right’s read. A pardon. Freedom granted.

And, as many times before, he sat on that bench and waited. Except this time, the hard, cold slam of the steel barred door did not occur.  Today a dance of the key spun in the locks and the cold iron door swung in his favour.

Free. He watched as the door let the daylight tumble upon the cold hard floor.

Outside the gates waiting was his dark green Galaxie ’64.

Driver stepped forward and a guard placed a hand his shoulder. “So, will I see you again?”

A warm wind lifted dust and the smell of fresh cut grass whipped past. Driver smiled.

“Not on your life.”

The convict walked across the yard and fell behind the wheel. He hit the key and the big old Ford responded and lurched forward.

As bad as the car and the man could have been, well, they never were again.

Even the hardest cowboys know when to let life take the reins, let fate control the journey and live life simple and good.

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