Doom in the Lot

An Excerpt

by Drewry Scott

She came clattering toward him with her cart. He noticed the hair first, wild and thin, a bluish white. Her waxy gray skin like plastic visible underneath. She looked lost. Her mouth was set into an O shape of moaning or sleep, and as he got closer her eyes seemed intelligent and concerned. She came down the lane in the parking lot, looking around, scanning the cars.

Almost positive she was going to talk to him, Doug made the first move. “Ma’am? Is everything alright?”

She looked up at him, to him standing there. “I swear I’d lose my…” The coat she wore was open and it was cold. “I’d lose my… I can’t find my car. I swear it was…” Her voice was small and blown away, although there wasn’t much of a breeze. It was lost in the lot along with her.

“Your car?” His voice sounded funny too. “That’s happened to me before. I swear they make these lots so big these days.”

“I must have gotten turned around.” She looked toward the store. “I think I came in this way.”

Doug asked what the car looked like. “It’s a—ah…” Her bags were barely full, three of them. A carton of orange juice in one. A prescription in another? Yogurt. Fake sweetener. “It’s a Mercedes. White.”

Of course it’s a Mercedes, he thought. Then wondered why he thought that. “Well, I’m sure it’s close by. Let’s take a look around.”

That was when he had his first flash of it, warm and sobering, which he would at once recognize intimately. He would end up chasing it for years to come, attempting to reconcile the shadows and reflections, what its angles were and the feeling of its texture as it sat silent like a lump within him.

“Let’s step a little to the side, alright?” he said, looking behind her. A truck went by. “…Get out of the road here…” Almost shameful, what he was doing. It’s alright to sort of steer into this, he thought. Right? While he’s at it, he could at least enjoy it. She seemed so helpless. She gets his help and he gets this, it’s fair.

He squinted and scanned the horizon: a vista of cars in innumerable shapes and sizes resting in the shade of the looming and bustling store. Aware of the sound, the white noise of cars and people and shopping carts. He didn’t see hers.

To read the rest of “Doom in the Lot” by Drewry Scott, buy The Canopy Review Issue 2 at the store.

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