Driving with Desirae

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Driving with Desirae
Driving with Desirae
Year: 2016
A drag queen named Desirae gets a flat tire on the trip home from a show in the middle of nowhere and is molested by two stray dogs.
Jack Morningwood
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It’s after midnight, and Desirae is in her car, driving with her eyes focused on the road, reminding herself: Don’t go above forty, Desirae.  Driving faster would mean reaching home sooner, for sure, yet she’s aware she’s under the influence of alcohol.  Desirae is a drag queen who performs at functions around the city, usually as an MC or host, as her wit is legendary.  Tonight she performed at a talent quest a bar was having as the witty compare, and a few locals were buying her drinks a little too freely.  She’s usually careful never to drive while drunk, even if she’s had just a few.  The only problem was the gig was in some shithole country town, and when some local rednecks decided to be more homophobic than they first appeared, she decided to turn down the bars offer of accommodation, and leave.  So after she collected her money, she loaded her car with her gear, and took off before anyone would miss her.  Desirae didn’t even change her clothes or remove her garish makeup.

Making the three-hour drive home late at night, most of it along narrow country roads, while drunk isn’t her idea of fun.  Not the best driver at the best of times, the car swerves and slides as her concentration wavers.  So she makes sure she’s driving slow, to avoid mishaps, and driving slow saved her life this night.   For an hour into the trip, Desirae’s Chevy Impala has a blowout, and the car started fishtailing.  When the car starts swerving, she thinks: Jesus, I must be drunker than I thought.  She turns the steering wheel in the opposite direction in a panic, yet it has the opposite effect and the car goes off the road into an empty field.  So she hits the brakes, and the car eventually stops just inches away from a tree.  Shaken, she gets out to make sure there isn’t any damage to the car.  In the dim moonlight, she sees the flat tire for the first time, and realizes it has made the car swerve, not her drunkenness.

“Damn, girl, was running from a few rednecks worth all this bother,” she says, and sighs.

She slaps her head in annoyance, bends and looks at the tire.  There’s no way she can drive the car without changing the tire first.  The problem is, she’s never changed a tire in her life.  I’m a city girl, I seldom drive to begin with, she thinks.  What does a drag queen know about cars and tools?  She laughs suddenly.

“Oh, you know about tools, sweetheart, just not this kind,” she says sarcastically.  “I guess I’ll have to call someone.”

Reluctantly, she reaches into her purse, takes out her phone, and hits the call button of a friend in the city.  However, the phone makes a couple of strange beeping noises and the call doesn’t go through.  She tries a few more times, with the same result.  What the hell is wrong with my phone, she wonders?  After staring at the screen for a few moments, Desirae notices a slanted line going through the tiny antenna graphic and it dawns on her drunken mind there’s no reception.  She’s in a field, god knows where, and all the ‘wherever you go, our network follows you’ advertisements from the phone company are bullshit.

“Fucking great, I really don’t need this shit,” she says.

With the phone in her hand, she moves closer to the road, hoping the network might appear there with no luck.  The drag queen looks up and down the road in the moonlit night. There’ no houses, buildings, or even tin shacks as far as the eye can see.  She can’t even see a light, and she’s surrounded by empty fields, trees and bushes.  Desirae walks in either direction for a couple of minutes and back, hoping for a network bar to flash in vain.

Eventually, frustrated at having to walk on the uneven terrain in high heels, she shouts, “Can anyone hear her?  Is anyone here?  HELP!

Desirae hears some rustling in the bushes a few feet from her, and she curses herself for shouting.  What was I thinking, she wonders, as her body shivers with fear?  Who knows who might be around in this desolate place in the dead of the night. Thieves, murderers, or worse.  She remembers watching a TV program about a serial rapist targeting hitchhikers on isolated roads, and trembles.  Even if it’s just some average guy, how will they react when they see a drag queen in the middle of nowhere?   She’s wearing a red, sequined, strapless, figure-hugging dress, with a good view of her cleavage, and at the bottom, ends well above her thigh.  Her feet are encased in four-inch high heels.  Not the best attire to be in when asking for help from strange men anywhere, especially in the country this time of the night. As the rustling continues, her heart is beating loudly, and she’s scared of whom may emerge.

A few seconds later, relief sweeps through her as the bushes parted and two dogs appear.  She’s happy it’s not some creepy redneck who might commit some gay hate crime due to his twisted religious beliefs.  However, the happiness doesn’t last long, because she suddenly remembers she’s petrified of dogs.  Desirae usually stays away from dog’s, even the toy breeds, so when she sees two burly-looking mongrels her eyes widen, and her mouth slackens as she gasps.  She stays rooted to the spot, her biggest fear is getting bitten by a dog, as the drag queen performer had read dogs can sense fear.  Desirae doesn’t know whether these two dogs sense her fear, yet they nonchalantly trot toward her and stop a couple of feet from her. She stares at them and they return her gaze.  One of the dogs is black and the other is tan.  Eventually, as if introducing itself, one of the dog’s barks.  The other dog barks his agreement, and Desirae feels her body shudder.  They come closer to her and start sniffing her shoes and shins, this makes her freeze again, and pray to the gods she’s not attacked.


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