The uncut wheat rippled in the wind, the waves of a golden ocean washing upon a shoreline of trees. A man could almost drown in those waves. The sky was awake, clouds racing to meet the horizon, carried by strong gusts, the same gusts that made smoking nearly impossible for the man in the plaid jacket. He flicked at his lighter, attempted to shield the flame with his smooth hands, and gave up once again, cursing with the impunity of someone who knows they are entirely alone.
He turned and walked back towards the edge of the dirt road that cut straight through the fields, stopping by an old Chevy Impala. One tire was flat. A stray nail had found itself a home, parasitic in its deadly relationship with the rubber tread. Scowling as he slipped the lighter into an inner jacket pocket, he leaned against the car and chewed on the unlit cigarette, fidgeting with his wedding band.
It was a simple piece, stainless steel, and had probably cost less than sustaining a nicotine addiction for a week. As the man in the jacket worked it on and off his finger, he gazed down the road, ignoring the field, the trees, and the clouds. He checked his watch, looked up, and then looked back at his timepiece. The grain continued to wave in the wind. And so the minutes passed.
It was at 1:09 p.m. that he finally saw a cloud of dust to the east. Very soon the sound of a sputtering engine cut through the chirping of birds, getting louder every minute. The man put his cigarette away, stopped playing with his ring, and buttoned his jacket, straightening it almost as an afterthought.
The car finally came into view as it traveled down the dirt road, the crimson of its paint mixing with the rust on its front bumper. It was moving rather quickly. The man in the jacket stepped onto the road and waited until the car finally arrived. He recognized it and seemed to relax a little.
The car stopped. The passenger door opened and the familiar face of Mrs. June Carter emerged, followed by an even more familiar body, although it was covered in a modest yellow dress. Then the driver’s door opened and Mr. Carter emerged.
“Well, hello there,” he said. “Nice jacket.”
“Thank you, sir.” The man in the plaid jacket looked at Mrs. Carter.
“Beautiful day isn’t it? Especially out here in the wheat fields.”
“Almost seems like an ocean with all this wind, doesn’t it?” He laughed.
“Best be careful, though.” Mr. Carter reached into his jacket. “A man could almost drown in there.”