The Simple Country Lane
Lulu sits at the stoplight waiting for the light to turn green. Night has fallen all around her, warm and placid, and not a soul stirs, save for the soft drumming of her fingers on the steering wheel as the Mamas and the Papas croon “Dream a Little Dream of Me”. Dim lights of lonely houses dot the thick forest. She waits at an intersection where the dense trees have swallowed the crossing road. It’s only a simple country lane, but a stoplight is necessary.
Lulu is thinking of her beloved house with its beautiful garden and twining vines. She thinks of Djinn, the red genie, asleep in his little painted cabinet and marvels she has not heard from her horrible relatives in a long time. They have tried to kick her out of her house with harassment, slander, pleas, and threats. The house Nanna, her Arabic grandmother, willed to her by all legal means. But Lulu has not budged, aided by Djinn whose magic has sealed her from the relatives and enveloped her in peace.
A glance at the rearview mirror, and Lulu sights her cousin’s enraged face, just as thunder explodes, and blackness engulfs her in a sea of roaring movement. Lulu’s body tumbles through a raging universe, but Djinn’s red presence grabs her and coils itself around her swirling body, embracing her until the tumbling stops.
Lulu opens her eyes and sees only white. White around her, above her, and below her, and realizes the airbags deployed and the seats are all warped and twisted.
Shaking, she opens the door, which screeches like an infernal animal, and crawls onto the pavement scarred by black tar-snakes slithering over the cracks caused by the ancestral roots in their effort to reclaim their territory.
Not a soul stirs, but in the distance voices cry out and big white fireflies hurry towards the overturned car. Lulu gazes at the red lights fading away beneath the overhanging boughs flanking the simple country lane.
“It was him,” Djinn’s deep and sweet voice whispers in her ears, “it was your cousin in his big pickup truck with the grille guard. And he meant to do it.”