Title: The Emergence
Source: Thursday photo prompt: Murmur #writephoto
Word count: 490 words
Saying I was skeptical and creeped out, was an understatement. Jose promised me, I wouldn’t regret it. So, against my better judgment, I agreed. At least San Antonio offered a brief relief from Houston’s high humidity and gray skies courtesy of the remnants of Tropical Storm Imelda. I had planned for the three-hour trek west on Interstate ten, packing water, snacks, and a good book to combat the flat, brown, monotonous scenery.
Jose had other ideas. I heard him coming blocks before he arrived. The chest vibrating throb of the subwoofer announced his arrival. His low-riding, metallic lime green 65 Chevrolet side-step pickup truck bounced and shimmied to a stop in front of my house. Jose’s face beamed as he manipulated the hydraulics making the vehicle dance to the beat of the music. As the song ended, the chassis sank, the wheels disappeared into the fenders that rested millimeters off the ground.
“¿Estás listo para jugar?” he asked as he leaned across the seat and pushed open the passenger door. He motioned to the cooler and my bags and tossed head backward stating, “Throw that stuff in the back.”
I did as he instructed before I slid in next to him.
“¿Te gusta?” he spread his arms wide, pointing to the lime green and cream interior before he winked at me.
“I can’t say I was expecting this,” I giggled, a little overwhelmed by the color. It didn’t help that Jose was wearing a linen tangerine orange shirt, that did nothing to subdue the visual overload.
“She’s beautiful. No?”
“She is something,” I admitted.
I settled in and we were off. Between the bucking Chevy, the heart-pounding Tex-Mex hip hop, and Jose’s excited pointing and explanations of passing roadside attractions, the trip was anything but dull. Before I realized it, we were pulling up to Camden Street Bridge.
We found a parking spot under the overpass where hundreds of other people gathered. Children played along the riverfront while parents prepared tailgate dinners.
Jose pulled a blanket emblazoned with a Mexican flag from the truckbed and threw it over the hood and anchored it with the bright red cooler. The sun was just setting as we ate and chatted with those around us. Periodically, talking stopped and eyes scanned the sky. Everyone was waiting. Hopeful anticipation filled the air.
Then, as the first evening star twinkled in the heavens, a murmur rose from the throng, followed by the reverberation of one hundred thousand wings beating the cool night breeze.
“Look,” Jose breathed, “There they are. The Mexican free-tail bat.” They flew. A black undulating cloud of swooping and diving bats emerging from their roost in the crevices cut under the bridge. It was time for their nightly feeding of the city’s unsuspecting bugs and insects.
Oo’s and ahh’s emanated from the crowd at the spectacle silhouetted against the crimson and coral pink sunset.
“Es increíble. ¿No?” Jose whispered.
I could only nod in agreement.
Keep on writing.
Jo Hawk The Writer