Lisa's eyes reflected the glow from the sandy bed, too long ago to be called a river. Pale like moon soil and powdered moth wings. A cloud of dust erupted on the horizon, swirling around six blue lights, splitting apart, two to a being, until they drew near and I could see they were headlights. Three of them, with respective specters behind their windscreens, bony knuckles ridged and accusatory.
They circled us like vultures—tighter and tighter—in spirals of questionable intent. Glowing eyes; burning lights that felt like acid on the skin. There were two, one fat-fendered with the suggestion of green flames, that writhed and licked above the slick rubber that churned beneath like angry hooves. The second, a black Mustang, the lights bleeding to urine-yellow at a certain angle. The driver pressed his skull against the glass and grinned as the draft made her skirt fly up around her legs.
The third was almost reptilian in appearance, long and low, inky-black scaled flesh glinting violet in the light around them, gasping gills in its sides snorting blue fire and in the driver's seat—
An arc of spirits in a close vortex, blotting out the moon and choking our lungs with silt from the dead riverbed. Whispered pleasures, treasures, and torment and the third stopped, tires pouring out of slim wheel wells like viscous oil, clutching the hard packed earth as the dust settled and I was looking into the face of Death itself.
I let out a breath; Lisa shook me, clutching an armful of firewood. I opened my eyes and lifted my head to look at her.
“You have to stay awake to see them,” she chided. I rolled over on my side and smiled.
She was wrong.