Marcie knew the mascara stained her cheeks.
She passed a semi on the right. Who cared? Sometimes things like that just have to happen. It wasn’t that big a deal. Not really.
Water splashed the windshield. She flipped the wipers on. The needle dipped toward the E. She kept driving. There weren’t any exits around anyway. Just endless miles of sand and sagebrush and billboards advertising Doctor Armadillo’s Mystery Tonic and Little Buddha’s Strip Parlor and Antique Club.
The seat next to her remained empty. The space yawned at her.
She hated her author. Why would someone invent a character like her and throw her away? Why bother creating a story set in a car about a woman mourning her old life, and then throw the whole story away? That was just abuse. That was reckless abandonment, malicious intent, hateful –
Marcie honked the horn and slammed the brakes. She hated the traffic snarls more.
Why would anyone create a broken character with no intent to mend her? She had seen so many stronger women on the highway. She glanced over –
–yep. Samantha was there. A woman who had been cast aside so many times, and always walked away better. How could someone get that way? How could Marcie grow?
Oh, never mind. The author never thought she should grow, so she never would. She couldn’t. She was a character without any kind of potential for growth.
So she was stuck, in a car with the needle eternally on E, waiting for that character revelation that would never arrive. If she were written, she would discover herself. Or she’d arrive. Maybe she’d find her long-lost children. Maybe she’d discover her inner strength and start a new life. Maybe she’d drive off a cliff.
But the author never got that far.
So she was a half-character, almost a parody of negative thoughts and feelings, a woman who couldn’t wipe the mascara off her cheeks because…
…because that would mean she wouldn’t even have what little of a character she had now.
If she wasn’t the eternal driver, constantly thrown away, what else would she be?
And so Marcie drove, through the rain, toward a destination she would never find, because she didn’t dare deviate from the story the author had given her…
…even though he’d rejected her.
This is a Barrelbottom Tale.
Read more about Marcie in The Shopping Cart Pirate Pillages!