TITLE: Haunted Cowboy Robots
My dad was driving us through the desert at night when we passed a hitchhiker. Lynda, my step-mother, said, "Wait."
Dad ignored her. He was listening to some kook on the radio talking about UFOs.
Lynda grabbed his arm. "Stop!"
He pulled over and slammed the brakes. "What's wrong?"
"Back up. I think she's in trouble."
"Just back up."
Bina and I looked outside. Dad didn't need to back up. Lit by the red glare of our taillights, a figure was running toward us, hair and loose clothes streaming behind. It was a banshee.
Lynda opened her door. Dad tried to restrain her but she slipped out and stood next to our Suburban with her arms crossed. The figure slowed. I hoped it would dissolve into smoke, but it kept coming. Dad opened his door and ran around. I think he grabbed the gun under the seat.
I rolled down my window. Bina crowded next to me.
"Thank you," the phantom said.
It was a girl.
"What are you--" my dad started.
"Let me handle this," Lynda told him. "What's your name?"
"Rosie. Please, I need to get south."
Bina whispered in my ear. "You think they're going to..."
I nodded. Then I looked closer. "Oh, fudge. I don't believe this."
"I know her."
Dad looked back at us. I shook my head, but he told Lynda it was okay.
And that's how Rosie Sanchez ended up in our car a few hours before we