• Vol. 04
  • Chapter 10


The young man looked into the grey of her eyes. It was the color of the roads that drew long lines into the green hills of his home. Straight roads, ruler drawn, which crossed the endless steppes, where, like freckles in a laughing face, wild horses were grazing.
The girl’s eyes were lined with kohl, thick lines paralleling her pencil sketched eyebrows, and the long tentacles of her mascaraed lashes where shivering as she closed her eyes and opened them, closed her eyes and opened them. Like the long grass danced, when caressed by the evening wind.
“Your eyes are like roads…” he said.
She closed her eyes and opened them. Closed her eyes and opened them. It was a nervous tick.
“I beg your pardon?” she said. “That’s 82.70.” She kept her head down, looking into the open drawer of the cash register.
“Your eyes take me home,” He said. In the bright halogen light of the gas station, he thought he could see freckles shine through the opaque foundation of her make up. And underneath this thick layer of powder and dusty rouge, he thought he could see her blushing. He thought he could see her cheeks turn into the delicate color of pink primroses.
“Of course, 82.70…” He felt for the breast pockets of his leather jacket. “Can I tell you something, though?”
“That’s 82.70.” She did not look up.
“You don’t need to hide behind all this make up. You’re beautiful, you know.”
When she looked up, she saw her own mascaraed eyes, the straight line of her own tense mouth, her own painted face. It seemed like a warped mask, reflected in the closed visor of his helmet. And there was no money in his hand, but the little muzzle of a gun looking straight at her.



"Just put everything on the counter.” His voice was muted from behind the visor.
When he walked out, his pockets stuffed with bills, his bike was waiting, its tank filled to the brim. Its round headlights were gazing at him in happy anticipation. They were going home, riding along the straight grey roads up and down the green hills of the steppe.
Inside, the girl watched him take off. Then, with the back of her hand, she wiped the lipstick off her mouth.