I feel like I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump lately. None of the books I’m currently in the middle of are grabbing my attention, so I pulled a mystery off my shelf. Ngaio Marsh never disappoints. This is from page 54 of Vintage Murder. Everyone had stopped talking. …
She loved the ocean air smashing into her face, the feel of the tires beneath as they struggled to cling to the asphalt, the hum of the machine surrounding her body, the knowledge that one twitch to the left or right at the wrong moment meant her brand-new car, along with her brand-new life, would end up at the bottom of a ravine, and maybe years later people would ask: Whatever happened to that cute actress who was in those funny romantic comedies a few year ago? Back then, she loved to drive Decker Canyon Road because it blasted all of the clutter out of her mind.
There are two things you can’t escape out here in the West: dust and death. They sort of swirl together in the wind, and a fellow never knows when a fresh gust is going to blow one or the other right in his face. So while I’m yet a young man, I’ve already laid eyes on every manner of demise you could put a name to. I’ve seen folks drowned, shot, stabbed, starved, frozen, poisoned, hung, crushed, gored by steers, dragged by horses, bitten by snakes, and carried off by an assortment of illnesses with which I could fill the rest of this book and another besides.
So it’s quite a compliment I bestow when I say that the remains we came across the day after the big storm were the most frightful I’d ever seen.
I found that I was competing against the same kids as before, which was great, because we all got to know each other, and I made some great new friends. These contest, while competitive in the water, are actually fun, happy events where winning is secondary to enjoying the surf, the beach, and all the companionship.