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Parking Structure 3 from Page 38

idiots and lunatics. Isn’t there any way out?” Millie said, “Maybe it’s like the entry.Maybe we have to go

up first, just to get to the turning point for the down-ramp.” She looked at the snow, shivered, and turned on the car heater. She held her bony old arms around her while her teeth chattered. Some of those teeth weremissing. “Hey, that’s good thinking,” John said in surprise. He threw

the shift lever into forward and screeched around the corners.As they passed Level Seven, John looked over atMillie. She lay in a huddled heap. “Millie.Millie.Wake up – are youOK?”He slammed on the

brakes and reached for her. He shook her shoulder, and she flopped over onto the floor of the car, face up. It was the white- boned face of a broken-toothed skeleton that stared sightlessly at himfroma tangle of gray hair. John screamed in terror. He gunned the engine and raced,

tires howling, up through the next three levels, weaving and dart- ing at random, nearly spinning out of control on the ice-slickened concrete surface of the parking structure. He had to reach the turning point and get back down to the surface, call 911, and then maybe all these crazy things would be OK, andMillie would be Millie again. John drove on, zipping through level after level. Finally, as

he passed under the sign that said Level 449, he thought, This is the second time I’ve passed the 449th level.God,we’re thousands of feet up in the air. Four-level structure indeed. John’s ears popped with the altitude.

A frozen seagull lay off to the side, by the wall, with its stiff

feet in the air. He remembered passing it a minute earlier. A minute later, he passed the gull again, even though he could swear he was still driving uphill steadily. He was still on level 449. “Thismust be the top level at last,” he said loudly, cheerfully,

pretending that somehowMillie could hear him. But top level or not, therewas still no down-ramp.Theywere

still stuck, he realized, as they passed the gull a third time. He stopped the car and then backed down around the turn until he reached another set of the one-way tire spikes. He stopped and set the hand brake. John climbed out of the car and ran back around one bend

after another, heading downward, searching, slipping on the ice, shivering, waving his arms in the sub-zero cold winds that moaned at him. If only he could find some way down, then he would drive thewrongway in the car –who cares about tire dam- age. His heart pounded in his chest. In a minute, he again came upon the gull, this time fromthe other direction. For some crazy reason, when you were at...

To read the rest of this story, go on line to– it will be in the “lead story” section in the upper left hand corner of the page.

A writer of essays covering science, economics and ethics, Wes Alderson also is the author of literary, science fiction and fantasy short stories – his first love. In 2001, shortly after his retirement from the electronics and acoustics industry, he earned a Certified Professional Writer degree from UCLA Extension in Los Angeles, and says he plans to spend the rest of his life writing.


For Pennsylvania, New Jersey and Delaware, what’s best is the new: See what we can do for you.

Richard N. Best Associates, Inc. | 15 Trail Road | Levittown, PA 19056 | 215.945.9240 | 40 JULY 2010 • PARKING TODAY •

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