It was about two in the morning…the moon was out…when I saw this brontosaurus of a truck wheel into a rural-outpost Rocket Gas station.
It was obviously an independent's rig. The cab was all Kustom-Flake paint—some deep, rich color that the thin moonlight could only suggest. There were tall twin chrome diesel stacks. Big chrome airhorns. Black, black tires—half a score of them on the tractor alone.
The driver braked with a hiss as he reached the diesel pumps.
An attendant trotted out from the office. Exchanged some quick words, stuck a nozzle somewhere in the machinery. Got a bucket of suds and a soft brush on a pole. SWOP! and the windshield was covered—then on to all the rest of the cab: move it, move it, man's got some miles to cover! Next the hose: as the suds slid off, that custom paint shone so clear and deep the rivets seemed to float in it.
The big beast stood showered and grumbling, cold droplets drying in the night air. The door cracked open. The man put out a leg. Grabbed a chrome bar, swung out and around, dropped to the pavement.
He was big.
He said some more words to the attendant. Got a toolbox. Touched something—and the huge cab rose up and forward, baring its diesel vitals. The man put his hands in there, and the machine began to speak:
The man closed up his rig. Gave the attendant something; climbed aboard, was off.
Became quickly just a distant bass snarl and a gleam of silver tanker flank in the moonlight.
And as I watched him disappear, I knew:
Next time Zeus takes it into his head to descend to earth and carry off some virgin, he'll do it in the form of a truck.