Author website: http://herocious.tumblr.com/
Michael Davidson (herocious)
a u s t i n n i g h t s
a novel by
h e r o c i o u s
Copyright © 2011 by Michael Davidson
Description on back cover adapted from Betty Smithʼs A Tree Grows in Brooklyn
Published by TINY TOE PRESS
Austin, Texas 78704
Publisherʼs Note: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents
either are the product of the authorʼs imagination or are used fictitiously, and any
resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events, or locales is entirely coincidental.
All rights reserved.
Today is April 1st, and I just finished recording a 4:01 video to celebrate the
moment. Bridget is driving the white Silverado packed to the hilt with the stuff we
couldnʼt do without: our home.
Weʼre driving a long way. Miami Beach was death defying, but we have to leave
now, leave the giant ocean with its therapeutic sands and salts for no less than five
Austin will be our new stomping ground. Weʼre driving there as I write. Bridget
has both hands on the wheel. Sometimes thereʼs a large iced latte between her legs.
I find the mixture of caffeine and inner thighs more stimulating than just caffeine.
Goosebumps from the iciness of her refreshment riddle her flesh. I reach over and grab
the cup without asking for a sip. She doesnʼt make a sarcastic remark.
“Thanks,” I say, lingering when I put the iced latte back between her legs.
She raises her eyebrows high above her Tri-Rail sunglasses and says, “Good,
I slide her iPhone into the passenger door pocket and look at the familiar I-95
North scenery. Nothing has changed really, not in the four years Iʼve lived in South
Florida at least.
“What a beautiful day,” says Bridget, her window rolled down.
The highway and air sound loud outside. She has to shout everything to be
heard. But if we roll the windows up and crank the AC, mpg in the Chevy plummets from
20 to a little less than fifteen, and weʼre on a budget.
Off in the distance, a train speaks in Austin. I listen to the whistle and wonder
where itʼs going. If it has a long way yet or if it has already arrived.
Weʼre exploring the South Lamar area on our way to Half-Price Books. We walk
over railroad tracks as the whistle blows again. It sounds closer. Will we see the train?
I think I can speak for both of us when I say weʼre feeling full of life these days.
Suddenly, I fancy walking along these railroad tracks.
Dear Lord, where would we be without the railroad?
I say to Bridget, “We need to walk along these tracks soon.”
She says, “We can do that.”
I look north down the tracks. Their graceful curve through the trees and over the
creeks toward downtown is different than anything Iʼve ever seen.
“Austin is so photogenic,” I say. “We need to get a real camera.”
“Right?” Bridget collates some reddish gold hair behind her ear. “Itʼs such a
We hug each other around the waist and face north, wildflowers growing all
around us, trees growing taller than the wildflowers, and glassy skyscrapers growing
taller than the trees, and we understand why so many people love it here.
Austin, you seem to have it all.
Close to Winter Garden, a Florida Orange Center billboard lures us off the
turnpike. The center promises free orange