[S01E04] "Nowhere, USA"

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Liz's bare feet pressed on the cool glass of the sedan's windshield. A combination of sunlight, hangover, and Tom Petty playing on repeat for the last two hours in the tape deck was making her ill. She crawled her way out from under the plastic jacket. The sun was like a knife in her brain.

She flipped down the visor to block the sun only to discover the built in mirror. Her makeup was smeared it made her look like she had fallen down on a Van Gough painting. She took a pack of wet naps out of her bag and began cleaning her face.

"Hey there, beautiful. Glad you decided to stop hiding from the universe."

"Where the hell are we?" inquired Liz.

"The middle of nowhere, better known as Kansas."

As her eyes finally came into focus, she could see that this was the truth. They were in the place where brown meets blue with the occasional green dot here and there to break up the horizon. Every now and then, a tractor trailer would pass by, headed in the opposite direction, just to remind them other humans still existed.

She took her phone out of her bag and held down the power button in hopes that it somehow magically charged itself while she was asleep. She hoped they would have a charger at the next place they went for gas. She feared she might start having fits if she didn't see the internet soon.

"I think I need another drink," Liz muttered under her breath.

"I was more thinking coffee, I've been fighting against some serious nap action for about the past hour. I desperately want to change the music out, but I'm afraid to take my eyes off the road," Rick reported.

Liz hit the eject button on the tape deck. With a kerchunk the tape flew out of the deck and into her hand. Static came blaring out of the speakers. She twisted the dial until she found something that wasn't NPR or an explanation of how wonderful Jesus is.

By the time they reached the gas station all the blue had turned to gray, giving the world the look of an old time-y photo from the days of the Wild West. Rick laid back in the driver's seat. His eyes felt like they were glued open. All he wanted was to rub his eyelids until they dropped to his cheeks, but he couldn't lift his arms away from the steering wheel they had been there so long. Eventually he managed to loosen his grip and tear them away. The two of them looked like zombies.

Rick wearily pulled out a bundle of singles from his pocket and handed it to Liz. "I'm going to gas up. Can you get me a coffee and a pack of Camels?"

Liz took the money and stumbled out of the car. She stood for a moment.

The store was old and worn out. It was caked with grease and dust. The windows looked as if they had been rubbed with soap, but someone had forgotten to apply the water. As if they were waiting for the rain to do the work. Her nose tingled as if the way it does when one licks a nine-volt battery. Wet dust, she thought to herself, that's a new one.

The chime let out a bing-bong as she entered the store. Everyone in the establishment locked eyes on her and she became suddenly self-conscious. She hoped that they would return to their business as she made her way through the store, but they continued to stare at her as if she were a two-headed calf at the rodeo.

Everyone looked strange and inbred. It was like a horror movie. Any second she expected to see Aston Kutcher to come running out of the back room, telling her it was all a joke. As she fixed the coffees she could still feel their eyes on her.

The door let out another bing-bong and a feeling of relief came over her. She turned expecting to see Rick, but instead, a cliché of a small-town cop stood silently by the door, with his hands on his hips. His elbows were thrown back and his neck lurched forward like an angry chicken.

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