(originally published in Daily Love)
Neda worked in a gift shop at the edge of the Hoover Dam in 1935, selling small dam replicas to tourists. Her beloved, a pioneering biologist named Dane, had disappeared while researching Gila monsters in the desert. Neda’s tears for her missing sweetheart dripped upon the postcards of the Hoover Dam in the gift shop, smearing the images of sky and cement. Most tourists would not buy the postcards in that condition, though some art-inclined visitors felt that the tears added a new dimension to the otherwise humdrum depiction of the Depression-era water-damming edifice, paying extra dollars and cents for a postcard abstracted by the fluid of Neda’s tear ducts.
One morning, a 4-year old hellion named Edna ran amok in the gift shop, knocking trinkets off the shelves, tearing up reprinted images of the dam. A frustrated Neda slapped a decal of the Hoover Dam to Edna’s forehead, angering Edna’s influential parents, resulting in Neda being fired later that morning. Little Edna soon enjoyed a lunch of toast and herbal tea, but Neda did not have as pleasant a meal, munching on difficult wafers, blood and regrets.
That night, feeling lost without Dane, Neda walked along the length of the Hoover Dam, holding a metal fork in the air in the midst of a lightning storm, waiting for a shock from above. Neda received the jolt 2.8 minutes into the walk, being struck down by the fatal jagged bolt of light, spasmodically clutching the kitchen fork as the volts worked their way through her skeleton and membrane. After her death, the local legend was that Neda’s spirit still trolled the desert in a 1934 Studebaker, pining for her lost love Dane.
Two decades later, the child from the gift shop, Edna, having grown up, had a baby in Kingman, AZ. The baby had a strange rectangular birthmark on her forehead. During her pregnancy, Edna had been feeling a strong pull toward the Hoover Dam, seeing it in the kitchen sink water reflection, and as a shape mysteriously mowed into her lawn, a sort of small-scale suburban ‘crop circle’.
One night storm clouds gathered over the desert, and Edna could no longer resist the pull. She packed the baby into her 1954 Studebaker, and drove along the highway toward the Hoover Dam. As she neared the dam, Edna saw a broken down car by the side of the road, with a Gila monster near its right front tire. Alone in the car was an infant, apparently abandoned. Edna pulled to the side of the road to rescue the deserted child, placing him next to her baby in the back seat. In Edna’s Studebaker, the two infants, reincarnated souls of Neda and Dane, locked eyes as lightning struck in the desert.
Edna drove to the local authorities, and after weeks of investigation and paperwork, was able to adopt the baby she had found in the abandoned car. The two infants were inseparable, growing together into childhood, then adulthood. As the years went by, they pooled together enough money to buy the Hoover Dam gift shop, which they would run together throughout eternity.