Goddamnfuckinghell, I can’t even believe this shit!
What in the name of Jesus the fucking Christ is that woman even thinking? Leaving me behind and running off with The Knuckle’s cocaine, after treating me like I’m the insane one here.
I have to find her.
I need to get the drugs and fix this. If I can’t get the cash for the mob, I have to give them back their product. Yes. That’s the only way.
Sarah, where did you go? Where the fuck did you go!
God, fuck, don’t fucking panic, Nate. Fuck!
Just follow the tracks. Footprints in the dirt. I see her heels thrown off to the side, so she’s barefoot. Those prints look like barefoot prints. Just go after her, Nate.
Then the pain catches up again. That bitch hit me over the head. More than once. Trying to walk makes everything blur and move before my eyes, and everything is washed out and faded. And my stomach is upset like that day I smoked too much before that rollerocaster—oh God, not now, no no—just the thought of that makes me puke all over my shoes. Great.
No time to fuck this up, Nate. Just keep on moving, and catch up to her before the mob finds out. I take off the torn tux—no way I’m getting the deposit back now—and use it to wipe off my mouth. My white shirt is now dust-brown and stained in my own blood. Disgusting.
I have a feeling I know where she’d go in a situation like this. There’s this motel not far from the interstate. Sarah likes to hang out there once a while, get away from home and being the “good” daughter-slash-girlfriend. Comes with complimentary breakfast, so she doesn’t have to cook. She thought no one knew about her little secret, but I followed her a few times. All she does is drink a few beer, smoke a little—all that stuff the “good Sarah” would never do. Must suck to always be the responsible girl in the house. I tried to take her out and let her live a little—as a good step-brother should—but she had none of it. Didn’t take it personal, but maybe I should have.
I bet that’s where she’s headed. The tracks point that way, too. It’s not too far from here, and where the fuck else would she go after screwing over that gang, crashing my car, beating the shit out of me, and taking off with four pounds of clear-cut coke without any means to sell that shit? What the fuck is wrong with that woman? All that housework must’ve driven her crazy. Good thing Mitch got to see what kind of girl she really is before he got sucked in too far by her.
I pull out my cellphone and dial the number of that strip joint from last night. Reception is fucked up out here, but I get a connection.
A guy picks up. “Boobie Bungalow Gentleman’s Club—Exotic Dancing, we’re currently closed. What can I do for you?” Calling a strip club in the middle of the day is a little weird, I admit. But The Knuckle owns that place, so what else can I do but call there?
Fighting to walk straight, huffing and puffing I answer, “I need to talk to The Knuckle. It’s about the morning delivery.”
The other end goes silent for a moment, only interrupted by static crackling. I look at the screen and yell at the one bar of reception threatening to go away: “Fuck no, no, no, please don’t”—a voice comes through the earpiece—“Yeah, hello”—I hold the phone to my ear—“Yes, anyone there?”
“Who is this?” I don’t recognize the voice, but it’s not the same dude I just spoke to. “Hello?”
“Yes, hey, this is Nathan.” Think, idiot! “Business partner of The Knuckle.” Brilliant. “Something went wrong and I need to talk to him.” A pause. “Please?”
Muffled to me, the dude says something like, “It’s for you boss. Some guy named Nathan.”
A moment later, The Knuckle’s voice comes through the bad reception, and I nearly piss myself. “Nathan. I was wondering when I would hear from you. What seems to be the problem?”
Is he fucking with me, or has he not found out yet?
I say, “We did everything as you wanted it, sir. But then this gang showed up out of nowhere and started shooting at us.” Better to replay the events more in my favour, I reckon. “They fucked up the guy we were supposed to meet. So I turned and ran. But don’t worry; I kept your product with me!”
Another too-long pause.
“I see,” says The Knuckle. “That is very unfortunate. Tell me, where are you now? I will send someone to you to take the case off of you.”
“Nathan? Is there something else I need to know?”
“No”—fuck—“Yes, I mean yes. My fucking step-sister ran off with what was in the case and left me in the desert. But I know where she is. I mean, I think—“
“You think? Nathan. Friend. You do understand how disappointed I am, don’t you?”
“I do, boss. But I got it handled. She’s at the Motor Lodge, you know, that motel on—“
“I know where that is.”
“Yeah, right. I’m not far from it, and I swear to God that’s where she is.
“Thank you, Nathan.” Click. Call’s over. I hit the buttons frenetically, blaming the reception for the dropped call.
Maybe he just hung up.
I reach the motel not long after. It’s pretty empty today—only a few cars parked out front. Sarah usually rents the same room—come to think of it: where does she get the money for it without a job?
Doesn’t matter, dude. Focus. Focus.
I knock on the door, hear some shuffling coming from the inside. The lock clicks. The door opens a few inches, but a chain stops it before it opens far enough.
“Sarah, come on, let me in!”
She looks through the small gap. “Get lost, Nathan. You fucked this up enough, already.”
“Dude, are you even thinking? You stole drugs from the mob! They’re on their way here—“
“What! What did you do?” She yells through the gap, and by the sound of her voice, I’m sort of glad the door’s between us right now. Hell hath no fury, and so on.
“Think about this, man. We give them back their stuff, and settle the score. Ain’t our fault that gang showed up and—“
Suddenly, I hear a barrage of revving engines coming closer. I look down the road and see a bunch of bikers coming close.
“Let me in, Sarah. Come on, we’re family! These fucking bikers are coming. When they see me out here, they’ll know you’re here too!”
“Shit!” The door slams shut before my face.
“Sarah!” Then the chain rustles, and the door flies open. Sarah grabs me by my shirt and pulls me in, slamming the door behind me. She’s only wearing her underwear and pantyhose. Her dress is thrown on the floor, tattered and torn, and two bags of bride-white powder are on the bed.
“Now what?” she says.
“I don’t fucking know. Hope they drive past us?”
But they don’t.
We hear the engines stopping outside the door.
She says, “Did you tell anyone else I’m here? And how did you even—“
“Really? Now? No, just The Knuckle knows.”
“The what? Shit. Mitch knows, I took him here a few times when we first started dating. You know, to get out of the house and away from you.”
“Thanks, sis. You don’t think Mitch sold us out?”
A heavy fist knocks on the door, nearly making my heart shoot out of my ass. I’m tempted to sneak a look past the heavy curtains, but maybe that’s a stupid idea.
A voice yells from outside the door. “Sarah, are you in there? This is Mitch here. Come on, babe. Let’s talk about this, and we can figure this all out, alright?”
“That son of a fucking bitch!” Sarah’s kicking the door, being all mad-woman-like. Not sure which side of the door is the better place to be right now.
I finally convince myself to take a look, and push the curtain away just the slightest bit of an inch. I see Mitch standing by the door, with a heavy, fat, bearded, old fart holding him by the neck. Behind them are three bikes, one looking all souped-up and like something only the boss would ride. The—I assume—leader sits on it, rolling himself a cigarette. Three bikes, two dudes and Mitch. He isn’t one of them now, is he?
Behind them, a sleek, black sedan pulls up.
It stops behind the biker boss, who’s turning around to see who even dares to interrupt. The doors fly open and a handful of The Knuckle’s men jump out, taking cover behind the doors, and pointing automatics at the biker—
And the fucking motel door and window!
I jump over the bed like a stoned action hero that retired long ago, rolling over the hard mattress and falling to the ground on the other side.
Sarah’s eyes follow my stunt in disbelief.
Then the first bullets break the glass and punch through the cheap wood of the door.
Looks like this scene ended up a little longer than the previous ones, but I’m quite happy with it.
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