Sarah’s sitting on the backseat, and she’s been complaining since the second we left. And it’s not like Mitch is in any better mood, what with his silence and staring into the distance. All I can do is keep driving down the road, ignoring her nagging and trying not to feel too awkward with Mitch stewing in whatever is going on in his mind.
“Where the hell are we even going, Nate? Why is this place so far out?” God, I know it’s her big day and the last thing she wants to do is hang with me or drive around all day, but she needs to calm the fuck down. Sure wish Mitch would tell his new wife to be quiet. What the hell happened with the two, anyway?
From my pocket, I pull out one of the muffins they had at the dessert table, and start munching on it. A little dry, but just the thing I need after last night’s party. Still think it was amazing, though it screwed our plans. Hell man, I hope “The Knuckle” won’t be mad. It’s my first job, right?
As I’m munching down on that muffin, Mitch says (annoyed at me for some reason), “Where’d you get that muffin from?”
And right away, Sarah’s chiming in from the back, pulling herself closer by the front seats, “Really? You’re eating—now?”
I muffle through my smacking lips, losing crumbs of muffin in the process, “Yeah, sure. That a crime now?”
Sarah pushes herself back with a sigh. I watch her in the rearview mirror. Our eyes lock for moment and she cocks her head to the side. “Shouldn’t you be driving, numbnuts?” Whatever the hell’s gotten into her I don’t know. Married life’s made a bitch out of her, apparently.
Oh-ho I’m Sarah, and I’m a married and responsible and all grown up now, you fucking loser. I can picture her perfectly in my head, too. Stuck-up cow. Should be happy Mitch got her tagging along on this trip.
I say, “If you don’t like the way I drive, here, you take the wheel.” I let go of the steering wheel and let the car do what it does. Sarah freaks out in the back, but Mitch grabs the wheel just after smacking me in the back of my head.
“You crazy?” says Mitch, trying to keep the car straight on the road. I just push harder on the gas, repaying him for the smack with a laugh.
“No dude. Your wife’s getting all bossy back there, and I—“
“Fuck you, Nate. Pull your shit together. This ain’t a walk in the park, and you better get your business-brain going,” says Mitch all interrupting me. I better take back the wheel and straighten out. He’s right, after all. We’re already late (which he surely blames on me. Like I was the one forcing him to drink all night long).
“A’right, a’right,” I say all grown-up-like, shooting a smile to Sarah through the mirror. “Let’s do this shit.”
A few minutes later, we hit the dirt road, just as The Knuckle said we would. My old beater of a car has a hard time handling the uneven speed bumps and potholes made of gravel-slash-dirt, but we’ll get there.
And when we do, two dudes in black suits are waiting for us by a nice looking car not far from the piece of shit bar, called “Hell’s Kitchen”—a dirty place for dirty people to do dirty business.
I pull the car to the opposite side of the lot from where they’re parked. Figure I keep my car from kicking dust all over those dudes and their fine outfits.
Mitch says, “Those look like they’re the clients.”
“Yeah,” I say. Sarah squints her eyes agains the sun setting behind the bar and takes a peek herself.
“They look like money,” she says, and in her voice I can hear the cha-ching from the dollar-bills popping up in her eyes.
“Yeah,” I say again. I pull the handle to open the driver’s door, when Mitch put his hand on my chest to stop me. Then he turns around to look at me, like he’s too good for me or something.
He says, “Let me do the talking. They might not be our guys. We’re late, after all—“
“You’re what?” screeches Sarah. Great. Had to tell your wifey after all, idiot.
“Nothing for you to worry about, babe,” Mitch says. Sarah wants to protest, but, finally, Mitch puts a handle on his wife and simply talks over her. “They might not be our guys. Let me chat with them. And when I give you the signal, come out with the case and we make the deal. Sounds good?”
I say, “What’s the signal?”
“I moon you, idiot.” Then he gets out and walks over.
Sarah says, “What did he mean by ‘we are late,’ Nathan?”
“Oh hell it’s nothing. That’s why you stormed in and almost ruined my getting ready, isn’t it?”
“Well…” I say slowly, carefully collecting my thoughts, “…yeah. But it’s all good. We made it. The guys were waiting for us”—I point at the duo now talking to Mitch—“and things’ll be straight in a moment, and you and your hubby can go and enjoy your honeymoon, and I—“
“I don’t even wanna know.”
I chuckle. Then the first bullet comes bursting through the back window in an odd angle, and goes right out the passenger’s side door. Sarah and I duck almost instantly when the shards of glass come flying our way.
Next thing I know, everything goes up in chaos like a fourth of July rocket stuck in a jerry can full of gasoline. I can hear the sound of motorcycles rushing by the car. When I finally dare to look up and over the dashboard, I see many of those bikers doing circles around Mitch and the clients, but the dust they throw off makes it hard to make out anything. I hear another gunshot and a muffled scream past all the noise of revving engines and rubber grinding on gravel.
Then, the backdoor flies open and Sarah darts out of the car, and rushes straight for the whirlwind of dust and angry bikers, yelling Mitch’s name and reaching out with her arm fully extended. Of course, she looks like an idiot running in her dress and heels.
And, fuck-sakes, why’s she running out there anyway?
Well. If she wants to get hurt, be my fucking guest. I put the car in drive and put my hands around the wheel. Just lift your foot off the break and put it on the gas. That easy. Get lost. Save the drugs.
Fuck me. Sarah’s on her knees, ruining her pretty dress that mom gave her. Her hair’s now all frizzy and dusty. Before her, some of the bikers are slowing down. I can see one of them—a fat fuck with a too-tight camou-outfit—dragging one of the suits away and behind the bar. That guy’s dead-dead, with a bloody hole in his head.
Shit shit shit.
Time to go.
These guys are psychopaths. Can’t even see Mitch no more behind those fuckers. Or the other suit. They’re dead.
All fucking dead.
They haven’t noticed Sarah yet—all crying and helpless on the ground—but they will. And then she’s dead.
And me too, if I don’t drive away now.
I hit the gas as hard as I can, spitting gravel and dust from under my tires and high up in the air.
Why? Why the hell am I doing this? Instead of fucking off as any sane young man would, I drive closer to the centre of this shit-storm to get her.
I hate that fucking bitch.
Making me do this; help her; save her.
I pull up next to her, but she doesn’t budge. I yell through the open window, “Get the fuck in the car, Sarah!”
For crying out fucking loud.
I jump out of the car and pull her up by her arm. But for some reason I follow her teary eyes and see both Mitch and the suit on their knees, their face shoved into the ground. Each have a gun go their head. Some bikers are gone now, but some still remain. And those same some have just noticed us, because Sarah starts screaming.
Not for Mitch. No—at me!
“You son of a fucking bitch!” she cries out hitting me in the chest. “You should have helped him! Why did you get him—“
I dug her assault and lean with my back against the car. “Calm down, man! Let’s get the fuck out of here.” Why did I stop for her? I could be gone.
The bikers rev their engines and start heading for us. And, of course, they have pistols—one of which is firing in the air.
The bang wakes Sarah the fuck up. She jerks in shock, but instead of going all cry-baby on me again, she reaches behind me and opens the back door, pushing me aside in the process. Then she shoves me right into the backseat, and jumps into the driver’s side door I left open.
By the time I collect myself enough—what with her driving like a maniac and me stranded on my back on the rear seats like a beetle turned over—we’ve made it halfway down the dirt road already. Behind us, two bikers are following not far off. And they’re firing at us. Bullets fly our way, hit the dirt next to us. Then, a bullet hits the back bumper, loosing it. Dragging that thing behind us, we leave one hell of a dust cloud—enough that I can’t see the bikers no more.
When we hit the asphalt, the two are gone. It’s just her and me. I crawl to the front passenger seat and say, “What the fuck are you doing?”
She yells right back, her eyes all crazy-mad and twitchy, and only missing the foam on her mouth, “Stop whining, for fuck’s sake!”
This ain’t right. We can’t just take off with the drugs.
I say, “But Sarah, maybe if we go back and give them the case, they won’t hurt us?”
She says no, and she fucking blames me for this whole thing!
I try to take control over the wheel from her—she isn’t thinking rationally here, and someone needs to figure this shit out. “Fuck-sakes,” I say. I try to calm her down and remind her of Mitch. But that just makes her more angry at me, and next thing I know, she steps harder on the gas and we fly off the road. I tumble in my seat like wet laundry in a dryer, and that’s it for me: lights out.
And by the time I come to, I’m upside down and dizzy, and I can see Sarah’s standing in her heels—upside down for me—before the smashed-in car door on the ground, and the case in her hand.
I begin to crawl out of the wreck, and trying to get her attention. She needs to help me—after all I just saved her life back there.
This scene is a lot longer than the rest (~1800 words), but that is partially because I ended it with a bit of an overlap with Scene 1. Also, it wraps up the “Past” scenes of the story, so a little bit more text is okay here.
I hope you liked it. My day-job work is picking up quite a bit right now, and I hardly had time to sit down and relax, let alone find time and mental energy to write. So this scene had to wait until the very last minute to come together. But I believe it works well.