I’ve been away for awhile, but I couldn’t resist the latest flash fiction challenge from Chuck Wendig at Terribleminds.com….write a car chase…
I lose my lunch crossing Consequence creek.
The bridge is steeper than anticipated, and my ‘89 El Camino launches like a rocket before sparking back to the blacktop, sending hubcaps whizzing like ninja stars.
You would have thought I’d eaten a tub of spoiled yogurt based on the consistency, but nope: two beers, a blueberry cigarillo, and half a peanut butter and jelly. Combine that with the exploded dye pack splatter on my dashboard, drenching my Lynyrd Skynyrd t-shirt, and soaking into my liberated wads of bills, and I probably look like a Smurf serial killer as opposed to a bank robber.
My Dora the Explorer mask is full of barf, so I peel it off and throw it out the window. It smacks against the cop car windshield like a ten pound spit ball and sticks there, squirming in the wind like a seizuring octopus. I laugh until they ram me, knocking my Weird Al bobble head off the dash, spilling Wild Turkey all over my parachute pants.
Weird Al cracks in half, smiling up at me as he dies.
I mash the gas—so hard I nearly split my crocs—and maneuver the corner at Dead Man’s Bend like an astronaut re-entering Earth’s atmosphere. The El Camino roars, sirens wail, and a smattering of gunfire cracks, buzzing past my open window like killer bees. All of it is almost loud enough to drown out the incomparable Cindy Lauper on my eight track.
“I come home, in the morning light, my mother says when you gonna live your life right?”
Blacktop gives way to country gravel, rumbling my bones, sending me fishtailing amidst spitting rocks and pluming smoke. Trees whiz by, gawking birds, a ginger kid on a BMX who shouts a swear word and gives me enthusiastic devil horns. Behind me, the cops are multiplying. There’s at least a dozen cruisers and a S.W.A.T truck that looks like a ninja mammoth lumbering along in their dusty wake.
I might be a thirty year old hombre, but I feel increasingly by the minute like Thelma, and or, Louise.
“Oh Mother dear were not the fortunate ones, and girl’s they wanna have fu-un,”
I hit a railroad crossing like Evil Kinevil, soaring through the air, messing with everything my fifth grade education ever taught me about physics. Behind me, one of the cop cars nails the tracks crooked and lands upside down in a road side spruce tree, blue and reds still flashing, turning the afternoon into the night before Christmas.
“The phone rings, in the middle of the night, my father says what you gonna do with your life?”
My rear-view mirror explodes courtesy of a shotgun blast that comes so close it singes my mutton chops and batters my dual chins with shrapnel. Ahead, just beyond a ‘DEAD END’ sign with a graffiti skull and cross bones, there’s nothing but unobstructed, wide open road.
“Let’s see if you bastards can do ninety,’ I quote my man, Marty McFly as I shift gears and mash the gas like granny’s prize winning potatoes. The dust-swirling wind screams into the car through the freshly punched bullet holes, almost loud enough to drown out Cyndi.
“Girls just wanna, they just wa-nnaaa, they just wanna,”
“YOU. IN THE CAR.”
The amplified voice comes from above like a malevolent God, along with the whomping cadence of helicopter blades.
My middle finger tremors like a weathervane as I shove it out into the wind and stab it skyward.
“PULL OVER. NOW.”
Getting my bare ass out the window proves a little more difficult than my finger, but not much. A bullet whizzes by as I yank it back in, nearly ruining my work-in-progress-since-’86-full-cheek ‘Alf’ tattoo.
“Oh, girls, they wanna have fu-unn,”
The Police chopper swoops down in front of me, forcing me off the road. I crank the wheel, and roar through a shallow ditch before plowing into a corn field. I lose my spoiler and both side mirrors as cobs the size of baseball bats batter the car. Immediately, I’m glad my butts back inside.
I can’t see where I’m going, but I can see where I’ve been. The cops have stopped chasing. There’s nothing behind me but tire treads, black exhaust, and pulverized corn. Even the thrum of the helicopter blades is fading.
I made it.
The money might be a little soggy, a little torn, a little blue-stained, but it’s all mine.
All seventy three dollars of it.
Although the need is no longer there, I’ve got an itch that needs scratching. I punch the red button on the dash. The button my cousin Stumpy installed. The button he says will make me “Faster and Furiouser than the Fast and the Furious.”
“Oh, girls just wanna have fun,”
The El Camino lurches forward like a spur-urged race horse.
Suddenly, I feel like I’m sitting in the captain’s chair of the Millennium Falcon.
The last of the corn falls away at warp speed, revealing a parking lot, and looming beyond it, an ominous, pollution belching factory.
The sign blurs by, but I still manage to read it:
DANGER! NITROGLYCERINE MANUFACTURING PLANT
As the El Camino hood catches fire, I decide to Google it on my IPhone.
“Oh girls just wanna have fu-un,”
I squeegee barf off the cracked screen.