Filed under: Short Story
So with December being the slow month for wrestling that it has been, I do not have much to report on. The usual rules of life apply. Train hard daily, work hard daily and eat as much as possible. Without any wrestling for this month I eagerly await the new year. I had recently tried to convince someone to update her blog with previous writings and papers for school, so I figured I would take my own advice. This is a short story I wrote for an English class a few years ago and upon transferring data from my old PC to my Mac I found it a pleasant surprise. I guess it’s better than having nothing on my blog for a number of weeks! So if you feel inclined, please take the time and enjoy! Happy Holidays everyone (Merry Christmas) and a happy New Year. Chestnuts roasting on a hot plate. K
A short story
The night was dark and the air was dry and crisp. The Arizona highway was bare and lonely with the odd set of headlights disturbing the expected darkness. There were four of us crammed inside a 1971 Chevrolet Camero. It was yellow with a black racing stripe spread across the hood and up over the car like a badge of honor. It was gorgeous and we all knew instantly that we had to have it. There were four of us. Tommy our leader was at the wheel of the car still unsure of all the mechanics a standard transmission seemed to require. He made up for his lack of driving experience by keeping the gas pedal as close to the floor as possible. Lee was sitting uncomfortably in the passenger side backseat. He seemed timid and clearly unimpressed with how Tommy liked to manage the Chevy classic. My name is Devon, or Dev. Cool as a cat and the handsomest of the four. I leaned back in my shotgun front seat position cramming Lee even more. The ongoing ribbing of Lee amused both Tommy and me. Best friends since grade school we were, the three of us had been through a lot together. As small town Idaho boys we needed some breathing room. The time had come for a change and a fresh start. That’s what this weekend was all about, a fresh start. I sighed as I leered over my shoulder at our fourth passenger. Wayne as we called him slumped forward, his body swaying with the motion of the car. We all assumed he was from Utah, Salt Lake.
“Who would you rather, Halle Berry or Jessica Biel?” Inquired Lee. Who would you rather, was a game we played. Providing the options of two, three or sometimes seven celebrities it was the job of the questioned to state who they would rather fornicate with. There were never any winners.
“Jessica Biel” I instantly stated with a firm decision. “Halle Berry is more famous and I’d assume that Oscar she won went straight to her head. Jess would appreciate you more and be on the road less.”
“You are such a pussy!” Tommy interjected. “I would totally take Halle and just grab her and…” I lost interest and immediately stopped paying attention to Tommy’s obnoxious ramblings. Anytime we played he would give his answer and then continue his description of his fantasies in striking detail. He apparently had a sweet tooth for Berry’s. Lee or I never dared to interrupt Tommy. A knuckle sandwich from him might very well be the last sandwich you ever ate.
Arizona Highway 77 was getting painfully repetitive. At 2:11 am the night was unforgiving black. I had never driven through the desert before and I pictured it as a wasteland of unexplored territory. We were pioneers, out to discover the Wild West. Or was the west about to discover the wild us? I often thought to myself various scenarios in which we were cowboys or pirates just to remind myself that my imagination was still functioning. It also helped this painfully long drive to pass quicker as the mileage signs for Tucson seemed to shorten. It wouldn’t be long now.
“And then she’d be like ‘yes!’ and I’d be like ‘Ahh!’ and she’d be like…” Tommy’s vivid answer was nearing its climax. Or possibly just the denouement. Lee clung on his every word with wide eyes and a smile. We both looked up to Tommy but Lee wanted to be Tommy. He was masculinity personified with a square jaw, buzz cut and 21 inch biceps.
“You know Tommy,” I bravely interrupted. “I doubt Halle Berry is into beastiality.” Tommy couldn’t help but hide back a smile as he jabbed my shoulder. The pain was searing but I remained strait faced. I was the thinker of the group. Always with a witty and smart response, my quick thinking had saved our asses on more than one occasion.
“Alright Dev, your turn” Lee beckoned me on. He loved this game, yet I found it to be immature and vulgar.
“Would you rather, Brittney Spears or Rick Moranis?” I jokingly asked.
“Eww!” Lee disgustingly remarked, “Rick Moranis for sure!” We all broke into hysterical laughter at Lee’s response in approval of his hilarious answer. It was now 2:47 and a faint green sign informed us that there were 100 miles left until Tucson Arizona.
“We should do this soon.” Tommy seriously intervened. The smiles immediately disappeared from our faces and an unspoken understanding hushed throughout the car. We knew what needed to be done. A pair of headlights could be seen in the distance behind us and Tommy significantly slowed down so that the vehicle would soon pass us by. A large 18 wheel semi truck soon rushed past us. It was black and silver and very loud. An emblem had been airbrushed into the door. It read ‘black adder’ and a distinct image of a snake coiled into a striking position could be seen. I was fascinated at this image and the entire trucker mentality soon took my imagination by storm. If I was a trucker I wanted to drive the black adder.
Tommy suddenly turned off the headlights and took a sharp right turn off the highway and into the dusty desert. The car bounced and buckled like a bronco in resistance of the driver’s decision. The crackling of rock and dirt could be heard loudly over our silence. After about seven minutes Tommy came to an abrupt stop in front of several cactuses and a twisted eerie looking Joshua tree. He turned off the engine and we all sat in silence for several moments. I cracked my knuckles into my fist. The sound of my bone scratching itself was immensely satisfying. I opened up the glove box and pulled out three pairs of cold leather gloves. I handed both Lee and Tommy a pair each and put on a pair of my own. I opened the door and stepped out as Lee and Tommy followed my lead. I was the thinker, so this part was to be orchestrated by me. My legs ached as I stood upright and shook them out for a minute before joining my friends at the driver side door. Tommy pulled the driver seat forward and reached in for Wayne’s cold, lifeless body. Using his strength he pulled the body forward and Lee grabbing its hip helped pull him out of the back seat. With a thud they dropped him on the dusty desert ground with utter carelessness. I opened the trunk and pulled out two brand new Home Depot special shovels. I handed one to Lee and we both began digging as Tommy looked on with approval. The hole only needed to be big enough to hide the body. Six feet below seemed like an impossible task in the rock hard earth of Arizona. It didn’t need to be perfect, we would be out of the country and away from all of this murder and law breaking soon enough. About three feet in I dropped my shovel and nodded to Tommy who answered with a long, drawn out blink as his response. I turned over Wayne’s body. His bruised and battered face was barely recognizable. I hooked my arms under his armpits as Tommy grabbed him by the ankles. We side stepped to the hole that Lee was making the finishing touches on. Blood trickled from Wayne’s ear and onto my forearm. I didn’t feel bad about his death, I just felt it was unfortunate in his favor.
As a chauvinistic pretty boy, Wayne had made the mistake of laughing at Tommy for spilling gasoline on himself while we were filling up in Salt Lake City. Working the night shift at a shady gas station known only as Jim’s, I assumed Wayne rarely had the pleasure of witnessing a large brute like Tommy embarrass himself.
“That your car?” Tommy asked motioning towards the yellow Camero.
“Hell yeah, it’s a ’71.” Wayne sharply said.
Tommy left the store without paying and walked neatly to Wayne’s prized possession. Pulling out the keys to Lee’s maroon ’88 dodge Aries he began etching a pattern in the driver’s side door. I sighed and lit a cigarette and began sharing it with Lee who seemed as equally unimpressed. We leaned on his rust ridden car with the noisy muffler and broken tail light.
Wayne looked shocked and immediately stormed out of the gas station towards Tommy, who had an enticing smirk nestled on his face. Reaching into the front of his jeans I could see a glistening black object emerge in his hands.
“Hey asshole, scratch this!” aiming the .38 caliber revolver at Tommy.
Before Wayne could think about pulling the trigger, Tommy snapped at him with insane linebacker speed. Tackling him to the cold concrete the gun flew out of Wayne’s hands, as Tommy pinned his arms and repeatedly head butted the nose of the poor lad. A whimper could be heard through his bloody face and Tommy began a flurry of hooks to his temple. We had witnessed Tommy kill people before but this was different. He had an animalistic intention of punishing this kid. He must have been on steroids again because the punishment continued long after his heart stopped beating. Instinctually Lee ran over to Tommy as I ran into the gas station. Grabbing gloves, smokes and some cash I fled out as Tommy and Lee finished packing Wayne’s body neatly into the backseat of his own car. I grabbed Wayne’s black gun and nametag off the ground and smeared the blood stains into the cement with my shoe. I hopped into the car just in time as Tommy peeled out towards Tucson, the beating of my heart loudly overpowered the 350 engine.
Lee finished piling the dirt over the body as we added the shovels. I lit another Marlboro and inhaled with a deep satisfaction of what we had just gotten away with. I walked over to the trunk closing it and pulling out a map. The moonlight lit up the map and the various roads and highways reminded me of the veins on Tommy’s juiced up forearm. I studied it reminding myself that it wasn’t long until Tucson where we could rest. Then continue to Mexico in the morning. Nobody spoke as we piled back into the car. This time I manned the wheel and Lee took the front seat. Tommy layed out across the back and closed his eyes.
“Who would you rather, Cameron Diaz or Jennifer Love Hewitt?” He asked.
It was now mid afternoon. We had slept all night in a sleazy motel just outside Tucson. The double bed room had cost one hundred dollars, but we didn’t care as it wasn’t our hard earned money. Lee and I had shared a bed while Tommy had noisily slept on his own. I woke at around noon and headed outside to have a smoke. The sun was orange and blazing in the bright blue Arizona sky. It was insanely hot and dry. Lee came outside and joined me as I offered him a Marlboro.
“Man it’s hot out here.” Lee blatantly said.
“I should have brought my moisturizer.” I replied with a girlish lisp for comical effect. “I need a cup a’ Joe.” I flicked my butt and walked towards the motel office hoping they could provide me some caffeine sustenance.
Returning to the room and finishing up a cup of brutally stale coffee I entered to see Lee and Tommy both sternly waiting for me.
“We need to go now” Tommy informed me. I looked around at the now trashed room that looked as if a hurricane hit it. Hurricane Tommy that is. The TV had been smashed and mirrors were broken. Lee was leaning shamefully against the wall closest to the door.
“Jesus Christ Tommy, what did you do this for?!”
Tommy was pacing uncomfortably across the room.
“Tom’s picture is on the TV Dev.”
“It said that he’s wanted for murder and theft, and that he’s with two accomplices!”
“Christ Tommy! You got sloppy man. You see what happens when you’re on this shit!” I pointed to the night side table at the three syringes that lay there freshly used. I lit up a smoke and peered out the window at the car, and closed the blinds. I had recently tried to cut back smoking but dealing with Tommy’s freakish personality had made me a chimney again.
“Let’s go.” Flicking the cigarette on the bed a few embers sparked onto the dry linen and began to smoke. We hastily packed up and headed out of the room, piling into our escape car. I didn’t trust Tommy to drive and Lee was a nervous wreck so I once again took the wheel to get us to the border as quick and safe as possible. There was one problem, we needed gas. Pulling into a nearby Texaco, I got out and began to fill the tank. With sunglasses on Lee and Tommy got out of the car and headed towards the store to purchase some food. I felt a bit funny then. Like something wasn’t right. I looked around my surroundings and began to realize that several other customers and patrons were staring at Tommy and Lee as they walked towards the store. One woman began screaming that started a chain reaction of panic and uncertainty. It was then I realized that Tommy was carrying the loaded black .38 caliber handgun. I sighed as I looked around at people scurrying into their cars and peeling out of the station. I continued fueling up the car, no longer paying attention to how much money was adding up on the meter. Then the familiar craving.
“Grab me a pack… er, carton of Marly’s” I yelled out towards Lee.