Friday, 27 September 2013

Co-operative Cliffhanger - Part Two

Okay, I wrote 'Stolen' last week - which was a first part of a Chuck Wendig Co-Operative Cliffhanger flash fiction challenge.  However, somebody else is going to finish it.  This means I have to finish somebody else's flash fiction this week.  And I chose:  Highway as my piece.  Now in the blog the way it is, you can't see the link (just move your mouse over the gap and it'll light up!  There you go!).  Well, read the link first and the below part second and it'll all make sense.


It felt as though we were flying in a prototype car-plane.  The guy with the gun was probably more terrified than I was; even though I was driving.

“Oh, shit!  Fuck man!” he started screaming, waving the gun around.

“Man! Put that thing down or you’re gonna cork one or both of us!” I shouted with my hands on the wheel, still looking out at the darkness of wherever we’re going.

Within the next few seconds, we landed.

But we didn’t stop!

The car jumped and jostled; slamming our heads against the roof a few times as the shockies of got a great workout over the rocky terrain, and I tried to control the damned thing!  As it did, it picked up speed.  With both the headlights smashed to crap, we had no clue where we were going, and this made this ride even more terrifying.

And as suddenly as we landed…

We came to a bone-crunching halt!

It was so sudden, the windscreen shattered into a spider web which blinded us and scared us and the airbags exploded in our faces.

We had hit a tree.

Or was it a rock?

Either way, the car wasn’t about to be moved again.

I looked over at my unwanted passenger and found he wasn’t moving, “Hey, you okay?” I touched his shoulder and he moaned as he leaned back against the seat with a large piece of glass sticking out of his gut, “Shit where did that come from?” looking up, I found a large chunk of the windscreen missing.

His sheet-white face gazed over at me, “I’m really sorry, man.  The money was for my daughter.  I really wasn’t going to kill you.” He let the gun go as he placed it on the seat between us and half-closed his eyes.

Tears welled in my eyes as I quickly checked myself over making sure I wasn’t injured, unbuckled my seat belt and shoved the door open with my foot and pulled the keys from the ignition. Then I hesitated a little before taking the gun.  His hand was still resting on it – lax – but I didn’t know if I should’ve taken it or not. 

Looking at him in the darkness I quickly reached over and closed his eyes – damned I didn’t want him looking at me – then I searched him for something to show who he was, found his wallet and pocketed that.  I’d look at that more later.  I pulled the gun from under his hand and climbed out of the vehicle.

I had never handled a firearm before and didn’t like the idea of having the need to use one.  But I was in the middle of nowhere with a lot of money strapped to me from my brother’s restaurant in the wreck of my car, which I had to leave because some nut tried to rob me.  Zipping up my jacket, I made sure the safety was on the gun and pushed it inside my pocket. 

I had hit a tree… but beyond that tree was a stream.  So, I thought it best to follow the stream until I found a road and then follow that to the nearest phone and then call in the accident.   It took a shorter length of time to find a gas station with a combined corner store; but it wasn’t open yet.  So, I sat outside to wait for it open. 

No traffic came past here.

The place looked and felt very abandoned.

This made me wonder if it was really a working gas station.  Instead of looking around – and probably getting myself into more trouble than I’m already in – I settle in and try to get some sleep.

“Excuse, sir, you can’t sleep here.”

I open my eyes and there’s a cop standing over me, “Oh… what time is it?”

“It’s around 8am.” He looked around, “You been here since before the owner opened up.  He doesn’t like it you’re here.”

I sat up slowly rubbing my now throbbing forehead.  I must have hit the windscreen, “I was in an accident.”

“Where?  We see no evidence of it.”

“It’s across the road and up the gully a bit.” I pointed, “I was car jacked and the guy pointed this at me…” I pulled out the gun slowly and place it on the seat at my side as the cop’s eyes widened and he stepped back, “I’d been walking through the gully… if I needed protection, I had it just in case.  I’m not dangerous.”

His eyes flickered from the gun to me and back, “I’ll be the judge of that.  Is there anything else I should know?”

“Yeah, the guy who car jacked me is dead in my car; and I have my brother’s earnings strapped to my chest under my clothes… he owns a restaurant downtown.” I watched him take this down then he turned back to his car.

Damned I’m tired.

“Yeah, I think we found him.” I heard the cop talking into his radio, “Call off the search.  But the guy with him is gone.  Search the hills and the gully from my location, he says there’s a wrecked car there with a dead guy in it.” The cop looks at me and smiled a little as the door of the gas station store opened and closed.

I think it’s a customer but then, a person sat next to me and picked up the gun and started playing with it.

It’s my brother, “Hi.” He pressed a button and the clip fell out into his right hand and he pockets that as he looks at me.

“What the hell?”

“The gun’s mine.” He pointed it to the ground and slides the top back and forth and there’s a bullet in there which popped out onto the ground where he leaned down and picked it up.  That went into his pocket too, then he rested the useless weapon between us, “I had to know something about you.”

“And that was?” I couldn’t take my eyes off the gun.

“How you worked under pressure, bro.” his face split into a wide grin, “And I gotta say… you’re fantastic.”

“What are you sayin’?”

He sighed, “I don’t owe anyone any money.  Those bills were to put you on edge.  I’ve got plenty of dough to go around – more! – and I wanted to let you in on the family business.”


“What did the guy who jacked the car say his daughter was sick with?” his eyes locked onto mine.

My mind scrabbled through the freaky night of rain, driving and having a gun put on me, “That she was really sick.  I don’t really remember with what.  He was desperate.”

“Yeah… so am I.” he whispered, “And I’m not gonna get better.”