“Can I get gas money, dude? Just a fiver. We’re heading back to Cali. Anything man! Please.” Surfer dude, minus a surfboard, sweeps his dirty dreads back with his right hand. .
I turn as I fill the SUV up. I didn’t see him approach. Nor his car. He is the picture of an addict to me. “No, man. We are packed up with everything too. Ain’t got much.”
His eyes leave their stoned world and become clear. A soft expression turns to broken glass hard. “Hey, I get it. Thanks a whole lot.”
I turn back to the car. ” Who are you talking to?” should out a half open window.
“There’s a guy out here looking for cash. I think he is messed up on something.” I explain. I search for him and this supposed car.
“Careful. They hang out at these gas stations. Travelers are easy victims.” She ssettle back her obtuse vision of the world.
“His back there. Shaking down a trucker. Let’s get out of here.” I’m taking to myself, hoping she hears that I’m calm.
The night is black as ink. A line of truck grace the on ramp to the freeway. Lights are at a premium. I taken in the undistrurb peace of the road.
Half hour goes by the wayside. A dim light appears behind us. I ride cruise control. The lights turn bright and close in on us. A blur in a blue tint flies by us. A familiar face regards me. I see fingers making a gun and shooting at me. The moment dissolves into the darkness.
I don’t mention it. My mind had froze. He knows we are behind him. Surely, not everyone gives them cash. He has gas now. We’re fine.
Another twenty minutes melts away. Flashing red and blue lights light up the other side of a hill.
” I see someone got popped for speeding. I told you he was messed up. I bet they were both on something.” I talk realizing I never mentioned then passing us up.
We clear the hill. I see the cop walking back to his car. A door opens from the right side of the stopped car.
“NO! He has a gun!” I scream and beat the steering wheel.
Two flasheds of light. The trooper falls.
“Oh no! We are dead. They seen us. They shot the trooper.” I get frantic and floor the gas.
70 becomes 85. 85 becomes something near 100. I’m in two lanes. All that matters is distance.
“You are going to kill us! Not them! I seen the shots. You know they were no good and you still talked to him! What now! I can’t believe you did this to us!!” Her voice rivals nails on a chalkboard.
Again lights appear from behind. THey have started to crawl closer. I’m at 90. I can’t believe they can catch us. But here they come. Then the lights come on. Red and blue flashes from a great distance. They are closing. I’m stuck between is it them or did I get clocked going 90.
My race is short. The cruiser finds me. They announce to pull over after I keep driving. My conflict is overwhelming. What if it’s them?
“Pull over! They are going to shot us both! Those are real cop lights!” She knows it’s bad.
I hit the brake. In a quick look in the mirror I see his dirty dreads.
“Oh hell no!” I smash the gas pedal. The SUV lunges ahead. I’m back at 90 then 100. The steering is bad but we are alive.
The cop car catches up. His silent smile hangs in the mirror. The first crash racks the SUV. We were rammed going 100. The vehicle bounces and tries to figure out what direction we will go.. A second and a third follow. I pray the road is wide enough to hold us between the lines.
My mirror fills with bright lights. They have fallen back. Sinking like a rock into a pond at night. We seem alone. The cell phones don’t work. We have 25 miles to the next exit.
I see the State trooper sign for an office ahead. I have to tell them. They won’t believe it. Noone would. But I’m here to try.
“Help! Please. We seen them shot a trooper 30 miles away. There is 2 in a car. Well, they have the troopers car. They are right behind us on the highway.” I’m a lunatic. Their eyes tell me so.
“Hold on a minute! What are you talking about? Who is in a troopers car?” Trooper Miles asks on an authority tone.
“I’m telling you. We stopped for gas. We didn’t give them money. They padded us at 110 MPH and when they got pulled over. Bang! Bang! They took out the trooper! Then they filed us. Hitting us three times” I raise my three fingers to show I’m serious.
“Trooper down! Cruiser stolen.” A crackling radio spits a slew of numbers in the air.
“Cruiser found 5 miles down the road. Abandoned. No suspects.” The radio pops on and off with a different voice.
” Well, you just got more interesting. Let’s look at the damaged to your car.” Trooper Miles puts his hand on his weapon and nods to the door.
“Oh, I forgot about telling you about then hitting us. It’s was terrible. I thought we were going to die. I did mention it, right? ” I knew I didn’t now.
” Sir, you are the only person to survive them. And they know what you drive and what you look like.”