“For Christ’s sake Sara, she’s just a fucking friend.” and that was just a filthy lie, driven out by booze. Pat’s hands started clutching fists around the leather of the wheel, a wheel he had no mind to be steering.
Eyes open Patty, we’re not home’n’dry jus’ yet.
“A friend. You can’t be serious? You kissed her Pat, and cupped her fucking breast. Not her arse, maybe that I could forgive, but her breast Pat, her breast!” Sara snorted, “Just friends.” sinking back into the fabric of her seat, “You’re a fucking embarrassment, that’s what you are.”
“I’m a…” hiccup. Pat’s grip on the wheel loosened, the tyres screeching as they tore into a spin, pleading for purchase on the dirt track road.
The car veered to the side.
“Christ, Pat!” Sara jumped from her chair, grabbing at the wheel. The car jumped over a pothole, its torn edges smiling at the soft rubber wheels.
Come closer, then POP.
The car came just shy of the hillside verge, a deep ditch falling off to the right. “You’re going to get us killed, just let me drive.”
Patty pushed Sara away, “I…” hiccup, “… I love you Stacey.”
“Stacey! Who the fuck is Stacey?”
Breathe Sara, just breathe. In through the nose, one-two, out through the mouth. But it was long past that now, not even that little angel talking sense from the dark-side of the moon could bring Sara back around. “You bastard.” she slapped Pat with the back of her hand, leaving a muddy red mark on his cheek, “You filthy, lying, cheating bastard!”
Eyes open Patty.
The road was swimming, at least that’s how he saw it, the tarmac folding over itself in the midnight dust, rising up like shore bound waves reaching high for overhanging trees. There were hands, in the branches of those trees. Hands grabbing at the car.
And the… hiccup… the ditch. Would yer look at the ditch!
It was climbing up, a chasm of dirt hungry for the car, for Patty, for Stacey… no not Stacey, who?
Shit. Are those stars hanging overhead? Holy Mother Mary and Jesus F Christ. They’re eyes! The eyes of the almighty. Judge me if yer will. Yer fuckin’ prick suckin’… hiccup…
Eyes open Patty.
The cliffs to the left gave a shudder, letting off a deep grumble, a sound like thunder rolling from the skies, a storm that carried boulderous debris on its wings. The cliffs caved, and a shelf of rock came falling down with the rain. Pat’s foot hit the gas, slamming the pedal to the floor. Not today… hiccup.
“What the hell are you doing?” Sara reached for the wheel once more, screaming for Patty to stop, to… “Slow down!”
He waved her away, absentmindedly watching the cliffs.
Not today… hiccup.
Eyes open Patty.
What the fuck is… the cliffs weren’t falling, the stars weren’t watching, the ditch wasn’t hungry. Jesus, yer seein’ things yer fuckin’ loon. Patty leaned over to his wife. She’s the wife. Not Stacey.
Only this time it was more than just a hiccup, this time he threw-up. Cold chunks spraying over Stacey’s… not Stacey’s… nice new dress. The night’s dinner spilling into the wife’s – SLAP – lap.
Toad in the hole. Pat giggled, giving his wife a cheeky wink.
“You dirty pig.” she slapped him again and his head fell into her – SLAP – lap, landing in that night’s dinner. His tongue lolled limp from his mouth. Toad in the hole.
“Give us a kiss?” hiccup. He smiled at the wife, lathering his lips with a loose and dribbling tongue.
“Eyes open arse-hole!” Sara pulled the wheel from Patty’s grip, barely managing to turn the car as they came screeching to a halt in fits of smoke. There the car stood, teetering before a dead end in the dirt track. A dead drop. A steep fall.
Sara sees… him? A man crossing the road. What road? It’s all dirt track and hillside.
But that is a man.
Sara’s mind was running rapidly around. Who? Up here? At this hour? Officer, no. He wasn’t driving. Officer, please. But really, would it be so bad, to see this arse-hole dragged away in cuffs or, better yet, chains? Good riddance to the husband, by all but by name alone.
Sara wound down the window, an old crank shaft powered by a handle, and waved to the man, “Hey there, Mister – Miss? – are you okay?”
“Watch where yer goin’ yer fuckin’…” hiccup, “…yer…” hiccup, “…yer fuckin’…” hiccup.
The man froze, turning slowly for the car, for the headlights that now blinded him. He appeared as naught but a silhouette to the driver, to Sara and to Patty. He was wearing a hood, and there was something in his hands…
Two shots pumped out, loud and piercing in the night, rousing birds from their sleep and causing them to flee from nearby trees for realms far safer than their own.
“Drive Patty… heavens above, drive!” Sara frantically attacked her husband in a flurry of desperate motivation.
Move, by all the Gods man why won’t you drive!
Pat’s foot was hard on the gas, the clutch thrown down to reverse, but all that came to bare was the rev of an engine and then squealing, squealing, hissing. Smoke.
Shit, he’s shot the fucking tyres.
“Sorry Stacey…” and with a final hiccup Pat collapsed.
The man came forward, his hand now clearer in the gloom. It wasn’t just any old gun he was holding, it was a shotgun. Two barrels both sawed into halves. He was reloading.
Stacey… Sara… struggled with the buckle of her belt . Come on, come loose. Staring at her drunken husband, head dropped down into his own lap.
Is he snoring? Shit, take him! Please God, take him not me.
Sara threw her head around and forced back a scream, her throat constricted, her voice all but lost. He was there, the figure in the hood, standing at the window withboth barrels of his gun tip-tapping on the glass. His face was hidden by the night, but somehow Sara could tell… she could tell that he was smiling.
The door came open, and the man started dragging Sara from the car by nothing but her hair. Kicking, screaming, pleading.
“You leave her al…” hicc…
Poor Patty was left to watch in agonising pain. What could he hope to do? So slowly bleeding out, car shot in shrouds of smoke. And Stacey… Sara… suffering in vein.
Copyright © K R Perry 2019