Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Chapter 15: Wide-Eyed

The caravan of three cars travelled along the abandoned stretch of road with no end in sight. The silence filled the car until McKenna could no longer handle it.

“Alfonzo! What are we going to do?” McKenna’s normally calm voice was as shrill as a fire alarm.

Alfonzo’s jaw was tense as he tried easing the car through to break free, but every time he moved the car a centimeter the black car behind instinctively adjusted to block him. There was no way out.

“There’s no way out.” Alfonzo stated simply.

They had traveled for what felt like 500 years but in actuality was about 5 miles when Alfonzo decided to take drastic action.

What happened next was so quick that if you paused to scratch your nose you might have missed it. Alfonzo jerked the steering wheel to the far left, directing the car into the opposite lane and clipping the back of the limousine in front of the caravan. Luke’s head smacked into the window and McKenna’s package of Cheetos flew across the backseat of the car. Jewel’s scream was drowned out by the sound of the gunshot. The glass in the back windshield shattered. Ron stretched across McKenna to protect her from the flying glass and Luke braced himself against the back of Alfonzo’s seat. Jewel’s second scream was muffled as she covered her head with her jacket and curled up into a ball. Alfonzo kept his hands on the steering wheel and his eyes on the road.

The speedometer inched past 110 mph as Alfonzo made to pass in front of the lead car, but the black car was not only keeping pace; it was veering toward Alfonzo’s white car in an attempt to side ram them.

Gunshot. This time the bullet came from the driver side of the lead car. It made contact with the front of the car above the passenger-side tire, thus eliciting another scream out of Jewel.

“Great, real bullets," Alfonzo muttered under his breath. These guys were aiming to kill.

Alfonzo let go of the steering wheel and reached into his jacket pocket. He pulled out a small hand pistol and aimed toward the black car. He must have been a sharp shooter back in his day because Alfonzo managed to shoot out the tire of the lead black car, then he wrenched his body and shot through the back window – clearing the top of Ron’s head – to shoot out the tire of the black car behind them. All the while he pushed on the gas and was able to whip around both black cars and speed off ahead of the mess they’d left behind.

“Is it safe?” Luke started to sit up, but one more gunshot rang through the air. It hit the trunk of the car, but missed the tire that the enemy had been aiming for.

“Obviously not yet,” Alfonzo growled.

The car accelerated to 125 mph and they shot off into the pitch black night. McKenna lifted up her head and found tears streaked all across her face and shirt. That was, by far, the most frightening seven minutes of her life and she had her eyes covered for most of it! She turned to face her father and the wide-eyed look on her face pushed her dad over the edge. He wrapped his arms around her and they silently cried.

Jewel pulled her head out of her sweater and slowly stretched herself out. Her trembling jaw and racing heart stared straight ahead at the road. Luke rubbed his left shoulder that had rammed into the window and begin to check out the damage of the car. The back windshield was gone. Glass was everywhere. But where had the bullet gone? Luke’s eyes slowly trailed across the car until they landed on Alfonzo’s right shoulder. His tacky suit coat was quickly soaking through with bright crimson blood.

“Alfonzo! You’re bleeding! Alfonzo, we need to pull over.”

Luke reached up to touch his uncle’s shoulder. Alfonzo’s head slumped to the side. The car was still rocketing down the quiet interstate but the driver had passed out.

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