(Sorry for being so distant, everyone! Life and college have been crazy but I only have 2 weeks left until I can work on my novel! Here’s part 2! Enjoy!)
I shift the e-break in an attempt to slow the collision but before I know it, it is already too late. I come into a full-on collision with the car ahead of me.
I never thought it would end this way. Killed by the thing that has been picking away at me and my wallets like cancer. Guess it came back to finish the job…
I rub my eyes and stop gawking into the rear-view mirror. I begrudgingly glance back into it to see a Honda Civic following me under the speed limit.
I take a deep breath in and continue down the almost vacant county road. The sun is peeking over the crests of the mountains in the distance, leaving the land below bathed in golden light.
A corn husk flutters as I speed past it, threatening to break. However, it has withstood much worse and so has Mike…
He glances down at the speedometer to see he is breaking a hundred. He raises his foot ever so slightly, recalling the heavy presence of police at the time and the area. Just looking for a joy-riding idiot such as himself to turn in their paperwork for the day.
Though he does not slow down enough to let the Civic catch up to him, he slows to about eighty miles per hour. Twenty over the speed limit.
He is about five minutes away from his dad’s old car shop in the Boondocks. His business was slow when he was alive, but it surprised Mike he got any.
In fact, often he would meet his clients in town just for him to tow or drive their car back to the shop, sometimes having to return for his own.
He could not have picked a more scenic location, however. The shop was parked right by the waterfall and was a tourist's wet dream. In fact, his dad played to this and opened a gift shop right next to his car shop. Some days it got more business than his own.
Tourists came from all over to see the falls and maybe pick up a trinket or two. The business was close to normal during the summer because of the influx of tourists coming to see the falls. It got so busy he even hired me, an underage worker, to do supply runs on my bike.
If there is something I’ve always loved, it was speed.
I can remember it now. Coasting down the steep hills back into town. The wind in my hair, pushing up against my face until I could hardly see. I miss the days my eyes would water and my heart would beat faster than a car engine, but those days are long gone.
Now here I am speeding back to my father's ghost of a car shop. Hoping when he arrives, he might make his acquaintances and be friends again…
However, he knew this was only a pipe dream that would never come true. His father was gone and there was nothing he could do to change that.
He swipes at his welling eyes, trying to keep them focused on the road ahead of him. Just ahead lay his father's dilapidated shop. Posted right next to the shimmering falls.
It was a beautiful sight that made him cry, but only for a moment. He swiped away the tears as if they never existed and stepped out of his car.
He slams the door behind him as if he were slamming it on the painful memories. Of his dad leaving. Him screaming at him for breaking something in his car. Or for coming home with a speeding ticket. But most of all, he wished he could slam the door on the memory of him leaving for the last time.
As Mike approaches the building, a figure emerges from the shadows. It buried its hands in its pockets, posing a threat. You may never know what lay hiding in a man’s pockets. Could be a knife. Could be brass knuckles. Hell, it could just be knuckles. On the right man, even that posed a threat.
When the figure comes to light, it is revealed to only be Mikes's brother.
“ You ready for this, little brother? ”
” As I’ll ever be. ”
“ Good, come inside the garage and we’ll discuss the plan real quick before we dip. I hate staying here for too long. Too many memories. But that’s why I got everything packed up already. Even our fashionable ski masks.”
He continues to walk backward talking as he pulls down his beanie, which becomes a ski mask. I look side to side.
God, does he ever know when to shut up?
” Stop being so paranoid, brother. It’s just you, me, and miss Victoria Falls over there. You know no one comes up here during the wintertime. “
My gaze returns to him and must have been more dismal than I let on because as soon as it did, he turned around.
He stops in front of the old garage and grabs hold of a strand hanging off of it. He rises with the door until he lets it go and it raises itself up the rest of the way. The garage is pitch black, making my Dad’s old Mustang look more like a dragon in its lair. With its gleaming reflective skin and musty windshield. It is as if it was the embodiment of what remained of my father, staring into my soul.
My brother pulls on an old beaded light, dimly illuminating the beast and the lair surrounding it. He lays out a roll of paper he unrolls atop the trunk.
“ You ever get this beast running again? “
He looks up from his elaborate plan with a pencil resting atop his ear like a disgruntled architect.
” Yeah man, been working on it all summer. She works like a charm. “
” Why not use it then instead of my POS? “
He looks down at his palm, taking down the pencil perching atop his ear.
“ It’s too risky man… I may have got her running, but Lord only knows for how long. Plus, that windshield is so dirty you can’t see shit out of it. “
I run my hand up the car as I walk alongside it.
“ Yeah, but Lord only knows how long mine is gonna last. “
He looks up from the paper again with an inquisitive look.
“ You’ve made your point. “
He reaches into his pocket and produces a set of keys that jingle as he pulls them out. He tosses them to me and I catch them with the reflex of a cat.
” Aaand, that’s why you’re the driver. “
A tic forms on the end of my mouth, and I put the keys into my jacket pocket. I stand aside from my brother as he goes into his convoluted scheme.
“ Now, here is a layout of the bank. So we are gonna approach it from the back and you will actually wait there for me in the loading dock. Security is pretty tight there, so don’t get caught. “
He looks up at me, glaring.
“ Please… do you know me? ”
” Don’t be cocky. If shit gets tight. Circle the block once and come back. “
He looks down at the paper again.
“ Now, as I was saying, you will wait for me in the loading dock while I sneak in with the help of my inside man that is going to quit the same week. “
“ Woah, Woah, I thought you said using outside people is too risky? “
” High risk, high reward. Now, after he helps me inside, we only have a minute or two before they trigger the silent alarm. Not only that, it’s a county bank, so there is the risk of local heroes or anyone with the balls to stand against a guy with a gun. That's why, unlike our previous jobs…”
” You mean your previous jobs? “
“ Right. Unlike my previous jobs, I‘m going in with a loaded gun. You can’t take any chances with these backwater hicks, so there’s no way in Hell I’m waving around an empty gun. Also, unlike my jobs prior, we aren’t going for safe cash. Theirs are so small it’s not worth the trouble. By the time it gets opened, the cops would be there. That’s why we are going for cash drawer money only. Luckily, this bank is rolling in it, so that is more than enough to cover the last payments for your car and to set me straight. “
I place my hand on top of the paper. He looks up at me, into my eyes.
” Really? No jobs after this? Not even quick liquor store runs? “
” No man, as I said, they are strapped, and I got a kid coming soon, so I want to get out of this life as soon as possible. “
” Really? Congrats man. “
” Don’t mention it. “
An awkward silence proceeds until he goes on.
” Now once I’m out, we have five minutes give or take to get the Hell out of there. That’s where you come into play. I need you to hightail it for the hills, no matter what it takes. I don’t care if you have to swerve between the lanes, blow red lights, have the cops on your tail. We need to get out of there ASAP.”
He looks up at me again.
” Now here’s where things get tricky…”