A Crowdsourced Novel
Read it here – Say what comes next.
Tony had stolen a cheap Chevy for this job. When they reached heavy traffic, he closed to within two cars of the BMW and grinned. Either these guys didn’t expect a tail or they didn’t care. The one in front leaned his seat back. The one in back slid down out of view. The driver didn’t turn his head. Nighty-night boys.
* * *
The BMW wasn’t big on trunk room. In the dark, the woman’s shoulder dug into Frank’s face and her hip pressed against him. Then she gasped and took three deep breaths before he felt her teeth. She scraped at his cheek, working the duct tape off his face. With a rip it was gone. He spat out the rag and coughed. “How—how did you do that?”
“Tape doesn’t stick so good to makeup. Those idiots should’ve wrapped it all the way around.” She paused, then whispered, “We better keep the noise down. What’s your game in this?”
“I don’t know. Don’t even know what they want.” Frank realized she had no reason to believe him. The car abruptly slowed then accelerated and when they pressed against one another, the heat of a blush traveled across his face. He knew she couldn’t see it in the dark of the BMW trunk and didn’t speak again until he got his breathing under control. “I don’t even know your name.”
“Call me Roya.” She breathed on his wet skin. “Roya Fetova. And you’re Frank, right?” Suddenly she made a sharp exclamation. “I hate duct tape. Taping my elbows. The sadistic—” She stopped, then whispered again. “They trussed my wrists to my ankles. Can’t even kick my way out. Try to roll over and I’ll work you free.”
“No room. They tied me the same way.”
“Then I hope your teeth are sharp.” He felt her shift position. “Try to reach my elbows—my hands are numb.
Frank spoke in low tones as he struggled to work his way down her back. “Sorry you got mixed up in this. You must be worried about your twins. I bet they’re smart kids. They’ll probably know to wait for the police and it will turn out all right.” It sounded lame but he hoped it gave her some comfort.
A quiet laugh. “My twins are what I call my two Glocks. My Beagle—well that’s another piece of hardware. Just say I was making a delivery.”
Frank thought about that for a few seconds. “Did your car really break down?”
“You don’t need to know. I can tell you they took my purse just like they took your wallet. They’ll use my phone and ID to find out all about me, but they won’t learn anything real. And if that Italian smoothy thinks he owns me, he’s in for a surprise.”
Frank bit at the tape and she gasped. “That hurt?”
“I’ve had worse.”
He spit out a chunk of the sticky stuff. “It’s all twisted. This is gonna take some time.” He spit again, then rubbed his mouth clean against the carpet. “Who are you really?”
“All we need to talk about is how to get away.”
“Well, you seem to be the one with the answers.”
“Yeah, but not to that particular question.
* * *
The sun came up behind Tony as they left the city behind. Tailing under these conditions was easy. Then the BMW took an off-ramp. Tony stopped at the top of the bridge and watched it head north.
He backed down the apron and then drove onto the ramp. This road headed past some gravel pits then into the cornfields. Not a town in miles. He drove fast till he saw the black car crest a hill, then followed at an easy pace.
He came over the hill and spotted them just as a gravel truck appeared and drove right over the front of the BMW like a speed bump. The noise–even at that distance. The clouds of dust. Tony came to a stop and watched through binoculars. Watched a man kick open the back door. Watched him climb out. Pull a gun. Shoot the approaching truck driver. No hesitation whatsoever. Holy—
A huge man crawled out the same door head first. He opened the trunk and hoisted the man out, then the girl. Carried them like luggage. Slung them high into the bed of the truck, one at a time. Tony knew if he ever faced Gort, he’d shoot first and shoot to kill. The two men climbed into the cab of the truck and rumbled down the highway.
Tony cruised up to the wreck and got out. From the dashboard forward, nothing but crumpled metal. Glass windshield a sagging mess. He grabbed the long hair of the driver and turned his head. Neck broken. Bloody face. He felt for a pulse. Dead.
He walked to the truck driver. The smell of whiskey and blood. A fly crawled across the man’s face.
Tony got in his car. Pulled into the ditch and around the wreck. Drove off in search of the gravel truck.
In five miles he saw dust at a side road. Pulled to a stop. Approached on foot. A private drive, led to a large shed. A grass runway in the cornfield. A single engine Cessna turned into the wind. It’s prop got loud and it tore down the runway and into the sky.
HOW TO PLAY–This is an interactive story based on Nate’s game in my novel. You get to say what comes next:
1.) KEEP IT SHORT – It’s easy to play Nate’s game. Just enter your idea as a comment like, “their jeep drives off a cliff.” Don’t worry about form—just suggest the next step in the story. I’ll pick one, write it, and post it as a scene in serial form.
2.) KEEP IT CLEAN – I hold the veto pen. Since this is an experiment, I get to add rules as we go along.
3.) SHARE – Your posts are a precious gift to me. Maybe you’ll help write my next novel. Maybe we’ll just have a great time. I take you at your word that all ideas are your original thoughts. No criticism. No arguments. No lawsuits allowed. Let’s have some fun.