The windshield wipers were performing a deceptive tease. Intermittently they would pull back the wet curtains to reveal the cruel film playing on the windshield. A state roadblock complete with special effects and more than one heavy.

The wait time until the film got underway was 11 cars long. For now, it was just a trailer playing over and over again in the headlights. Car pulls forwards, meets policeman, car and passengers get groped and fondled by policeman, car leaves feeling used.

It was a sick love story.

The driver turned the radio off. He needed to think.

10 cars long now.

A lesser man would question how he arrived in this situation. The Driver knew exactly why he was here. For Molly. She didn’t want him here, but she had morals.

The fluid curtains opened on the windshield to expose the cops playing swords with their flashlights through a vehicles backseat. They were being awfully thorough for working in a rainstorm.

9 cars long.

The Driver glanced in his rear-view mirror. The character looking back was not familiar. It also had a long, weeping cut on its right cheek. The Driver reached up and felt the blood gelling on his dark stubble. There was no way to hide this from a cop. He wiped his finger on the passenger seat, leaving a trail of dark evidence.

8 cars long.

An innocent man would be wondering what the roadblock was for. Probably angry. There was only one bridge leaving the city, and it was rush hour. The innocent man would be late for dinner, soccer games, tennis matches, his kids recital. The Driver was on time, but no one would be cheering him on or rooting for him when he arrived at his destination.

7 cars long.

The rain was muffling the sounds coming from the trunk. They were easily mistakable for rain drumming on the rusted roof, but they were definitely there. The sounds of a frantic rat clawing through a metal door and over the past 6 hours turned to a pathetic swipe. The thought of escape or rescue was surely all but purged from her system. She got 4 stars for effort. She’ll receive 0 stars for living if he makes it through this damned roadblock.

6 cars long.

The Driver released the death grip on the steering wheel. It felt good to stretch his fingers. As he looked down, there was undoubtedly a CSI’s wet dream of forensic evidence under his worn nails. He could see the blood and skin. The claw marks on his knuckles were still silently crying tears of crimson. He really should have wore gloves. There is never time to plan when all hell breaks loose, just time to improvise.

5 cars long.

The cops waived the car through without notice or even a second glance. There was a chance to finish this.

4 cars long.

The rain intensified into a permanent sheet of blur. The wipers were useless. The Driver took an old receipt from the floor of the passenger side, licked the corner of it and started to cleanup his right cheek. It was fruitless. Each time the coarse paper touched the wound, it destroyed any scabbing and returned it to a wet badge of guilt.

The Driver returned the paper back to the floor, this time accentuated in a dirty maroon hiding among the wet creases. The Driver stared at the roadblock and counted the cops. No wait, highway patrolmen. There were 5 of them. Two on either side of the car being inspected, one moving the road barricade back and forth, and two sitting in a patrol car, enjoying seniority no doubt.

3 cars long.

The Driver stared out the side window. There were people pushed off to the side of the road, patiently waiting for someone to bring fuel to them. The Driver watched with disgust as these people were having exaggerated conversations on their phones with their wives, telling them how the whole state is under communism now and it’s the cops fault for them running out of gas. It must feel clean and relaxing to have no accountability for your lack of preparedness or common sense.

2 cars long.

The Driver cracked his neck. Cracked his knuckles. Listened to the pitiful scratching in the trunk. She was going to get herself killed sooner rather than later. He didn’t care. This job was dead or alive. And she had left enough reminders on his body to not be worth the alive end. But Easy Eddie rather enjoyed them alive, and it was hard finding a decent employer. Especially when your reference list was all deceased or incapacitated.

1 car left.

The Driver’s shirt started the day out light blue. Sweat and effort and unforeseen circumstances had turned it dark blue and left a sour taste in the air. The girl had stopped scratching. Her voice had given up a couple hours ago. Looked like fortune was about to favor him. The count down of brake lights, reverse lights and brake lights being released in front of him was enough to let him know he was next. He didn’t need the highwaymen to motion him forward.

The Driver’s car.

The cop knocked on his window with the mag lite. The Driver manually rolled down the window and gave what he imagined passed as a casual grin. The cop saw his cheek and cautiously took half a step back.

There must have been a static energy in the air, because on queue the girl started screaming and kicking with the force of hell from inside the trunk.

Before the cop could react to the sounds, he was staring stupidly at the end of the Driver’s shotgun.

This was the part the Driver loved the most.

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About Zero Brass

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