I slumped down into the seat, pulling Natalie down. She cried out as her seat belt dug into her ribs. We heard the repeating pop, pop, pop of the revolver headed towards us and the dull thuds of the plastic and metal of the car taking the bullets. Natalie screamed again as the windshield cracked and glass began to fall on us.
Then there was a squeal of tires, a crunch and a yell and all the sounds outside stopped.
I kept my hand on Natalie and peaked over the dashboard. Through the spiderwebbed glass, I could see the full scene.
“What the fuck?” I said.
Natalie shrugged me off and rose up as well.
“Well...” she said.
We both opened our doors and stepped out of the car.
In front of us, Hoodie lay on the hood of the car unconscious. I reached over and grabbed the gun from his hand. It was empty, but I felt better having it than leaving it.
Further forward, Cassidy sat in her car facing toward from us. She was grinning and waving, her bright red hair flying around her head as it hung out the window.
“You two need a ride?” she asked.
The man in the black pickup started firing. His pistol boomed in the morning air, jolting us into a run. I jumped into the back seat and Natalie got in the front passengers. Before I could close my door, Cassidy gunned the engine. The tires squealed as the grey sedan shot forward. I fell back into my seat and clutched for the seat belt.
“The hell?” I said.
"It's got a cop motor, a 440-cubic-inch plant. It's got cop tires, cop suspension, cop shocks. It's a model made before catalytic converters so it'll run good on regular gas," Cassidy said.
“I don’t know what that means,” Natalie said.
I smiled, “I can’t believe we dated.”
Natalie looked confused while Cassidy winked at me in the mirror. I clicked my seat belt and tried to calm down my heart. The adrenaline was wearing off and I was suddenly feeling very tired. My ankle started pounding and my head hurt.
“Blues Brothers. This little Impala used to be a cop car and I bought it at auction. She’s got a lot of pick up and go.”
“A damn movie? You’ve gotta be-” Natalie turned to yell at me, but was looking behind me through the window.
I turned to see what she was looking at. The black pickup followed us. And was gaining.
“Um, Cass?” I asked, “Anyway you could speed us up a bit?”
“This is what she’s got, Evan. He must have something better.”
“No way you’ve got a gun or some bullets on you, huh?”
I held up the revolver. Natalie looked at me disapprovingly and Cassidy shook her head. I dropped it on the seat next to me. Maybe it would be evidence against Hoodie.
“How about a cell phone?”
Cassidy shook her head again, “Sorry, I wasn’t thinking.”
“Okay, that’s okay. We can deal. We just need to stop heading away from town. Up on the right there’s a road, Vernon Rd. That’ll swing back around into the Streets.”
“But... Won’t there be kids there? Waiting on school buses?” Natalie said.
“Maybe. How much gas you got?”
Cassidy checked the gauges, “Bout a quarter of a tank. Look, I’m not sure about putting kids-”
“Damn. I was thinkin we could go to the highway the long way, but he’d catch up before then.”
“If I cut and turn on one of these dirt roads, could you get us out again?” Cassidy said.
I thought about that, taking another glance back at the gaining truck. The dirt roads along the road north out of town could lead anywhere. They could connect to other roads or they could lead to some tiny hunting camp in the woods. They could put us in the middle of a swamp or just end.
“No. No telling where these lead. Unless either of you knows off hand one that would work?”
The women looked at each other and shook their heads.
“Well then, I guess we just get as fast as we can to the highway and try to find a trooper before we run out of gas or the sumbitch runs us off the road.”
Cassidy took a slow turn marked 45 MPH at about 75 MPH, cornering in and out like a pro. She gunned the engine and we were doing well over a hundred miles per hour down a long straight away of low hills. At the top of each my stomach did a flip as gravity pulled at us. I stole glances back and despite our speed, the black pickup gained.