The Beetle

[This is in the spicy section because there is a tiny bit of swearing, a dead body, and a shooting. It involves somewhat of a car wreck, and a police open fire situation.]

“Please. Just get in, we can talk about it on the way.” Tommy pleaded.

“No. I’m not getting back in that car with you. I’ll walk home, thank you very much!”

“Michelle. You’re being ridiculous. We’re in the middle of nowhere! Now get … in … THE CAR!

“I … don’t … care!” Michelle mocked. She stopped walking and pulled out her phone. Tommy applied the brakes of the 2010 Ford Mustang. He had been creeping beside her as she walked up the shoulder along I-65 heading north toward Chicago.

Michelle tried her phone and didn’t get a signal. “Shit!”

“You wouldn’t get a cab out her anyway, just get in. We don’t have to talk if you don’t want.”

“That’s crap and you know it, Tommy. I am not getting in that car unless you promise me you’ll take it back.”

“Fine, I take it back. You’re not a bitch.”

“You’re an asshole, Tommy! You know what I mean.”

He did, but he didn’t want to agree to what she wanted.

“Come on. Just get in and we can discuss this like rational adults.”

“What the hell is wrong with you?” She rebutted. “What part of storming into Greg’s house with a gun, stealing three bags of meth and trying to run to Chicago is rational, Tommy? On top of that, you lied to me. How far did you think we were going to get before Heather called me and told me what was going on?”

Tommy didn’t have an answer. Normally he did, but this was one of those rare moments when he was at a loss for words.He just sat there, leaning over awkwardly so he could look her in the eye, from the driver’s seat. Left hand on the wheel, right hand propping him up.

“You’re an idiot.” Michelle said, and continued walking in the direction of the nearest exit.

The were coming from Orchard Grove, and made it all the way to Merrillville before Michelle’s best friend, Heather, had called her on the phone and told her what was going on. At which point Michelle ordered Tommy to pull over and let her out. He wasn’t going to oblige her, but she opened the car door and threatened to jump out while it was moving. Bitch is crazy enough to do it, too! Tommy thought, and decided it would be best to just stop and let her out.

There wasn’t another exit for ten more miles and Tommy didn’t have time to creep ten miles while his girlfriend plodded up the road. It wasn’t that he was afraid that Greg would come after him, he was harmless, but surely he would call his supplier right away, who would be more than happy to give chase.

Things got worse when Michelle blurted out that they were headed to Chicago before he had a chance to stop her. That meant that Greg’s supplier would be getting in their cars and racing up I-65 this very moment. They may have had a few hours head start, but it wouldn’t take them as long to catch up to them if they leaned on it.

“MICHELLE!” Tommy yelled. She stopped and glared at him. “Look, I know your pissed, but Gary’s boys are probably speeding towards us right now. They know us both, remember? I’m sorry. I did a stupid thing.”

“Damn right, you did!” She cut in.

“I know. You need to get in this car, and we need to get moving. If I leave you here, they will see you. They will pick you up, and do God knows what to you, until they get their drugs back.”

“No they won’t. This ain’t the movies, Tommy!”

“You know what happened to Kevin?”

“No, I haven’t seen him in awhile.” She answered.

“Exactly!”

Michelle bit her lip. Tommy had won for now.

“Now come on, we gotta get moving. I know a place we can lay low for awhile.”

“I don’t like this, Tommy.” Michelle said as she started walking towards the car. “We are going to talk about th…”

There was beige blur, a smash, and Michelle was gone. One second she was there, complaining, but at least cooperating, and the next she just wasn’t. Tommy sat there slack-jawed and wide-eyed. It took a fleeting split second for his brain to catch up to what his eyes had just witnessed.

Then he heard a loud screech somewhere ahead of him. Tommy sat up and looked through the windshield. He saw the door to his Mustang lying some distance ahead of him and Michelle lying face-down next to it. That wasn’t quite right, though. The door appeared to be lying on top of her legs.

“Oh no, oh God, no! MICHELLE!” Tommy threw open the driver’s side door and climbed out. He sprinted with all his might to his fallen lover.

“HELP ME! SOMEBODY HELP ME, PLEASE!”

Tommy knelt down beside Michelle. Her eyes were closed. She appeared unconscious; as if she were just knocked out. Tommy prayed that was all it was.

“You’re okay, Michelle. You’re okay, hold on!” Tommy stood and lifted the damaged door with both hands. He was looking forward, unable to see underneath. Once he had the door standing straight up, he gave a shove and the door toppled over on its opposite side. Tommy looked down and screamed.

“No! Oh my God! No. My God…HELP ME!” Michelle was missing the lower half of her body from the abdomen down. Her blood soaked yellow T-shirt, mercifully covered what was underneath, but was not enough to pause Tommy from going into shock. He stood up and began digging in his pockets for his phone. He pulled it out, but his hands were unsteady and he dropped it.

Tommy knelt down again to pick up his phone and spotted Michelle’s missing lower half. His face drew down and he was about to react, but was interrupted by a loud revving sound from just up the road. He looked and saw the back of a cream colored car. He couldn’t tell what the make and model was due to the plumes of bellowing exhaust as the car revved.

Oh, thank God, “Help! Please help me!” He repeated. The vehicles tires screeched and began to reverse, slow at first, but rapidly gaining speed. Tommy saw it turn toward him as if it was aiming for him. They found us. They found us and killed Michelle and now their going to kill me!

Tommy bolted for the Mustang just missing being flattened by the beige car. He heard another squeal of tires. Tommy jumped in his car and slammed the door. The motor was still running, so he dropped the shifter into drive and turned around to see where the car was. It was a Beetle. A Volkswagen Beetle. My girl just got ripped in half by a VW Beetle? The Beetle lurched and drove straight for the back of Tommy’s Mustang.

Tommy punched it and the Mustang’s tires squealed and smoke began to pour out from under his rear wheels, but the car didn’t move. Tommy let up on the accelerator and the car took off, leaving his dead girlfriend on the side of the road. Ain’t no way no fucking Beetle is going to catch me!

Tommy’s Mustang was his pride and Joy, it was what caught Michelle’s attention. He was always buying performance parts, and enhancing its power any time he got a little extra money. Yet it wasn’t quite finished. He had needed money for a transmission kit that would even blow out the performance kit he already had installed, which is how he got it in his head to rob Greg to begin with. If he knew things would end this badly, he never would have done it.

He checked the rear-view mirror and the Beetle was disappearing. “Fuck you, mother fucker! Fucking peace of shit!” Tommy screamed at his rear-view mirror. He slammed his hands on the steering wheel out of anger at the situation. They killed her. Mother fuckers killed her, and you just left her on the side of the road. “This is bad. This is so bad. Fuck!”

Tommy quickly made it the ten miles to the next exit and took it; East Lincoln highway. Turning left towards Merrillville, he headed to the nearest gas station to call 911. He saw a Mobil station and pulled in. Tommy parked the car, quickly got out, and ran in.

“I need to use the phone, there’s been an accident. A hit and run!” Tommy nearly screamed at the attendant. The older gentleman manning the counter picked up the receiver in front of him and punched in the number to emergency.

“Where at?” The attendant asked, urgently.

“Uh … uh …’bout 9 or ten miles south of Lincoln on I-65. Hurry please!”

“I am. Just try to relax … yes, I need to report an accident …”

“Oh, it was no fuckin accident. Son of bitch ran my girlfriend over. Cut her in …” Tommy couldn’t finish.

“… I-65. Yes … The man reporting the incident says it was a hit and run. … Yes, he’s here now. … Mhm … one sec … They’re dispatching units now. What’s your name?”

“Huh?”

“Your name? They want your name.”

“Thomas D’Amico”

“His name’s Thomas Damico … How you spell that … You want me to put him on? … Alright, here he is.” The attendant reached out to hand Tommy the receiver. The cord clicked on the counter as he took it and put it to his ear.

“Hi. This is Thomas.”

“Hello, Thomas. Can you spell your last name for me, please?”

“D apostrophe A. M.I.C.O.”

“Thank you. Medical and police units are on their way to the scene now. Another police unit should be arriving at your location shortly to take your statement. I’ll stay on the line with you until they arrive. Would you like to tell me what happened?”

Tommy only had a split second to think about how to answer the question. The drugs. I can’t be talking to the police. They’ll search the car and find the drugs. “Th … that won’t be necessary. I think I see them pulling up now. Yea there they are. I’ma let you go now.”

“Sir, the police haven’t arri…” Tommy hung up the phone.

“That’s not a cop. That’s just a Buick.” The attendant said, confident in his car naming abilities.

“Oh, my mistake. I’m going to go check out the damage to my car. Bastard took my door right off.” Tommy said and headed for the door.

He walked out of the station back into the light of day and headed straight for the trunk of the car. Keys in hand, he pushed the button on the electronic fob to release the lid of the boot. He heard the click as he approached, but when he went to lift the lid, it wouldn’t budge. Son of a bitch, what now? Tommy yanked on the lid of the trunk a few times; nothing. He bent over but couldn’t see the problem. “Shit!”

Tommy went to the passenger’s side of the car to survey the damage. The door had been taken clean off his black baby. There was only minimal damage where the door’s hinges had been yanked off right at the joints. “Fucking Beetle had to’ve been screamin.” He muttered.

Tommy walked around the front of the Mustang and got in the driver’s seat. He began debating whether to drive off or just wait for the cops. They won’t be able to get in the trunk, so at least there’s that. My God, what am I gonna do? Those guys’ll be after me.

No sooner did he finish the thought. The Beetle pulled into the station and parked next to him. Tommy noticed it immediately, but was unprepared for what he saw.

Who the fuck is driving?!

There was no one in the car. Tommy’s mind was made up. He turned the ignition and hit the gas. The mustang roared to life. He dropped it into gear and peeled out in reverse and took off, squealing from the parking lot of the Mobil station. Turning right, he headed back towards I-65. He was going to try to make it to Chicago and lay low until this was over. He could ditch the drugs and turn himself in. It was highly unlikely that Gary would have involved the police. So he would just have to be careful not to run into them.

While thinking about all that, he didn’t realize that he was going well over the speed limit. He passed a police cruiser on the opposite side of the road and didn’t notice the lights flick on as the cop made a U-turn and gave chase. Seconds later the cop was on his tail, and he was being pulled over.

Tommy knew it wouldn’t be wise to try to outrun them, though he was confident that he could, but police choppers were a different ball-game. He pulled off to the side of the road, and placed both hands at ten and two on the steering wheel; he frantically tried to think of something to say while waiting for the cop to approach. He looked in his side rear-view and saw the officer getting out of his cruiser. He was wearing a pair of motorcycle sunglasses and approached from the rear of the Mustang. Tommy saw him fingering the strap to his service weapon as he came.

Tommy was vaguely aware of his Miranda rights, having heard them read to thousands of bad guys on TV throughout his life, but this would be his first run in with the law. He hoped he would just get a ticket and be on his way, but then again, he was missing his passenger side door.

The officer tapped on the window. Tommy lifted his left hand slowly to show he was in compliance, and pushed the down side of the window button.

“License and registration, please.”

“Certainly officer. They’re in my wallet.” Tommy said as he leaned and reached with his right hand to get his wallet.

As he did this a call came in on the cop’s personal radio, “Units on the scene. Code 58 on north-bound I-65.” That was where he left Michelle. They must be there now. Tommy handed over his identification.

“Just sit tight while I run this through the computer. Won’t be long.” The cop backed up a few paces, turned, and ambled back to his cruiser the way cops do. Tommy waited. And waited. He was starting to think something was wrong, when suddenly three more cop cars pulled up and surrounded him. They arrived silently, with no sirens, but now Tommy could hear sirens in the distance. All the doors of the police cruisers flew open and the cops jumped out and took up positions behind their cover; weapons drawn and aimed at him. An amplified voice belched from one of the cruisers.

“Slowly exit the vehicle with your hands raised above your head.”

Shit … shit … He had no choice; no options. He moved to open the door when he was struck in place by a vision. All of the events of the past half hour began to reverse and landed on the moment when Michelle began to step towards the open door of the Mustang. Tommy then saw himself pull his .38 from between his legs and fire a bullet into his beautiful Michelle’s face. He saw her fly backwards and drop to the ground. All in real time. Then the scene in his mind began to fast forward again and land on this moment.

Tommy blinked back to reality, sweating and terrified. He reached between his legs and felt his pistol. He lifted it up and looked at it in amazement, but didn’t realize what he had done. He heard, “GUN!”

“Wait, no…”

The police opened fire, riddling the Mustang with bullets. The man inside never stood a chance.

As the shooting ceased and police advanced cautiously toward the pocked car, a cream colored Volkswagen  Beetle slowly drove past and headed off up the road. On the radio a song was playing. It was The Cars singing “better let the goooood timessss roooolllll!

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