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"Drive. DRIVE!"

A squeal from the tyres lets me know that the car has taken off, and I’m at the wheel.

Sirens scream behind us, a blinding flash of red and blue pulsate around me. Shouts chorus behind us, yelling at us to stop, to surrender; to give up. My eyes narrow and I look in the rear view mirror to see teams of police cars swarming behind us, stern faced officers glaring at the 1940 red mustang as they chase after us. I look next to me, at Aaron sitting in the passenger seat. His face is surprisingly calm, like he’s enjoying a relaxing drive down the highway with a friend. He holds my glance and I see my nervous, yet steely reflection in his eyes. He says one word and it’s all I need to hear,

“Drive.”

I grip the wheel tighter and press my foot to the pedal, pushing it down so far that it is a matter of millimeters from the car floor. I straighten the rear view mirror and direct my eyes to the horizon, the whole time, I can only think of one thing. 

How did things escalate so quickly?

Aaron looks over at me, as if he can sense what I’m thinking. He does this a lot, he just knows. You don’t need to say anything, he just understands.

“We did what was necessary.” He assures me. 

“But-”

“We did what was necessary.” He repeats, arching one eyebrow. Warning me to drop it. I look away, my attention back on the road. He pauses, and I can feel him looking at me. He lets out a short breath. “And the world is better for it.”

The sun sinks lower into the sky, and the sirens only seem to grow louder. Aaron’s eyes never leave the horizon as I weave through the traffic. A horrendous arousal of beeps and honks erupt as a side view mirror of a black SUV scrapes against the side of our car before snapping off and falling onto the road.

“Keep driving.” 

I do just that, but the same thought keeps gnawing away at me. 

Was it really necessary?

“Did...” I begin to say. Aaron’s eyes stay focused on a distant point in the horizon. “Did he really have to die?”

“Yes.” He says without a moment's hesitation. “She was in possession of the package, and besides, he deserved it, after… what he did.” 

But I see something in his expression break, he covers it up quickly, but it was still there. Then with a sudden jolt, he’s sitting up right, his muscles tensed and his forehead severely creased.

“Shit,” He whispers. “SHIT!”

“What?” I ask, panic settles in and my mind begins to race, thinking about everything that could have gone wrong.

“Road block!” Aaron shouts, pointing up ahead where a line of bright orange barricades and police cars stand. I look around me, cars are disappearing off to the sides to make U-turns. There is nothing. No city, no houses or shops. Just a highway and a large area of shrubland with a city looming in the distance. 

I hear the rumple of leather and feel Aaron’s stare boar into me. “We need to deliver the package, no matter the costs. Do you understand?”

“Yes, b-but there is NOWHERE to go!” I shout, cold spindles of dread creep their way down my spine, making me shiver, even though I’m sweating through my clothes.

“Not nowhere.” Aaron says, directing his line of eyesight to the large patch of shrubland.

“Aaron, no.” I say. “No. No, no, no ,no, no, no NO!”

“Too late, kiddo.” He says, grabbing the steering wheel and yanking it to the left, pushing the car straight through two lines of oncoming traffic. Vehicles of all sorts slam on their brakes and honk their horns but it is too late now. We’re already in the bush.

“The city is around 6km away if we drive straight through.” He says, his tone is almost relaxed.

“Aaron!” I yell, looking at him. He lets go of the wheel, his eyebrows raised. I grab the wheel with both hands.

“Yeah, Ace.” He says.

“ARE YOU CRAZY?!” I scream.

“Maybe just a little, why?” He replies, smirking, his expression seemingly nonchalant.

“We are out in the open! There are no buildings, no trees, nothing but flat ground a-and SHRUBS!” I yell. “THERE IS NO COVERAGE!”

“Mmm, I disagree.” He says, pointing up ahead at the outline of a city.

“THAT’S SIX KILOMETERS AWAY!” My voice rises, turning into a shrill screech.

I can already hear the sirens starting again.

“Exactly.” He says, putting his feet up on the dash and leaning back in his chair, resting his arms behind his head. “We’ll be there in no time, Ace.”

“SO WILL THEY!” I shout at him, but I keep speeding forwards. “And stop calling me Ace!”

“Okay, sorry Ace.” He says, a cocky grin plastered on his face. “Just keep driving. Relax, we’re almost done.”

A voice shouts at us through a megaphone but his words are lost over the roar of the engine.

“ALMOST DONE!” I shout. “Almost done!? We were meant to be almost done two weeks ago! We were meant to be done the second we stole the watch!”

“Ah, reclaimed the watch.” He corrects.

“But then two kidnappings, a murder and several car chases later, we are still not done!” I yell.

“Hey, it wasn’t my fault we were kidnapped. Twice. Who knew they’d get so worked up over a watch that was originally ours to begin with.” Aaron says, his facade annoyingly the same. “And the accident wasn’t our fault either.”

ACCIDENT!” I scream. “There was nothing accidental about it! You shot a man, Aaron.”

“They don’t know that.” He says with a simple shrug of his shoulders and a grin.

“Oh god, is EVERYTHING just a big joke to you? Huh!?” I cry. “I mean, I know I was… am a joke to you. But everything! I mean you sit here, while I drive your, your GETAWAY car, joking about a murder you committed. And I am your accomplice! That means if you go down, I go down with you! This was not meant to happen!”

“NO!” He yells at me, suddenly angry. “Y’know what wasn’t meant to happen? HER, stealing the watch. MY watch. SHE is the one to blame. Not me. So quit your tantrum and just focus on getting us into the bloody city.”

His words sting, like hot water on frozen fingers. They cut into me and I don’t know why, but it turns my blood cold. My eyes narrow. “We’re already here.” I say, trying to make my voice sound as flat and expressionless as possible. I feel his eyes cutting into me, and I can’t tell whether he’s angry or remorseful. 

The sirens are growing steadily closer, the voice through the megaphone still indistinct but growing louder.

“Turn left, then right at the end of the alley.” He says, matching my tone.

“There’s a fence.” I say, looking at the metal fence forty metres away. “A metal fence.”

“So what are you going to do about it?” He asks.

He asked me this exact same question when we’d been held hostage by the first gang, the Germans, Todesklingen. We were trapped in a room, four storeys above the ground. The room was just over a metre squared, the size of a small broom closet and there was an assortment of cleaning supplies and a small window ten feet above the ground. Our hands and feet were bound and we were each sat on a chair and bound together back to back with the same length of rope. I was screaming at him, I was utterly hysterical. Tears streaming down my face, mascara running. I was seconds away from a panic attack when he yelled at me to stop. To quit crying because unless my tears could somehow get the rope off of us, there was no point in crying. He didn’t sound worried in the slightest.

“We’re stuck!” I’d yelled at him. “We are four storeys off the ground in a BROOM CLOSET!”

“So,” He’d said softly with a hint of dare in his tone. “What’re you going to do about it?”

I look to my left and right, fully aware of the many police cars gaining on us. I see a small mound, similar to that of a ramp. It’s a pile of dirt with odd building materials in it, bricks and metal. It’s around twelve metres away from the fence. It should be sturdy enough to use as a ramp.  Aaron looks at me like I’m crazy, positively out of my mind.

“Even if you were a good driver, you still wouldn’t make it. Don’t.” He says, his words like ice and full of warning. “We’ll find another way in.” He almost seems amused by my idea, like he thinks it’s funny, dangerous and crazy, but still, funny. And that’s all I need.

“Well, unfortunately, I’m the only driver you’ve got.” I say, thirty metres away from the make-shift ramp. 

“Blaire, don’t.” he warns. “You won’t make it.”

I increase the speed, foot pushed all the way to the floor. “Maybe, but it’s the only choice we’ve got.”

“No it’s not! Drive through the bloody fence! You’ll have more of a chance of surviving that, than this!” He practically screams at me, ten metres from the ramp.

“What, so we can total the car OUTSIDE the fence. No way.” I say, three metres from the ramp. “We’re getting in.” Two, one…

The wheels hurtle over the uneven surface of the hill, faster and faster until we’re at the top and then, with Aaron screaming and cursing and threatening to kill me, we’re in the air. Police cars speed to a stop behind us and it’s like everything is in slow motion. Blood seeps from my knuckles as I clutch the wheel tighter and tighter, and the sudden thought of us actually not making it crosses my mind. Aaron is still screaming, losing his mind, but my eyes never leave the edge of the fence. We seem to be floating, but we’re getting closer and closer to the fence until-

THUD! CRASH!

I feel Aaron’s stare eat into me as we speed along the cracked road inside the fence. His mouth hangs open, eyes wider than the wheels of the car. He’s partly in shock, partly in awe.

Sirens screech at us as we race away, the police unable to get through the fence with no gate. I hear the blades of a helicopter whooshing in the distance.

“We need to ditch the car.” I yell over the noise of the sirens and screams.

“What!?” Aaron shouts. “Have you lost your damn mind!?”

“We need to ditch the car.” I say firmly. “They have people looking for this car, the one we are in. They have the license plate and everything. We need to ditch the car.”

“What chance will we have without it?” Aaron asks, voice rising.

“What chance do we have with it?”

We ditch the car in a dark alleyway and Aaron begins breaking into another one. Concentration is painted on his face as he works away, careful not to set off the alarm. The helicopter sounds louder as it gets closer and closer to the city. With a final click, the door unlocks and Aaron jumps into the passenger seat as I take the position behind the wheel.

“Remember when we were in Prague and being pursued by zbraně a nože, and we jumped off the roof of the building and onto another,” Aaron says, gripping his seat.

“Yeah.” I say, shaking my head at the memory. They really wanted that watch. “That was crazy.”

“No,” Aaron says, a smile showing on his lips as I begin to hotwire the car. “This was crazier.”

The engine of the black sedan turns on with a low rumble, I start to drive away, leaving the mustang behind us. Aaron looks back at it, a sad, yet almost cheeky smile on his face.

“I wonder if the owner will ever get ol’ cherry back.” I say, focusing back on the horizon, remembering to keep to the speed limit, being careful not to arouse suspicion. 

“I told you not to call her that!” Aaron says, laughing a little. “If you’re gonna insist on calling her cherry, at least make it something cool, like Cherry Bomb.” His face darkens as he realises what he said. How he just called the name Cherry Bomb, cool.

I wonder how he could even say the name after everything that happened in Prague. After Cherry Bomb, the world renowned gang leader, famous for her gruesome murders, murdered his mother. Leaving only a bone from her finger in a puddle of blood. I give him a sad sort of look, and he either doesn’t see, or doesn’t want my sympathies. Maybe murdering Cherry Bomb was enough revenge for him that he no longer needs the sympathy.

“Aaron, can I ask you a question?” I say, not really sure if I want to know the answer.

“Sure.” He says, looking at me. “What is it, Blair?”

I take a deep breath, wondering if I should ask it. A million different possible answers for my question swim in my mind. But I know there are really only two possible answers. Yes, or no. I worry it’s the latter, but it’s something I feel like I need to know. I have to know, I don’t know what I’ll do if I keep living, living in the unknown. Being forever kept in the dark. We stop at a red traffic light behind a line of cars and I look him in the eyes.

“Are we really the good guys?”

July 17, 2020 04:41

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5 comments

You are great at putting an intense tone in your stories. Nice work! No rushing, it's all smooth. Also when you wrote tyres, perhaps you meant tires..? Other than that, cool!

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Indi McCarthy
11:13 Jul 26, 2020

Thanks heaps and yeah, I did mean tires 😂

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Your welcome, lol!

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A. Marya
04:17 Jul 23, 2020

Hey, I’m doing the critique circle thing. First off, I’d like to say that this story is really well paced, and that I really like the ending. Some mistakes I noticed was the spelling of “tyres” instead of “tires” and petition of words like “us” at the beginning. Other than that, I’d like to say that I really liked the part where she chose to go over the ramp.

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Indi McCarthy
11:48 Jul 23, 2020

Thank you so much!! Yeah, right after I submitted it I re-read it and noticed different spelling mistakes and incorrect uses of different words and I was like, damn it! But then you, I really appreciate your feedback!

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