Turnabout

 

“Behind you!” screams Tom Evans from the front passenger seat.

Morton Reynolds white knuckles his steering wheel as the Dodge sedan narrowly avoids being rear-ended in the dark by a silhouetting Hummer that speeds past along the single lane of a freeway on ramp.

“Sonofabitch!” blurts Reynolds laying on his horn while locking his brakes and skidding to a stop onto a dirt shoulder. He keeps blowing his horn of protest as the Hummer continually blinks crescent moon tail lights.  Eventually the Hummer accelerates onto the four-lane freeway before disappearing around a blind curve.

Reynolds kills the horn and presses his head against the wheel.

Evans quips, “Got your heart back down your throat yet?”

“Give me a minute.”

“What kind of insane wretch passes cars along a freeway on ramp?”

The driver mops his face against a shirt sleeve, “The kind that blinks crescent moon tail lights.”

“I noticed. I also caught those glaring yellow lights coming up our ass.”

Reynolds confirms, “I hear that. Those headlights each had dark centers like the pupils of glowing animal eyes.”

“Something should be done about that freak.”

“Like what, Tom?”

Evans smirks, “I caught that Hummer’s license number.”

“We’re not cops.”

Tom produces a pocket computer and smiles, “I copied some DMV State records that some online hacker listed on the Internet awhile back.”

“You want to play detective with some reckless bastard who’s probably an armed Road Rager as well?”

Evans manipulates his keypad and answers, “Getting that freak’s address will allow us to even the score at our leisure.’

Reynolds sits back in his seat, “I am tired of taking crap from all the nuts I’ve encountered on the road.”

Evans blurts, “It’s here, Mort! That Hummer owner’s name is Stanislaus Lowenstein.”

“Cripe, that’s not a name; it’s a handicap!”

“He probably can’t read the English on our road signs either!”

“Alright, Tom,” agrees Reynolds now easing his Dodge back onto the vacant on ramp, “Let’s go hunting.”

In seconds, the Dodge accelerates onto the freeway in the far right lane while paralleling the immense contour of a gradual curve.

As Reynolds eventually straightens out, he suddenly sees yellow headlights activate off road from the base of the curve in his rear view mirror.

“Oh, shit!” exclaims the driver as Evans turns and looks through the rear window at the same time. The animal eyes shine out as the Hummer closes distance from behind. Then they glare blinding yellow now closing within fifty feet.

Evans comments matter-of-factly, “I guess our friend didn’t like being honked at.”

“No shit, Sherlock,” barks Reynolds now veering into the center lane, “Playing cat and mouse with that Hummer on a nocturnal freeway is not what I had in mind!”

The Dodge changes lanes several times around nearby vehicles in the next two miles while the Hummer maintains its proximity. Then Reynolds veers into the far left lane and punches it up to eighty.

Evans yells while bouncing his right shoulder against the passenger door, “Damn it, Mort, now you’re driving more recklessly than that Hummer pilot!”

“That bastard is armed; I can feel it!”

“Keep driving like this and we’ll never find out! You’ll kill our asses on your own!”

Reynolds veers hard right crossing three lanes before taking the nearest off ramp and shouts, “I’m not letting that psycho get any closer!”

The Dodge comes to a T-Junction and stops completely before making a free right down a four-lane side road bracketed with mature fir trees. Reynolds continues down a straightaway that quickly narrows to only two lanes.

Evans looks out the rear window in time to glimpse the Hummer’s glaring yellow lights turning onto their road from the distance. He warns, “Those animal eyes are back on our tail, Mort, now what?”

Reynolds clenches the steering wheels while keeping an eye on his rear view mirror, “Open my glove compartment and grab it.”

Evans gingerly pulls out an automatic pistol with his right hand. He screams, “You’ve got to be shitting me!”

“Just hang on to your ass; I know this road!”

With no other cars around, the Hummer accelerates hard before taking position fifty feet behind the Dodge.

“Brace up!” yells Reynolds just before power sliding hard left into the opposite lane as his startled pursuer passes the Dodge.  Then Reynolds fries rubber and maneuvers behind his former pursuer, who is trying to accelerate away.

Evans exclaims, “Damn, Mort, I never knew you could drive like that!”

Reynolds replies, “Roll your window down.” while gaining on the fleeing Hummer.

“What the hell for?”

Reynolds answers while passing by two cars going in the opposite direction and still giving chase, “Shoot the tires when we’re close enough!”

“Bullshit to that idea!”

Reynolds opens both front windows by remote control before shouting, “That Road Rager’s got to go down before he kills somebody!”

Evans grows pale in the sudden wind, “You’re the one chasing that Hummer with a gun! You’re a bigger menace than he is!”

Reynolds closes within twenty yards of the Hummer before commanding, “Then give me my gun!”

“Screw you, Pal! I’m not going to be party to a murder!”

“I’m only shooting his tires, Tom!”

“Not with me in the car!”

“Give me that shooter!”

“Shove it, Mort! You’re the crazy bastard around here now!”

“Then I’ll do it the hard way!”

Evans drops the pistol to his floorboard and braces himself with both hands while Reynolds flattens his accelerator.

The Dodge roars uphill and veers into the opposite lane to pace the Hummer at the top of a rise. Oncoming headlights blind Reynolds and Evans as a panicked brake pedal and a careless pull of the wheel swerves and pitches the Dodge upside down.

The Hummer slows to a stop and reverses direction to park along the dirt shoulder in front of the Dodge, which is now burning under the hood.

He walks beside and looks down at Tom Evans, who is lying immobile on his back in the dirt with dilated pupils and blood oozing from his nose, ears and mouth.

“Hey, Mister!” comes a gargled voice from the driver’s side of the flipped Dodge. The Hummer Man walks toward the sound before bending down to look inside the open window.

Morton Reynolds is pinned behind a broken steering column and sputtering bubble-laced blood with every word, “Get me out, Mister!”

The Hummer Man tries several times in vain to free the driver as fire slowly creeps through the dashboard.

Reynolds spies the pistol tucked inside the man’s belt. He screeches, “Don’t let me burn, Mister, please!”

The Hummer Man stares at Reynolds without twitching a muscle. Moments later, a gasoline fire engulfs Reynolds’ wet pant legs as the miserable wretch vomits blood before shrieking like a searing witch.

Then the Hummer Man does the right thing.

Copyright © 2011 by William F. and Alice L. Johnson