[Edge1.1.6] Road Rage – Dave Bailey

[Edge1.1.6] Road Rage

Johnny had already noticed it and slammed on the brakes. The other car overshot and flew on past them. The tail end of the SUV sideswiped the front of Johnny’s Mercedes Benz tearing off a portion of the bumper on the driver’s side.

“What in the world are they doing?” Art shouted.

Johnny’s phone rang. He silenced it to focus on his driving. The SUV was now on the passenger side near Art. He still couldn’t see anything through the window though. Johnny started to speed up so he could pass them, but the SUV swerved like it was coming at them. Johnny slammed on his brakes, and the SUV did the same. This time it nailed them just behind Art’s door.

The blow pushed them off the side of the road and into the grass that separated the two lanes of the highway. Since Johnny had already braked and slowed down, he wasn’t in danger of losing control. He simply spun the car around and cut through the grass. He doubled back and started driving back the way they had come.

Johnny’s phone rang again. Art looked down and saw the name, Tony. This time Johnny answered it and put it on the loudspeaker.

“What?” he shouted. “What do you want now?”

There was a long pause. Art thought the call had been disconnected but saw the name was still up on the screen.

“Is everything okay?” Tony asked. “I was calling to see how your meeting went with Art.”

Art glanced back. The other vehicle and made the turn and was still following them, but it was still a little ways behind. Johnny was clipping along at over a hundred miles per hour. The other car was pushing it to catch up with them, but Johnny’s car seemed to hold it’s own and staying ahead of them.

“You’re not the one who’s had a black SUV trailing me for the past few days. Are you?” Johnny asked.

“Uh, no! That’s ridiculous. Why would I do a thing like that?” Tony asked. “What’s going on, Johnny?”

“Nothing! I gotta go.” Johnny replied, and with that, he turned off the phone.

Johnny pointed in the direction of the glove compartment. “Reach in there and grab my gun.”

The phone started ringing again, but Johnny just muted it. Art opened the glove compartment and felt around. He didn’t find a gun.

“C’mon!” Johnny yelled at him. “Where is it? Give it to me.”

“There’s nothing here,” Art replied.

He started pulling stuff out. Books, wires, twinkies, and a bunch of other junk. He looked at Johnny when he was finished an indicated with his outstretched hand that he had pulled everything out.

“Argh!” Johnny groaned. “Somebody must have stolen it.”

“You thought those were Tony’s guys keeping tabs on you?” Art asked. “That’s why you weren’t worried about them back there.”

Johnny looked at him and nodded without saying a word.

So, if they aren’t Tony’s men, then who are they?” Art asked.

Johnny just shrugged but didn’t look up. He glanced into the rearview mirror.

“Hang on to your seat,” Johnny finally spoke up. “It looks like they activated a turbo booster. They’re coming in fast.”

Art turned to look back. The SUV was right behind them and closing in fast. He turned away as it smashed into the back of their car. Johnny tried to change lanes but was too late. The other vehicle plowed right into them.

Johnny lost control of the car. Between getting clipped in the back while trying to switch lanes caused them to spin out of control. Art gasped breathlessly as the Mercedes careened off the road and went over the embankment.

There was a short drop, but the car didn’t stop when it hit the bottom. It crashed through a wire fence and still kept bouncing through holes and over rocks. The vehicle hit something that spun it around and flipped it over, and over, and over.

When Art came to, they had stopped short of running into the trees where the woods started. Art shook his head and tried to look around. He felt his body, but everything seemed to be okay. He breathed desperately wondering how he had just survived that accident. Johnny had floored it, and they were flying.

He unbuckled his seatbelt and looked over at Johnny. He was leaning forward with his face on the steering wheel. His arms were thrown forward across the dash. The windshield was completely gone. Art touched his shoulder and shook him lightly.

“Johnny, you okay? Johnny?” he said.

Art looked around to get his bearings. He couldn’t see the road itself because of the darkness. But he could see the headlights of the SUV. The men had probably already jumped out and were headed their way.

He gave Johnny a firm shake. This time, he moved his head and groaned loudly.

“Let’s go!” Art said as he tried to undo Johnny’s seat belt.

“You gotta go. Get out of here.” Johnny moaned. “Those aren’t the same men who killed my wife. You’re not safe here.”

“No! Not without you.” Art said firmly while trying to keep his voice down. “Let’s go. Open your door.”

“I can’t feel my arms and legs, Art. I can’t feel anything. I’m going anywhere, but they’re only after me. You get out of here.”

Art pulled on Johnny’s arm, but it felt limp and loose.

“It’s okay,” Johnny said. “I’ve lived a good life. I’ve enjoyed more than my share of good things. And I’d rather they put me out of my misery then lie around on a life support system for the next twenty years.”

Art saw flashes of light moving back and forth as the men walked in their direction. He didn’t want to leave Johnny here, but there wasn’t he could do for the man. Johnny looked like he weighed twice as much as Art, so he knew he couldn’t carry him. He knew that might make things worse. Better to get help and hope the men didn’t kill him before he got back.

“I’m gonna go find help, Johnny,” he whispered. “I’ll come back. I promise.”

Johnny grinned. “Good, I’ll wait for you. Listen, don’t trust anybody. Turn the deal down and go home. If you want answers, find a woman named Carla. She is the only one who might be able to help you.”

He breathed a raspy breath and closed his eyes. Art shook him gently.

“Johnny! Johnny! C’mon, man.”

He looked back and saw the glow of the flashlights still moving slowly but steadily in his direction. Art unlocked the doors and pushed his open. The sound of grass and brush scraping against the paint grated on his nerves. He couldn’t get it completely open because there was something blocking it. But it was still wide enough for him to squeeze through.

The flashlights were closer and strong enough to light up the area around him a bit. He saw that it was a rock that had kept him from opening the door. He left it open and walked around it so he could move into the trees.

He remembered Johnny’s cell phone was in there, so he reached back in through the broken windshield to grab it. A shot rang out, and a bullet smacked into the car door that was still open in front of him. The flashlights were trained on him and moving quickly in his direction.

Art didn’t think twice. He started running for the trees.

Dave Bailey

Dave Bailey started writing short stories when he lived in Brazil to help his students learn English. Now, he lives in Florida again where he continues to write fun and inspiring sci-fi and fantasy fiction stories. You can read his weekly short stories here on his blog. Make sure to join his advanced reading crew so you know when new stories become available >>> https://davebailey.me/go/crew