Three Word Wednesday
Clever, Finish, Silky
Leslie sat at the intersection, leaned back and watched the semis blow by on the divided highway.
She couldn’t help feeling somewhere between smug and clever. Anderson didn’t have a chance. She reached back between the seats and touched the heavy briefcase. And now it’s all mine. ‘
Leslie smirked and lifted a glass of whiskey from the cupholder. It went down smooth, smoky and silky and lit a fire inside. So fine.
Another trio of semis zoomed past. She signed and looked both ways. There just wasn’t any way to get on the road here. As soon as one group of trucks passed, another came along, driving too fast to let her in. There wasn’t enough space to step on it and get started, let alone get up to speed.
She caught a reflection in the windshield and glanced over her shoulder. A dark-colored Acura was approaching from the rear. Someone else who went the wrong way. Leslie sighed and leaned back, adjusting the rearview – and froze.
The driver of the Acura was – what was it? He? She? The other car stopped not a foot from her bumper and she risked another glimpse into the mirror.
From the neck down, it could have been any businessperson – no, a woman, she decided. It was wearing a grey suit, closed at the neck, with pearls draped around its neck. But from the neck up, it was a horror, jaundiced, warty skin, reddish eyes and a loose, wet mouth like a crooked line drawn by a child, stretched in a twisted mockery of a smile.
Leslie reached over and touched the power lock control All four door locks clicked shut. Not that the other driver showed any evidence of getting out of the car, but Leslie believed in safety first. She eased up on the brake and moved toward the main road. The traffic pattern held – there was no break in the semis and she cursed the luck that put her on this little podunk road and not at an intersection with a traffic light.
With no warning, there was a thud and the car jerked. Startled, she slammed on the brakes. Leslie saw smoke that had to be coming from the churning tires of the Acura behind her, and she panicked as her car inched slowly toward the highway. She pushed the gear shift into ‘park’. The car kept moving. She yanked frantically on the hand brake to no effect. The tip of the hood was nearly over the white line and a double FedEx tractor trailer was coming, too close to have any hope of stopping.
Leslie grappled with the door handle before remembering she’d locked the door. She flipped the lock. Nothing. Jammed. Oh, dear God, jammed. She tried opening the power windows, one window after another. Nothing.
Oh, why didn’t I spend the money on one of those hammers. She pounded hysterically on the window as the car moved forward in a sudden lurch. A few more inches and she would be far enough out for one of the trucks to make very small pieces of herself and her car.
She turned around and looked at the driver of the car behind her. The red eyes were glowing with a manic glee and the bizarre grin stretched from ear to ear. She heard the engine of the Acura rev to an impossible pitch and her car leaped forward, straight in the path of a semi and its horrified driver.
At the finish, she had just enough time to reach back with a mixture of terror and apathy to once again touch the case that had meant so much just a few moments before.