Forty Miles to Redemption

by: Penbumble | Complete Story | Last updated Jan 1, 2014

An illegal business deal goes wrong, leaving the participants with an unexpected and much younger viewpoints

Chapter 1
When a Deal goes South

Chapter Description: Sometimes an offer sounds to good to be real, it is.

The beat up old car screeched around the corner, going up on two wheels as the driver furiously spun the wheel between his hands.

“It wasn’t supposed to go like this. Damn it!” Bart thought as he looked into the review view mirror of the car that was pursing them.

Bart and Ned had been running together since they met in after school detention in sixth grade. As young teens, they had been terrors of the neighborhood, starting off with silly pranks to irritate the neighbors and then on to petty crimes of vandalism and small thefts. As they grew to adulthood, the crimes became larger and more daring, till they accumulated a varied history of felonies between them over the course of thirty years. This time, Bart had an arrangement with a very interested party for a briefcase that a scientist from a local lab was taking to DC. It seemed like an easy job, maybe a little too easy. They had been promised a substantial sum to snatch a briefcase from the man before he boarded his plane. Ned had sat in the car at the departing gate with the engine running, he began to pull away from the curb as he saw Bart running into view, jostling the amid the sea of tourists and business travelers. Bart’s bony frame writhed as he ran through the myriad of people dragging their suitcases behind them through the sliding doors. He bolted toward the car that Ned had slowed down in the departing flights bay. Bart grabbed the door and jumped inside, as Ned pressed down on the accelerator and they swiftly drove away from the terminal.

“I got it! It was a piece of cake! The guy didn’t even see me snatch it!” Bart declared with a triumphant laugh.

“Are you sure you got the right one? “ Ned dashed a look over at Bart as he navigated into traffic on the expressway.

“It went like clockwork. The guy matched the description the contact gave us. He was even wearing the Regenlab ID card around his neck. He had just checked in at the ticket counter for the DC flight. He was pulling out his ticket and set down the brief case. I came up behind him and grabbed it. The guy had no clue it even happened.” Bart said as he triumphantly held up the shiny metal briefcase.

Bart had made the arrangements to drop off the briefcase off to the contact at an abandoned roadside bar in the middle of nowhere. Ned drove several hours on the expressway, then got off on a state highway, then turned on to a network of increasingly decaying county roads before they came across a lonesome derelict looking bar surrounded by farmland. The broken neon sign had once said Buddy’s, but some of the letters had had fallen away with time and weather. It looked deserted and from the weeds growing in the parking lot, it seemed that it had been a long time since Buddy had done any business there. Ned drove around the back of the bar where their contact was to meet them.

There was a dark sedan sitting there in the dark with its lights off. The outline could be seen in the moonlight. Ned flashed his lights and the car flashed its lights twice in response. Ned put the car into park and turned off the engine.

Bart turned with the briefcase in his hand. “You ready to do this? This is gonna be a sweet deal. We’re gonna be rich men when this is done!”

Bart got out of the car to make the transfer. A squat looking man with a scrunched up features got out of the other car and stood there dispassionately by the dark car. Bart recognized him and grinned like a maniac as he sped up his steps to meet the man. He called over to the man, with a chuckle as Ned opened the driver’s side door.

“We got it! It’s right here!” Bart declared as he held the briefcase up in his hand as he marched toward the man.

A shot rang out and Bart staggered back as he ducked and whipped in head around to look at the man in the dark trench coat. His mouth open in surprise, the briefcase went skittering across the crumbling surface of the aging blacktop.

“Hey! Whadya think ya doing?” He cried his voice cracking as he went flat to dodge the bullets. Ned ran around the car to pull his friend back to the car. At the door of the car, Bart spun around and pointed to the briefcase lying on the asphalt.

“Get it!” He shouted to Ned.

Spinning around and making a mad dash for it, Ned grabbed a spiced of asphalt and threw it at the shooter’s head. The man with the gun ducked. Ned scrambled over to the briefcase as a shot bounced off the parking lot’s surface near him. He returned to the car to throw it in Bart’s lap, but saw his friend had slid over and started the car. Ned jumped into the car

“Hurry! Let’s get outta here!” Bart shouted to his friend as the engine roared to life.

Bart slammed the old Chevy into reverse and hit the gas. The car charged backwards around the building till Bart spun it around in the larger parking lot and threw it into drive. The old V8 engine roared as it scattered debris as it lumbered up on the pock marked country road. Ned turned his head to look behind them. He could see the lights moving on the other side of the building. The other car was pursuing him. Bart gunned the engine as he became aware of the lights of the car behind him light up his back window.

“WHAT THEY HELL DID YOU GET US IN, BART?” Ned yelled as his head whipped back between Bart and the back window.

“LOOK IN THE BRIEFCASE.” Bart exclaimed as he hurriedly navigated the country road. “See what’s so important, that he wants to kill us!”

Ned reached down and placed the briefcase on his lap. Flipping open the top, he only saw a three small rubber tops surrounded by foam. Pulling one out, Ned held a test tube filled with clear liquid in between his fingers. The men could hear the sound of shots being fired at them by the pursuing vehicle. Ned adjusted his hand to read the label on the test, but could only see some letters and numbers in the light coming in from the pursuing vehicle.

“It looks like some kind of chemical!” Ned grunted as he ducked.

“What does it say?” Bart screamed as he suddenly pulled at the wheel of the car.

Bart hit the brakes suddenly and the lid of the metal briefcase came slamming down breaking the test tube in Ned’s hand and dousing him with the chemical. Ned looked at his hands that were covered with the liquid. In another instant, they were perfectly dry as the liquid seemed to seep into his skin.

The squealing of tires was heard as the pursuing car turned after them. Bart twisted the wheel from left to right as he tried to keep the car on the road.

“I am gonna try to lose this guy. Hold on!!” Bart hollered as he spun the wheel hard. The car skidded as Bart lost control of the car.

With the sound of shrieking metal, the aging car went up into the air and flipped over and over into the field. Odd bits of metal and plastic flew off as the car seemed to be performing a dance in midair. Finally, the momentum stopped as the old Chevy lay upside down with the wheels still spinning in the air, a tendril of smoke floating up into the night.

The dark sedan pulled up. A man’s shoes calmly walked over to where the silver briefcase lay shining in the moonlight. He picked it up and looked over at the car. Suddenly, the car exploded sending a plume of flame into the night. Looking around and seeing no one, the man returned to his car and drove down the beat up road into the horizon.



End Chapter 1

Forty Miles to Redemption

by: Penbumble | Complete Story | Last updated Jan 1, 2014


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