AlvernoINK Spring / Fall 2017 - Page 78

“What?” he croaked.

“You said you wanted to meet the neighbors.”

His eyes fluttered open. “What the hell?”

I pulled the handle on my door but it only opened an inch. A thick branch was lodged in between the door and the tree.

“Crap!” I slammed the door shut and climbed out the driver side behind Trey.

“Hey, what’s going on ya’ll? I’m Trey and this is my girlfriend Tavia,” his huge hand engulfed mine and brought me closer to him. “We got here last night and-”

“When last night? We didn’t see anyone pull in,” a short but well-built man with tan skin and short curly black hair stepped forward. He looked us both up and down.

“Just after it got dark and-”

“How did you get here?” A tall blond woman asked from within the crowd.

“What do you mean?” I thought that was a stupid question to ask and I let it be known in my tone.

The tall blond woman stepped through the crowd and walked towards me. “I mean, we haven’t seen anyone pass through here in almost a week!”

“And-and-,” an Asian man struggled to move through the crowd. “Things went missing last night, my watch for example and my wife’s bank card went missing. They weren’t missing before last night.”

Trey jerked his body in defense. “So? What does that have to do with us?”

I stepped forward but Trey had a hard grip on my hand which prevented me from moving any further. “If we stole from you, do you think we would still be here?”

“Maybe you ran out of gas,” said the first speaker with his arms crossed across his chest.

“What? Man we filled up yesterday! What are you talking about?” Trey boomed.

“How would we know that?” The first speaker shrugged his shoulders as he took a few steps forward passing the tall blond woman and coming face to face with Trey. He made an exaggerated thoughtful face. “Maybe you syphoned the gas while I was sleeping , put it into your car, decided you wanted to stake out to see what else you could take, fell asleep and got caught. What do you think amigo?”

Trey stiffened. “I think you need to get up out my face with all that crazy talk man!”

“And what if I don’t-”

I quickly stepped in front of Trey. “Hey! That’s enough! We didn’t steal anything. We parked here last night because we saw all of you here and thought it would be a good place to stay. Apparently we were wrong.”

“What do you mean you haven’t seen anyone in a week?” Trey questioned.

The crowd was quiet. The first speaker looked over his shoulder at them then looked back at us. “What we mean is that you are the first people we’ve seen pass through here in a week.”

I shook my head in disbelief. “Is this some sort of camp ground?”

“No,” the first speaker said. “We’ve been stranded here more or less. So, you don’t know anything about my gas huh?”

I answered before Trey could. “No! We filled up last night before we got here.”

“So prove it, where’s the receipt?”

I looked at Trey. His jaw was set tight. “I ain’t got it. There was no one at the register in town so I left the money on the counter and bounced.”

The crowd stood in silence.

The first speaker raised his eyebrows. “If you say so. I don’t know how our stuff magically disappeared but if what you’re saying is true then we have nothing else to talk about.”

“We can go through their car-” suggested a voice within the crowd.

“Fuck you!” spat Trey. “Ain’t nobody touching our shit!”

“No, no” said the first speaker. “Let’s leave them alone.”

Trey and I stood there until the crowd dispersed back into their tents and vehicles.

“That was some bullshit,” Trey squeezed my hand before he let go and slammed the door shut.

“I know,” I rubbed his back.

Trey walked over to the trunk and sat down. As soon as he did the car took a deep dip and Trey rolled off the car.

“Trey!” I rushed to his side and knelt beside him. “Are you okay?”

“Other than my arm, I think I’m okay.”

As I rubbed his arm, I looked at the car and saw that the back tire was busted. “Look! The tire is busted.”

His head snapped over. “That’s impossible! I just got brand new tires not even two weeks ago.”

“We didn’t run over anything did we?”

“No. Man-”

“It’s okay, we’ll get through this. Is the spare in the trunk?”

“Yeah.”

I popped open the trunk. I saw the tire but none of the tools. “Where’s the jack and cross wrench?”

“Is it seriously not in there?”

“Yeah.”

Trey got up. He looked through the trunk and came up empty handed. I walked to the front of the car and speculated whether I should ask them for help or not. It might start another fight. My eye did catch the tip of a roof off into the far distance.

I beckoned Trey. “There’s a barn or something over there,” I pointed. “Do you think they might have tools?”

“I don’t see why not. I can go check it out.”

“No, I’ll go. You should rest up your arm and stay by the car. I’m not much of a threat.”

“Are you sure?”

“Yes.”

“Hurry back and make sure to call me if anything happens.”

I made sure to avoid the group as I left. I entered into the thicker part of the trees by our car. Eventually, the trees turned into tall grass and corn stalk as I pushed through. In a wide space I came across a wooden open shed that was as big as a barn. There was a big open space for an opening, the walls surrounding it didn’t touch the ground or the roof and from what I could see ther

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