Junto Magazine Vol2_Issue2 - Page 30

Junto Magazine, Volume 2 Issue 2 way. Mark brakes hard, tires locking and the front wheels spinning left, gunning the pick-up onto a small wooded road. Sirens are somewhere behind them. The road’s pavement ends into rocky dirt, the pick-up shearing off low-hanging branch- es. The red and blues fill the trees behind them. The trail comes out to a field and a hill, a god damned driveway to a house. The pick-up doesn’t slow down, Jimmy reaching for something to hold onto to keep from bouncing out of his seat. His seatbelt is broken and not locking. The house on the hillside is a shadow. Farm- ing equipment are skeletal monsters. The pick-up speeds across the field, darts past a barn. The red and blues are faint on the hillside ahead of them, the cruiser behind somewhere. Mark gets the pick-up near ninety, catches air over the hill’s crest and the impact is hard without working shocks, and Mark pulls the emergency brake, cutting the pick-up hard to the left. The police cruiser has yet to break the hill. In the shitty headlights is another small trail up ahead through woods. Mark gets the pick-up up to speed, kills the headlights, gunning for the trail faint in the moonlight, the opening in the woods illuminated by flashing red and blues ap- proaching. The small road comes out of the woods to a county road. Mark turns the headlights on and straightens his leg on the gas, fully upright and deeply alert. The pick-up shoots down the two- lane, the road a chasm between fields of corn. Behind them down the road, the entrance to the dirt trail is framed by an archway of trees. The arboreal tunnel is deep and dark, and the tree boughs are filled with flashing reds and blues. Up the road, the pick-up’s tail-lights are in a dis- tant focal-point. Mark’s heart is pounding up a con- fidence he is trying to suppress. In the rear-view, he doesn’t yet see any lights, and he’s going to take the next road and disappear for good. The pick-up’s rear-tires slide to the right. Mark jolts up in his seat hauling the steering wheel to the left—an over-reac- tion. The pick-up loses grip and spins out of control, Mark and Jimmy’s arms and bodies flailing and tossing. They’re still being jostled by their in- ertia; the truck has stopped spinning. The engine is hissing but still running, a pal- isade of corn up against the bumper, fill- ing the windshield view with stalks blue in the moonlight. Through Jimmy’s win- dow the police cruiser’s headlights are quickly growing large. Mark stomps on the gas and the corn splits open to receive them, swallowing them amoeba-like and reclosing behind them, just in time for the police-cruiser lights red and blue on the walls of corn flying past down the road. There is a yellow flashlight circle on a faded white and blue map. The yellow circle traces a red line following Route 20 through Georgia and Alabama and into Mississippi, where the night gets darker as the population gets sparser. There are no other vehicles on the highway, and in the pick-up’s cockeyed headlights a blue highway Lodging sign looms up on the roadside. The sign lists only a single Mo- tel before blowing past Jimmy’s window. The MOTEL sign juts up crooked over the dark road, red letters flickering on the rustholed white. Behind the sign the motel forms a right-angled U-shape with parking pavement in the center. Only half the building is lit: the right third has working lights over the motel room doors, the middle third has lights flickering with decreasing frequencies, and the left third with no lights at all.