For those of you who are new: You are now reading an online serial pulp novel. If you didn’t start at the beginning, you may want to do so. Chapter 1:Â Down By The Bay. This serial is the sequel to my first novel, Oasis.
As always, I appreciate typo alerts.
Chapter 11 â€“ The Fastest Gun On The Freeway
The freeway was unbearably hot. I had been too busy a minute ago to tell, but now it felt like I was kneeling on a lit barbecue grill.
The sun beat down and made the stink of blood and gasoline all the stronger.
D didn’t say a word, but his hand shook. His knuckles were white on the revolver’s handle. He glared down at me and raised the gun to my head.
He was too close for his own good. I was pretty certain that I could swat his hand to that side before he could react. But then what? I try to wrestle a gun away from a bigger guy who’s gone insane? Of course, it would be better to try something than to just die there while kneeling on the hot freeway.
I opened my hands flat and raised them about chest high. “I didn’t kill your friends. You know that. I know you’re angry and hurt and sad and-”
His head snapped up and to the side. A bead of sweat ran down next to his ear. “You don’t know nothin’. You don’t know me, man.”
Shouting came from the ever growing crowd of crashed drivers. I couldn’t focus enough to figure out what they were saying, but I could tell they weren’t happy.
I eased my hands up to be just over my shoulders. I forced my voice to slow down. “You are right, I don’t know you. But believe me, I know pain, and I know what it’s like to lose-”
“Shut up! You come here and act all in charge and now Jess is dead, too. That ain’t right.”
Only a few inches between my hands and the gun. I’ve got make a move soon. “What about your friend? He’s the one who dropped her.”
“Only because you told him-”
“Told him what, to help save her life?
He glared down at me. “I’m so going to kill you.”
I jerked my head down and to the side and swatted with my right open hand. It made contact.
The revolver roared.
Several onlookers screamed.
I rolled back onto the balls of my feet and made a desperate grab for the gun.
He pulled back. His gun and hand slipped from my fingertips.
I pushed up and dove at him.
I flailed out again for his gun- this time I caught his hand. I held on tight and let my weight pull down.
He tried again to jerk the gun away.
My knees hit the ground first, and it hurt, but I held on tight.
His shoulder dropped with the extra weight. He let go of the gun and recoiled his arm.
I couldn’t hold the empty hand.
The gun and I clattered to the ground.
D bent over and grasped at the fallen revolver.
I looked up. It was close. I extended my left arm.
I hit the gun first but couldn’t close my fingers on it and it slid away another couple of feet.
I scrambled to my knees.
D stumbled in the direction of the gun.
I scampered after him.
D got there first and snatched it up.
I brought a foot up and prepared to dive at him again.
D spun around.
Another thunder rang out, and something whizzed by my head. A hole opened up in the front of, and a mist of red sprayed from the back of D’s left shoulder. His body rotated to the left, and his right arm swung forward.
I punched at his hand again.
This time I connected on his wrist.
His hand spasmed and the gun flew forward.
I spun to the left and jumped up.
The little brother was in the Jeep. The redhead stood next to it, holding my rifle up to the ready. Jackson was still sitting on the ground next to the victim I had assigned him. His face was pale and he stared at the commotion.
My heart pounded. I jumped over the unconscious Louis.
Behind me, D screamed.
I glanced back.
D was falling all over himself to pick up the revolver.
I ran all the faster.
The girl still aimed the gun at D.
“What are you doing? Get in the car.”
“He’s going to-”
“So let’s put some distance between us.”
She raised the gun and ran for the passenger’s door.
Another shot rang out.
There’s no way he’s a good enough aim. Especially if he’s hurt.
We jumped in the Jeep.
She put one knee on the seat and pointed the gun back at the crash scene. “Michael, get your head down!”
I turned the key and punched the gas.
The Jeep lurched to life, spitting a fair amount of dust and gravel as the tires clawed at the ground. Somewhere behind us, D fired again.
I shifted up through the gears and checked the rear view mirror.
Smoke and steam rose from the pile of cars. D was running in our direction. A crowd of people were running after him.
Up ahead, the road ahead was mostly clear for a couple of miles as the wreck behind us had stopped traffic for a while. I’m sure the flying craft had something to do with it, too.
The redhead looked back at her brother. “I think so. You okay Michael? Yeah, we’re okay.”
When you know you’ve just been shot at, you go through a whirlwind of emotion. First, your intestines coil up like a rattle snake. You feel this tightening for an instant, then you feel a half heartbeat of relief that you’re still alive, and finally you settle on your final emotion- for some folks, it’s back to fear. Fear of the second or third shot. Fear for your life. For other folks, and this includes me, it’s anger. About the time D disappeared from the rear view mirror, my anger had settled in nicely. It didn’t help that we had to yell to get heard, being in a topless Jeep and all.
“Good. Now what were you thinking back there?”
“Maybe you’d rather get shot?”
“You almost did shoot me.”
“Why do you even have a gun in here?”
“I heard the bullet whiz right-”
“No, seriously, why do you have a gun? Are you planning on killing someone?”
“Maybe you missed it, but a UFO buzzed us.”
“Yeah, and you had time to run home and get your gun?”
“Well, after the president went on TV, I thought it might be a good-”
“My brother’s just a kid, what if he had hurt himself-”
“I wasn’t exactly planning on picking anybody up, children or other-”
“Well, maybe you need to think just a little more before you let a child get anywhere near your firearms.”
“Well, maybe you need to think just a little before putting your brother in the Jeep of a guy who carries a mini-14 under his back seat.”
“Maybe next time I-”
“And then you let me drive!”
The redhead raised her eyebrows and shrugged. “You might have a point.”
The old Jeep bounced along. There was hardly any traffic, just the occasional fender bender that would have to wait a while for the authorities to arrive.
The UFO must have scared everybody off the road.
I wondered who my two passengers were and what I was supposed to do about them.
We had driven in silence for a good fifteen minutes when Michael leaned forward as far as he could in his seatbelt.
“I have to go to the bathroom.”
Keep Reading! Chapter 12 is here.