Chapter 3 by Erica Castillo
The girl berated the driver with her foul mouth and dense pistol for hitting a pothole. This was the first time Joe or Gray heard her speak. The voice was deeper than any little girl’s voice ought to be and was slightly accented by a bayou slang. Her eyes, now widened looked deep red like the devil had possessed her. The driver, despite his outlaw exterior, exuded terror and fear. As the girl continued to beat the pistol against the back of his head, the driver, in a matter of seconds opened his door, tucking and rolling out onto the dirt road.
The girl vehemently screamed, ‘Shit! Shit! I don’t know how to drive!’
Gray shouted frantically, ‘Just grab the wheel and try to steer!’
It was then that Joe began to panic. ‘Gray! Gray!’ Joe had been grazed by the stray bullet. The ruby-coloured blood drizzled down his fingers as he touched the side of his shaved head. Gray ignored Joe as he was still directing psycho child in driver’s ed. Joe stared at his bloody fingers that now came in and out of focus as he began to feel woozy. Out of the two friends, Joe always had the weaker stomach. He was the one with more logic, remorse, and vulnerability. Gray was the backbone that Joe was not born with. Joe had always relied on Gray to tell him what was fun, how to be a man and how to ‘get the girl’. Joe without Gray would be pathless putty and right now, putty didn’t sound so bad. Putty would be safely lounging on a La-Z-Boy watching reruns of Happy Days. Putty would be napping in a hammock outside his sunlit patio. Putty would not be on this maniacal adventure bleeding from the side of his head, wishing he were anywhere but here.
The girl was like a rabid dog. She didn’t know how to drive but she also guarded the wheel as if it were her bone and this car was her doghouse. Gray tried to grab it a few times and she barked, only allowing advice. The care was swerving left to right, which made Joe queasier than before. Gray finally sat back and allowed psycho child to drive. Gray then noticed the sickly Joe curled over the window that now had smeared pinkish blood across it. Pulling Joe away from the window, who was now delirious, Gray tried to find the wound.
‘Joe, where are you bleeding?!’
Joe could only respond with his rendition of ‘Row Row Row Your Boat’ that was incoherent to say the very least. Joe, flailing his arms in a paddle-rowing motion, collapsed his bleeding head over Gray’s upright shoulder. Discovering the wound, Gray began to laugh.
‘The bullet GRAZED your ear! Why are you THIS delirious?’ exclaimed Gray as the girl, still swerving but surprisingly not hitting anything, sped on. Ignoring this discovery, Joe, still laid over his friend’s should, softly slurred, ‘Ya hear the-aaa-sirens?’ Gray did not hear any sirens. He only smiled at this question but… Joe was right.