Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Two Wolves and a Stingray by Diana N. Robicheaux

     The classic, fully restored, cobalt blue, 1972 Chevrolet Corvette Stingray blew past the cop doing 75 in a 35 zone.  The driver knew the cruiser was there, he saw it a mile away, literally.  He laid on the horn, just in case the cop inside was asleep this late at night.  The cruiser sprang to life and barreled after them, lights flashing and sirens blaring.  But the driver of the Stingray wasn’t slowing down, no way.  He had a job to do and he was having too much fun.
     “Punch it!” Jordan shouted over the wind to his accelerator man, his younger brother Jason.  Jason pressed down on the accelerator.  The engine responded with a deep, throaty rumble and a rush of power.  The Stingray surged forward, pulling away from the pursuing police cruiser.
     Jordan was glad to have his brother along to work the pedals.  Shifting would have been impossible without the speed shifter.  Steering was hard enough and his legs would never reach the pedals.  Besides, he needed his feet in the seat so he could stick his head up through the open t-tops.
     “Woo-hoo!” Jordan cried gleefully.  He loved speed.  He loved the thrill of the chase, even if he was the one being pursued, and he loved the wind whipping through his hair.  Jordan and Justin both had a lot of hair.  In fact, everyone in their family had a lot of hair.
     “How long are we supposed to keep this up?” Jason shouted up at his brother.  He wasn’t having as much fun being stuck down in that cramped floorboard.  He was waiting for the big finale, when they stopped.  That would be fun.
     “I don’t know.  Dad said drive, so I’m driving!  I don’t think we’ve attracted enough attention yet.  We’re supposed to draw the cops out and keep them busy while they take care of that crazy loony in town.  I hope they corner her before she makes too much trouble for the rest of us.  I swear I don’t see why that ingrate Kyle would want a nut like Cassidy over our sweet little sister Jenny.”  Jordan gave the speed shifter a tap.  Man he loved this car, too bad it belonged to the ingrate Kyle.
     “You’re preaching to the choir.  What are we supposed to do when we stop?” Jason asked.
     “I don’t know.  Dad didn’t say.  It’s not like the cops can arrest us.”  Jordan laughed.  “I hear more sirens coming.  Push it to the floor, sit on it man!”
     Jason obediently pressed the narrow pedal down.  He almost had to sit on it, literally, to keep the speed up.  The brothers sped on mile after mile until the city was well behind them, collecting cop cars like baseball cards as they went.
     “Wooo!  There must be twenty cruisers behind us,” Jordan shouted with a measure of pride.  They were well into the country now, far away from the rest of the clan.  A row of red and blue flashing lights ahead signaled the end of the chase.  “Oh, shit!  Roadblock!  Showtime, little brother.  Let off the gas, I’ll tell you when to brake!”  Jordan kept his keen eyes on the line of state troopers ahead of them.
     Their speed began to drop rapidly.  In only a few seconds, they had slowed enough for Jason to apply the brakes.
     “Easy!” Jordan warned his brother.  “I have to down shift.”  He reached down for the shifter.  One handed steering was tricky, even for a second.  He struggled to keep control of the wheel.  The car swerved sharply as he corrected.
     “Watch it up there or you’ll kill us!” Jason yelped.
     “I’ve got it!” Jordan snapped.  He shoved the shifter into park.  “Okay, we’re stopped.  Now get up here quick!” 
     Jordan snatched the keys from the ignition and his brother took the passenger seat beside him.
     “I can’t wait to see the looks on their faces when they see us.” Jason snickered.
     “Just shut up, will you?  I don’t want some trigger happy yokel to shoot us,” Jordan hissed.
     “Should we buckle in?  We don’t want to get a ticket for not having our seat belts on.” Jason chuckled louder.  “I’ll do yours if you do mine.”
     “Quiet!  And try to look innocent.”  Jordan dropped the keys under him and slunk down in the seat.  His brother did the same.  The two of them sat silently waiting as the police ordered them from the car.  Of course, they didn’t move.  State troopers and local deputies edged cautiously toward the car, surrounding it with their weapons drawn.
     “Get out of the car with your hands in the air!  Do it now!” one of the deputies shouted.  The rest of them hung back shining their lights into the car, right on the two brothers.  “What the hell?  Where’s the driver?”  The bewildered deputy stepped closer, searching the interior of the car with his flashlight.  There was no room for anyone to hide in that car.  Was this somebody’s warped idea of a joke?
     The two brothers sat silently laughing to themselves at the confusion they were causing.
     “There’s nobody here!” the deputy shouted.  “Just two of the biggest damned dogs I’ve ever seen.”
     “What?”  Two more deputies ran up to the Stingray.  Flashlight beams illuminated the car inside and out, and under, but they found only the two brothers.
     “Is this some kind of a joke?” Deputy One asked.
     “No shit, Sherlock!  The driver must have jumped out and let the car coast.  Where’s the keys?”  Deputy Two leaned into the car to check the ignition.  He shoved his armpit in Jordan’s nose and elbowed him in the ribs.  Jordan let out a huff, but didn’t move.  “The keys are gone!”
    “Get out of there, you idiot!  Those aren’t dogs, they’re wolves!  Call animal control.” Deputy Three hissed.  “And get out there and tell the others to search for that driver, unless you think the wolves were driving.”
     The Deputies retreated from the car.  One called for a tow truck and Animal Control.
     “Animal Control?  Oh, man.  I do not want to spend the night in the pound.” Jason whined.
     “Been there, done that, don’t want to do it again,” Jordan agreed. 
     The two wolf brothers waited patiently.  Most of the cruisers began to pull away in search of the phantom driver.
     “Hey, look.  They’re leaving.” Jason sighed. 
     “Sure, you heard them.  Wolves can’t drive a car, right?” Jordan chuckled.  “Get ready.”
     All but one of the cruisers drove away and only two deputies remained, Deputies Two and Three.
     “Hee, hee.”  Jason snickered.  “I wish I could see their faces when we drive away.”  He hopped into the floorboard and waited for his brother’s instructions.
     Jordan held the key in his teeth and carefully slid it into the ignition.  He had hands when he started it the last time.  This was going to be a trick.  He cocked his head to the side and turned the key.  The engine roared to life.  The two deputies snapped to attention and ran toward the car.
     “Clutch!” Jordan shouted.  Jason obediently shoved a paw on the clutch.  Jordan shoved the shifter into first gear.  The cops were almost on them.  “Gas and don’t choke it!”  Jason eased off the clutch and stepped on the gas.  The car leapt forward.  Jordan laid on the horn as they blew past the cops.
     “Out of the way!” he shouted as they sped off into the night. 
     The two deputies dove to the pavement and rolled out of the way of the car.  They watched it speed away with a howling werewolf at the wheel.  Deputy Two was the first to his feet.
     “Should we call this in?” he asked Deputy Three.
     Deputy Three stood up and dusted off his hat.  “And say what?  A pair of wolves just drove off in a suped up Stingray Corvette?  Were you dropped on your head as a child?  I didn’t see nothin’ and neither did you.”