Night Ride

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Night Ride

Postby TheIntern » Wed Jul 25, 2012 12:42 pm

Night Ride

The first ride they snagged that night drove them straight from Albertson’s to the
Jet Wash. The summer between ninth and tenth grades, Nick and Monte shook off the
sameness of every night by going on mystery rides around Salt Lake. They’d hide in the
back of pick-up trucks parked at grocery stores or family restaurants and then go along to
wherever the unsuspecting driver might take them. A couple of times, they were
discovered before the driver even got in the cab, but most times they weren’t.

The kick came in never knowing where they would be when the ride came to an
end. They most often found themselves in the driveways of prim little houses on
suburban cul-de-sacs much like their own; other nights they ended up outside a bar or
club downtown. Once the driver got on the freeway and didn’t stop until he got to Park
City, thirty miles up Parley’s Canyon.

They had a deal with Kyle, Nick’s older brother. On night’s he didn’t have
something else going on, they paid him to come get them no matter where they were.
This worked out to be most nights because Kyle had a terminal case of geekiness. He
spent all his free time at home reading technical manuals and taking apart or putting back
together radios, computers, and small household appliances. It didn’t matter where Nick
or Monte’s travels ended, all it took was one text from Nick, and Kyle would be there to
take them home before Monte’s hard and fast curfew at ten.

Before the truck entered the first spray station, they vaulted from the back and ran
to the corner, crossing the four-lane against traffic to get to JB’s Big Boy on the other
side. That's when they saw the new silver Dodge Ram. They looked through the plate
glass. The place was empty except for a couple of guys who sat eating at the counter,
their backs to the windows.

“Check it out!” Nick said.

“King cab. Four-wheel drive. Nice.” He nodded
approvingly. They walked around to the back. A black vinyl tonneau covered the bed.

“Let’s do it.” He pulled up a corner.

“I don’t know,” Monte said. “What time is it? I caught hell last night for being
fifteen minutes late.”

“It’s early,” Nick said. “Only eight-something. I’ll make sure we call Kyle by

Monte climbed in behind Nick and re-attached the cover. The darkness closed
around them, warm and humid.

“What the hell do they haul in here?” Nick said, trying to maneuver a place
between a tool box and a duffle bag. “God damn, what stinks?”

“Your feet,” Monte said. He was wedged up against the wheel well and was about
to say he thought it smelled like garbage, rotting meat to be exact, when Nick kicked him.

"Shh!" Nick hissed.

They listened as the sound of footstep and men’s voices approached the truck.
After the beep-click of the key fob, the truck rocked gently as the men got in, and the
engine roared to life.

The driver turned sharply out of the lot. Centripetal force shoved the boys toward
the side panels, the stowed gear squeezing tight against them. The driver burned through
the gears before coming to a quick stop a few blocks later.

“The light at Thirty-third South and Fifth East,” Monte said.

“What if they take the freeway?” Nick sounded excited. “We could be on the way
to Vegas! Oh. My. God. My brother will be so pissed.” Then he laughed.

Monte knew the chance of their going all the way to Las Vegas was a remote
possibility, but that didn’t mean they wouldn’t end up somewhere far enough away to
make him late again. His dad said the next time it happened he’d be grounded for a
week. A minute later the truck veered to the right and up a small incline, and Monte knew
they were entering I-15 northbound. Within seconds they were travelling at freeway

Nick turned on his phone. By the time the GPS locator updated, they had merged
west onto I-80.

“Do you think they're going to Wendover?” Monte asked.

“Maybe." Nick said. His face looked pale, almost dead, in the reflected light.

"fudge! The GPS is sucking battery power."

“Text Kyle now!” Monte tried to calculate how long before they might get home
again. There'd be no way to explain to his dad how they ended up in Nevada. “Tell him
to meet us there as soon as he can.”

“Yeah, poop unicorns and rainbows, but what if these two aren’t going to Wendover?” Nick
turned off the phone. Darkness colored the silence between them. After a minute he
spoke again. “It’s 8:23 in case you’re interested.”

“That’s cool,” Monte said, feeling it was anything but. “Maybe if they stop for
gas somewhere, we can jump out.”

“Yeah, like we can count on that happening," Nick said. "You may as well sit
back and enjoy the ride Monte-boy.”

It was hard to tell if Nick was enjoying the mess Monte was no doubt going to be
in by the time they got home, whenever that would be. Nick was lucky. His parents
never seemed to get on his case about anything. But then again they didn’t seem to pay
much attention to anything Nick or Kyle did or didn't do. They weren't like Monte’s mom
and dad who always had something planned--hiking, camping, cook-outs, even
unplanned trips to the bowling alley on slow Saturdays. Nick was always a welcome
guest, and Kyle too, had he wanted to come along.

They were passing the lake. Its tell-tale reek seeped under the cover.
“poop unicorns and rainbows! How can it smell like dead fish when there aren’t any?” Nick said.

“Brine shrimp and general lake stench,” Monte said.

“Who swims in that crap anyway?”

“Tourists, I guess. You know what they say: you can’t think in the Great Salt
Lake.” It was something Monte’s dad said every time they drove past the almost dead
body of water. But Nick didn’t laugh, and Monte burned with how lame the joke sounded
right then.

They drove further into the night. Well past the lake, the truck made an abrupt
exit from the highway and rumbled across the salt desert. Clods of wet sand machinegunned
against the undercarriage. The gray glow illuminated Nick’s face again.

“Where are we?” Monte asked.

“No signal.” Nick waved the phone above his head, then stopped, his arm
extended mid-air. “Oh, poop unicorns and rainbows,” he said, the sound fading into a whisper.

“poop unicorns and rainbows!”

“What?” Monte whispered. “Where are we?”

The truck stopped.

“Not where.” Nick sounded like he wanted to cry. “Why.” He held the phone
above the duffle next to him and pulled back the edge. A head appeared—swollen,
bruised, bloody, and very dead.

Monte laid his head back on the wheel well and concentrated on not vomiting. A
breath of cold air washed over him and he opened his eyes. Where the cover had been
was nothing but stars, millions and millions of stars tacked on the velvet night, spreading
out forever and ever and ever.

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Re: Night Ride

Postby mypaperlab » Thu Dec 27, 2012 12:43 am

Nice Night Ride >>>>>>>>>>>>>

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