Tuesday, February 9, 2010

The Killing Spring, Part 3

Gene eased Dad’s Lexus onto Interstate 205, which would take them all the way to Portland International Airport. Fortunately, considering they were driving at the tail end of morning rush hour, traffic was pretty light. He quickly moved to the left lane and whizzed past a semi-truck.

“Use your turn signal,” Dad barked from the front passenger seat. “How are other drivers gonna know what you’re doing unless you let them know?”

“Sorry, Dad,” Gene managed, still a little annoyed he had to waste time driving them to the airport. Precious seconds of killing time were ticking away.

“Okay,” Mom began from the back seat. “I left a list of phone numbers by the phone in the kitchen. Our cell number, the number of the hotel where we’re staying, Aunt Rebecca’s number and Delana Adams’ number. I also asked her to check on you from time to time to make sure everything’s okay.”

What? Jesus, Mom, I’m seventeen. I don’t need our next door neighbor checking up on me. I can take care of myself. Don’t you trust me?

Then again, would I trust me? Heh-heh.

Resisting the sudden urge to crank the wheel into the meridian and hoping the car jumped head-on into oncoming traffic, Gene gazed into the rearview mirror and offered the most charming grin he could muster. “Mom, I’ve been home alone before. Don’t worry.”

“Yes, but not for a whole week, and we’re going to be thousands of miles away. I just want to make sure all our bases are covered. I know this may sound corny, but you’ll always be my little boy, and I can’t stop worrying about you.”

Despite wanting to get his parents out of the way, seeing mom’s concerned face in the mirror warmed his heart. She was truly concerned about his welfare.

Right then he decided, no matter what, Mom would never be on his list of victims.

“And no parties,” Dad threatened. “I don’t wanna come home to find broken lamps and beer bottles everywhere.” He checked his watch yet again before angrily waving his hand at the quagmire of cars in the road ahead. “Go around these guys, but use your turn signal this time.”


In a rush to get back and commence with the killing, Gene was pulled over by a cop less than a mile away from home. He slapped the wheel in frustration, cursing himself for being so careless. He knew from experience that his victims were most active in the morning, which was now alarmingly slipping away. He checked his watch.
8:09 AM.

They’re getting away. I just know it.

Calm down, man! Today’s just the first day. You’ll get your chance.

Yeah, but I want to kill right now!

As he watched the police officer climb off his motorcycle and casually saunter toward the car, hand resting loosely on the holster of his gun, Gene fleetingly imagined jumping out and charging. Of course, that would likely have resulted in being shot full of holes before he even got within ten feet of the officer. Still, the urge to do that very thing was strong.

Instead, he rolled down his window as the officer approached, pasting on his most sincerely worried face.

“Trouble officer?” he innocently asked, knowing damn well he was doing 40 miles an hour in a 25 zone.

“In kind of a hurry, aren’t you?” the officer accused without emotion, placing a hand on the car door as he leaned down. He peered into the back seat, mirrored sunglasses rendering him expressionless. Gene resisted the urge to rip the glasses from the man’s face.

“This your car, son?”

Gene managed a chuckle, mainly because for once, he didn’t need to formulate some elaborate lie. “No sir. It’s my dad’s. I was driving him and my mom to the airport so they could catch their flight and-”

“License, registration and proof of insurance, please.” The officer removed a leather glove and shoved an open palm through the window. Gene wanted nothing more than to grip the cop’s hand and bite off a couple of fingers.

Maybe killing time should start now. With this guy.

No, no, no! That’s stupid! He’s twice your size. What are you gonna kill him with, harsh words?

“You okay, kid?” The cop sounded more suspicious than concerned as he leaned in closer, the stink morning coffee assaulting Gene’s nose. “You don’t look so good.”

Startled from his trance, Gene hurriedly released his grip on the wheel and dug for his wallet. “Yeah, fine. Why?”

“Well, you’re all sweaty, like you’ve got a fever...or something.”

Or something. I know what you’re thinking, but that caffeinated stench oozing from your cake hole is stronger than anything I’ve ever done. Heck, I don’t even know what beer tastes like.

Gene slid out his license and held it out to the cop. He caught his own nervous reflection in the cop’s sunglasses - indeed, he was sweating. Not good. A dead giveaway.

The officer snatched the license away, then lowered his glasses down his nose to take a better look. While the man was occupied, studying the license like he’d never seen one before, Gene automatically dropped the visor, catching Dad’s registration and proof of insurance as they fell out. Dad always was a stickler for details; the first thing he told his son when while teaching him to drive was to be prepared.

Always know where your papers are, he had insisted.

“You haven’t answered my question,” the cop said as he grabbed the papers from Gene’s hand. “Why are you all sweaty?”

This time, Gene didn’t hesitate, knowing any hesitation tended to make adults suspicious. “I’ve never been pulled over before, sir.” For emphasis, he added, “My parents are gonna kill me for this.”

For a split second, Gene thought he noted sympathy in the cop’s expression-


-but it disappeared as he resumed examining all the paperwork.


Agonizing seconds passed. The cop continued shuffling the license, car registration and proof of insurance before finally backing away from the driver’s side door.

“Get out of the car, please,” he finally said. “and stand by the trunk while I call this in.”

Panic swelled, threatening to make his heart explode.

All my plans, done in by a freaking traffic cop? Does he know I’m a killer, just by looking at my license? Is he smarter than I thought he was?

Resisting the urge to throw the car into drive and take off, Gene dutifully complied. After all, Dad’s car was a Lexus. Speedy, yes, but mostly built for luxury. No way could he outrun a cop and the legions of helicopters which would join in on the chase, just like those Wildest Police Videos he always watched on SpikeTV.

Those shows always ended badly for the ones being chased. Gene didn’t want to be one of them.

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