Jacob heard the bed squeak as he attempted to roll out of it, stopping mid-roll he glanced over his shoulder to gain a vantage point at the sleeping beauty next to him. She was as gorgeous this morning as she had been last night, good thing the scotch hadn’t clouded his judgment, except the sleeping with a stranger an hour after arguing with his ex-wife, he pushed the thought out as quickly as it had come. She moved on and he should as well. Although he thought a man on the run really shouldn’t be sleeping with a police officer.
The click of the heavy wooden door with beautiful stain glass work closing behind him created a welcome sound. The quiet of the street in the pre-dawn morning had also been a welcome sound. He quietly made is way through the slick icy sidewalk toward his car, when suddenly his entire body and the front yard was bathed in a florescent glow. He whipped around to see a motion activated flood light above the welcome mat on the front steps shining down on him. Jacob sped his pace and made it to the car and out of the driveway before Kelsey could wake and make it to the door.
His radio clock read four fifteen and if it was possible the outside temp on the dashboard instrument panel read thirty four degrees, a whole fifteen degrees warmer than yesterday at this hour in the morning? Then he remembered he was in Missouri where one could experience a blizzard one day and a heat wave the next. Jacob turned the volume up on the radio, he remembered instantly just how cheap his car had been when he noticed that it didn’t even have a CD player, radio only. Not that he had anything to place in it anyway.
Jacob found himself once again on the strip of the downtown area, he needed gas and a newspaper before he made is way out of this god forsaken town. Although it did have its perks, a good blues bar, pretty women and a small town feel, there was something about this place that he couldn’t quit put his finger on but made him uneasy.
The set of railroad tracks that ran parallel with downtown popped and cracked, giving his tiny car a shake as Jacob crossed them. He wasn’t the best with a sense of direction but he was sure he would head toward the interstate where there would surely be a gas station
He saw two men standing on a corner. It was unmistakable what they were doing there. Jacob had to wonder what was this towns flavor of choice. The two men had to be in their early twenties, white and tattooed to the hilt. They stood next to an exit that led to the on ramp for interstate 55. Jacob gave it a quick glance and saw no gas station to right or left of the ramp, and looked back down at the instrument panel, next to the outside temp was the gas gauge, the needle hovered near an eighth of a tank, he could, he theorized, go nearly a hundred miles on that amount of gas in this car.
As he passed the two men, Jacob reached into the back seat and pulled his carryon bag up to the front seat next to him. The men by this time had noticed his presence and the fact that he was driving a tiny blue hatchback, the car didn’t exactly scream masculinity. Jacob saw them pointing and laughing as he passed. Jacob unzipped the bag and pulled out his 9mm Glock, a cheap but effective gun.
He found an spot to turn around and sat the gun in his lap. It happened to be an abandoned grocery store. Graffiti littered the building, art is what some called it but he recognized them for what they were, tags that identified a turf, and this one apparently belonged to BBS, whoever they were.
The men seemed surprised that Jacob rolled to a stop next to them, and even more surprised when the window to begin to roll his window down. “Excuse me, can you help me?” Jacob called out to them. He looked around and thought how easy it would be to get rid of the scum right here.
One was much more cut than the other and he approached first. “Wha’tha fock ya doin’ here,” he mumbled as he leaned onto the door. “I seemta think you in the wrong place mothafucka.”
“Listen buddy, I’m just looking for some gas.”
“You hear that Bash, this mothafucka wants some gas,” He called over his shoulder to the smaller guy in a St. Louis Rams jacket, unzipped over a white tank top which appeared, judging from the multitude of stains, that he lived in it. Jacob noticed that the men had acne, and he assumed they were to old to be going through puberty which more than likely meant he had discovered their ‘flavor of choice’ “we was just admirin’ you pretty purple car. What you say you take us fo’a ride in it.”
Jacob drummed his hand on the Glock to draw attention to it, “It’s blue,” it worked but not in the way that Jacob had hoped. The man stepped back and the one that he called Bash stepped up. They lifted their stain ridden tank tops to show their skinny abdomens and also that their waste bands held two 9’s of their own.
A husky voice didn’t match his appearance, because of his size, Jacob would have thought it to be a higher pitch, a teenager’s voice maybe. But it held a weathered voice of an older man, one perhaps three times his age. “Listen, you should probably get outta here, got it?” Jacob couldn’t agree more, “You need to put the heat away.”
“Like I said I just need some gas and directions out of your fine city,” condescension probably wasn’t the best tactic but Jacob really didn’t care.
The one called Bash twisted his jaw and then opened it wide in a yawn like motion, he was jittery and bouncing around like the little toady dog from the Sylvester The Cat cartoons that he remembered as a kid. Jacob was sure that the two were on crystal. Then he pulled the gun out of his waist band in a crazy swift like motion and pointed it at Jacob. Jacob felt his heart fall into his stomach and placed his hand on his gun as well, not raising it, but waiting. Then Bash used the gun as a pointer and pointed to the exit ramp. “If you go up that way, there is a gas station at the next exit, bout two miles up, you can make it two miles right?”
Jacob released the gun from his grip and brought his hands back up to the steering wheel. “I sure can. Thank you for your kind hospitality.”
Bash leaned in close to the window and Jacob could smell his stench, the ripe fragrance of underarms “I don’t wanna see you around here again, you got it smartass?”
Jacob didn’t agree or disagree he only gently eased on the gas and pulled away, headed out of BBS territory and out of Pine Bluff.