It was the middle of July and the day was uncommonly chilly for that time of the year. The temperature showed only 16 degrees on the large billboard the quite beaten up black 1979 Chevrolet Silverado passed by. The mentioned truck had seen some rough years and looked rather worn out. Rust was on the doors and the body of the car had more than a few scratches on it. It made a tired sound as it rolled on the road, almost ready to take a holiday.
The highway was empty, save for the aforementioned truck, and the day was already ending as the Sun was slowly setting down by the horizon. Darkness was slowly engulfing the surroundings. The driver of the truck gazed at the time – 5:15 PM. Both of the windows of the truck were closed and the heat was up, the cabin was warm and cozy. Music was playing from the radio, 'I put a spell on you' by Nina Simone, soothing to the driver's racing mind. The song was followed by many alike. The destination unknown as the driver decided to ride and see where the roads take them.
After a while, a sign reading 'Trestlehaunt - 20 miles' passed by and the driver felt a small relief as the tank of the car was half empty and it was starting to make an odd sound. The driver prayed the car would not break down in the middle of nowhere. 15 miles later the truck started making a couching sound.
„Come on baby, don't fail me, not now, not yet,” the driver said while looking ahead on the road, noticing a gas station.
The sound was getting worse and the young woman was almost caressing the wheel and hoped to reach the gas station before the car gave up entirely. The machine gave up with a cloud of smoke coming from under the hood a few meters from the station and the woman sighed in relief. She sat in the car for a good 10 minutes before reality hit her – she got stranded in an unknown part of the continent with no working car and almost zero amount of money. She opened the glove box and clutter of paper and other stuff fell out. The woman cursed under her breath and raised the stuff on the passenger seat and started sifting through it with small desperation. A small, almost empty, package of white powder drops on the floor and the woman pauses for a moment. She looks at it and breathes heavily and then continues to sift through the papers and other crap and finds what she's looking for. She counts through it – only 70 bucks. The woman sighs as she was sure she had more tucked away.
“Can 70 bucks get my car fixed, fill the tank, buy food and accommodations,” she asked no-one or perhaps the car she was sitting in.
She hit the wheel in frustration. “Obviously not!” She lay her head against the headrest and looked at the gas station that was 10-20 meters away. Luckily the car broke down close to it. However, it seemed rather abandoned. Was it even functional the woman wondered.
It looked old and worn out. It had two gas pumps and lights were lit over them but when she gazed at the small building next to them, it was dark. It indicated no-one was there and it worried the woman. Did she get stranded at an abandoned gas station? She contemplated getting out of her car and going exploring. Perhaps it had a working payphone on the other side. But before she even bothered getting out, she slumped back against the chair.
“Who would I call,” she said sadly.
Once again she looked at the station, reading all the signs she could see from here. There was a big 'Coca Cola' sign, general advertisements of cheap gas, oil, tire repairs, the station even had a small windmill and the woman rolled her eyes. The building was wooden, had one story and the entrance was through a small dark brown wooden door. She briefly wondered if there was a back door but didn't know why it would matter. She looked one last time at the station when her eyes finally caught the name of it and she laughed at the catchy sound of it – 'Kaz's Gas'.
Whoever that 'Kaz' was, he or she had either a great sense of humor or a knack for catchy names.
The woman kept sitting in her broken-down car. The steam that came from under the hood before had dissipated entirely and she noticed how eerily quiet the evening was. No other cars were in sight, the ghostly looking gas station alone in the middle of nowhere and the entirety of the situation suddenly hit her.
Her car didn't work, she barely had any money, no cars to stop for a ride to the town 5 miles away, no food, nothing! Her eyes slowly turned to the small white package on the floor and she picked it up. She played with it in her hands, aware that the amount of the white powder was not enough for a good escape and a new wave of despair hit her, tears threatening to fall. She was so tired of it all, the bad luck in life, things constantly going awry. She opened the package and was ready to use the almost non-existent amount of powder when she noticed a single light from afar. It was coming from the highway leading out of the town and it was still quite far away. As if on instinct she hurriedly put all her papers back into the glove box, closed the package and put it in her pocket and waited. She hoped the light would stop at the station. That might give her a chance.
The light got closer and the woman realized it was a motorbike and it sounded like one of the classic Harley Davidsons. She slid lower on her car-seat, almost hiding for an unknown reason, as the biker pulled in to the gas station and came to a stop right next to the pump closest to the broken-down car. The woman had no good sight of the biker whether it was a man or a woman but the person seemed large or rather fat if she were honest. It was dark and she was 10-20 meters away so she hoped her car went unnoticed for now. She needed to see what the biker was there for before announcing her presence. One can never be too careful in the unknown parts of the world.
Not 5 minutes had passed when another set of lights was seen from the same direction the biker came from. This time it seemed like the lights of a car. The approaching car turned its lights off before closing in and it stopped right across the biker next to the second pump. It was a small truck and it had one person in it. The driver got out and smiled at the 'fat biker' as she had lovingly named the person, as they fist-pumped and then hugged. Obviously they knew one another. She didn't hear what was said but words were exchanged. After some time she saw money and a big package of, did her eyes deceive her, pills and powders being exchanged.
“A drug deal,“ she muttered to herself.
The truck took off after some minutes, leaving the biker at the station alone. She noticed the biker wasn't planning on leaving so perhaps it was her chance to score? Would she dare? Could she even get some for 70? She had to and as a bonus, she might get some information out of the person. She checked herself over in the back view mirror, she looked horrible – blonde hair was messy, eyes tired and red with bags under them, unhealthy – but it had to do. She re-opened the glove box and took a small knife out and put it in the pocket. She also made sure she had the money as she exited the car and slammed the door shut unexpectedly loudly. She was sure she was heard. She took a deep breath and started walking toward the station slowly.
The woman approached the biker from behind hoping for some sort of secrecy even though she was sure the slam of her car door was heard to Trestlehaunt. While on approach she could see the biker more clearly and the bike as well. It was a 2014 Heritage Softail, plum-colored, with chrome wheels and shiny all over. It had 2 seats and side bags and the woman was sure that's where the big bag of drugs went to. The biker was wearing jeans, typical riding boots, and a leather jacket. The jacket was what caught the woman's interest as it seemed the biker was a part of a gang – Red's Rebels. She briefly wondered who this 'Red' was? The jacket was black with 2 red stripes on the back and 'Red's Rebels' proudly in the middle in red letters. When she was close enough the person got up from their bike and turned around. It was a woman so she felt a little relieved but didn't drop her guard. After all, women can be as dangerous as men, if not more so. The biker gave her a satisfied smile and she inwardly cringed.
“Well well, who are you little lady,“ the biker asked in a curious tone of voice.
She looked the biker up and down, taking her appearance in. The woman was shorter than her and definitely wider and heavier. Definitely older. Short hair, almost your typical lesbian style. Under the leather jacket, she was wearing a t-shirt with a skull on it and the younger woman almost rolled her eyes but restrained herself. She needed information and perhaps some gear, so offending the person was not the best choice right now.
“Just passing through and took a....pitstop,“ she eventually replied, surprised at her voice that came out a big raspy.
The biker raised her eyebrows in disbelief.
„A bit of a strange place for a pitstop.“
„I'm new to this area so I was hoping for some directions,” she fished.
She saw how she was being checked out as the gaze of the other woman was leering. It made her uncomfortable.
„What do you need to know,“ the older woman asked with a smirk and a wink.
„Is Trestlehaunt the only closest town or are there any other?“
„It depends,“ the woman said while taking a seat on her bike, „on which road you're gonna take. If you follow the road North, you'll end up in the small town Trestlehaunt. It's only 5 miles from here. If you drive back South for a few miles and turn left at the first crossroads you'll get to Bert that's almost 100 miles from here.”
The younger woman was taken back and almost slumped. Her choices were limited and she was definitely not gonna ask for a lift from this...person.
„What's your name sweetness? I'm called Juice.“
The way the woman asked the question told the younger one to wrap things up soon. She didn't even wanna know why she was called Juice.
“Oh? You don't wanna tell me? Fair enough. I'll call you Princess then.” She laughed loudly. „Anything else you wish to know Princess?“
She wasn't impressed by the nickname she got but it was better than telling her real name or making one up. Surely she wasn't gonna meet this Juice again. She also wasn't sure which way was best to approach the 'drug' subject, so she decided to be straightforward.
“There was one other thing. I was hoping to score from you.”
“You could if you'll tell me your poison and I'll see if I have any,” Juice replied with newfound energy, her personal interest toward the pretty blonde forgotten.
„You're in luck Princess. I happen to have some.“
Juice opened the side-bag on the other side of the bike, the one that was out of view for the younger blonde. She rummaged around and a few minutes later produced a small package of the white powder.
The younger woman was relieved yet stressed at the same time. She only had 70 bucks and knowing the prices it wasn't enough. She played with the small roll of money in the pocket and asked how much for the small bag, hoping to hear a low price.
Juice laughed heartily and closed the side-bag. She stood up and walked closer to the blonde. The younger woman took a small step back.
„Don't be scared Princess, I'm not gonna hurt you. Tell you what. It's obvious to me you lack the necessary funds for this small bag so how about a discount,” she almost sneered and the younger woman panicked.
Surely she didn't mean the sexual kind of discount. There was one thing she'd never do and that's offer sex as payment, she was not that desperate.
'But you're desperate enough to approach a random person in the middle of nowhere and ask for it. She could be a serial killer you know,” her inner self commented.
The younger woman was surprised and happy about the offer. She accepted it almost immediately, without further comments.
Once the trade was done, Juice got back on her bike, put her helmet on and started the monstrous machine, revving it for show.
„I'm off, got things to take care of. If you decide to visit Trestlehaunt and should we meet again, I might tell you how I got my name and you might tell me your real name,” she said, winked and in a burst of booming laughter took off.
She cringed hoped they'd never meet again. That was quite an unpleasant encounter. She walked back to her car and got in, slamming the door. The small bag in her hand was a blessing and a curse at the same time. She looked at the highway and bitterly thought she was gonna walk the 5 miles tomorrow. Perhaps it was a decent town and maybe she could get a temporary job to earn some cash and move onward.
“With my luck? I'll end up sleeping on the streets and steal food to survive.”
She looked at the bag again and then at the gas station. Tonight she needed the escape.