Carl shifted the black Dodge Challenger into third, grinding the pedal hard into the floor. She shook uncontrollably over the Nevada desert terrain. He felt her chassis tearing up good underneath. But he wasn’t slowing down. Not until that bitch was cold. If Joey pissed him off anymore he’d bury him too. He’d make up some story and tell Johnny how he just got in the way. “There you are, you…”
Joey already had Samantha in his arms. Carl shifted again and reached over for his .45 on the seat. Joey saw an opening. All Carl saw was a huge rock flying towards the windshield and he turned the wheel hard.
The car swerved, kicking up a cloud of debris, and the gun went off. Bullets turned the roof into Swiss cheese. He attempted one more round but the car hit a large boulder, slamming his hand against the window frame in the process. A tire burst. The gun flew. So did the car.
The Challenger took off like a rocket and came down hard, rolling in the process.
“Stay here Sam.” The barely dressed Vegas dancer didn’t say a word. She didn’t even move.
Joey picked up the gun, like he was King Arthur, out of the dirt. He checked the clip. More than enough.
The Dodge sat upside down. One of the tires still spun. It was totaled. The windows were spider-webbed and blown out. Carl didn’t wear his belt. Thought only pussies wore them. A mangled clump twenty feet away crawled to Hell on a trail of its own blood. Joey would help get him there a little faster.
Joey stood over him and clicked back the hammer. “Carl. Turn over, man. I ain’t shooting you in the back.”
It took him a good long minute, through some heavy pain, but he finally rolled.
“Look at… arugh… that. The pussy finally grows a pair.”
“Those gonna be your last words then?” Joey stepped in closer. “She didn’t have it. Do you hear me, you sack of shit? She didn’t even KNOW about it. Did YOU know that?”
“Who the hell cares…. hurrrgh… I didn’t ask.” Dark blood dripped from the corner of his mouth. “He just said take care of her. And if it meant… if I got a piece of that ass before I did it…well hurrah for me. That’s what….”
Samantha snapped her head toward the loud bang.
Carl’s death was easier than he deserved. Joey should have let him bleed out. It would have looked like an accident at first. But he was sending a message. The buzzards would have their way with Carl soon enough.
“Come on. Get up. We’re getting out of here,” Joey said. Samantha looked up, her face blank, still shaking from nerves.
“Look, Sam, we’ve got to get out of here,” Joey said. “Johnny is probably expecting Carl to report in when it’s done and we’re far past how long it’d take to… we gotta get movin’ baby.”
They walked in silence for hours in the scorching desert sun.
“Where are we going Joey? What’s the plan?” Samantha asked.
“Plan?” Joey turned toward her and laughed. “I’m making this up as I go along. Last night Johnny told me to pick you up and ask you a few questions. Now we’re here. Apparently something else was… is… I don’t know… going on and what I’ve been told was far different from what Carl knew.”
He stopped himself and walked off a few feet away from Samantha, taking it all in. “Look. I’m sorry Sam. I had nothing to do with you… this…. The world’s much better off without that asshole. But you… you’re just a dancer that Johnny forced into doing something he shouldn’t of.”
Joey turned around, “All you did was pick up a goddamn bag. Something got fucked up along the way and now he’s pinning it on you. It’s definitely on me now, too. God knows what he said. Maybe he planned it that way. Maybe it’s the coke whore…”
“I ain’t no whore and the coke was just that one…”
“I’m not saying you are… let’s just keep walking.”
“Any bullets left?”
“Yeah. Just one.”