I should have realised it was a bad idea when even Bruce wouldn’t consider it. The salesman assured me it was a top-notch, road-ready, lady-catching, rock-and-roll dream. I paid the six hundred with a lopsided grin, thinking Bruce was just jealous of my superior negotiating skills.
After driving the sixty five miles to pick up Kathy, who, by the way, looked hot in that skin tight pair of jeans and those high heels, there was a little knocking sound in the engine. I shrugged it off. After all, I was picking up the hottest babe to hit the county!
We drove to that special spot down by the lake. You know the one. Has the willow branches hanging so low that you can drive under them and no one can see you? Anyway, we pulled in there looking for some privacy, and I was thinking about seeing if she would peel those jeans down just a little, or a lot. Either way I thought I was in for some great times.
The engine knocking was a bit louder, but I figured after it cooled off, all would be well. I did have more important things on my mind. Kathy sniffed the air with that cute little nose of hers and commented that it smelled funny, but I thought she was just saying that to keep my hands in check.
After about fifteen minutes of frustrated groping on my part, it was apparent by the way she kept slapping my hands that more than one dream was getting squashed that day. That was about the time I noticed the steam rolling from under the hood.
Not being in the best of moods, I got out of the car, slamming the door so hard that the trunk flew open. When I walked around to shut the trunk, it wouldn’t latch, so I slammed it down harder than needed. One rivet popped out of the hinge, and it shut crooked, but held. That’s also when the hood flew open, and steam was really rolling out in heavy clouds around the edges.
It was about that time I saw that there were flames as well, and it wasn’t steam after all. As I ran to the front of the car to check that out, I slipped in the mossy peat and threw my arm out to catch myself, feeling a snap in my little finger as it hit the open car door.
Kathy just sat there, looking bored. So much for the hot chick. She didn’t even have the decency to ask if I was alright.
I struggled up, limping to the front of the car, holding my right hand gingerly against my chest, trying to keep the tears from welling up and out of my eyes. I got to the front of the road-ready, blah blah blah, rock-and-roll car, and past the flames, I could see my belts on fire. Oh, this was not good!
Making some snap judgements to keep the car from completely burning to the ground, I ran back and jumped in the driver’s seat, grateful for the incline leading to the lake, grinning maniacally as I put it into neutral. Kathy began screaming something about how stupid I was as the car began to roll backwards. Then she began to beat me about the head and shoulders, and never said a word I could understand. Without thinking, I hit back. Self-defense. She went limp. I was grateful for that, since I had to worry about all those bumps I was hitting on my way back down to the lake.
When the car hit the edge of the water, the back tires sunk down into the mud, pretty much stopping any further travel into the water, and I scrambled out, sinking to my knees in the mud, and hitting my poor hand against the car. Again. This time, I saw stars.
The flames were higher, and no where near the water. My boots were sucked off my feet as I struggled to pull myself from the mire. It took all my strength, but I finally made it out to the slippery mud at the edge of the lake. And lost my footing. And landed on my hand. Silent screams went through my head, but the man in me refused to allow any noise to escape my lips. I hope.
I turned to look back at my road-ready, blah blah blah, all that stuff, car. The paint was peeling from the flames. The asbestos under the hood was falling onto the engine, which I could have sworn was melting, too, but didn’t really have any energy to register all of this just right, so I might have been wrong.
It was then something did register. Kathy was still in the car. I’d forgotten about her, everything else going on and all. I staggered past the front of the car, giving wide berth to avoid all the heat the engine was giving off, and saw her sitting there, hair singed off, looking at me with a quickly blistering face.
I just stood there, disgusted.
Bruce had tried to warn me it wasn’t a good idea to buy that damned car, especially just to impress that salesman’s wife. She really was hot, though…