Tuesday, August 28, 2007

Powder Burn Flash # 43 - Christopher Grant


Mom always said never to pick up hitchhikers.

I had packed up and was moving from Tuscon to San Francisco, having landed a job with a security firm there, paying me almost half again what I was making in Arizona.

I had just left the diner and was taking the highway when I spotted her. The sun was starting to sink behind the mountains and I didn't think it was a great idea for a woman to out on the road by herself. She had her thumb up and out and I decided to be chivalrous and stopped.

She stuck her head in the window and asked how far I was going. I liked her voice, a smooth, syrupy kind of voice that could get you in trouble if you didn't play your cards right. Or perhaps, if you did.

I told her that I was heading for San Francisco and she said it sounded good. She opened the door and tossed her bag in the back, got in the front seat and buckled in. The skirt she was wearing rode up a bit and gave me a glimpse of nicely tanned thigh. She knew I'd looked and smiled back at me.

I figured I could drive for another couple of hours before I'd have to stop somewhere and asked her to look at the map and guess where we could pull off for the night. She found a little town about fifty miles from where we were right now and folded the map back.

The town was smaller than I figured but it had some place to sleep and some place to get gas and another to get something to eat and all three were on the one street that ran through its center and back out to the highway.

The motel was a bit of a dump but it would suit our needs and I took two rooms, handing my new traveling companion the keys to hers and opening the door, before saying goodnight, to mine.

The room was sparse, to say the least. A bed, a chair, a lamp on a table, a phone next to the lamp and a door that led to the bathroom, which had a toilet and a shower but no sink. Apparently you were supposed to wash your hands in the shower. I shrugged, put down my suitcases and relieved myself, turning the shower on afterwards and taking a good fifteen minutes to get myself clean before retiring for the night.

I had just begun to drift off when there was a knock at the door. I came fully awake on the second knock and started for the door when I realized that it might be the woman and I sleep nude. I grabbed the sheet and wrapped it around myself, went and answered the door, opening it a fraction. There she was, wearing a sheer nightgown and a smile. I smiled and then caught the door in the side of my face, falling to the floor.

A moment later, the woman was on top of me, straddling my chest, a gun in my face. This wasn't the way I had envisioned us ending up.

We weren't alone in the room. I became aware of at least one other person, standing to the left of my head, a pair of what looked like black work boots on its feet. It was dark. They might have been blue or brown for all I could tell.

I heard a gun's hammer cock back and moved my head slowly towards the woman. It wasn't her gun, though.

"Your wallet," the woman on top of me said, pressing her gun into my cheek. Hard.

"My pants pocket," I was barely able to say, what with the gun pushed into my face.

I heard rummaging and became aware of a third person, who was now checking to see if my story was true.

Then a disembodied voice came from above the work boots.

"We don't need the money but you'll understand if we take it." It was a man's voice, low, an edge to it. I figured him for the leader of this scheme.

"Find a cord or something," the woman said to the rummager. I heard the phone being ripped out of the wall. The woman exchanged the gun for the cord and set about binding my wrists. Again, kinky, but not the way I had thought it might go.

I felt the hands of the two others slide under my armpits, the woman getting off me and they dragged me to the bed. She continued her tying, this time roping me to the bed frame.

Once finished, she knelt beside me. She kissed me on the lips. Whether it was a taunt or not, I couldn't tell. At this point, it was futile to bother with the guess.

"Someone will eventually find you," the one that had been standing by my head said. "Thank you for your cooperation."

And then they were gone.

I should have listened closer to my mother.

BIO: Christopher Grant is a writer of various genres, including crime fiction, science fiction and comic books. His blog The Not-So-Quiet American His most recent stories have appeared right here on Powder Burn Flash and on DZ Allen'sMuzzle Flash.

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