Yes, I am a strange one. Well, so, here’s chapter two, then…
I really needed to pull over and get some gas. Jennifer really needed to vomit. We had been driving for at least an hour and we were already dangerously close to empty. You eat up a lot of fuel when you do 80 for so long. It would have been much too easy to spot us in this purple Pontiac had we stopped at a gas station along the side of the highway. Instead, we searched the back roads near the next small town hoping to find a secluded location.
Jennifer found a quiet spot behind the building to release the contents of her stomach while I put as much gas into the car as I could afford. Eighteen dollars didn’t buy much gas. We’d need more money before the night was over.
The sun was down completely now and the moon was slightly covered by low clouds. You could see fairly well in the dim moonlight. Every time a car passed, I looked to see if they were watching. You can always tell when a werewolf is watching you. He doesn’t just use his eyes. He uses his whole body — his nose and teeth and ears — everything. Of course, the average Joe doesn’t realize this while it’s happening. Joe simply erupts with “What are you lookin’ at?” type comments until the bothersome situation has passed. Then in the parking lot on the way to his car, Joe has a split second to apologize to that same man who is transforming right before his eyes. Joe now realizes the significance of the man’s staring as he is torn in half and lying in a pool of his own blood. By then, reconsideration is much too late and apologies are unnecessary.
Jennifer walked back around the station and into the front door. I was already inside looking for bottled water and gathering some corrupted courage as I considered a way to acquire some money. A weathered woman sat behind the counter, a lit cigarette in one hand and a beef jerky stick and beer in the other. It almost made me laugh to see her clutching the snack with one finger. She would attempt to take a bite and not spill her beverage, or she would sip her drink and try not to poke herself in the eye. All for the sake of not putting down her cigarette.
“You need somethin’?” she asked with a deep and cancerous voice. She had noticed me observing.
“Just wishing I had something a little stronger than that beer,” I joked.
“The liquor’s over there,” she said and pointed to a nearby wall.
She smiled, looked around a moment and then lifted a beer from the cooler behind her chair in a kindly offer.
“No thanks,” I said, “Not tonight. Need to be sharp.”
“Sharp? Fer what? Ain’t nothin’ happenin’ out there, tonight.”
“You don’t want to know.” And before she could speak again, I had my pistol up and aiming.
“Please, don’t make a sound,” I whispered as I pulled back the hammer with my thumb. “You need to just do what I say and nothing will happen.” I couldn’t believe these words were coming out of my mouth. I had no intention of hurting this woman, but I what I was doing was for her benefit, too. And I needed the cash in her register to get us to our destination. I almost laughed again when her hands slowly rose into the air. She had abandoned her beer and beef jerky on the counter, but the cigarette remained tightly clutched between her fingers in her hand. Jennifer turned from the wall cooler to see me and gasped.
“What are you doing?!” she yelled. With the gun still raised, I turned to Jennifer and told her to get the money from the register.
“What else am I supposed to do? We need money and we can’t exactly stop and use a Visa. If we do, they’ll find us.”
“You can’t do this, Chris.”
“Figure out a better way to get cash for everything we’re gonna need, otherwise, get the money and get in the car.” I heard Jen whisper an apology to the woman as she leaned over the counter to get the money. Normally Jen would have been in tears by now at the sight of me in such a violent way, but she had grown accustomed to it through the events of our escape and her own personal sufferings at the hands of those hunting us. Compared to what she had experienced already, this was only an incovenient annoyance.
I could see a rusty pickup truck pulling into the station as we were leaving. I could see the woman behind the counter running out of the front door hysterically. Things were definitely getting more complicated.
“How much did you get?” I asked.
“After a moment of counting, “One twenty one.”
Jen refused to talk to me for the next thirty miles, but that didn’t bother me. I needed the quiet. I was too busy thinking about what had to be done next.