Wednesday, June 24, 2020

Wednesday Briefs: Super Trooper #22 (4.2)

Good morning and Happy Hump Day! If it's Wednesday, then it must be time for more flash fiction from the Wednesday Briefers! We're a group of authors who bring you our finest flash fiction every week, 500 to 1000 words, inspired by one of our prompts.

In last week's chapter, Evan is called to check out a car on the side of the road, but has he found more than just an abandoned vehicle? See what's going on in this week's chapter of Super Trooper. Don't forget to visit the other Briefers and see what's up with them. Their links follow my tale! Enjoy!

Super Trooper #22 (4.2)

Evan took a few steps then stopped. Had he heard something? He slowly swiveled his head and carefully examined his surroundings.  A large copse of oak trees—both live oak and bur oak—lay close to the shoulder of the road. But nothing was stirring there, and the noise wasn’t coming from that direction. Rather it seemed to emanate from the trunk of the parked car.

There it was again. Like someone beating on the trunk from the inside. He could hear muffled cries now, as well. That couldn’t be good. People didn’t accidentally lock themselves in their trunks, at least not in his experience.

He banged on the trunk lid. The noise inside stilled then resumed again with greater energy. “Let me out!” The words were more distinct, the voice that of a woman.

As Evan reached for the latch, a shot rang out from the trees. Instantly, he dropped down and threw himself to the far side of the car, at the same time, hitting his radio. “Shots fired, officer requesting back-up.”

“Leave her right where she is!” came a voice from somewhere in the trees.

A second shot whined off the edge of the car, just missing the taillight. The woman inside the trunk screamed.

Evan peered cautiously around the end of the car, toward the trees where the shots had come from, but saw nothing.  “Whoever you are, come out with your hands up,” he warned the unseen shooter. “Back-up’s on its way.”

A third shot forced Evan to draw back again.

“I’ve got that bitch, I’ll get you too if you keep fucking with me. Think I’m afraid of you? Think again!” The next shot kicked up gravel near Evan’s foot. At the same time, the unseen woman screamed again.

“Ma’am, please calm down, the situation is under control,” he assured her, willing confidence into his voice as he assessed the situation. Taking all the shots into consideration, he had a good idea where the man was shooting from.  The trouble was he had no cover he could use to sneak up on the man and get the drop on him. He’d be a sitting duck if he just made a beeline for him, and then so would the helpless victim in the trunk.

He calculated the approximate distance between him and the man and popped up just long enough to take aim and fire, hitting a tree in the man’s proximity before quickly ducking down once more. That should send the message that he knew what he was doing.

“Was that your best shot? Missed me,” the shooter taunted. “What do they teach you assholes at the Academy? How to crochet pretty pink doilies?”

“Come out here and I’ll show you,” Evan returned.  Squatting, he duckwalked around his vehicle, trying to decide if he had any chance of skirting the perimeter in order to approach from the shooter’s blind side.

“You think I’m that stupid?” the other man snarled.

“Pretty much,” Evan said.

“I’ll show you who’s stupid.” Two shots rang out in rapid succession.

Now. While the man was angry and not taking careful aim. Evan sprinted to the edge of the copse away from where the man was holed up, taking refuge behind a large bur oak. Two more shots rang out. One broke off a small branch of the tree beside him.

Evan could hear the distant swell of a siren. Help was on the way. He just had to hold out long enough for it to reach him and the woman in the trunk.

“Think you’re so smart, don’t you? When I get to you, I’m going to stick you in the trunk next to that lying cheating bitch. Then you can watch what I do to her. Until it’s your turn.”

Man was obviously not in his right mind. No telling what he might do.

Another bullet pinged off the car. Evan found the sound alarming. What if he hit the poor woman lying helpless inside with his inept shooting? Accidentally dead was still dead. He needed to distract his attention, away from the car. Give back-up time to get there. He could hear the sirens, but he also knew sound could be deceptive, not necessarily a true indicator of how close assistance was.

“Hey big man,” he called out, at the same time moving to the cover of another tree, closer to where he knew the man had to be. “If you give up now, it’ll go easier on you. You don’t stand a chance, you know. You can hear them, right?  The cavalry’s on its way.”

He didn’t get a response. Evan listened carefully, but heard nothing.  Even the birds had stopped their song, having taken flight with the first hail of bullets.

“Tell me what she did,” Evan said. Maybe if he could get him to talk, that would distract him until back-up arrived. “Maybe there are mitigating circumstances. She cheated on you, right? I hate women who cheat, don’t you?”

Again, nothing.

No, not quite. A twig snapped, too close for comfort. Evan threw himself to the ground.

“You’re a big’un, aren’t you?”

Too late, Evan realized the man had tricked him and had come up on him from behind.  He rolled onto his back, gun aimed at the suspect. He was just a second too late, as a heavy boot stomped down heavily on his gun hand. Pain blossomed in his wrist, and he thought he felt a pop. His gun slipped from his grasp.

Evan put his weight on his other hand and lashed out at the man with his legs, knocking him off his feet. The man’s weapon dropped, just out of reach, as he hit the ground with a loud oomph. Ignoring the pain in his wrist, Evan grabbed for his gun.

to be continued

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