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August 14 2012 18:54:23.
Today Tuesday 21 May 2013 08:22:49
I saw his knees jerk as he released himself,
then the sound of piss hitting the tree just a few feet below me. Steam rose
in front of the hat. I didn't want to make the slightest sound. I didn't
even want to swallow. My fingers were starting to lose their grip on the
I searched frantically for the trooper's mate. I couldn't see him; he
must have stayed in the car, as you do when it's raining. I could see
raindrops ricocheting off the garage roof, glistening in the light from the
Drive Thru sign. The stream of urine against the tree subsided as he
finished off, then he let go a resounding fart.
I started sliding. I pressed down hard on the belt with my feet, and
gripped the pole like a drowning man. The sounds below had stopped, and I
watched him jigging up and down to shake off the drops. He packed himself
away, checked his coat, and strode off.
I heard the troopers joking to each other. The car door slammed, and
then they drove off. I let out all the air I'd been holding in my lungs,
inching myself farther up the pole to increase my range of vision. The
cruiser was finally driving into the gas station. Why the fuck didn't he go
in there in the first place? Maybe he was trying to chat up the woman and
the last thing he wanted was for her to hear him farting away and stinking
the place out.
I reached the top and hooked my left arm around the cross spar. I took
a few deep breaths to calm myself down, then looked for Sarah. She was
emerging from the bush she'd been hiding in, and I wondered if she knew how
lucky she'd been: it looked a very inviting bush, and she might easily have
got drenched by old fartypants.
I followed the telephone line to make sure it was the one to the gas
station, reached down and retrieved the Leatherman from my pocket. Where
these lines come in to a pole, they get hooked up to take the tension from
the line, and then there's a nice little loose bit that carries on through.
I leaned out, squeezing hard with the mbber soles of my feet, got the pliers
part of the Leatherman over the line, and snipped. Then it was just a case
of sliding down the pole nice and slowly so I didn't land up with half a ton
of splinters in my arms and legs.
Sarah was straight in at me: "Give me a gun, Nick. What if he'd seen
It made sense but I felt uneasy. Giving Sarah a weapon seemed to be a
lot like giving Popeye spinach. On the other hand, if he'd spotted me she
could have done something about it. I still wasn't sure whether she would
fuck me over, but decided she still needed me too much. I'd let her have it
I got Lance's semiautomatic, 9mm Eastern-bloc thing out of my jacket
and handed it over. She said a sincere "Thanks" as she pushed back the top
slide half an inch and checked to see if there was a round in the chamber.
The cruiser was driving out of the gas station and coming back in our
direction. We both got down, and she used the time to put her belt back on.
The blue and white passed us heading toward Creedmore; maybe they were
helping to man a roadblock or something farther up the road.
I wanted her to stay where she was while I went back to the gas station
to hijack a vehicle. She insisted on coming with me.
"Listen," I said, "a man and a woman turning up at a gas station,
stealing a vehicle don't you think there's a bit of a chance they'd make a
connection with the lake?"
"Nick, I'm coming with you. I'm not going to take the chance of us
getting split up and this all going wrong. We're going to stay together."
She was right; without realizing it, she had reminded me what I was
here to do. If there was a drama with the police or whoever, and it was
obvious I was about to lose control, I would have to kill her before they
could get her. Not the ideal option, but at least she'd be dead. Looking at
her with my not-happy-about-it face on, I gave in to her demand.
"Fuck it, come on then."
We finished doing up our belts, moved back up the road for more
distance and crossed. We turned right and paralleled to a point where I
could get a clear view of the pumps and the shop again.
One car, a white Nissan sedan, was already on the forecourt, but it was
four up, with two couples in their mid-twenties. The driver had just started
the engine and out he rolled. I heard a distinctive ding-ding as the tires
ran over a rubber tube sensor. He got to the road, stopped, turned his
wipers and dipped lights on, laughing with the rest of them probably about
the woman with the corn dog turned left and off they went.