Jake Hatch can reach the top shelf. He likes long walks on the beach. He likes to spend his free time taking pictures and writing stories. Follow him on Twitter @jakeshatch.
I slammed the hood of my car shut and threw my wrench at the ground. How could this hunk of junk already be broken? I thought, I just bought it last week. I ran my hands through my hair. I used all of the money I had to my name. I walked begrudgingly over to the road and stuck out my thumb. I’m going to be out here for hours. No one is going to be out this late. Then, at that exact moment, a car came flying around the bend and pulled onto the side of the road about twenty feet in front of me. I jogged up to the open passenger window and said, “Thanks for stopping.” I swung open the door and hopped inside. Smoke was hanging in the air and the backseat was jam-packed with overstuffed gym bags. I thought it seemed like an odd thing to have, but I was too glad for a ride that I didn’t ask about it. “My name is, Carl, by the way,” I said.
The driver gripped the steering wheel and muttered “Name’s Mason.”
“Nice to meet you,” I said. I got a weird feeling about him, but I figured I was better off with him than on the side of the road. We continued to drive in silence for what seemed like an eternity. I finally decided to break the silence and asked, “So, having a good day?”
Mason chuckled and said, “Oh yes, I’m having a great day.”
That wasn’t funny I thought, but decided to keep up the nice guy routine and said, “Well, that's good to hear.” I looked at the gym bags in the backseat and asked, “Are you moving? You have an awful lot of bags.” Mason was beginning to fidget in his seat.
“You could say that,” said Mason.
In the light from a passing streetlamp, I saw a flash of green. Upon closer inspection, I saw a bundle of crisp hundred dollar bills. I raised my brow and said, “Whoa, you have a lot of money there. What do you do for a living?” Right before he could answer three police cars flew down the road with their sirens blaring. Seconds later we hit a bump and I heard a loud thud come from the trunk. Before I could even ask Mason what that was, two more thuds came from the trunk. I turned to him and asked, “What are you hauling back there?”
Mason got stone faced and said, “That’s private.”
Right at that moment, two more police cars rushed by. I tried to clear the air and said, “Wow, something big must have happened.”
Great conversation, I thought. The car started to slow down.
“Shit!” yelled Mason.
“What’s wrong?” This can’t be happening again.
“We’re out of gas.”
“There is a gas station up ahead.” He looks really worried. It’s just gas. It’s not hard to get.
Mason handed me a twenty and said, “You pay and I will pump. Be quick about it.”
I nodded my head and walked quickly into the store and towards the clerk. I handed him the twenty and a few extra dollars and asked for a pack of smokes. While the clerk was turned around getting the cigarettes, I noticed the cash drawer was still open and grabbed a few twenties. He started turning around, so I tried to act natural. That's when I noticed that the radio was playing. It dawned on me that the whole time we were driving Mason never turned it on. That’s odd.
The voice on the radio said, “The New Town Bank was robbed earlier today. The thief ran off with all of the cash in the vault. When the police arrived, he took the bank manager hostage in his getaway.”
That’s when it hit me. I grabbed the cigarettes and marched back to the car “What the fuck is in the trunk?!”
Mason sighed, pulled out a handgun, pointed it at me, and said, “No more questions. Get back in the car and shut up.”
I thought about fighting back. I could take him. Then an idea popped into my head. We both got back in and started driving again. We drove for what seemed like years. I saw a sign that said Now leaving Kansas. Finally, we pulled off onto a lonely dark road surrounded by the overgrown forest. We drove down that road only for a few minutes before pulling off into a clearing. Mason demanded that I get out and I complied. He went to the trunk and threw a shovel at me.
“Start digging,” demanded Mason.
I reluctantly agreed and started digging. I could see Mason moving around by the trunk, but I couldn’t see what he was doing. Suddenly, another man came stumbling out from behind the car. His hands were tied and his mouth was gagged. Mason pushed the man to the ground and ordered him to kneel facing him. As the man was struggling to get back onto his knees, I saw a flash of silver on his jacket. I took a harder look and saw the words New Town Bank. The man finally got to his knees and Mason pointed the gun between his eyes. I looked away, but I heard the loud echoing gunshot. I stepped out of the grave and Mason started to drag the bank manager’s body into the grave. I saw my opportunity and hit him over the head with the shovel. Mason fell face first into the grave and the gun flew out of his hand. I ran over, grabbed the gun, and pointed it at his head.
Mason looked up at me and said, “You aren’t going to shoot me, son.”
I smiled and pulled the trigger. Quickly, I put both bodies in the grave, threw the gun in with them, and drove off into the night.