Steve turned around from the front seat to face them. “We’re really doing it,” he smiled. Anthony mustered a little smirk and Mikey nodded at him. Sticks lay fast asleep with his head on Mit’s shoulder as he drooled down the window. Their snores reminded Anthony of bears he’d seen in a zoo at one time.
The barren landscape rushed by as the little taxi sped down the desolate highway. Cool night air buffeted into the open window blowing on Anthony’s face. He stared off into the darkness wondering where this adventure might lead them.
Suddenly the glow of headlights appeared out of nowhere piercing the black veil of night. Anthony, Steve and Mikey whipped their heads around as the light illuminated the cabin of the taxi. The headlights quickly grew from tiny specs to engulfing the entire car and then as quickly as they had come up they faded back. Anthony eyed Mikey and Steve nervously and then tried to inconspicuously wake up Sticks and Mit. Mikey looked back again and could make out the outline of a white Suburban. “It’s them,” he whispered to Anthony. The lights came flooding back in but this time the Suburban bumped the back of the taxi causing it to lurch forward uncontrollably. “Hey!” The taxi driver yelled looking back out of the window. Then as if he could suddenly see clearly his attention turned to the gang of boys occupying his back seat.
“You little brats steal something,” he screamed. The Suburban bumped them again this time the taxi slid slightly off the road as the driver feverishly tried to correct it.
“Drive faster.” Anthony screamed.
“I’m letting you guys out,” the driver retorted as he began to slow the car down and pull to the side of the road.
“They’ll kill you too.” Mikey said desperately. He wasn’t sure about this of course, or even what they planned to do with them but it seemed like a valid conclusion to come to. The driver glanced at him and then floored the gas pedal and the taxi jumped back onto the road and sped away. Mit and Sticks were now wide awake and they all started to grab their things as if jumping out of the speeding car had become the general consensus. The taxi driver fumed, screaming obscenities at the top of his lungs as he maneuvered the car which was moving well over 70 miles per hour.
The Suburban’s headlights blared through the back window again but this time it came much faster. It smashed into the back of the taxi at full speed sending the car into a flat spin down the dark abandoned road. Mit screamed and dug his fingers deep into Mikey’s arm who let out an earsplitting wail and screamed “Get off me.” Sticks sat like a statue frozen in time and Anthony assumed he’d passed out again and the rapid spinning of the car had forced his eyes to remain open with that stupid look on his face. Steve curdled to the floorboard in a fetal position repeating over and over “I don’t wanna die, I don’t wanna die.”
Suddenly the car slammed against a mound of dirt and grass which caused it to slow a little before flipping it over on its side. Still moving at full speed it slid off the road kicking up dirt and gravel in its wake. Another mound of dirt sent the taxi tumbling over into the night. The sound of crushing metal and screams echoed through the air. Pieces of car and bits of trash were sent into the night like cannon fodder. The car continued to flip several more times before coming to rest on its wheels in the dark empty blackness.
A cloud of dirt filled the air pierced only by Steve’s screams which still resonated through the night. Mikey quickly threw a hand over his mouth forcing him to quiet down. His other hand went to his forehead where a continuous stream of blood poured down into his eyes. The driver sat motionless still in disbelief at what had just happened. His hands gripped the steering wheel turning his knuckles white.
Anthony was the first to come to his senses; he sat up and peered through all the windows trying to locate the white SUV. They had slid at least 50 yards off the road and down a small embankment. And the car now rested against a large boulder that hid them from the road.
Anthony kicked the door and it swung open then fell to the ground. He stood up looking over the boulder and he could see the glow of the SUV’s headlights illuminating a few men standing off to the side like they were waiting for something. The men stared off into the night unsure of where the taxi had gone; the cloud of dust it left in its wake as they went off the road had hidden its trajectory.
“Get your stuff, we have to go,” he ordered.
“You hold it right there.” The driver interrupted springing to life. “I’ve got some words for your idiot friends.”
Before anyone could protest the driver had exited the front seat and was making his way back up to the road. Anthony and the others quickly grabbed their bags and darted out into the darkness. “Which way is East?” Mikey whispered to Mit, who took a look down at his watch and then headed off in the direction opposite the road.
“We’ll figure it out later, I’m sure we don’t want to be anywhere near those guys.”
The five of them began making their way quickly through the thick brush hoping to be nowhere near a cliff. The moonless night covered them well but also made it impossible to see where they were going. Anthony took the lead hoping he’d be able lead them in the right direction but his eyes were still as normal as ever.
They could hear the men’s voices at the road getting louder. They quickened their pace trying to stay quiet putting as much distance as possible between them and their would-be pursuers. The dark night seemed to eat the noises they made as they moved deeper and deeper into the abyss. Suddenly a loud crack rang out freezing them in their tracks turning their spines to ice sickles. They turned their heads in unison right in time to see the taxi driver collapsing to the ground. A man stood over him gripping a smoking gun his eyes scanning the night.“Run,” Anthony said with his jaws clenched tight.