Note: Not sure where this is going or if I’ll even keep up on it but there’s a story lurking my brain here and I think I’m going to try and tell it. This evolved out of a quick story session that started with a post in siliconshaman’s LJ that I sadly did not follow up on more than the initial response. So here goes.
The car was unremarkable at best. An older model sedan with fading paint and worn upholstery in the classic colors chosen for what marketing people thought families would like.
The old man in the driver's seat appeared unshaven and dirty at first glance. He sat in the front seat snoring away with greasy black strands of hair streaked here and there with gray partially covering his features.
"Wakey wakey WB!"
The man stirred and grunted a bit before straightening up and opening his eyes. Seeking something to focus on they latched onto the source of the voice that had woken him. His friend Blaze was dressed in and old silver ski jacket and knit cap as well as slacks and somehow managing to look meticulously groomed as always.
"Time to go?" he asked sleepily.
"Bet your ass it is." said Blaze grinning like someone who'd just won the lottery.
Stretching the man reached for the keys and started the car. "Quit grinning and get in the damn car then. Asshole."
"Same old WB." quipped Blaze grinning even wider.
"Fuck off." replied WB massaging his forehead with one hand while steering the car with the other "I've had a rough night."
As quick as the grin had appeared on Blaze's face it vanished, "The nightmares again?"
"They're NOT nightmares dammit!", shouted WB, "How many times do I have to tell you that!"
Narrowing his eyes slightly Blaze made any expression vanish from his face as if it was a curl of smoke from a cigarette in the summer breeze. "When I have to put on headphones and crank tunes in my apartment because you're thrashing around loud enough to wake the dead then they're definitely nightmares."
The old man started to protest but thought better of it and just sighed. He and Blaze had played this game for years now and despite his best efforts neither Blaze nor the nightmares had gotten any less strident in their demands for answers. "You said something about getting going?", said the old man dryly, "Where the hell are we going anyway?"
"Just drive and I'll tell you when to turn." Blaze said while twisting to pull a bottle of water out of the back seat.
"Fair 'nough. Have to lose the tail you brought in though." grumped the old man looking once in the rear view mirror at the dark windowed car that had been sitting half a block away and had arrived with Blaze.
"What the fuck? Dude I was massively careful! Where the hell did he pick up on me?"
"I don't know kid but we have to lose him."
Swearing slightly under his breath the old man carefully pulled the car out from the parallel parking space and headed out into the street nearly being swiped by a city dump truck. As expected the black sedan smoothly pulled into traffic a ways behind them to keep pace.
"Not very subtle is he." quipped Blaze glancing in the side mirror.
"Nope. He's either green or a decoy. Either way we need to leave his ass in the dust." replied WB reaching carefully under the dash and flipping a small switch.
Catching his movement Blaze swore loudly. "Oh man not that fucking twister field! I hate that fucking thing! I'm always sick for hours after we use it dammit."
"Can't be helped." WB replied "It's the fastest way to get rid of the tail."
Grinning slightly WB remembered when he'd picked up the twister circuit from a friend he'd helped out of a jam years ago. In thanks his friend, a genius at electronics, had given him the twister - a module that twisted reality a bit so that anybody trying to follow would become incredibly confused and develop a craving for anchovy pizza. "Don't use it too long or too often." his friend had warned him "First because it'll burn itself out if used longer than 30 minutes and second because I hate the taste of anchovy pizza and I don't want it to become popular understand?".
Turning right at the next intersection WB noticed that for once the car wasn't becoming as confused as they usually did in the past. Oh there was some pull to the right when they passed Gigio's Italian restaurant but the car was still keeping with them. "interesting..." said WB raising an eyebrow "That hasn't happened ever."
As if sensing the old man's attention the car in question increased in speed suddenly throwing its potential anonymity to the wind.
"Shit! He knows we've seen him! Hold on Blaze!"
"Crap! Not again!" yelled Blaze grabbing for the oh-shit straps that he'd insisted WB install in the car. (The last car hadn't had them and Blaze had ended up with a cracked forearm from a similar tailing incident.)
Jamming his foot down on the gas pedal the old man headed at breakneck speed towards the location of several brick underpasses weaving through traffic at what could only be called an inhuman rate of speed. The trailing car fast on his heels.
"Blaze undo your seat belt."
"Wha? What?! NO!"
"Just do it!" screamed WB power sliding the car around a corner so hard it was a wonder the tires didn't pop from the stress.
A wild look in his eyes Blaze clung even harder to the grab strap, "Goddammit WB! You're not pulling what I think you're pulling!"
"Yes. Yes I am." said WB calmly as he turned off the twister module and pulled it out from under the dash in a flurry of ripped wires and a couple of sparks. Stuffing the module into his coat the old man looked over at Blaze and said in the calmest and most sane voice Blaze had ever heard, "Now."
Having heard that tone before Blaze knew there was nothing he could say to change the situation and unbuckled his seat belt.
Steering the car down a long alley WB let off on the gas ever so slightly. Sensing what it thought was an opportunity the trailing car put on more speed than most would think possible for a sedan of that size quickly closing the gap between the two of them.
"You ready dude?" WB questioned without looking.
"No. But that's not going to stop you."
"Okay then you know the drill slide over next to me."
"I hate this part." muttered Blaze under his breath sliding as close as possible to WB.
"Here we go!" said the old man so quietly Blaze almost didn't hear him over the noise of the engine.
In that moment Blaze felt something he'd only felt twice before in his life. It was like he was suddenly surrounded by the hardest cold and clear glass that he'd ever felt. It was almost like he was a floating piece inside a snow globe or the eye in the center of a marble. Even the sound of the outside world was reduced to a mild background noise.
Screeching the tires for the last time the old man slid around a corner and headed into the opening of a long and dark tunnel not even remotely slowing down. The other car did the same.
To observers what happened next was that a car chase ended in utter tragedy as both cars slammed head-on into the long closed off brick wall at the end of the tunnel and the wreckage punched through the other side an extremely large piece flying through the air and skidding to a stop almost half a block away. The remainder of the wreckage burned hotly and producing an intense amount of black smoke.
Dusting himself off and untangling himself from Blaze the old man said "I'll never do that again. Promise." Not even hearing him Blaze was wondering if he had to go change his pants.
"C'mon Blaze we gotta get out of here!" the old man said urgently dragging Blaze out of what was left of the car he'd just been driving.
Still stunned Blaze stood a little unsteadily on his feet and followed WB to the next cross street where they caught an extremely convenient taxi and got it.
"Well one thing's for certain", said Blaze "you certainly proved your name tonight."
"What do you mean? My name's George?" said the old man looking at Blaze closely.
"No. I don't give a flying fuck what you think your name is. Your name is Wrecking Ball. Period."
For the second time that day the old man let it go. Fuck it. he thought He's been through enough today and it's just not worth arguing about.
Leaning his head back the old man closed his eyes and fell asleep in the back of the cab dreaming of better times.