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#SoCS Dec 31/16 – Routines & Choices #flashfiction

December 31, 2016

for Stream of Consciousness Saturday – Prompt: “first/last”


Routines & Choices

First choice? Not really. I could have chosen anything other than this. That’s what peer pressure gets you – choices other than your own.

We started out early that morning. Piled in the car were Tracy, Jack and Albert. I drove. I couldn’t trust that lot with my convertible Corvette. I know, it’s a sad day when you can’t trust your friends.

We left the city and headed toward the forest in the outlying suburbs. Albert had heard about a bbq party at a campsite. We brought our own booze and weed. You never know if the hosts will supply those things. Always better to bring your own. The drive there began a bit unnerving. Jack sat up front with me and kept switching the radio from station to station in search of anything that resembled the normal metal we listened to. Country music dominated the airwaves. Tracy finally took out her smart phone and called up her music library. It was a mixture of rock, alternative and metal. It would have to do.

We finally settled into our routine of passing a bottle of vodka and smoking the weed through small bullets. With the music blaring, we didn’t even hear the cop’s siren behind us until it was too late.

I pulled over onto the shoulder of the road. Albert stuffed the bag of weed deep into the backseat cushion of the car and Tracy pushed the vodka bottle into the cooler. We stashed our bullets deep under our bodies in the seats. Hopefully none of us would have to get out of the car.

I said a little prayer as the cop approached the car. Our only saving grace was the open space of the Corvette. No smells lingered.

“Driver’s license and registration, please,” the cop said as he looked me straight in the eyes. At least I think he was looking at me. He had on shades, so it was hard to tell.

I pulled both out of my wallet and handed them to him. “What’s this about?” I asked him. I knew there weren’t any technical issues. I checked all of my lights before we left. It was routine, especially if we were going to drink and smoke on a trip. I wasn’t speeding either. I always drove the speed limit, even while intoxicated and high. Another routine.

“I’ll be right back,” was all the cop said as he walked back to the squad car.

We sat there waiting for what seemed like an eternity. Albert and Tracy kept giggling in the backseat. I glared back at them through the rearview. Their behavior would certainly be judge suspiciously if the cop saw and heard them. They stopped after my third glare. Jack just sat calmly. He’d been through this far too often. I tapped the steering wheel, not really nervous, just a bit nonchalant.

The cop finally returned. “Sorry about that, Mr. Roberts. We’d had a call about a red Corvette in connection with a murder. Your licence plate had the same partial as the one we were looking for, but the suspect has already been apprehended.” He handed my driver’s licence and registration back to me. “You kids be safe.”

I watched as the cop returned to his car through my side mirror. Once he stepped inside his car, I turned over the engine and continued on, a wide grin upon my face.

My friends didn’t know. And now someone else would be going down for my crime. I pulled out my bullet and had a smoke. A bbq would be a great place to look for my next victim. Make nice, get a name and maybe a phone number, weasel my way into her life and wait for the right moment. It was another of my routines. Something I did on my own time away from the peer pressure. No, this trip wasn’t my first choice, but tonight, it definitely wasn’t my last.

©2016 Lori Carlson. All rights reserved.

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