Slither and Hiss – Part 1

Given half a chance I believe Ronnie would have done the smart thing. Trouble is, chance never really favoured Ronnie and he gave up on doing the right thing quite awhile back.

Now me, I started out in life with a few good breaks but there was always something in me that couldn’t be content. I guess you could say Ronnie and me were like bookends. I said that to him once. He gave me the hairy eyeball and asked me if I was getting queer for him. I never brought it up again.

The reason I mention all this is because we’ve sort of come to the end of our road together. A few days ago we robbed one of those check-cashing places in some town we were passing through on our way to the next thing. I didn’t want to do it. I keep coming back to that in my mind when I think about how things are now.

I mean, yeah, we were short on cash but so what? We should have waited until we got where we were going. We had a nice bank job planned. If we had stuck to that we’d be sitting pretty right now. I should have stuck to my guns, but Ronnie was in one of his moods and when he gets that way mayhem is the only thing that will set him right.

So we pulled up to the front door, left the engine running and headed in with our guns drawn. Got a lot of money we did, and we would have gotten away clean except that there was a damned deputy in the restroom we didn’t know about and when he came out and saw us the idiot went for his gun. Ronnie didn’t hesitate and then there was a dead cop on the floor. We sure hadn’t seen a patrol car; still don’t know what that deputy was doing in there.

We fled but someone inside must have triggered a silent alarm and before long we had two patrol cars on our ass. I was behind the wheel, which was a good thing. Never met anyone that could out drive me. It took all my skills but we managed to ditch those cops. I did a u-turn when we were around a blind curve and hid behind a windbreak. They sailed on past then turned around when they realized they’d been fooled but by that time we were long gone. We had a good laugh and continued down the dirt road were on.

Now neither of us was under the illusion they wouldn’t come looking for us once they figured out which way we must have gone. We were hoping to find a forked road ahead of us that would let us get away by choosing the right one but instead we came to a canyon. We were about to take our chances and head back the way we came when Ronnie spotted the opening to a cave.

“Carl, let’s hide the car and hole up in there until the heat blows over.”

It seemed like a plan. If we had to double back we’d be taking a big chance. We parked the car between two huge boulders and found enough scrub brush to cover it up so nobody would see it and then we headed into the cave.

It was blacker than a moonless night in the desert in there so I headed back to the car and got a flashlight from the glove box and headed back in. That damn fool Ronnie had gone on ahead even though he couldn’t see a blessed thing. Worse, the chamber just inside divided into three openings. I called out to him and I heard his voice up ahead to the right so I shined the light in that direction and kept walking. I didn’t see Ronnie at all. I called out to him again and that was when I heard him scream.

Part 2 Tomorrow


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