|“Stupid umbrella.” Cori cursed the cheap piece of junk, sighing loudly. Outside, the rain had let up, but it was still a sprinkle. She could hear it pitter-patter on the plastic windows of the bus stop as she looked out. He apartment building was still a few blocks away.
She sighed again, lingering a few minutes more in hopes of a pause in the storm. But it never came, and she decided to brave the rain and started walking.
She had gone only two blocks before a Black car sped past her, going through a huge puddle and dousing her thoroughly. “Son of a-” She started to yell, but stopped when she heard tires squealing ahead of her. The car had stopped, and was waiting in the street. She started walking again but kept her eyes downcast. The car started inching forward to follow her progress as she passed it.
“Hey, Miss ” a voice called out to her. She looked over and the passenger side window was down, and a man’s face looked back at her. “You look like you could use a ride.” A crooked grin spread across his face.
Cori was tempted to take up his offer, if not for the overwhelming stench of pot leaking from the open window. Not only that, but his eyes wandered, roving over her body. She suddenly felt uncomfortable, and a shiver went down her spine. “No thanks.” Quickly turning away from the car she started walking again, picking up a brisk pace. The car followed.
“Oh come on, I’m just trying to be nice.” She ignored him and tried to walk faster. Once again he tried to persuade her to get into the car but she continued to not pay attention. Finally, the car just pulled onto the sidewalk in front of her, nearly running her down. Gasping, she stumbled back and fell, landing hard in a shallow puddle. The man stepped out of the car and glared at her angrily. “What, you think you’re too good to talk to me?”
Cori scrambled to her feet and started backing up, struggling to say something. “I-I- I didn’t-“ He grabbed her wrist before she could get away, and she started screaming. Pulling her towards him, he put one arm around her neck, and pressed something cold and metal to her temple.
“Shut up ” he shouted, and began dragging her towards the car. Yanking the back door open, he threw her in before climbing in himself. The man sitting in the drivers seat glanced back for a moment but then backed off the curb. He didn’t seem too surprised
Slowly he cranked the wheel and started back down the street, making he didn’t go over the speed limit.
The man holding the gun looked back at Cori, smiling as he took a moment to examine her. “You are a spicy little minx, arent’cha? We’ll see whose too good for who.” Being this close she could tell how much he reeked of weed. Mixed in was the overwhelming smell of BO, as if he didn’t know what a hot shower was. Worst of all was the fact his arm was around her neck, so there wasn’t any chance of escape.
The driver adjusted his rearview mirror to look at them, though Cori suspected so he could get a good look at her. He chuckled deeply then shifted his attention to the other man “You gunna share that pretty little thing, stretch?”
“Shut up and drive” He growled back. Returning his attention to the road the driver suddenly cursed and slammed on the brakes. Through the raid and foggy window she could see a man standing in the road. He appeared as if crossing the road, but once the driver honked the horn and started yelling, he stopped and turned. She couldn’t see his eyes but she felt as if he was staring directly at her.
“Just run him over, come on ” stretch yelled, sitting up and taking his arm from around her. Inching the car forward the driver continued to honk and yell, getting so close the grill must have brushed his leg. A long moment of silence passed as he stared the car down, before finally the driver pressed down on the horn and held it. The sound droned on and on, until finally the stranger slammed his hand down on the hood. The horn cut short, and when he lifted his arm there was a dent in the hood. Silence once again filled the car.
His footsteps rang loudly in Cori’s ears as he walked over to the drivers side, stopping and looking through his window. It was another moment before the driver spoke, exploding into a string of curses directed at the stranger outside. Cori couldn’t see, but she heard the driver get cut off by the sound of the window being smashed, sending tiny crystals showering the front seat. In the next instant the driver was gone, yanked out through the window and flung into the darkness. The stranger was no longer standing by the drivers window. Stretch began swearing profusely, jumping at every little sound and waving his gun around.
“Stay here.” He threw the door open and stepped out, first aiming where the stranger was standing last, then circling slowly to scan the darkness. Again the rain was coming down heavily, quickly soaking him. After that Cori lost track of him. The windows had fogged up and now she couldn’t see more than two feet away.
The silence was broken by three consecutive shots. She cringed at each one, hoping they didn’t find their mark. There was another silence, and this one seemed to drag on forever. Shivering in the back seat, Cori waited to see who would come back, the thug called Stretch or the stranger.
Behind her the door opened, causing her to scream and spin around.
“Are you alright?” He spoke clearly, leaning in to keep his head out of the rain. She nodded slowly. Then his face disappeared for a moment, and handed her his jacket. Hesitantly she took it and draped it over her shoulders. He didn’t withdraw his arm, however, but extended his hand to her. She took it and he helped her out of the car. “Do you know how to get home from here?” Cori glanced around and nodded.
“I can find my way.” When she looked back at him, he was gone. Spinning around to try and comb the darkness, she saw a retreating figure, with his hands in his pockets. Standing there dumbfounded she didn’t say anything. All she could think of was shouting “Thank you” after him. He waved with his right hand, but didn’t look back. Soon he disappeared into the rain.
Word Count: 1,093