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Rated: 18+ · Short Story · Relationship · #1560602
A couple travels away from the Mexican border when a hitchhiker draws their attention.
The Pros & Cons of Hitchhiking
(18+ Contest Version)
(WC: 1830)

The rumbling of an engine draws my attention, a quick glance in the rear-view mirror confirms my worst case scenario.  Cheryl is not even paying attention so I give her a slap on the leg. 

         "Cher, cops."

         She instantly cranks her head back.

         "Jesus, stop that."

         The roar of sirens echo through the empty desert high-way.

         Cher you moron.

         It's alright, just relax. It's not going to be like last time.

         I'm not going back...

         I begin to slow down while gradually pulling off onto the shoulder. 

         "Shit Steve, shit. What do we do?" Cheryl yells. 

         As we come to a complete stop the cop car darts by and continues down the road.

         What an asshole.

        I put my head between my hands and draw in a deep breath. 

         Not a god-damn car goes by in an hour and the first one is some practical joker; just my luck. 

        Looking ahead I see the car vanish into the horizon, my heart begins beating a little slower.  Cheryl begins laughing, I can't help but let out a smirk.  I crank the car back into drive and ease off the shoulder.  Once the car reaches fifty-five I put the cruise control on.

         That was close, too close. 

         “I love this song,” she says while cranking up the radio.
         "Ooooh, I need a dirty woman.
         Ooooh, I need a dirty girl."
        She lip syncs into an impromptu comb microphone.  With one finger on her lips, the other hand rubs my knee.  I reach over, turning down the music to a reasonable volume.  She doesn't say anything but in my peripheral vision I can see she's glaring at me. I try to focus on the road but the feel of her green eyes staring a hole through my skull is unavoidable.

         “What?” I finally ask.

         She throws the comb microphone into the back seat. 

               Great, just what I need.

         “I told you, we have to keep a low profile.”

             "You could lighten up a little, we're out of that shit-hole."

         Cheryl crosses her arms and continues staring through me.

               Maybe she's right.

               No, we're not making any mistakes this time.

         “It's just 'til we hit the city Cher.”

         She slips off her shoes and lays back with feet dangling out the window, a habit she knows I find repulsive.  The sun is starting to set, which provides my weary eyes with rest.
         “Stop the car, now!”

         I slam on the brakes and swerve off the road.


         Her finger points in the direction of a hitchhiker on the opposite side of the road.

         “Oh no, no, no.  We're not doing that.”

         “Come on Steve, look at her, she's gorgeous.  And it's almost dark, what if another car doesn't drive by?”

         Cheryl's right, this girl is incredibly beautiful.  The way she stands against the sunset with curly blond hair reaching just below her bust-line reminds me of a magazine photo-shoot.  Heavily ripped jeans show traces of light tanned flesh, and a low-cut shirt leaves little to the imagination.  Before I can say anything in rebuttal, the girl heads toward the car.
         “Hello there,” she says in the cutest southern accent.

         “Howdy,” Cheryl replies while leaning over me.

         Her elbow digs into my crotch,  I try not to show any sign of discomfort.  With a gentle shove she recoils back into the seat.

        This is a bad idea Cher.

               Definitely a bad idea.

         “Where you goin' to?” I finally ask.

         “Wherever you two are,” she says with a shrug and a smile.

         “Alright, get in.”

         She walks like a runway model over to the passenger side.  I try not to stare at her swaying hips but they prove too irresistible. I wish I was outside the car as she throws her rucksack into the back and climbs in. The car kicks up a dust storm when leaving the shoulder.

         Cheryl turns around to face her.

         “I'm Cheryl, this is Steve,” she says while giving me a slap on the arm.

         “Pleasure to meet y'all.”
         I sneak a quick peek in the rear-view mirror, her smile warms me.

         “Where y'all comin' from?”

         “Mexico,” Cheryl answers.

         I try giving her a stern look but she's facing away. 

               Low profile Cher, low profile. Why don't you just tell her about the package in the trunk?

         “Very nice,” she lets out an adorable chuckle.

      We continue on driving for a couple miles.  As Cheryl makes chit-chat with the girl I sit in silence, trying to keep my thoughts from slipping out.

         “Anyone hungry?” I ask.

         Both girls look at me and smile.

         “There's a rest stop just ahead.”

         I pull the car into the stop, which has a little trucker's diner. It's a typical greasy spoon joint with a burnt out neon sign. We all get out of the car; the girls jog inside. I can't help but notice the way the setting sun shines down on her lovely young limbs. 

         Maybe picking her up wasn't such a bad idea after all?

         I'd guess she's around twenty-two, though it's hard to be sure. To be honest, she could be anywhere from sixteen to thirty but it's not like I care. I grab my wallet and notice it's a little light so I make my way to the trunk. It creaks open with a firm pull.  With my finger I lift open the inconspicuous square patch that should contain a spare tire. There are some loose bills at the top of the duffel bag that I put in my pocket before closing the trunk.

         The girls are sitting window side eating chocolate sundaes and chatting. The hitchhiker waves for me to come in.

         God Damn.

        I walk in and throw a couple twenties on the table.

         “I'll be in the bathroom.”

         The girls only giggle. The tiny bathroom is filthy, it reeks of stale urine and vomit; probably because of the upscale clientele a truck stop draws in. The tap lets out a stream of yellow water but clears up within seconds. A splash of water on my face calms my nerves.

          Don't worry, you're almost home free.

        As I dry my face, the thought of our package in the trunk makes my body tighten up again.

        It's okay, the hitchhiker knows nothing, just drop her off in the next town and go on your way.

        What if she looks in the trunk?

        Your being paranoid, she has no reason to look in the trunk, think about it.

        But Cher has a big mouth.

        There are lots of holes to be dug in the desert...
        When I leave the bathroom I see that the girls are almost finished with their sundaes.  The hitchhiker is sucking whipped cream off a cherry. 

         “I'll be in the car, get me a coffee to go will ya?”

         “No problem honey,” the hitchhiker says.

         Cheryl stares at her.

         “Sorry, force of habit.”

         I can hear the girls laughing as the door swings shut. 

         Nearly twenty minutes goes by as I sit in a state of near unconsciousness. 

        What could they possibly be talking about?

        A knock on the window shatters this peace and quiet. The girl hands me a large coffee in a Styrofoam cup.


         “Anytime sugar,” she replies.

         “I think I ate that ice-cream too fast, I'm gonna lay down for a bit,” Cheryl says in a weak voice while climbing into the back seat.

         “It's dark, just relax,” I say.

        Finally a break.

         The hitchhiker gets into the passenger seat and gives me another sweet smile.  If I were standing my knees would be buckling in right about now. 

         “Drink that coffee up big boy, wouldn't want ya to drift off while driving.”

         I nod and take a large swig while pulling out of the parking lot. 

         “I'm sorry, I never got your name,” I say.

         “It's Vera, Vera-Ellen, but my friends call me Baby.”

         She puts the back of her hand up to my mouth.  I lean forward and give it a quick kiss.

               This is almost too much.

               I try getting a look at Cheryl in the mirror but she's completely out of view. 

         “Well Vera...”


         “Well, Baby, what are you doing out here all by yourself?”

         “You worried about me Stevey?  That's so sweet, but I'm a big girl, I can take care of myself.”

         “I just meant...”

         She unbuttons the top of her already revealing shirt.  I take a quick peak and notice she's not wearing a bra. 

                What the hell is she doing?   

               I take another big sip of coffee.

               You know what she's doing.

               “You like what you see?” She asks in a low voice.

               I look at her again and can't think of anything to say.  I glance back at Cheryl who's peacefully sleeping across the back seat.

         “Don't worry, I gave her a couple of these,” She pulls a medicine bottle from her pocket and wiggles it around, “She'll be out for a while.”

         She reaches over and rubs my leg.  I shift around and try to focus on the road.  My hand misses the coffee cup when I reach for it. 

         “Why don't you pull over?” She asks while moving her hand towards my groin.

         “I can't – I can...”

               Something's wrong here.

         Everything becomes hazy, I feel the car slowing down and turning but my hands aren't on the wheel.  We come to a gradual stop as the world becomes darker.

         “Have a good night,” a voice says from somewhere close.

               Who said that?

         I try to speak but don't have enough strength to open my mouth.

•                                                                         •                                                                       •
         “Steve, Steve, wake up baby,” Cheryl cries.

         I bolt out of sleep, a headache pounds as the blinding sun strikes my eyes.

         “Oh thank God.”

         “What...what happened Cher?”

         I rub my eyes and finally manage to squint out the world around me.  The car is pulled over several feet past the shoulder.

         “I don't know.”

             The hitchhiker.

             The blow.

         “Shit,” I yell while struggling with the seat belt.

         I fall out of the car, pick myself up and pop open the trunk.

         Fuck me.
         Cheryl comes up beside me. Both of us stare at the empty trunk. The square patch sits ajar, and with a nudge reveals the vacant spare tire hole.

        She talked.          

           I knew we shouldn't have picked her up.

             Well, there are always those holes in the desert...

(WC: 1830)
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