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September 27, 2012

I Hraet You (41)

Beat 41: It’s Just Not a Story without a Wacky Chase Scene

And in her hysteria, within that maelstrom of chaos and destruction, she found her answer.

A blissful aura shrouded her, lifting her, as if to ferry her to the Promised Land above.  A serene smile teased her lips -- a smile bred of release from mortal desires or concerns.  Released from her mundane shackles, she could hardly give thought to the disasters around her.  The sirens that should have wailed and screamed dulled to a near-mute chorus; the armored truck’s tremulous motions became little more than the rocking of a cradle; even the sight of aiming weaponry did little more than invite greater bliss.

And with that bliss, in that perfect moment of universal harmonization, Trixie held fast to the truth.  And with a swell of Zen-like precision and tranquility, she spoke her answer to the world:

“This is stupid.”

And with those three words, Trixie realized something: she’d been thrown into a pretty crappy situation and didn’t want to be there anymore.

Lloyd took another sharp turn, sending Trixie careening into the truck’s left wall.  “My!  I certainly wasn’t expecting that dumpster to be so aerodynamic!” he yelled.  “Miss Walters!  Are you all right?  You haven’t been tenderized, have you?”

“Yeah, little bit!” Trixie moaned.

“Nothing wrong with a little tenderizing,” said Patton, licking his lips.  “Nothing better than a nice, tender --”

“Now ain’t the time to be thinkin’ about steaks!  S-sir!”

Patton glared at Trixie.  “You take that back right now.  There’s ALWAYS time to think about steaks.”

“Yes sir, sorry sir, steaks are awesome, sir.  Let’s -- l-let’s have steaks for dinner.”  Eager to forget her fatal faux pas, she banged against the window.  “Lloyd, I sure hope ya got a plan!  These guys have guns and’re lookin’ to use ‘em!”

“Worry not.  I do indeed have a plan -- now, you may want to brace yourself.  This could get a bit messy!”

The truck rumbled, and Trixie could hear the sound of something -- wood, and lots of it -- splintering as they barreled through.  And then, they started bouncing down the road, and toward the police cars in pursuit: a tsunami of oranges, leaping from the road with rapid thumps, hammering windshields and coppers alike, slipping into the wheels and grills of the cars…Trixie bore witness to the citrus-borne chaos.

“It’s working!  I don’t believe it, but it’s actually working!” she yelled, watching with a twinge of relief as the cars began swerving and backing off.  “This has gotta be some kinda miracle!”

“No miracle, I’m afraid -- merely the awesome power of a combusted fruit stand,” Lloyd explained with a swell of pride.  “My knowledge of driving may be suspect, but combine it with even rudimentary movie happenings and I become a verifiable force of nature!  Why, the only thing I need now is a ramp to drive off of!  How high do you suppose we would be able to go?  One mile?  Two miles?  A thousand miles, perhaps?”

“Lloyd, don’t ya dare --” 

“Ha ha!  Merely adrenaline-born jesting, Miss Walters!  I may be feeling rather good right now, but even I am not so reckless as to jump off a ramp!”


Trixie nearly flew from one wall to the other, and for a second, the truck balanced itself atop the outer edges of two wheels.  “Lloyd, are you all right?” Patton asked.

“Yes, I’m fine!  There was just a police car that tried to run us off the road.”

Trixie (once her heart stopped trying to burst out of her chest) looked out the doors.  Even with that savage attack, they hadn’t stopped moving.  They’d been thrown off-course a bit, and steered a bit too far on the sidewalk for comfort, but they otherwise held a stable position.  “Guess it’s a good thing we’re in an armored truck,” she said with a quick wipe of her brow.

“Yes, but…we have a slight problem.”

“What’s that?”

“We may be about to make a bit of a leap.”

Trixie could only mouth the word “leap” -- and before she even finished, she felt her weight, and gravity’s nurturing embrace, leaving her.  The truck had taken flight; higher, and higher, and higher it went, eagerly departing from the town’s well-worn asphalt.  A rush of air swept around, and through, the truck, tossing Trixie’s hair about like autumn leaves in a hurricane. 

And in spite of it all -- in spite of the madness that had caused it, or the repercussions of the jump, or the insanity that would likely follow a half-microsecond after landing -- Trixie actually felt excited.  Happy, even.

That feeling didn’t last long.


It felt like a stampede slammed into the truck.  The armor dented, and bent well into the truck’s interior.  Trixie went flying, and even the stoic Patton couldn’t help but reel.  And the truck itself?  It spun out of control -- it spun like a log rolling down rapids, sending Trixie bouncing off the walls, the floor, and the roof dozens of times in a half-minute. 

When the truck finally landed, Trixie bounced off the floor one last time; she would have taken a moment to cradle (or even complain about) her sore body if she didn’t remember the open doors, and scrambled to clutch Patton’s leg.  “Son of a BITCH!  What just hit us?!” she yelled.

Patton glanced out the doors.  “Probably that.”

Trixie turned her head slowly and peeked over her shoulder.  And there it was -- a big rig that made the average semi look like the runt of the litter.  The black tractor didn’t even fit in the lane, and its grill -- dented from the aerial assault -- reached almost as high as the roof of their armored truck.  A minute turn would have been enough for its trailer to swipe nearby cars off the road, yet the driver was content to hammer any unfortunate souls into the sky.  Lumps of black smoke spewed from its exhaust pipes, and the rig’s constant honking almost made her think the clouds were roaring demons.  And worst of all?  Flame decals on the hood -- the mark of a true madman.

“Lloyd!” Trixie called out, somehow managing to regain her footing.  She banged against the window.  “Lloyd, are ya seein’ what I’m seein’, pal?”

“I’m afraid I am!” Lloyd answered.  “I am beginning to regret discovering that motor vehicles have rearview mirrors!”

The big rig lurched forward, obscuring all but the tiniest slivers of the road they left behind.  With a sudden burst of speed, the rig slammed into the back of the truck; the metal wailed and squealed as the impact forced it to crumple.  “Remember how I said not to floor it, pal?  Well FLOOR IT!”

“I’ve been flooring it for a while, I’m afraid!  I don’t suppose this vehicle would be equipped with the ‘nitro’ I’ve seen in movies past…?”

“Not a chance!”

“Ah.  Then I’ll just have to keep driving until I think of a good plan.  This may take a while, given the circumstances.”

“We ain’t got a lotta time here, pal!”  No sooner had Trixie spoken did the rig shove its bumper into the truck once more; for a second she thought that it started to fling the truck into the air.  “Any chance ya could lose this guy?  Like right now?  ‘Cause now would be good!”

“Aha!  This will serve us nicely!”  Lloyd swerved the truck to the right, forcing another brief two-wheel balancing act; as the truck landed back on all fours, it rattled as dozens of blows struck its shell.  Shards of bark spiraled through the air, plinking against the rig and bouncing into the distance.  “Mother Nature may very well save us from our pursuer!”

“If it ain’t slowin’ us down, how’s it gonna stop him?”  The rig backed off for a minute, allowing a quick view of the wooded area they’d entered -- and more importantly, the trees it chopped with wild swipes from its trailer.  And then, once more, it hammered the truck’s rear end.  “Lloyd, please tell me ya got a better plan than this!”

“I’m thinking…I’m thinking…”

“Think faster!  Or drive faster!  Either one sounds good right about now!”

Patton shifted a bit in his cuffs.  “Hey, Trixie.  Hate to interrupt, but…can you do me a favor?  I’ve had an itch for a while now that I can’t scratch, so if you could just…reach down there and get it for me?”

Trixie’s eyes widened.  “You want me to do WHAT?!”

“Just scratch my ankle.  The right one.  It’s been bugging me for a while.”  His beard bristled.  “Wait a sec.  What did you think I meant?”

“N-no, it’s nothin’ -- I-I just thought ya mighta wanted me to…sir, is this REALLY the best time to be worryin’ about an itch?”

“Yes!  It’s perfect!” Lloyd blurted. 

“That was a rhetorical question, pal!”

“No, not the itch -- though you should probably attend to that, if you’d be so kind.  I know how to defeat this pursuer once and for all!  You’re still wearing my father’s boots, correct?”

Trixie reddened.  “Yeah, but --”

“They’re steel-plated!  Take one of them off, and throw it with all your might!  Do so, and we may just have the miracle we need!”

Trixie didn’t bother waiting for any more hammy direction.  She tugged the boot off and clutched it in her right hand -- and with a quick prayer threw it as hard as she could at the rig.


The boot pounded against the rig’s grill, leaving another dent, and then sped up its face to parts unknown.  But even if they couldn’t see it, they could still hear it -- the shattering of glass, followed momentarily by a frenzied scream.  The rig backed off, swerved, and crashed through what had to be the homes of countless innocent squirrels.  Its wheels wobbled, and carried it off its pursuit of the truck.  It tilted, and leaned, and honked in horror -- just before steering into a hill.

And once more, it jumped.  Not with any sense of grace or control; it just started soaring and soaring, getting enviable air-time over the green carpet below.  But it didn’t last for too long; it landed with a crash that would wake up the entire population of Bismarck, North Dakota, ground its way through a grassy knoll, and came to a dirt-spewing halt hundreds of feet away.

At long last, the chase had come to a close.

“Huh.  Didn’t see that one coming,” said Patton.  He looked down at Trixie.  “Now, about that itch…”


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  1. Nice. Some bitter irony there to appeal to a bitter alcohol like myself. You might want to turn down the descriptivity. Yes I invented the word; Such proceedings were good enough for Shakespeare. Nontheless, it might turn down the cheese factor.

  2. Yeah, you're not the first to tell me to tone down my descriptions; guess it's kind of a bad habit of mine. But I'll keep that in mind. Thanks for reading.

    By the way, I've been known to invent a word or two in my time; I'm the one who devised the word "axcellent" -- the only way to praise something as awesomely excellent. Or, alternatively, to celebrate one's maximitude.