Mike Power

Road Rage


His name was Ronnie, I think. Or Donny. Something like that. He was a nasty piece of work whatever his name was. He liked to hurt people, that’s what she told me. He liked to hurt people a lot. It was, like, his thing. And Linda, or whatever her name is, she liked him. I’m not sure if that’s because of, or in spite of, his thing of liking to hurt people.

Lisa! That’s her name. She’s a fucking knockout too. I would’ve thought access to such wonderfulness would take away some of the liking-to-hurt-people thing but it only seemed to feed it for him. I don’t think he liked to hurt anyone as much as he liked to hurt her. He got off on seeing her cry. I have to admit that she’s beautiful when she cries. That’s how I fell for her. Who can resist a damsel in distress, right?

He cut me off and I flipped him off. I always do that. It’s like a reflex. A part of the brain beyond my control shoots my hand up off the steering wheel and gives the one-finger salute that’s been part of our culture since the bow-and-arrow days. They used to cut off people’s middle fingers so they couldn’t fire their weapons. I was just letting him know I still had mine.

I could probably blame it on the radio. I hear Green Day, I turn it up, someone cuts me off, and nature takes its course. I’m banging on the dashboard when that asshole slams on his brakes. Red lights flash in my eyes and I’ve got a foot out the door before I even stop rolling. He’s out even quicker, like he can’t wait to start pounding on my face. He’s got a good hundred pounds and six inches on me. I’m thinking: What Would Bugs Bunny do? He was always getting the better of gorillas like this guy. Before I can think, and before the gorilla rips off my head, she gets out of the passenger side of his car.

“Get back in the fucking car!” he yells at her and I see that, as much as he’d enjoy disemboweling me, he’d prefer to do it to her.

“You can get in my car, if you’d rather,” I said. Bugs would’ve been proud.

Violence is something I don’t really understand, I guess. I understand the urge. I know the feeling of frustration that becomes so unbearable that it drives people to do things they wouldn’t otherwise do. What I don’t understand are the people who enjoy wielding it and inflicting it. Donny, or whatever, got no end of enjoyment from mopping the road with me. And Lisa, screaming, just made it that much better for him.
But now, look who’s driving me to the hospital. Look whose long, slender fingers are wrapped around my steering wheel. And look who’s taking her runny eyes off the road long enough to show me her ragged, beautiful smile.

 


Mike’s first novel The Zoo was published in 2009. His fiction has appeared in The Journal of Microliterature, The Fat City Review, The Vagabond City Journal, The Uptown Observer and elsewhere. In addition to fiction, he writes and performs music. To learn more, visit his website.
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