|The Story||The Authors|
|Matt's sobs soon dissipated into shakey gasps, and he began to get curious about the book that lay on the scarred coffee table. He raised his head and rubbed his bleary eyes to clear them. His gaze lit on the open page and he involuntarily shuddered at the inhumane figure standing proudly in the center, pround of what? Matthew thought. Quickly he turned it. There were no more grotesque pictures, instead there were just numerous chants and write ups on religions and cults. A certain chant caught his eye and he began to mumble it slowly, enjoying the way it sounded as it rolled off his tongue.|
|An instant after the last syllable that he uttered, he began to feel a presence all around him. The room began to shake.|
"Another earthquake!" thought Matthew in a panic just briefly before once again
being aroused from slumber by Jeremy Crink's prodding forefinger.
"Oh Matthew, Matthew If you're done with the book I gotta get it back to the Library." And Hickey relinquished it to Jeremy now a little damper for his having napped face down and slobbering into it...
"Shit Shit Shit Shit Shit Shit...." swore Officer Matthew J. Hickey as he bounced and jostled around the inside of his now rather battered cruiser. The crushing of the steering wheel over his belly about the only thing keeping him from whacking his head on the roof. About a mile ahead of him he could see the swirling dust trail left in the wake of Crink in the fleeing ambulance. The chase had now led them onto a little used dirt road heading deep into the mountains. Inwardly Hickey cursed himself for not having gotten those shocks replaced at the beginning of the fiscal year like he'd planned. (His bulk tended to be rather hard on the suspension) And all these potholes weren't exactly helping his kidneys. He really needed to take a leak too. But he'd be damned if he was going to let Crink get away with this one. His fuckin' mother's corpse was in the back of that ambulance. "GOD HELP YOU CRINK WHEN I GET A HOLD OF YOU THIS TIME he bellowed over the siren at the dust cloud ahead. Yeah, this time. This time. And on and up into the mountains he followed.
|Even though his thoughts kept veering off on wild tangents, Officer Hickey was determined to catch that rascal Jeremy at any cost. Crink's ambulence sped dangerously up the mountain road, screeching around the hairpin turns. Hickey tried to keep up - "Crazy motherfucker's gonna get us both killed!" - but his old squad car wouldn't let him and the distance between the two vehicles expanded. Jeremy Crink laughed maniacally as Hickey's car vanished from his rear-view mirror. Jeremy might have actually gotten away that day but he hadn't counted on there being traffic on that particular road that particular day. Coming around a hairpin turn, he swerved to avoid a lumbering oncoming recreation vehicle. The top heavy ambulience tipped over and rolled off the road and down the side of the mountain.|
|Jeremy's car smashed right into the trunk of a large oak tree. Shaken, but unhurt, he extracted himself from the remains of his vehicle. He knew in a minute or two Hickey would be coming around that curve and he had to get outta there fast. He was just about to high-tail it into the woods, when he heard a woman's voice calling for help. Damn! He'd almost forgotten about the ambulance in his still dazed state. But this could be a break for him! Surely Hickey, when he appeared, would go and try to help whoever it was! This would give Jeremy more time to make good his escape!|
Had Jeremy desired to escape. Jeremy Crink had other plans.
He'd rehearsed this scenerio in his mind for nearly a year now. Spent months planning and doing the dry runs. He'd walked every inch of this little swirl of mountain road to find exactly the right spot. The right tree. Just off the road in plain sight, and far enough away from the mountain's edge to be safely wrecked without fear of falling off the precipice. Hickey couldn't miss it.
Crink was glad that he'd managed to get a good lead on the portly policeman. He hadn't quite realized how disoriented he'd be after flipping the ambulance. but then, he hadn't planned on the damn thing flipping on him. A nice quick crash was all he'd intended. A few skidmarks. A little steam from a broken radiator. some broken brush. Just enough to really get Hickey's full attention. He'd seen him at enough accident scenes to know how this stuff shook him up. A phobia it was. Otherwise callous to the violence on his watch; the bloody bar fights, domestic violence or the occasional hunting accident that were the bread and butter of his peacekeeping duties, Officer Matthew J. Hickey had an almost morbid fear of the auto accident. The merest fenderbender quailed his heart. The sight of twisted metal churned his entrails. The meaty pulp that the Bihari brothers Joe and Billy had turned each other into with a box knife and a broken Pepsi bottle that night five years ago (It took 79 stitches to put Joe's face back together. His cheeks were hanging off in strips. And then Billy had to get that glass eye) he'd shrugged that off in a most cavalier "boys will be boys" manner and went laughing to Luby's for another slice of cherry pie. But let some teenage girl get a bloody nose after being rear ended at a stop sign and Hickey turned to jelly. Jeremy had always found it kind of funny.
So here he was now. Figuring that with the twisting mountain road he'd have a full two minutes of Hickey's cautious driving he gave himself a couple of quick slaps to bring himself to alertness. He'd need it. He had to catch Matthew off guard and keep him that way until the moment came to introduce him to all that Crink had been preparing for him. It was time for Matthew J. Hickey to meet his destiny.