Serial Saturday: Road Trip, Part 8

For what seemed like a whole handful of seconds, Israel was frozen, stuck ludicrously half-way into a yawn, then he spent another few moments he didn’t have to waste trying to decide whether to go for the gun in the glove compartment, roll up the window, or just start the car. Before he could do anything, she was there, leaning toward the open window, hatchet not exactly raised, but hovering near waist height looking like it could come right on through and into the side of his head at a moment’s notice.

“What-” she began, then stopped, mouth open. It was handy at times, having his tattoo right out on his face. It cut down on the sort of circling chit-chat he had to engage in with society members he was meeting for the first time. In this case, it also confirmed for him, if her paranoid alertness hadn’t, that he was looking at a fellow society member.

“JT Quinn?” he said.

“Who the fuck are you?” she asked. Up close, he could see that she had a leaner, hungrier look than her mother. She also had a stud in her nose and a ring through one eyebrow, which Amity lacked.

“Israel Burke,” he said. He didn’t see any flicker of recognition at his name. So she really was out of the loop; either that or she’d gotten a lot better at masking her emotions in about three seconds.

“Why are you watching me?” she asked.

“I’m just trying to find JT Quinn,” Israel said. “It’s about her mother.”

The woman’s eyes narrowed. “What about her?”

“So you are JT Quinn?”

She nodded once, sharply.

“I sort of need to be sure.”

She huffed out a disgusted sigh and shoved the hatchet into the waistband at the small of her back, then untied the bandana from around her wrist. She slapped her wrist onto the car door, and after a moment, he managed to pick out the tattoo of the blue candle on the inside of her wrist, nestled among half a dozen others.

“Satisfied?” she asked.

“Good enough,” he replied as she tied the sweaty bandana back in place. Nails had mentioned where the tattoo was because of JT’s habit of covering it up.

“So what is this about my mother?”

“It’s kind of complicated.”

“Oh, Jesus Christ,” JT muttered. She turned to look back across the road, where the pudgy guy had just pulled the riding mover onto the trailer. “Hey, Chris,” she shouted. “Friend of mine wants to take me to lunch. I’ll catch up with you at the Hendersons.”

“Half an hour, JT,” Chris shouted back.

“Yeah, fuck you too,” she muttered quietly as she started around the front of the car.

Israel couldn’t help but note that she’d pulled the hatchet free of her belt and was holding it as she opened the door and swung into the passenger seat.

The legs of her jeans were encrusted with a green coating of mashed grass clippings, he noticed as she turned to look at him, and the smell of sweat and new-cut grass filled the car as he started it up

“This better be good,” she said.

“It is,” Israel said, trying to think of how to make it that way.

Copyright © 2011 SM Williams

~ by smwilliams on May 28, 2011.