We were flying through the mountains, Durango to Denver, we were soaring. enough blow to cover these damn mountains, snow it back to winter again. Yeehaw! Davis shouted out into the wind. Still damn cold, piney mountain air rinsing us through the open window of the 442. We’d made it up here just over three hours, we’d make Denver in four, just like he told me he could do it. It was a seven hour trip with Dad at the wheel, but they always stopped to take pictures, the Sangre de Christos, South Park, pictures of nothing, cows.
But nothing Davis did surprised me. Or maybe it was that everything did, so you were sort of ready for it. I felt awake with him, really awake, like I’d been sleeping all my life until I met him. Sleeping Beauty, that was me. My parents didn’t like him, of course–the man smelled of sex, just reeked of it, the way he’d stand there with his thumbs tucked in his belt. “I don’t like you seeing so much of that boy,” Daddy said. He thought I should go out with someone from Fort Lewis Community College. “Somebody nice,” my mother said, meaning without a cock. Yeah, I knew what she meant.
I looked at Davis in the driver seat with that spring wind blowing, dancing the feathers on the roach clip hanging from the rearview mirror. I was laughing, like I was champagne that got shook up and popped, all of me was just flowing out in a great jet of sparkling foam. We were going to meet some friends of his in Denver, have a real party. He kept saying, “Wait till we get us to Denver, baby, then we’re gonna have some fun.”
We were going fast enough through the turns that I had to hold onto the seat. Like Mister Twister at Elitch Gardens. Being with Davis was like being on a ride like that, you screamed your head off and then wet your pants laughing when you finally got off. We went squealing along, corners at eighty, patches of snow still on the ground among the pines.
“Oh shit,” Davis said. And there was Officer Law, lurking just off the highway, half hidden in the trees like some black-and-white tiger, just waiting for us, a few miles short of Bailey. I felt Davis trying to slow without cramming on the brakes and putting us in a spin. “Shit shit shit.” The cherry lights started to turn, then the siren. Davis thrust the little folded paper of blow. “Tuck that in your bra, darlin’.”
I didn’t know what to do. I felt this zing of panic. Why was he giving it to me? It wasn’t my blow. And the cop was flashing his lights, he was getting pissed, wanting Davis to pull over. “But what if we get arrested? What if they search me?”
“It’s just a traffic stop. And even if they did, what the fuck, you’re not 21, first offense. Trust me, it’ll be ok.”
The cop was right behind us, flashing his lights! What was I supposed to do? Even if they did?! I rolled down the window.
“What are you doing, don’t– Don’t–”
I threw it out the window.
“The fuck! You stupid bitch!” The car swerved as he screamed. He was so mad! I was glad he had to hang onto the wheel, in fact I was kind of glad they were pulling us over. He mighta hit me or something.
My heart was in my throat as we stopped on a narrow piece of shoulder off the winding highway, cars whizzing past. Davis sat looking front with his hands on the wheel, his jaw working, his face sheet white. “shit, shit shit.” Nobody was coming over. The cop just sat watching us. Finally, he got out and came up to the car on my side, tapped on the window. A clean shaven blonde about thirty poked his head in. He looked us both over. “ID and registration, folks.”
My parents would kill me if I got arrested up here, and my dad had to take off work to come get me. I tried not to start crying. I never got arrested before. I was stoned and high and scared, and Davis was really mad.
“Registration,” the cop said again.
Davis kept his hands on the wheel, but opened them to show he wasn’t holding anything, I guess, spreading the fingers. “It’s in the glove compartment. But I have to tell you, there’s a gun in there, okay?”
Davis had a gun in the glove compartment. We’re doing eighty, coked out of our minds, and he has a gun in his glove compartment. And he called me a bitch! Suddenly I didn’t feel so good about this whole Denver idea. What else didn’t I know about Davis? He wanted me to hold onto three hundred dollars worth of coke during a bust and then called me a bitch, and he had a gun? I didn’t know who these people in Denver were. Anything could happen–and nobody knew where I was, they all thought I was in class.
“Will you open the glove compartment, Miss?”
Davis was trying to signal me something with his light green eyes, I usually liked them but they looked kind of lizardy to me now. He looked like he would kill me once the cop left. I didn’t know what to do. Was there something else in the glove compartment?
“I was just getting a ride,” I said, opening it. And there was the gun, a greasy handgun. There was never a gun in there before. “I was just getting a ride to Denver.” I found the registration and gave it to the cop.
The cop went back for the longest time.
“Why’d you say that?” Davis asked. “What kind of shit is that? We gotta stick together.”
I didn’t answer him.
We got our IDs back, and he had us get out of the car. The cop started to look around the car, shining a light under the seats, looking in my purse. “I saw you throw something out of the car,” he said. “That gives me probable cause.”
He found some pot under the seat. Davis looked mad. But it wasn’t my pot either.
“Can I go now?” I said to the cop.
He looked at me all squinty-eyed. “Sure,” he said. “But not him.”
“Clara.” How shocked he looked. “Baby.”
I hitched my bag with all my stuff over my shoulder and started walking towards Bailey. Fuck Davis, man. Fuck Davis.
Part of a semi-weekly series of short short stories based on a writing exercise, The Word. “Inspired by a simple word, chosen at random, write a two-page double-spaced story, using the Word at least once.”
Next week’s word is: SOCK