The prompt song this week was:
'Going South' by Stan Ridgway
Jim flicked his cigarette ash out the window of the Carrera 911. He loved the car, even though he was defiling it by smoking, but he didn’t care, it wasn’t his - or ever likely to be.
He loved doing this job, being out in the dead of night, driving empty roads from state to state. But of course he loved the wad of cash at the end more…although it never seemed to last.
He’d tried to put some by, but it never seemed to work. Trish blamed his love of fruit machines, but really the fault lay in his location; Vegas wasn’t a city you could save money in – especially when you liked to have a flutter now and then. Trish would say it was more now than then, but he didn’t hear her complaining when he splashed out on a big meal for them both.
As a breeze picked up across the Nevada desert, cooling the car interior, Jim thought about Trish. Did he really want to keep things going, or was it time for a fresh start? This job would pay enough for an inter-state move, and he could finally satisfy the hankering he’d had for the bright lights of LA. But was he too far in to cut and run? He didn’t think so. It wasn’t as though he was signed up to paying rent at her place. Still, a twinge of guilt crept in.
He sighed, that was exactly what he’d wanted to avoid when they’d started fooling around together. He didn’t want to get tied to anyone, and she’d professed the same, although he knew that was what women said. But she was totally into her job as a showgirl, and he wasn’t even sure she was faithful – there were many nights she hadn’t come home, although she’d insisted it was due to work.
He never made a fuss, what was the point? He didn’t care. As long as he was still getting plenty, what did it matter? He found it odd at the beginning when she’d refused to let him come and see her show, but now he considered it the norm. He understood the need to keep work and personal life separate. It wasn’t as though he told her much about what he got up to. He was sometimes away for days and she didn’t question it, or give him a hard time.
He sighed again. Thinking about it like that made him wonder if really did want to quit. He shook his head. He needed to follow his dream, and living in Vegas wasn’t it. Trish wasn’t it. They only really tolerated each other. He was going to cut and run, it was best for everyone. But first he had to get this car delivered.
A road sign warned him he was approaching the Mexican border. He found a spot to pull over and check the car. He made sure the plates were fixed properly and there were no distinguishing marks. He spent more time that normal and put it down to his love of Carrera’s, but there was something niggling him, he just didn’t know what.
He set off again and the lights at the border control came into view. He pulled in, cool and calm. They asked him to step out as he knew they would – a car like this always drew attention. He remained collected, giving them all the false documents.
But then another car showed up, an unmarked one, and he felt his stomach begin to churn.
They walked him to a customs hut and left him there to greet the new arrivals. He went through the story in his mind, the one he always had as backup. Plead ignorance to stall an arrest,and play the victim of a car thief. He’d slithered out of this before, he could do it again.
Then the door opened and two plain-clothes police officers came in. One was a woman; he smelled her perfume as she passed. He liked it, it reminded him of Trish. Then she pulled up a chair in front of him and straddled it. It was Trish.
She smiled. “Hey Jim, fancy meeting you here?”
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