Flash Fiction | Serials: A Love Story
Darius Fargo drove along Interstate 80 in his ’67 Chevy Impala, one arm hanging lazily from the window. The other held the steering wheel with the least amount of effort possible.
He was driving through America’s heartland. Miles of farmland stretched out in all directions. It’d been hours since he’d driven through the last town where he’d decided not to stop, instead pressing his luck for his remaining fuel to get him to the next town.
Another mile down the road and the Chevy coughed and spluttered. Darius pulled over to the side of the road under the shade of a large oak tree and cursed. A sign in front of him said the nearest town was five miles west.
He retrieved a gas can from his trunk then made sure Reuben was still securely bound and unconscious. Satisfied, he locked the car and headed west.
After two miles the sun beating down on him was making him sweat, so he stuck out his thumb to hitch a ride.
After another half mile a powder blue Lincoln Continental slowed as it passed and pulled to the side of the road. The driver beeped the horn three times and beckoned Darius to get in.
Darius jogged the remaining yards to the car and looked through the open window. The man driving, around the same age as Darius as far as he could figure looked at him through mirrored sunglasses.
“Outta gas, huh? Hop on in, I’ll give you a ride,” the man said, a toothpick resting on his lip like a cigarette.
“Much appreciate it, sir. The next town will be fine, just need a few gallons to get me there,” replied Darius.
He opened the door and got in, and the man pulled back onto the interstate.
“You don’t have to call me ‘sir’ neither,” said the man, “Louie will do.”
“Okay, Louie, good to know. I’m Darius.”
Louie nodded his head and winked at Darius from behind his sunglasses.
“This the ’65?” asked Darius.
“Bet your ass it is.”
“Nice. Big fan of the suicide doors. Gives it the real gangster feel.”
“I know, right? I want to get it sprayed black though, the blue just doesn’t do it for me.”
They drove on in silence for another half mile.
“Was that your Chevy back there a way?” asked Louie.
“Yep, I’m glad you came by. I’m, um, uncomfortable leaving her on the side of the road like that.”
“I’ll bet. Hang on, I know a closer place to get gas,” Louie said, flicking on the indicator to turn right.
The Continental left the interstate and turned onto a dirt road that ran between two fields of corn.
“This looks ominous,” Darius said with a laugh, “like something out of a slasher flick.”
“Something like that,” Louie replied reaching a hand down between his seat and the door.
Louie slowed the car and pulled to a stop.
“What the hell,” Darius snapped, but stopped talking when he saw Louie pointing a silver-plated gun across his lap.
“Get out of the car,” Louie said, no emotion in his voice.
Darius looked at the gun, seeing his own reflection in its polished surface.
“Why are you doing this?” he asked.
“You heard of the I-80 killer?”
“Yeah, everyone has. Supposedly been killing hitchhikers for years. You telling me you’re him?”
“Pleased to meet you,” Louie replied, the gun not wavering from its target.
“Well, this is kind of awkward.”
“Why’s that? It looks straight forward from where I’m sitting.”
“Oh, hah, no it’s just… well, I’m the Manticore Mangler.”
Louie’s eyebrows shot up and his eyes opened wide, but every other part of him remained still.
“Bullshit,” he said.
“I can prove it. I’ve got my next victim stashed in my trunk.”
Louie stared into Darius’ eyes trying to perceive the truth.
“If you’re lying, you ain’t going to die quick,” he said, and then chewed at his bottom lip.
After a few moments thought, he turned the car around and headed back the way they came.
“Louie, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship.”
“I should shoot you for just saying that,” he said.
If you like stories about serial killers then you should check out my book – Have Shovel – Will Bury.