Below is an excerpt for the first draft of a new short I’m working on. It has naked men and ghost, so be warned. 🙂
Lightning flashed. Cypress trees draped in Spanish moss were flat black cutouts of the night against a white sky. Thunder ripped the air and then shook the car with a boom. Then everything went black again.
Bobby said, “Hell that was close!”
Clyde didn’t respond. Bobby had been bitching ever since they pulled off the county road an hour ago. The pavement had ended a few miles back and the wipers on the old car just weren’t up to keeping the rain and mud clear. He didn’t mind the lightning because for a second he could see the road.
“We’re lost aren’t we?”
Clyde tried to ignore him. “Coffee,” he said.
Bobby took the cap off a thermos and unscrewed the top. He passed it to Clyde.
“Are we lost?”
Clyde swallowed a mouth of hot liquid and handed the thermos back. He tried to focus on the bitter roasted flavor and keeping the car on the road as wind pushed it to the left.
“Where are we?”
Clyde glanced over at him. “In the middle of the fucking swamp, in the middle of a fucking hurricane, where do you think we are?”
Bobby whispered, “Lost.”
Clyde chanced another look at his partner. The dash lights made Bobby’s olive skin green, death like. That was unnerving. He’d taken his blood stained shirt off and the skull tattoo on his shoulder grinned back at him. Clyde looked ahead and swerved the car to dodge a pool of water.
“Getting lost was part of the plan.”
Bobby put the top back on the thermos.
“I thought we were supposed to lose the cops. Not us.”
“Well do you see any cops? We got the cash. We got away.”
Bobby looked out the passenger window. His own face reflected in the darkness.
“We got the cash.”
Clyde hit the steering wheel. “What the hell is wrong with you? The storm’ll pass. We’ll get to the airstrip and in a few days we’ll be screwing on the beach in a banana republic with no extradition, and set for life.”
“You said no one would get hurt.”
Clyde glanced at Bobby again. Their eyes met. Bobby’s warm brown eyes were black and empty in the dash-light. Those eyes were the first thing he noticed bout Bobby when they met. The first thing he fell in love with. Lightning flashed again. Clyde saw a tear run down his cheek. A gangster with a heart of gold. Not a good combination.
“Baby, he had a gun to your head. What was I supposed to do?”
Bobby looked back into the night. Clyde felt cold. He turned down the A/C.
“You killed a guard during a bank robbery. That’s death in this state. You’ve killed both of us.”
“Only if we get caught. I plan on staying lost.”
Bobby was about to say something when the car sputtered and came to a halt.
Clyde looked down to the dash. “I think we are out of gas.”
Bobby leaned over. “The gage says there’s a half tank.”
“I think it was on half when we started…you stole a car with a bad gas gage.”
“Oh so this is my fault?”
Clyde turned off the ignition to save the battery. The men sat in the dark. The wind shook the car and rain pelted it like bullets.
Bobby whispered in the dark, “What are we going to do?”
Clyde sighed. His hands fell from the steering wheel. All he wanted to do was take Bobby somewhere safe and hold him. Make love to him. That’s what the money was for. A ticket to freedom. Now they were lost, stranded, and he had blood on his hands. Had he doomed them? “I don’t know,” he said. He turned to Bobby but he couldn’t see him in the dark. “I’m sorry Dog.”
Warm arms pulled him to Bobby’s naked chest. The smell of his man. Safety. Love. His home. Maybe it would be alright. He was tired. He closed his eyes and pressed his face into Bobby.
Lightning flashed through his closed eyes. The thunder was instantaneous. It sounded like the car was being split in two.
Bobby cried out, “What’s that?”
Clyde sat up. “What?”
“Over there.” Bobby was pointing to the driver’s side window.
Clyde waited for another flash. There was something large across the road from them. “Get my pack. There’re a couple of lights in the front pocket.”
Bobby rummaged in the back seat and found the pack. He unzipped the pouch and found the light. He switched it on. It was square and had straps to attach it to your head. Clyde took the light, then turned the car key, and pushed the button to roll down his window. He shined the light into the night. He said, “Looks like an old gate.” Two brick pillars stood on either side of an overgrown lane. On one of the pillars the name “Stark” was etched on a granite slab. An ornate iron gate lay on the ground.
Clyde rolled up the window and put the flashlight on the dash. He pulled off his shirt and started to undo his pants.
Bobby asked, “What the hell are you doing?”
“I think there is a house up there. From the looks of that gate, it is abandoned.”
“Okay, but why are you stripping?”
Clyde looked at him. “I’m going to check it out and I don’t want to get them wet. We’re gonna need dry clothes if we get into the house.”
Clyde slipped off his shoes and raised his butt up as he pushed his jeans and boxers down to his knees.
“You expect us to run around in this storm naked?”
Clyde pushed his clothes to Bobby. “Yes. It’s warm rain. Take off your clothes and pack them in the bags. There should be room.”
He put his shoes back on then opened the door. “Give me the gun.” Bobby reached under the seat and pulled out the gun. It had already taken one life that day. Clyde held out his hand. Lightning flashed again. The thunder came from farther away this time. “Bobby.” Bobby placed it in his hand. Naked, armed with a gun and a flashlight strapped to his head, Clyde stepped out into the dark and rain. Bobby started taking off his pants.
Bobby was naked except for his boots. He sat in the car alone. He’d strapped the other light to his head but left it off to save the batteries. Two duffel bags of cash sat on the driver’s side seat. He clutched Clyde’s pack to his chest and rocked back and forth. More thunder. It sounded like a gunshots. He closed his eyes. He was back in the bank. Cold steel of a pistol against his head. The green eyes of the guard burned with hate.
The guard smirked and said, “On your knees punk.”
Bobby sank to the floor. The guard traced his face with the gun stopping at his mouth.
“You’re a pretty one. Bet those lips sucked a lot of cock in prison. Suck on this.”
The guard pressed the gun to his lips. The metal was cold. He could taste the oil and smell gun powder. The gun had been fired recently. Bobby knew he was going to die. He closed his eyes and prayed to the Virgin to help him. Gun fire cracked and echoed in the bank lobby. Wet stickiness coated his face and he fell to the floor. He tasted blood.
“Bobby! Get up we need to go. Now!”
Clyde ran toward him carrying two duffel bags. He pulled Bobby to his feet. The guard’s body was crumpled on the floor, most of its head gone. Bobby touched his face. He scraped brain, blood and gore away.
Clyde shoved a bag into his hands and pushed Bobby out the lobby door. The car was still running in the parking lot where they left it. Wind pushed him back and large rain drops began to spatter him. Bloody water ran into his eyes. Clyde pulled the passenger door open and pushed him in; he got in the driver’s side and tore out of the parking lot.
They headed west on North River Road out of Bennett Bay toward a backwater airstrip and freedom. The rain got harder. Lightning flashed and thunder rolled up from the Gulf of Mexico. Bobby thought he heard sirens. He knew he was dead, like the body on the bank floor. He just hadn’t stopped running yet.
Something pounded on his window. He jumped and screamed, a bit of warm piss pooled around his nuts. Oh hell. Clyde had turned his light off and yelled, “Slide over and put the car in neutral. I’m going to try to push it through the gate and hid it behind the old wall.”
Bobby pushed the money bags into the back seat and slid over to the driver’s side. Then turned on the key and put the gearshift into neutral. He felt the car rock a bit. Clyde tapped on the glass again.
“Ground’s too wet. You’re gonna have to help me.”
Bobby rolled down his window and reached up clicking on his flashlight. Clyde yelled over the thunder, “Leave the light off till we’re behind the wall. Don’t want anyone to see we’re here.” Bobby clicked the light back off and got out of the car. It was like being in a shower. The rain stung his bare body. At least it wasn’t too cold.
Clyde called from the back of the car, “Okay push.”
Bobby pushed and tried to steer at the same time. Slowly the car rolled over the old gate. Bobby turned his light back on. To the right there was a pile of rubble with bushes growing up out of it. Maybe an old gate house? He cut the wheel to the right. They pushed the car behind the mound and bushes next to the old wall. He jumped back in the car and rolled up the window. He tossed out the duffel bags with the cash and put Clyde’s pack over his shoulders. It felt weird to be doing all of this naked. He looked back at Clyde. He was running around picking up downed branches and covering their track. He realized his man all naked and wet would have been sexy if they weren’t running for their lives. Would anything ever be sexy again?
Clyde came up to him and grabbed one of the bags of cash. “Come on let’s get to the house.”