08 December 2011

The Turn

(Excerpted from The Pultenham County Sketchbook, by Tom Andrews)

So Tinny hollerd' out 'Harper you asshole!' at me and started shakin' me, so as to get my attention, but I was too wrapped up in lookin' at the road in fronta' me to really figure out what the hell was goin' on. But I coulda' told you alla' 'bout how it done happened.

Me and Tinny was comin' back from Cotton City – yeah, we were just hangin' out, and we had only been drinkin' just a little bit – me more than Tinny, I s'pose. And I ain't real too sweet on him or nothin', so I think that I probably had just a little bit more than I shoulda', well, you know how it goes. I probably shouldn't have taken my shirt off, but we was laughin' and it was hot and the AC was busted in his old Ford, so I just took it off 'cause of that. It was stupid, I know, to go wavin' it out the window, so when I lost hold if it and Tinny hit the gas, I was like all 'well, shit, what am I gonna' do now' and I kept beggin' Tinny to turn around and go back and get my shirt, 'cause I didn't have anything else on under it. It was hot and all, you know.

So when that sheriff pulled us over, I just felt all red and flushed, but what was I gonna' do? When he came up to the car, I just sat there with my arms crossed over my chest, like nothin' was wrong. Dumb, I know, but then he done seen me of course , and me sittin' there with no shirt on, so he says like 'Miss, can you get outta' the car,' and he didn't even say please. Well, I did, and I thought he was gonna' try to make me walk a line or somethin', but instead he just reached out and grabbed my chest with both of his rough, grimy hands and says I'm in deep trouble, how this is a felony and I'm gonna' spend time in the county pen. I try slappin' his hands and pullin' away but he clamped down on my tits like he was hangin' on for life. I screamed at him and he hauled off and hit me one, and said I was gonna' only make it worse by resistin' arrest and how that was gonna' be another felony. I was scared shitless, I was.

He grabbed my wrists harder than I could imagine 'em bein' grabbed, and he hauled me back to his patrol car. I was screamin' for Tinny to do something, but he was just too scared to move. That sheriff with the stinkin' breath threw me in the back seat and I just cowered up against the other side's door – I tried it but it was locked somehow and I couldn't open it. That was when I turned and saw that filthy sonofabitch start undoin' his belt and I felt like I was gonna' shit myself. I just screamed and looked for something to grab and hit with, but there warn't nothin' to grab hold of.

And it was then that I heard a pickup truck pull up behind the patrol car. I turned to look out the back window, and thank God I saw Mr. Switchback getting out his big old white pickup, and walking toward that filthy sheriff who got back inna' the driver's seat without even closing my door. As he hit the gas and the car started pullin' away, I piled outta' that back seat and right down onto the gravel son the side of the road without even thinking. That Mr. Switchback bent down to see if I was OK and when I said I was fine, he sprinted back to his truck, got in, and started chasing after that damn sheriff.

Craziest damned thing you ever did see – that white pickup chasin' after the sheriff's patrol car that was racin' to get away like a bat outta' hell.

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