Within seconds, four or five cars had screeched and swerved into formation around them, revving needlessly, hoods peeled back, grills formed into customized chrome grins. They churned up a cloud of blue-ish smoke as tires spun on the asphalt.
Other cars clung to the far side of the road, spontaneously evolving a local traffic system to allow everyone else to get by and stay by.
Inside the car, Janna had cancelled the Glowe’s audio feeds because the noise had gotten unbearable. She had tried locking the doors only to find them unlock themselves each time. Someone out there had captured and de-scrambled the security keys to her car. She wanted to scream.
“Mark, Do Something!”
He had been strangely quiet.
“Mark? Maaark!” Janna hadn’t meant for him to step outside, but he had.
She turned awkwardly in her seat, afraid to remove the seat belt, aware of how pointless the contraption was in light of the unlocked doors. But it wasn’t herself she was concerned about right now. She looked through the back window, and something drained from her when she saw that Honda Man was there again. He’d stepped away from his car, and now strode toward Mark in his black jeans and grey shirt.
Should she go outside and tried to help him?
Oh God, Mark. I’m so sorry.
She didn’t understand the communication, but she was glad of it. Glad for the absence of much worse. Mark’s back was to her, and glances fed around the loose circle from Rider to Rider. Two of them leered at her.
Bastards. Those two looked all of 16 years old, if that.
She looked again and saw Honda Man was laughing, hard.
He was turning to go, making a strange signal at Mark; like taming a bull, with forefinger and last finger pointing out of a fist. The Rider raised an open hand in the air and the others spun their cars one last time for show. Janna’s relief was palpable. They were going!
They were going and, of course, the cops were coming.
What was it they said about crime in the city these days? It was like bad sex.
She could hardly believe the statement Mark offered up. Gob-smacked, as a matter of fact. She herself was about to give a very richly-hued account of things when she felt the sharp, sudden yank on her upper arm. It almost made her tear up, but she saw the look on Mark’s face: Don’t.
Oh yeah? She cocked her head slightly and gave her best ‘just what in the whole entire fuck is going on here?’ look.
The uniformed men “missed” all of these cues; dutifully wrote down their spoon-fed crock of lies and had the gall to even bid them farewell – a bit too cheerfully, Janna thought.
What was going on with the world?
It ended up being a very quiet drive to her apartment. Mark wasn’t sleeping anymore, but he wasn’t in a chatty mood, either.Tags: Janna, Mark, The Treble