Follow, by Chad A. Clark
“Just call the fucking number!”
“I don’t know what the fucking number is. Are you sure it even exists?”
“You call it to find out if the person trying to pull you over is actually a cop. It’s like 911. Just Google it and call them, because there’s no way that’s a cop.”
It couldn’t be. Not unless the cops had started using ‘79 Dodge Darts for undercover vehicles. The light of the fading day had dropped to make seeing the driver hard enough, but the glare caused by the flashing light made it impossible. All Samantha could see was the rough outline of the man, hulking behind the wheel as he gestured wildly towards the shoulder.
“Why don’t you just pull over?” Sara asked again. “What’s the worst that could possibly happen? It isn’t like we’re in the middle of nowhere. We’re just a mile outside of the city limits.”
Samantha ignored the question and accelerated, speeding up as she saw the Dodge behind them creeping up to their bumper, now honking and weaving from side to side in an apparent attempt to get their attention.
“I don’t even know what I should search for.” Sara was staring at the phone blankly, her tone implying that she was expecting Samantha to spoon-feed the search parameters to her.
“For fuck’s sake, just call 911. Tell them someone is following us pretending to be a cop and ask what we should do.”
Sara dialed and put the phone to her ear. Samantha couldn’t hear what she was saying, the sound of the wind swallowing up her hushed voice, but what she could make out from her tone did not suggest concern or danger. She watched out of the corner of her eye as Sara shrugged and ended the call.
“He said we should just pull over.”
“He said that we should just—”
“What did you say to them, exactly?”
Sara rolled her eyes and looked out her window. “You heard.”
“No, actually I couldn’t hear a word you were saying.”
“Just pull over!”
Samantha let out a breath of frustration before giving in and pulling off onto the shoulder. The other car pulled in close behind, lights still flashing, bright red and white colors spearing into the darkness. Samantha watched as the figure stepped out of the car and began walking towards them. A flashlight flipped on, and behind the orb of light, she could hear rocks scraping underneath the man’s work boots.
“You ladies having trouble with your hearing?”
“Officer?” Samantha asked as she put a hand up to try and see past the glare of the flashlight.
“Put your fucking hand down.”
She complied before it even occurred to her how absurd the order had been.
“Do you have trouble with your hearing?”
“What about your vision?”
The man kicked the car door, cutting her off mid-sentence. “Do you have any problems with your vision?”
“How about your brakes? They working all right?”
Samantha stared up into the light and shifted in her seat, not understanding where this was going.
“Brakes are working?”
“Then can you explain to me why it it took two miles for you to pull the fuck over, since you saw and heard my siren and your car is capable of stopping on command?”
“Just too busy putting on your fucking makeup while you’re driving? Why don’t you step out of the vehicle?”
She still only saw the light from the flashlight waving back and forth. The man behind it was lost in darkness.
“Officer, maybe if you could just give me the ticket—”
“I’m sure you would like that wouldn’t you? Drive wherever you want, as fast as you want. Shit all over this fine county of mine? Why don’t you step out of the car like I fucking told you?”
“Don’t get out,” Sara hissed at her. Apparently she had just clued in to the severity of their situation.
“What am I supposed to do?” Samantha asked.
“Just drive off. You can outrun that shit-heap he’s driving. Get us to a real police station and we can deal with everything then.”
Samantha looked up at the flashlight, and now saw a hand with clubbed fingers snaking out for the door handle.
“Little missy, whatever you’re chewing on there, up in your head, I’d advise you to put it out of your mind.”
Something inside of her snapped, and her hand scrambled for the keys. The man was through the window in an instant, grabbing at her as she put the car into gear and accelerated away. His hands wrapped around her throat, even as the speedometer crept up towards fifty miles an hour. Sara screamed as she beat at the hands, having no effect.
Samantha jerked the wheel, first to the right, and then after a few moments to the left, and back to the right again. The arms wrapped around her did not loosen. She could feel his breath on her cheek, boiling hot and smelling of something rotten. For the briefest moment, she started to feel herself being lifted up out of her seat and pulled towards the window.
The car hit a rut in the road and bounced into the air, causing the cop to lose his grip. They drove off, leaving him behind on the road in a cloud of dust. They were approaching the bend in the road when she saw the flashes reflected in the mirror along with the popping sounds of—
Gun. He’s firing his—oh my God—
The windows exploded around them in perfect sequence. Samantha swerved, as the storm of shattered glass was suddenly joined by a burst of fine, red mist. Sara slumped against her window, a large part of the back of her head now missing. Samantha swerved again, and this time, the tires caught the edge of the shoulder and pulled the car with it, first sliding and then rolling down into the ditch.
She had no idea how long it was before she came to. The car was upside down, engine revving uselessly. Samantha hung limply from the seat belt, arms swaying from side to side.
She heard footsteps approaching the car.
She screamed, and grabbed at the belt, trying to get the mechanism to release. She finally succeeded, falling to the ground and crawling backwards, out through the window. As she sat up and the flashlight came to bear on her, it took her a moment to place the sound of a round being chambered. The man’s voice, somehow harmonic in its rage, called out to her with false sincerity.
“You folks need some help?”
To see more short fiction like this, take a look at Chad’s collections, A Shade For Every Season and Two Bells At Dawn.