Frank's Escape

Updated: Mar 23

...Continued from Space Cadillac

Timothy Davis always missed his light. He was just that kind of guy. Soft and damp like over-cooked spaghetti, Timothy lived his life without purpose.

Though he thought himself a man of big ideas, Timothy was nothing more than a dreamer. And dreaming was precisely what he was up to as space and time ripped open in his rear view mirror that afternoon.

"Move it buddy," hollered a frustrated driver, impatiently passing Timothy's sedan.

Timothy raised his hand signaling a sheepish apology to the offended motorist. It had been a long day at the office and he blamed himself for letting his mind wander as he sat at the intersection.

Timothy wasn't a particularly hard worker, but he made it a point to volunteer for longer shifts when the need arose. Lately, the need was arising more frequently, and for a moment, while stopped at that light, Timothy had second guessed his commitment to the job.

An analyst for the city of Mardu, Timothy had built his career reviewing expenses, scheduling meetings and answering emails from a concerned public. He took comfort in the predictability of his administrative role.

But that role had been changing since the virus struck, and Timothy was now being asked to pick up the slack as others within the department fell ill.

Timothy pulled his car up to the front of his house. He shifted the transmission into park and shutoff the engine, extracting the key and setting the brake simultaneously. He gathered his briefcase and opened the door of his sedan, lifting his foot carefully over the threshold of the vehicles floor and placing it firmly on the pavement of his familiar driveway.

"Did you remember the wine?"

Mary was Timothy's fiance and she had asked Timothy three times to pick up a bottle of Cabernet on his way home.

Of course, he had forgotten.

Timothy raised his hand again and apologetically sank back into his mid-sized jalopy.

Mary slammed the door, frustrated with her choice in partners.

Timothy checked the time on his dash. There was a liquor store by 45th street, across town. He hoped he could get there and back before dark.

His mind turned over the days events as he drove toward the Mardu slums. The dissatisfaction from work combined with his fiance's antagonism had started to weigh on his constitution.

Timothy struck his steering wheel with his free hand. The impact of the hard rubber against his palm satisfied a deep seeded angst laying woefully suppressed within his core.

"I asked you three times," he said out loud, mocking the sound of his fiance's voice.

He struck the wheel again.

And in an act of brazen spontaneity he would quickly come to regret, Timothy kicked at the gas pedal as he turned toward the parking lot of the liquor store.

Hoping merely to rev his engine in a fleeting expression of malcontent, Timothy instead propelled his sedan across the divide, over a curb and straight into the back of a parked police cruiser.

The collision shook the walls of the convenience store, jolting the attention of its occupants to the lot outside.

"You stay right there!"

The officer pointed at Frank as he shouted. Frank stayed where he was, his fingers still interlocked behind his head; his cigarettes just out of reach.

Forced to drop their current interrogation, the guards hurried out from the shop.

Their patrol car had been pushed forward toward the front of the store. The bumper, unable to save the rear of the vehicle, lay dangling from its mount on the driver's side. The back window had shattered.

Slow to take in the verity of the scene before them, the guards stood dumbfounded over the wreckage.

"What the hell happened here?"

“I’m so sorry,” groaned Timothy, who had stepped out from his own mangled ride to assess the damage. Broken glass crunched beneath his feet as he stepped forward into the dim light of the Drodan moons.

A Siren blared in the distance.

“Sorry? You're sorry? You’re gonna be sorry,” yelled the senior guard.

His neck bulged, exposing his gills in a classic Drodan sign of aggression.

“I have insurance…”

Timothy tried to reason but was stopped short, shoved hard to the ground by the unsympathetic official. The broken glass strewn from the wreck dug into Timothy’s palms as he landed, face down on the jagged asphalt.

Both officers withdrew their batons in the parking lot that night.

Blow after blow, the clubs came down on top of Timothy, who curled into a ball screaming apologies as they struck him repeatedly.

“That’s enough!”

Frank called out from the doorway of the liquor store, unable to stomach any more of the beating he had been forced to witness.

“I said, that’s enough!”

The officers turned their attention toward Frank, leaving Timothy curled on the blacktop behind them.

“And what are you going to do about it, Earthling?”

The officers brandished their batons as they walked menacingly toward Frank.

But before they could swing their clubs, the cashier, a commanding Drodan by any standard, stepped out from the dilapidated storefront, lifted a single-shot 301 he had kept hidden behind the counter of his intergalactic bodega and released a deafening blast into the alien sky.

“I think we’ve seen enough,” shouted the furious cashier.

He cocked his shotgun back, expelling the emptied cartridge, and quickly loaded another round into the single chamber.

His gills pulsated with blood.

The officers stepped back, hands raised in the still night air, stunned by the aggressive display.

“You need to leave,” the cashier shouted to Frank. “Now!”

“And what about him?”

Frank gestured to Timothy, still writhing on the asphalt in front of them.

“Take him with you if you want”

“I won’t forget this,” Frank exclaimed as he heaved Timothy’s useless body through the Cadillac’s passenger door.

"And what about you?"

The Drodan cashier let out a low grumbled laugh before responding self assuredly.

"I'll take care of myself!"

Frank fired up his engines, set the coordinates on the onboard navigation system and lifted his Coupe Deville effortlessly through the thinning Drodan atmosphere and into the dark of space.

“Hang in there buddy. I know a nurse in a nearby star system.”

The Coastal Underground

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