How had they ended up here? The piles of trash, the rats, the screaming kids;
nobody wanted to be here. ‘Here’ was a squatter’s camp in the woods not far from
the Interstate. Joe and Rachel were on the run.
Joe had a history of brushes with the law in the small town where he grew up.
He had started drinking and drugging when he was a kid. Every time Joe got into
trouble with the law he was drunk and high. He had tried a hitch in the Army but respect
for authority was not one of Joe’s strong points. Since leaving the Army he had a
progression of jobs which all ended abruptly because of his ‘attitude.’ Joe believed
none of this shit was his fault and that the “assholes were out to get him.”
The whole fucked up episode started when Joe met Rachel in a mall a few
miles from his hometown. Joe told himself that it would be different this time.
He could still remember how her ass had looked in the tight pair of
jeans she was wearing when he spotted her sauntering along in front the food court. Joe came up behind her, calling out “hey good lookin’,” and she had turned
around and smiled.
From there it was a lot of tall boys in a beer joint that Joe occasionally shot pool
in and continued with a weekend of rutting like two dogs in heat back at his dingy little
basement apartment in a shitty part of town.
Rachel, it turned out, was just separated from her husband. Her momma had
convinced her that the ex was Rachel’s ticket out of the trailer park she’d grown up in.
Rachel had come home one morning from her store clerk job at the Quick Sack to
find her hubby busy in bed with her slutty store manager. Rachel screamed “you two-
timin’ motherfucker” and smashed an empty 40 ounce against the side of his head.
Rachel scared the bitch so bad she ran neckked out of the trailer. Rachel filed for divorce
divorce the next day. For the last several days she’d been living in her rusted-out Escort
dodging the bastard.
Joe came to Monday morning with the sound of someone making a god-awful
racket beating on his door. His head felt like a mule had kicked the shit out of him. The idiot didn’t seem to understand that some folks might be sleepin’ in.
“Keep your shirt on asshole”, Joe shouted as he threw on a pair of shorts and stumbled to
“Let me in you cheatin’ bitch”, shouted an angry male voice on the other side.
It sounded like trouble to Joe as he grabbed a pool cue leaning against the door
jam. Joe threw open the door to a fat, red-faced fool. He was holding a bottle of cheap
wine and had dried puke running down the front of his shirt.
“Hey motherfucker”, the asshole shouted, “you fuckin’ my woman?”
“Fuck you dick head”, Joe replied in a tight voice. “You done lost yore honey to
a real man who knows how to take care of her. I ain’t playin’ yore stupid-ass cheatin’
heart games this morning fool. Get outta here ‘fore I bust yore head.”
The red-faced fat fucker lurched forwards and swung his bottle at Joe’s
head. Joe stepped back but the end of the bottle caught him on the head splattering cheap
wine everywhere. As Joe recoiled he reached over and grabbed the dropped pool cue
and swung on the fat fool. The pool cue made a solid ‘whap’ sound as it connected with
the drunk’s head. The ex slumped to the floor and started pissing himself. Prettysoon he went still. Rachel came through the bedroom door with just a pair of panties on,
took one look at the vomit covered drunk on the floor and started screaming.
“Shut-up dammit, you’ll get the neighbors ‘roused up.”
They rolled his lifeless body into a ratty carpet and threw it into the back of Joe’s
truck. When night came Joe drove the truck to a dumpster and threw the seemingly
lifeless body into it. The couple packed up a few clothes and such in Joe’s truck, drew
out all of Joe’s slim savings from an ATM and headed west. Joe kept to back roads and
drove at night. They stopped at seedy run-down places to avoid the law. He wasn’t
taking any chances.
The last campground Joe and Rachel stayed at a couple of friendly women
had taken pity on them and loaned them a tent to sleep in. Joe had promised the two
women he’d return the tent when they found a place to stay indoors.
Even as Joe promised the women he knew he was lying. “Fuck those broads, he thought.
It’s about survival.”
Sitting around the campfire, Joe took a hit from the joint he and Rachel
had conned out of the guy at the gas station. Joe held the toke in for as long as he
could. He followed it up with a man-sized slug from the bottle of cheap vodka.
Later, he’d get some pussy for dessert.
had met them in a bar a couple of weeks ago. Joe and Larry had hit it off when neither
could beat each other at pool. Rachel and Nina got along well enough although both were wary of each other. The two couples had hung together since then working odd
jobs here and there. They stole from stores when no honest work showed.
Earlier that afternoon Bill, a single dad with three kids, had pulled into the camp.
He claimed to be from
It was a bad decision.
After the chili, a loaf of bread and a twelve pack of
were scarfed down they sat around the fire passing around the half gallon of cheap
vodka and twisting up a couple of joints from carefully saved roaches. They were
pretty far gone when the conversation turned to politics.
off tellin’ you want ya wanna hear.”
much of your shit already and I’m about ready to shove my fist down it.”
five hog leg I got strapped to my hip. And second….”
About that time Larry came out of nowhere with a round house punch
to Bill’s jaw. Joe jumped in and smacked Bill a couple of times with the barrel
of his Colt. After that it was just a flurry of punches and kicks; then nothing but a
Joe was getting a blow job from Rachel. She gave damn good ones. “Hey
baby,” Joe said, “just keep lickin’ like it’s a Tastee Freeze--yeah, right.” Something was wrong though. He couldn’t get it up. Joe came out of the dream with Rachel
shouting at him from the door of the tent.
they’re gonna start arrestin’ people.”
“What tha' fuck?” Joe groggily replied. Joe moved and his head felt like it had
been pounded with jack hammers and his mouth tasted like a cat had pissed in it. Joe
thought, “that stupid-assed mother fucker Bill, why the fuck couldn’t he have left well