Did you see that?” Beth screamed in his ear.
“Did you fucking see that?”
Bill nodded his head slowly. Of course he had seen it. Wasn’t the car slid halfway around on the road? Weren’t the tires still smoking from the screeching stop they had braked to? Weren’t his knuckles white and weren’t his eyes round and frightened?
“Yeah, baby. I saw it.”
He took a slow shuddering breath, looked at Beth, looked away quickly. Taking his foot off the brake and slipping the truck into reverse, he had just enough time to get it rolling backwards before the passenger window of his ’78 Bronco exploded in a hail of gum edged glass.
Beth screamed as he tromped the gas and turned to see out the rear window. He wished he had turned his head over his left shoulder because if he had, he wouldn’t have seen that large hairy hand groping and seeking for a grip on his girlfriend’s head.
The Bronco jittered in a semi-arc and he felt the back tires leave the road, slammed on the brakes. Taking a quick look at his girlfriend, at the hand now finding purchase by hooking its large fingers under her chin, its thumb running her jaw line and touching her ear, he dropped from reverse, through neutral and into drive and stomped the pedal.
He heard the engine roar, heard the…thing…outside the window roar, and heard Beth screaming. The truck shuddered, skidded right and found footing. There was a horrendous snap and Beth wasn’t screaming anymore. He didn’t look.
With his eyes ahead on the road, he faced the truck east and kept the pedal down. There was a loud metallic bang and he felt the ass end sliding to his left, let off the gas, felt the wheel jerk and settle in and punched it again.
From behind him and fading fast into the distance and the roar of his 302 motor came a deep throated guttural howl of pain and fury. He didn’t lift his eyes to the rearview, just kept driving.
After several miles were behind him and he felt safe, he turned and looked at Beth. Turning his attention sharply back to the road, he felt his stomach flip, opened his mouth and ejected the contents of his stomach onto his lap, the dash, the wheel, and the windshield.
Nobody was going to believe this. Nobody