Tuesday, 29 July 2008

MULTIPLY Challenge #43: Route 66

“Carol I think we are running out of petrol.”
“No problem” said Carol “We have a tank in the car boot with reserve.”
Carol’s friend Julie looked a bit puzzled.
“What petrol. We used that up about four hours ago and I don’t remember seeing one of those gas stations as they call them here to fill it up again.”
“Just a minute, it’s been your turn to drive not mine, so you could have called in at the next petrol place and filled her up again.”
“There is a slight problem there Carol, whilst you were sleeping the miles away and I was driving I do not remember passing anything that looked like a gas station, petrol station or whatever. Not even a barn or a house, we are in no-man’s-land somewhere in America. I knew we should have spent our holidays somewhere like Italy or South France” Julie was annoyed, “but it was your idea to discover and do something completely different. This might be route 66 but you are certainly not Martin Milner and I am not Todd Stiles. We are two young English girls on holiday having fun and doing something different.“
“Oh shuttup” said Carol “and get the map out so that at least we can see where we are.”
“Always my fault” thought Julie. She rummaged through empty cans of coke and hamburger boxes until her fingers found the Route 66 map she had bought at the tourist agency in London. Was that a big map, after all it stretched from East to West across America. No-one told them that the road was so old and that a new motorway had been built.
“So where are we?” asked Carol.
Julie looked a bit concerned. “Well, yes I think we are somewhere in the middle bit, at least I remember crossing one of those State borders yesterday evening. That was when you said let’s drive through the night before you took a sleeping tablet, so I did.”
“Yes, but if we are in the middle bit as you so expertly say, then we should have seen a small town at least an hour ago, but I don’t remember seeing anything.
There is a small road just off to the right on this part of the map – you didn’t by any chance take that one did you.?” asked Carol
“Well, it was so dark and there was some sign about road works being done so I thought there was a diversion to the right and sort of took it. I couldn’t ask you, you were sleeping remember.
“Oh great, anything could happen.” Carol was worried again. “Remember that film with Lance Henriksen, you know Profile for Murder, where he was travelling on the highways and killing people all the time.”
“Stay cool Carol, up to now we havn’t even seen another car. The only thing that can happen is finding two skeletons somewhere on this highway as we will probably dehydrate if we don’t find a gas station soon. If I remember the last place we called in at to eat and get some provisions was called Alberkirky.”
“No wonder we are lost – just look where that is – in Mexico.”
“New Mexico to be exact, they still speak English not Spanish.”
“Well, you know what clever shoes, I am getting out of this car and am going to stretch my legs and the next good looker that drives past in a car or truck or whatever, I am going with him.”
“Carol, I wouldn’t if I was you. Remember the film Dual with Dennis Weaver.”
“We are not being followed by a truck so I don’t think that we will have a problem there. Come back to reality Julie, I think you have been seeing too many films. And you wasn’t even born when those two young men were travelling over Route 66 in the black and white days of television.”
“I know, but I thought as we were doing the trip I would look up a few things before we left England to see how it might be.”
“I have an idea” said Carol “what about one of us walking up the hill to see what is on the other side.”
“No way am I walking up that hill on my own” Julie was really getting annoyed. “There might be one of those old deserted mines on the other side, like in the Steven King stories. Suddenly I will disappear and where do you go then. You will probably follow me and we will both end up in the hands of a madman. He might even saw us up” said Julie.
“I’m thirsty, give me a can of coke or did you throw the last one away and not tell me. With you anything is possible.”
Carol decided she had had enough “if you must know there are 6 cans left – we bought them at a special offer in that Albekirky place and that was only a day or so ago.” And she threw a can at Julie narrowly missing her head with it but falling out of the open window of the car.
“Listen” said Carol “I can hear something that sounds like a car engine”
“You are right” answered Julie “the answer to our prayers. Come on stand at the side of the car and look good, it’s the help we need.”
“I hope so Julie, but I don’t want to look too good – we don’t even know whose car it is.”

The two girls did not have to wait long. A black Buick pulled up alongside the two girls and a suntanned head poked through the window.
“Hi, you two need help”
Carol wanted to say “Yes Please”, but Julie gave her a nudge as if to say take it easy, so Carol let Julie do the talking.
“We have a problem and have run out of gas. Could you help us out.”
“What wrong Chuck?” said another voice from the car.
“These two dames have a problem, no gas Todd. They need help.”
and then the two men Chuck and Todd got out of the car.

Julie and Carol were impressed by two tall young sun tanned men wearing sun glasses and blue jeans. Carol whispered to Julie that this was going to be fun. Julie was not so sure.

“Well let’s see what we have” said the one called Todd and opened the boot of the Buick enough for Julie to see that a blood stained axe was lying in the back of the car.

“Oh no”, Julie thought, “we are really now in the hands of two murderers”.
While Chuck and Todd were filling up the girl’s car Julie had an idea. She called over to Carol. “
“Carol do we still have the sleeping tablets we took with us for emergencies if we had trouble getting to sleep on the road.”
“No problem, but why?”
“Just go along with what I do and say, ok?”

“Chuck, Todd” called Julie “what about something to drink. I am sure you could do with a cola in this heat.”
“Well that’s very kind of you Miss. We won’t say No, will we Todd.”
“Much obliged Ma’m” said Todd and Julie went to the back of the car and poured out two plastic cups of Cola, but slipped at least 3 of the sleeping tablets in each one before giving the men their drinks.”

Chuck and Todd filled up the girl’s tank with gas and finished their drinks.
“How much do we owe you” asked Carol
“It was a pleasure to help” said the one called Todd “but we have to be getting on our way.”

The two men walked over to their car and slumped on the seats. The sleeping tablets were working.

“So Julie will you please tell me what this is all about” asked Carol.
“Have a look in the boot of the car” said Julie.
“Oh No” and Carol saw the blood encrusted axe at the back of the car. “Julie I think you have saved our lives.”
“So let’s get out of here as fast as possible” and Julie and Carol drove off on Route 66.

Three hours later Chuck and Todd woke up alone on the highway in their car.
“Chuck can you tell me what those two mad chicks were up to. There I was helping them with our gas and suddenly I don’t know anything more.”
“Well neither do I” answered Chuck. “All I know is that we had better get down the road quickly to Jake’s farm. He will be waiting for us to kill that pig of his. It ain’t fun visiting all those farms and doing the hard work of killing those animals. We decide to help someone and the only thanks that you get from two mad English women are knockout drops in a Cola. What is this world coming to Todd”.

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