Word Count: 681
Joe gestured at the road, silently urging me to get to it. I wasn’t impressed with this Harley guy. I hated what was going on enough as it was without taking a detour to some stranger’s camp. We had no idea what was there, or what these people were like. Harley was harmless enough, but what the fuck were the others like? Two of us against however many? That wouldn’t end well for us, and that was a good enough reason for me to just kick the cunt out and keep driving.
Seeing the look on my face, Joe gritted his teeth. “Cancer,” he said warningly.
“I’ll drop you off half a mile away. You can walk the rest,” I growled. The tires screeched as I pulled off, angry at the world again. I felt like I was bouncing between mindless rage and total emptiness. There was nothing else anymore, apart from maybe the odd bit of total despair.
Somehow Joe nagged me into driving straight to the camp. ‘You don’t know what’s between here and the camp’ or ‘he might get hurt’. Harley even said that it’d be on my conscience if he died out there. I did kick him out then. I slammed the brakes and before he even realized what was going on, I’d gotten out and thrown open his door. Joe shouted at me as I got a fistful of Harley’s shirt and dragged him out of the car, throwing him on the floor.
“Do I look like I give a flying fuck about your life?” I yelled at him. He rolled over onto his back, wriggling away from me.
“You’re fucking insane,” he gasped, trying to push himself up off the floor.
“No, I just don’t have time for this bullshit.” Joe rushed over to help the stranger, pulling him to his feet. “Get out of here,” I snarled.
“Cancer!” Joe scowled at me, “if you make him go he’ll be on my conscience too. Just take him and get him back safely to the camp. Please?”
It took a few minutes of them both pleading with me before I gave in, more just to shut them up than anything. Harley thanked me and climbed back into the car behind me and Joe. He directed me up to the camp. When we rounded the corner into the clearing they’d set up a few tents in, we were greeted with the sight of a few curious faces. And a few loaded guns pointing at us.
Harley jumped out of the car and quickly explained what had happened – tactfully skipping over the part where I wanted to rip his throat out – and the guns were lowered. He gestured for us to get out.
Joe was a lot more willing than I was. He seemed to just be glad to see some friendly faces. I, on the other hand, was less than enthusiastic about the whole thing. Friendly faces don’t often stay friendly around me.
There was about ten of them in this group. With Harley it was eleven. They all looked on curiously as the strange ginger kid with broken glasses and the irritable half naked guy stepped out of the car. I could see a couple of teenagers, maybe two or three years younger than Joe, their parents, a couple in their fifties, three black people that were looking at me as if they expected me to knife them any second – clearly they picked up on the fact I’m white trailer trash quicker than the others – and an old woman that looked like she belonged in a rocking chair on a porch, cradling a shotgun.
“He looks like trouble,” the old woman was glaring at me.
“Well, he saved my life. It’s only fair we repay them with a good night’s sleep, isn’t it? And maybe a decent meal. I saw all that candy in the back of your car,” he glanced up with a smile, trying to break the ice. He was gonna need more than that to warm me to him.