Charlie wiped the sweat from his brow as the last of the moonshine was loaded into his forest green Bentley 3-litre which he had nicknamed ‘The Beast’. In his eyes she was the most beautiful thing in the world. The Beast was a heavy car with an iron engine block and cylinder head that was cast as a single unit. However, the engine was optimized for low-end torque allowing for incredible acceleration out of the gates. The Beast’s back end curved like a rainbow from the two person cab to the rear bumper giving her extremely sexy curves. Aidan had given him the car soon after the business began to really take off, and he had lovingly taken great care of her. Aidan had made sure that Charlie had the nerves and talent for driving before giving him the car, and had even begun to teach him the sliding technique that Aidan had discovered.
He pulled a tin flask out of the inner pocket of his brown coat and took a swig of the blackberry and mint infused moonshine as he stood waiting in the Indiana auto repair shop named Hank’s Auto Repair. Some of the customers were beginning to request Evvie’s infused moonshine instead of the straight stuff and she was currently experimenting with new flavors in order to meet the demand. The fruit infusions made the moonshine much smoother and easier to drink. The blackberry mint was his favorite and he refilled his flask with it whenever he got a chance. He found himself drinking more as he began to really indulge in the bootlegging lifestyle filled with fast cars and faster women.
He took one last swig and returned the flask to the pocket of his jacket. He tightened his forest green tie and buttoned his jacket before walking back over to the Beast. Hank’s Auto Repair served as the main distribution hub of Aidan’s operations in Indiana. Hank had been an old friend of Aidan’s and as the moonshining and bootlegging operation took on a life of its own, Aidan offered Hank a share of the business. Hank’s shop had also become the headquarters for car repair and modifications for all vehicles used in the operation. Hank was just finishing loading up the hidden compartment above the wheel wells and stood whipping his hands on a greasy handkerchief. Hank was a portly man in his late 30’s with fiery red hair. A child of immigrant parents, his accent was mildly tinged with an Irish drool.
“Ye’ know where you’re going Charlie?” he asked flipping the compartment closed with a flick of his wrist.
“Yeah. The Sweet Whistle off of Old Belemy Road.” Charlie responded in an off-handed fashion.
“Good, they’ll be expectin’ you in 2 hours.” Hank said as he walked over to a dusty and paper strewn desk in the corner of the shop. He began to make notes in the margins of one of the spreadsheets.
“I’m expectin’ to be there in an hour in a half, I have a date with this smoking hot dame” he returned as he slid into The Beast. “Give them a call and tell them I’ll be early”
“Now don’t be reckless Charlie. You don’t want to attract attention like that.” he said, disapprovingly.
“Don’t worry Hank I’m not going to be reckless but I have a date to keep.” With that he started up the engine and he saw Hank shaking his head from the rear view mirror as Charlie pulled out of the garage.
Charlie cruised through the main street of the small Indiana town at a lanky pace watching the town’s residents walking stiffly from store to store. He chuckled at the sight. He could have lived a life very similar to anyone of the people in the main street; working hard from daybreak to sunset, using what little free time he had to run errands. Luckily, he was destined for much more, and he intended to not waste it.
Charlie pressed down harder on the gas pedal after crossing over the rail road tracks that marked the edge of town. Picking up speed the wind began to blow through his carefully slicked back hair, causing it to whip about. A large soybean field opened up on one side of the road and he allowed himself to survey the field filled with dirty workers in over-alls. The scene was wrought in grays and dusky browns. There seemed to be no life out there, only the never-ending tedium of survival. Charlie fished into his pocket for a cigarette and lit it with one last cursory glance at the life he had escaped before picking up the pace.
He would need to go much faster than he was if he was going to make his date. He pulled on his cigarette as his car left a large dust cloud in his wake. His mind drifted to Alice who had finally agreed to a date with him. It had taken ages, but she was a high-class dame. He had met her at a party wearing a scarlet red fringe dress her short blonde hair in finger waves. The problem with Alice was that she knew she was it, but even so she was still extremely desirable. Even getting her attention long enough to flirt with her had been difficult. It had taken an extreme upgrade in his wardrobe, a fattening of his wallet and several more parties for him to make an impression on her. In any other world she would have been out of his league, but thankfully he was living in this one.
Charlie had been dancing with her when he had finally plucked up the nerve to ask her on a date. It had been a slow dance, where the trumpets were muted and mellow. His hand was placed on the small of her back, her body pressed against his. He had whispered his request into her ear and she had pulled away from him slightly to look into his eyes. Charlie could feel his heart thumping in his chest and she smiled knowingly and shrugged before telling him she would. For that dance she was his and he breathed in the scent of her. She was not the sort of girl to be possessed however and she did not dance with him for the remainder of the night and spent her graces on other men. He was able to walk her out of the party to her cousin’s car. There she had firmed up the time for their date and before she left he held her in place by her hand. Hope bloomed in his heart and with all of the confidence he could muster he asked her, “Cash or check?”
She narrowed her eyes at him but a slight smile graced her lips and she had responded firmly yet suggestively, “Check”. With that she pulled away from him and left in her cousin’s car. While she had firmly rebuffed him in the moment, it held promises for later. Later had finally come and he was shaky with expectant excitement. His nerves had given his foot a leaden weight. The wind was whipping around his face and the trees were whizzing by in streaks of golden yellows and greens in his periphery, but his eyes while firmly set on the road in front of him did not see. Instead a vision of Alice lay before him, with lips swollen from his kisses and semi-transparent clothing pulled off of her at odd angles laying her breasts bare in front of him. He longed to reach out and touch the silky softness of her skin. He longed to hear her breath his name. He imagined her green eyes heavy lidded staring up at him in a euphoric delirium caused by his mere presence.
For a moment Charlie saw her eyes vividly, yet they seemed to morph before him into golden yellows and browns, and the golden yellow of her hair dulled to a dusty brown. Adrenaline seemed to take over as he realized that he was staring down the eyes of a stag standing boldly in the center of the road. Charlie twisted the wheel hard and the deer darted off of the road narrowly missing the front of the car. The deer was running through the tree line forgotten as Charlie’s beloved car began to skid, the narrow wheels loosing traction with the sandy limestone packed road. Charlie let the wheel spin in his hands attempting to allow the wheels to regain contact with the road before trying to regain control of the car, but such tactics were best used on pavement and the narrow road did not give him the space to allow for it. His car spun off of the road and into the grass meridian. The rear of the car was sliding forward and the speed of the slide turned into a roll. Charlie moved on instinct as he pulled himself into a ball releasing his hands from the wheel and covering his head. The moment of weightlessness seemed to last forever as the car rolled over. The world turned in Charlie’s vision in a painfully slow arch, his body floating momentarily off of the seat of the car. He peered through the wind shield looking up at the grassy ground. A thread of fear began to take hold of him in the drawn out moments of weightlessness, but before it could fully materialize the car landed only completing three fourths of a full rotation. Metal crunched around him and he was flung sideways, dirt spraying into his face. He was only slightly aware of the glass shards that sprayed out from the front window peppering the arms that covered his face as the force of the impact caused his head to smack against the side of the car turning his vision a painful white. A groan came to his lips as the car pushed forward slowly, teetering before falling with one more painful thud to an up-right position.
Charlie lost all tension in his body and lay groggily in the front seat of the now still car. The world seemed to echo around him as he attempted to pull himself out of the incoherent blackness that threatened to swallow him. His body ached all over and a sharp pain ripped through his skull. He tasted blood on his lips and realized that his nose was broken. He leaned forward, undoing the seat belt that probably saved his life. He went to wipe away the blood gushing from his nose only to find his hands and arms were pin cushions of broken glass. He breathed heavily through his mouth and found himself chocking on his own blood. As he choked he felt his ribs scream at him. He ripped off his tie and crumpled it in his fist before placing it over his nose and attempted to take stock in the car. The hood of the car was hissing as clouds of steam and smoke puffed from the engine. The driver’s side door was smashed and crumpled and when he attempted to open it, it wouldn’t budge.
With one hand held to his nose he climbed over the side of the car as shards of glass crunched under him but if any new pieces cut him, he was unaware of it due to the adrenaline coursing through his veins making him shaky and light headed. When he slid to the ground his legs betrayed him and crumpled underneath him and he could not suppress the yell of pain that came to his lips. He pulled himself up out of the dirt and saw one of the hidden compartments punched open, the broken remains of the mason jars leaking their precious contents to the ground. The only thought that came to Charlie’s mind was… shit.ns 126.96.36.199da2