The cherry-red Camaro raced across the desert highway like a bat out of hell, a plume of dust rising from the road behind it. The dust served two purposes. One: it made the car look completely badass; and two: it obscured the coming light of dawn that threatened to burn the land and any really slow moving vampires that happened to be hanging around.
Any vampire with a sense of drama who was waiting for the sun to come up and explode its light across the land like it does in the movies was going to be very disappointed since the sun moves very slowly, drama be damned. You could almost say it moved “glacially” if you like that kind of joke. In any case, forget about the hypothetical drama-queen vampire; he isn’t important, and neither is he real. Focus instead on the muscle car plowing its way across the landscape, its windows tinted a very illegal shade of dark. If you wanted to meet any vampires, you would have to look no further than that car.
“Almost there Bobbikins! Two minutes and then you’re going to BURN!”
This was from the crazed, and at the same time, extremely attractive blonde woman who drove the car as aggressively as she could. She was the kind of woman that this muscle car had no doubt been made for. The designer hadn’t known it at the time of course, but if pressed he might have described a scene just like this one, where a beautiful blonde woman manhandled his well designed and loud assemblage of machinery across a desert. He would, of course, have left out the fact that this woman was dressed entirely in black from head to toe, including the leather gloves on her hands and the leather jacket that she wore so well. He would also have left out the fact that she was a vampire.
Since she isn’t the one telling this story, and because I’m still very pissed off at her, I’m going to lie and say that she isn’t that important. The reason I’m still pissed off at her is that at that very moment, I was in the trunk of the car and it was getting very uncomfortable.
“I don’t want to burn!” I yelled back, although it was doubtful that she could hear me over the noise of the engine.
I kicked once again at the closed trunk even though my fast efforts over the past 15 minutes had been futile. The inside of the trunk was smeared with my blood, and my hands were almost hamburger by that point, but when someone is threatening to set you on fire, you kinda owe it to yourself to avoid that fate as much as possible. This time I kicked outward, having finally gotten into a position that while not entirely comfortable, gave me some leverage.
To my surprise, the trunk flew open with almost no effort, and I stared stupidly at the open space for way too long. I hadn’t even had time to really process what had just happened and hadn’t actually made any plans beyond getting the damn trunk open.
I somehow heard Beatrice swear, and the car began to power down as she took her foot off the gas.
I didn’t wait.
I cursed myself for being an atheist since I didn’t have any kind of god to pray to or swear at, and threw myself out of the back of the car.
There is a saying about throwing yourself out of the back of a moving vehicle traveling at what feels to be the speed of light. The saying goes something like this: “Don’t do it.”
If this were a movie, this would be the exact time they would do a hilarious freeze-frame of me flying through the air. This would be the split-second before gravity noticed that I was doing something that I shouldn’t be, but at that moment, you could believe that man could fly. Yes, it is an awkward kind of flying, legs all splayed out behind me, hands bound together with duct-tape, mouth open in a full scream that would inevitably end with a stream of cuss words that would brilliantly illustrate my pain to anyone watching. In the distance behind me, the car is no doubt slamming on the brakes, a cloud of acrid smoke rising from the tires to join the dust cloud that so eagerly followed the vehicle.
Go ahead and laugh. You know you want to. You don’t have to deal with the pain of landing and bouncing down the desert road. No, that was my particular fate at that moment, that frozen moment that never happened because gravity is a bitch and has no sense of drama.
Roll and bounce.
That, of course, was my progress down the road. It may have gone on a little bit longer than that since we were traveling at well over 140 kilometers per hour and man, that is a lot of rolling and a lot of pain to deal with.
I was a mass of scrapes and cuts and bruises as I somehow managed to pull myself to my very unsteady feet. My head was ringing in that familiar “you just got a concussion” way, and my brain was telling me that all senses were buried in a thick fog. Something was screaming at me to get moving, don’t look back, just get moving and run and for fuck’s sake, don’t look back—
I looked back.
Striding towards me at speed through the dust and smoke was Beatrice and goddamn if she wasn’t the angel of death. The katana that she unsheathed as she walked added to the ensemble in a way that said she knew exactly how cool she looked, but that was Beatrice for you.
“Don’t run Bob! Embrace it!”
“Fuck that!” I yelled. “How about we do the complete opposite of that?” Beatrice only laughed and sped up her walk. I tried to implore to her good side. “How about we go someplace dark and talk about me not dying?”
“Blaze of glory Bob!”
I looked over my shoulder at the horizon where the sun was still promising an eventual appearance and then looked back to Beatrice, suddenly tired of running. Or maybe I was just too damn tired and beat up to run. Either way, it worked out the same: I was fucked.
I watched Beatrice rise into the air, sword held up to strike. It was a beautiful and well-rehearsed jump that sent her flying over the fifty feet between us. Now that I think of it, it was the kind of leap that would have been awesome in a movie, especially with the sword raised like that. From my perspective on the ground though it was utterly terrifying.
I could see that Beatrice’s fangs were bared in a grin, and I knew she was getting a kick out of the violence she was about to inflict on me. Her brilliant blue vampire eyes focused on my own as she prepared to drive the sword through my heart.
At least I would go out like I tried to live my life: I raised my both of my battered and torn middle fingers and flipped her off.
Almost everything I just told you is a lie. Not the actual story, just more of a “fact-type thing” if you know what I mean. If you ask Beatrice what happened, believe me, her story would be completely different, and it would not even involve a car speeding through a desert! Like seriously? Who tells a story this epic and leaves out a speeding car in the desert?
Fine! Be that way then.
Look, facts don’t matter here, only the truth, and the truth is that my story changes every time I tell it. It’s not entirely my fault though. I mean it’s not like I’m going out of my way to lie. I just end up editing stuff a little bit here and there, you know, so I look more badass. More like a hero. Everybody does it, just in tiny ways. Sometimes it’s just about how you totally got the best of that jackass who cut in front of you at Starbucks with the perfectly timed snide comment (even though you only thought of it twenty minutes after the fact). Or maybe the story about how you finally told off Sara and walked out on her (instead of how you begged for her to stay and she left anyway and took the XBox with her since she’s the one who had actually paid for it). How you tell the story of it shapes how everybody looks at you, and you want to see the look on their faces as they imagine themselves in your shoes and think of how they would have done the exact same thing, only they, of course, imagine that they look even more badass.
People are strange that way.
So anyway, sticking to the facts: the desert thing never happened. The truth is, I’m from Toronto, and there are no deserts anywhere around here, at least not unless you drive a few hours away and even then there’s still no real desert to speak of. It just doesn’t sound so cool when it’s the road to the Beaches that we’re talking about.
I didn’t escape from a car trunk either, although that would have been a lot cooler and less embarrassing than what actually did happen, and then there’s the whole sordid mess of how I even got to that point at all. That’s a whole story all by itself, and I can either give you the cliff notes version or get into all of the gritty detail, but nobody’s got time for that, right?
Oh, you do? Of course, you do.
Fine then. I’ll try to be as honest as possible, but don’t hold me to that. When there’s a chance for me to look like a badass, I’m probably going to take that option, so I’m not making too many promises. Just as long as we agree that everything I’m about to tell you is almost the complete truth.
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