CH. 17: Lives in the Fast Lane

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"Mac!" Rachel yelled and pulled the trigger.

The bullet from her Colt .45, the semi-automatic she'd bought because dating as a trans woman is fraught with peril, ripped through the air and struck the windshield of the Selfridge's muscle car. Trisha and Darla dove to the ground, definitely too late had the shot been true.

Rachel's friend, one of her only true friends if she's being honest, squirmed on the ground clutching her left arm. The temperature started to rise as Gregg bunched his muscles. Rachel lowered the pistol thinking, I'm gonna die in the awful place, oh God, I'm-

Then, much as she had over the waves that morning, Gwenie moved in a series of hand gestures and pointed all ten fingers at Gregg. A great gust of wind blew from behind her, rippling her hair and clothing and struck Gregg Selfridge full force, sending him flying through the air.

"Let's go!" Mac's little sister yelled and it snapped Rachel out of her paralysis.

With Gwenie holding out her hands, and a tamed wind at her back, Rachel ran over to Mac.

"The fuck?" Mac moaned as Rachel got her to her feet. "Sneaky, double crossing..."

But, that's all she got out as Rachel helped Mac to her feet. Blood streamed down Mac's left arm, obscuring the intricate mosaic of skulls and pinup girls embedded in her flesh. Gwenie threw another gust and Trisha and Darla tumbled across the Latimer's front yard. With all three Selfridges down, Rachel and Gwenie didn't wait around for the fourth one to emerge from the shadows. There was another gunshot and the three woman ducked and scrambled serpentine and got Mac into the pickup, Gwenie behind the wheel, Rachel sitting shotgun and Mac splayed across the back seat. Rachel had just enough time to hear through the open window, Gregg yell, "Dash, what the fuck are you doing here?!" before there was another gunshot and the pickup's rear window exploded into the cab.

Gwenie didn't wait for Dash to answer. As she stomped the gas and the pickup sped off, Rachel saw the young Selfridge emerge from the trees, waving a scoped hunting rifle.

It sounded like Gregg said, "Trisha, stop them!" but who could say over the sound of the tires spitting gravel. Gwenie banked a hard right around the corner and a couple of hard lefts then headed down the long and winding road leading away from the Lowlands. They were a quarter mile away from the vacant Latimer home on the tree flanked stretch of cracked pavement before it was safe to slow down. Only that's not what happened.

"You can ease up on the gas, Gwenie," Rachel said.

The pickup continued at its current speed even gaining in acceleration.

Gwenie turned to face her and said, "I did."

The engine roared and the pickup began to go faster. Gwenie stomped the brakes. The Ford did not comply.

Mac called from the back seat, "Gwenie, slow down, what the fuck?"

"I can't!"

Mac sat up with a groan and clutched at her bicep. Blood poured down her from between her fingers. "Stop the car, Gwenie."

"I said I can't!"

The pickup swerved on the road dangerously close to the tree line. Gwenie turned the wheel as hard as she could and righted the vehicle. No sooner did she have it under control then the truck veered to the right. Gwenie grunted and pulled the steering wheel to the left.

"What is happening?" Rachel asked, unsure whether to put her seatbelt on or keep it off.

"It's got a mind of its own!" Gwenie yelled.

This time the Ford got so close to the tree line a branch tore into the open driver's side window and lashed Gwenie across her bare forearm.

Mac lowered her head then whipped it back up, her blonde locks flying. "It's Trisha."

"What?" Rachel and braced her hand on the dashboard after a violent spill to the left.

"Trisha Goddamn Selfridge! It's technokinesis! Gwenie, get this bitch under control!"

Gwenie yelled, "I think I've got it!" and, as if Trisha her heard her, the Ford began to gun it. Sixty. Seventy. Eight miles an hour on a winding beat up room in the middle of nowhere.

All that time worrying, Rachel thought with insane lucidity, about people learning my secret, of rejecting me, or coming after me, or killing me and this is how I go out? In a psychic car crash. Not in a million years could I have guessed this. If I survive, I'm never sweat another thing.

Mac barked a ragged laugh. "Makes sense! Can't have us telling mommy! Fuck it! Fuck it all!" And she howled. "I love you guys. I'm sorry!"

"Mac, you need to-" Gwenie started then paused. "We can't tell Mom."

"No shit," Rachel said.

"Like even if this wasn't happening. Mac's all bloody. We couldn't go home like this even if we wanted t- I know what to do!"

Eight five miles per hours. The truck began to shake at the bolts.

"Gwenie-" Rachel said.

"Put on your seatbelt!" Gwenie yelled. "Both of you!"

"What're you?" Mac said, then figured it out. "You're fucking nuts, Little Sister."

"What are you gonna do?" Rachel said, trying to put on her seatbelt and failing.

Gwenie took her left hand off the wheel and the Ford began to lurch to the side. She started waving her hand toward the front of the truck. Rachel could feel the wind rushing harder toward them. She struggled again with the seatbelt as the truck hit a bump in the road and momentarily launched itself into the air. The Ford landed and the wind picked up to the level that Rachel thought she was outside of an airplane. The Ford started to slow in the wind's drag. Eight. Seventy. Sixty.

"It's working!" Rachel screamed.

"I'm running out of juice!" Gwenie said. "It's like... flexing... a muscle..."

"Do it then!" Mac said, buckling up.

"Here we go!" Gwenie yelled.

"Wait, my seatbelt!" Rachel called out and finally clicked it home.

Then, Gwenie spun the steering wheel hard to the left and, at fifty miles per hour, she drove Mac's Ford pickup into a tree.

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