Here we go again, it’s time to see what prompt Linda G Hill has left us for this week’s installment of SoCS, with which to continue this strange tale;

” “yes.” Use it as a word, use it in a word, extra points if you start and finish your post with it. “

Hmm, that’s a tough one…

The Accumulator, part eleven.

Scene: A derelict farm building. The almost total darkness inside is dimly lit by the glow of a car’s interior light, by which we can just make out the figures of Patrick and Cathy. They are studying a map which is spread out on the bonnet. It is eleven years ago.

“Yes, that’s all very well,” Cathy is saying, “but knowing where we are isn’t going to help if we don’t know where we need to be, is it?”

Patrick frowns and rubs his forehead in frustration.

“What the hell are you on about?” 

“Well, where are you trying to get to, exactly?” 

She looks at him and smiles sweetly. 

“Do you have any particular destination in mind, or are we going to go charging around the countryside in this souped up dinky toy until we run into another set of nutters with guns?”

He doesn’t answer, just gazes down at the map in silence, then turns to her and raises his hands in submission.

“Ok, you’re right, I haven’t got a clue where we’re going. I’m prepared to listen to any ideas you might have, I’m all out of cunning plans at the moment.”

“Umm, oh, er…well, no I don’t have any specific plan in mind,” she mumbles, “I just wondered…”

“Ok then, let’s think about this logically; we can’t go to wherever you live, they’ll already have that covered. We can’t go to wherever I lived, because I have absolutely no recollection of that, or of anything else about me for that matter. For all I know, Patrick isn’t even my real name and as for where I’m from, that’s anyone’s guess.”

“So far, so helpful.” 

He gives her a look, but doesn’t argue.

“We’ll need to dump the car soon, the owner will have reported it stolen by now and I’m guessing it won’t take The Department long to track down the report and circulate a description.”

“Isn’t there some way we can use that to our advantage?”

“What d’you mean?”

“How about using the car as a diversion, to put them off the scent while we get the hell out of here?”

“Go on…”

“You remember that steep, winding hill we came down just before we spotted this place, where we saw the quarry?”

Patrick nods, his frown gone now, replaced with a look of concentration.

“Yes, I saw a gate a little way past there which led to the pit workings with a few vehicles in a compound, but there were still workers in there when we passed it.” 

He glances at the glowing dial of his watch, then looks back at Cathy

“They’re bound to be gone by now, though, what did you have in mind..?”

Scene: The stolen car is parked at the side of the road overlooking the quarry. Cathy is watching for any activity from below, as Patrick puts the finishing touches to its new occupants.

“Is that supposed to be me?” Cathy asks.

“Don’t tell me, you think your bum looks big in this potato sack?”

“Hahaha, no, I’m impressed. I bet you were always the one who made Guy Fawkes for bonfire night, weren’t you?”

Patrick, ignoring her sarcasm, steps back and gives his work a final critical inspection. The small hatchback now has a new driver and passenger, fashioned from sacks, buckets and various other odds and ends they salvaged from the barn. Fortunately the car’s previous owner had also left a spare set of overalls in the back and they have been stuffed with straw to make a rather convincing scarecrow, topped off with a ball of chicken wire for a head and a ratty old baseball cap.

Cathy’s sack-based DIY doppelganger is just possibly, very slightly plumper than its human inspiration, but Patrick is only aiming for a rough approximation of humanoid, not a Madame Tussauds standard of authenticity, so he’s pretty pleased with his efforts.

“It looks like they’ve all left for the night.” 

Cathy turns from her vantage point at the edge of the road, where the ground drops steeply away into the quarry workings some eighty feet beneath them, the bottom lost in the darkness.

“I saw the last truck leave about ten minutes ago and it’s all been quiet since then. The security lights are still on, but they only light up the compound, nothing else is going to be visible until morning.”

“Perfect.” Patrick winds down the driver’s side window and slams the car door. “Nobody’s going to discover it before that and hopefully we’ll be long gone by then.”

Bending down to pick up a large stone from the side of the road, Patrick leans into the car and lets off the handbrake, before putting his shoulder to the door pillar and taking its weight. Then he starts to push and the car rolls away from the edge and back onto the tarmac. 

Patrick backs up the road a few yards, until he has a clear line of sight from where he stands to the sharp bend in the road, then he applies the handbrake and checks the gearbox is in neutral before starting the engine.

“Right, Cathy, you best get well out of the way, unless you fancy playing chicken with a couple of dummies.”

He waits until she has joined him next to the idling car, then picks up a broom handle he’d brought from the barn for just this moment.

“Ok, cross your fingers.”

Patrick slides the slim wooden pole through the window and depresses the clutch pedal, drops the stone onto the accelerator, then reaches across his lookalike in the driver’s seat and slips the car into gear.

“Stand back, here we go…”

As he releases pressure on the broom handle, the car jumps forward, the engine racing as it rapidly gathers speed, before crashing through the flimsy rail at the side of the road and plunging over the edge.

A second of silence, followed by the splintering, snapping noises of broken trees, a long metallic shriek and a final splash, then more silence.

They looked at each other and spontaneously burst out laughing.

Cathy clapped her hands and did a little dance, “Woohoo! That was awesome!

“Haha, it was quite spectacular, but it’s time to hit the road, I don’t think we should stay to see the results, do you?”

“Now you come to mention it, perhaps a tactical retreat is in order, yes.”


To be continued (using next week’s prompt)…


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