The Detour (from Life IS a Fairytale . . .)
(Warning: This story contains light adult content; first draft, pardon the grammar)
Before heading down the 51 mile highway to the Uncompaghre resort, the guy Eddie pulled into an outdoor shopping mall within a mile of the airport. With plans to meet up in an hour, they exchanged cell phone numbers and separated to purchase clothes for tomorrow’s interview with Mr. Chaviot.
The clothes were a bit pricey for the $150 limit, so it took Cerise quite a bit of time to mix and match fashion wear. Within thirty-minutes, the guy Eddie was already phoning her and waiting at the car. When she finished, he pulled up to meet her at the curb like a true gentleman – flashing a smile with the windows down and a jazzy song playing. Cerise climbed in and tossed her bags in the backseat. They eased into conversation with no trouble. After only two miles in, they decided before the long drive away from civilization, it would be better to stop for a bite to eat.
His full name was Edward Stump from Blue River, Kentucky. Twenty-six years old and pursuing his college degree online in creative writing while he worked at a textile factory. As much as Cerise wanted to remain indifferent, he impressed her as a guy any gal would be happy to have. Maybe the womanizing was his past, and his new frame of mind was to settle down. Then again, some dame somewhere was bound to have snatched him up.
It was hard to look him in the eyes at the Greek eatery they went to next – a two-story restaurant with a balcony of tables high enough to look out over the Montrose landscape. His gorgeousness blended in well with the beautiful, tranquil scenery of the vast mountains against the sky in the distance. She was in awe of how relaxed and adventurous she felt being with a stranger in this unfamiliar place where she knew no one.
Cerise learned he lived alone in a condo and was in an on-and-off again relationship with a girlfriend of two years. Whether they were ‘off’ or ‘on’, she didn’t want to ask.
The title of his book was called the Delinquent with a main character who was the high and mighty son of a wealthy billionaire, in his senior year of business school, living in his own gated pad near campus. The character rarely went to class, partied at night, slept during the day, and seduced his female tutors. He crossed one knock-kneed mousy tutor in particular, who slipped him a poison that causes him to fall painstakingly in love with her.
Cerise excused herself to tend to the powder room. She held back her blushing when he stood up like a gentleman. She released her cheesing once she was in the mirror with the powder room door closed. What a bragging of a story she would have for her friends when she returned home. So far so good. She liked the way she looked, although her hair was a bit droopy, thanks to the sprinting for her life to catch the plane.
He stood up again and pulled out her chair when she returned. She was politely thanking him when he asked,
“So, what gives you the most pleasure in life . . . ?” he paused, then added, “. . .you know, for my book.”
“You mean in anything?”
“Yes, of course.”
She talked about her desire for skydiving. Her father was a retired Navy Seal and owned a private jet company which offered skydiving. They continued the conversation as they headed back to the car. She divulged a bit more about herself and her past. She decided not to reveal the one boyfriend she had ever had, a guy who had been class president and captain of the debate team, who had dumped her once they entered college, for a sophomore sorority girl.
“Now this GPS device says to go north, which makes no sense. Uncompaghre is south of the airport.” he remarked.
Cerise shrugged her shoulders. “Why don’t we just stop at a gas station and ask before we get too far.”
They did. A foreigner behind the counter was sitting idly reading the newspaper. He was a young guy about their age, and engaged them in conversation. He offered that he was a college student, new to the country for about a year, and was eager to know more about the United States. It took him repeating himself a few times for them to understand anything he said.
He asked about Kentucky where Eddie was from, and Louisiana where Cerise was from. As it turned out, according to this guy, Eddie was right, the GPS was wrong.
“Get your money back on that thing,” he shouted behind them.
Eddie turned off the GPS and followed the handwritten instructions the guy gave them.
They drove until they got to a long highway flanked on either side and in the distance by the mountains. Soon no other vehicles could be seen for miles around them. That was fine by Cerise. She wanted a place devoid of people, thus why she was looking forward to the next few days at the resort. If any one person would suffice to contaminate her solo plans, it would be this guy, Eddie.
After talking in circles about everything else, the sex topic from the flight inevitably came up again. Next thing Cerise knew, she was taking the survey.
“So most of the women say they want the guy to make a sexual pass at them on the first date.”
Cerise smirked and tried to hold back her blushing. She shook her head in shame for them.
“Why are you shaking your head, it’s true. Hey, these are their answers not mine. They’re just being honest.”
She kept shaking her head, too embarrassed to comment.
“So you’ve never felt that way.”
“No, . . . not really.”
“Come on, be honest now. The rule of taking my survey, you must be honest, or it’s going to skew my results.”
She blushed and sighed. “Okay, okay.” She hesitated. “Maybe once . . .”
“Alright,” he said in glee, “now we’re getting somewhere.” He deviated off the subject and pointed to a mountain side that had blue and red color changes famously known as the effects of a storm that had occurred twenty years ago. He rolled down his window and slowed down to snap a picture on his cellphone.
“Okay, not letting you off easy, let’s move on.” he turned back to her and grinned.
“I don’t know. I don’t think I want to – ”
“For my book. Come on. I’ll credit you,”
Cerise laughed. “I don’t want to be credited along with your bimbos!” she joked.
He looked like he didn’t appreciate that comment.
“Alright. Certain questions I’ll answer.” She raised her eyebrows and looked over at him. “For the sole purpose of helping with your novel.”
He chuckled. “I’ll keep it respectful. I’m a respectful guy. If it’s too intimate for you, just tell me.”
They talked on and she answered most of his questions which were more of a romance nature than the sexual stuff. For each of her answers, he would clue her in to the most popular answer.
“Now, ready for one a little deeper and more involved?” He put his tongue in his cheek and glanced at her. “Position. What’s your preference?”
Cerise turned her head quickly toward her window. She tried to keep her grin from growing. She snickered and shook her head.
“I’m not going to answer that, ” she blurted, “oh my gosh – ”
“I’m willing to tell you the top four choices. You can tell me if yours fits in there.”
“Top four?!” she laughed, “My goodness, how many are there?”
He raised an eyebrow, giving her a distorted, asymmetric look. “You’re kidding, right?”
She kept shaking her head. Even with that face his eyes were fantastic. He was turning her on, that had to stop. She took a deep breath to will her twitching away. “I don’t know if I want to answer any more questions.”
“Okay, if you say so.” They both got quiet. She waited on him. He said nothing. She waited longer, still nothing.
“Okay, you can tell me the choices – ”
“No, either we’re doing this as an interview or not, ” he interrupted.
“Well – ”
“Well, – ” he teased, then he gave in. “Okay, I’ll at least tell you the top two answers.”
She glanced ahead through the front windshield, waiting for his answer and bracing herself for how graphic he was going to be.
He started easing on the brakes. “That’s weird, what’s a stop sign doing on a highway like this. . . there’s no crossroad.” he said.
She looked at the sign as he came to a gradual stop. Her cellphone slid from her lap to the floor.
“I guess I have to stop.” he said as he brought the car to a complete stop. “So . . . you want the answers?” he said slowly, still trying to figure out the portable stop sign.
“Yeah, why not.” she answered. She looked down for her phone and didn’t see it.
He kept looking ahead, not yet accelerating. Cerise waited, eager to hear his answer. “What are the top two?”
He didn’t say anything. Cerise turned to look at him. He kept staring ahead. She couldn’t understand why he was evading the question, he had brought it up. She tracked his eyes which were moving towards her end of the windshield. She looked up and saw there was a man standing within a foot of the front bumper.
She gasped. He was dressed in a filthy brown shirt and gray tattered jeans. She looked over at Eddie who was nervous, and trying to accelerate a bit, but then hit the brakes hard as the car knocked the man back a bit. The man frowned at him and stormed over to the passenger door. He reached out for the handle to open it. Cerise hastily reached her hand up to lock it, but fumbled. It was too late. The man flung the door open.
Cerise shrieked and leaned in toward Eddie.
“Get out of the car!” the man shouted. He had some kind of accent and his musky body odor filled the interior within seconds. Cerise crouched away from him. “Get out!” the man shouted again. His teeth were a rotten grey color. Long hairs in his nose were coated with mucous.
Cerise leaned against Eddie’s arm, half- sitting on the console. Eddie wasn’t helping. She looked up at his face. He was holding his head very still and his body stiff; his eyes in a trance. She looked to his left and saw the barrel of a gun held against his temple. Another man was standing outside his door holding a gun through the window.
“Get out!” that man shouted at her, his spit flying across Eddie’s lap.
Cerise raised her arm and tried to lift herself up. She couldn’t get her body to move from her seat . She felt cemented in position. The man with the gun shouted again.
“Don’t do it, Cerise,” Eddie begged under his breath. He didn’t move his body, but walked his fingers over to her hand and clutched it gently.
“Put that fucking hand of yours on the gear and shift it to park!” The man with the gun ordered in the same foreign accent.
Eddie didn’t budge. Cerise glanced down at his foot trembling on the brake. The other man’s body was practically in the car, hovering over Cerise.
“Try anything and your brains get blown out, right onto her pretty lap.” the man with the gun said in a calm voice, rolling his r’s.
Eddie didn’t let go of her hand. The click of the trigger cocked. Cerise pulled her hand from under his. The man on her side grabbed her by the arms.
“Cerise – ” Eddie reached up to hold her back.
“You don’t park it and your lights are out!” the man with the gun shouted, pushing the gun harder against Eddie’s head. He shouted something in a foreign language to his partner and gestured towards her. The man pulled her out of her seat and pushed her toward the front bumper of the car.
Cerise looked in at Eddie through the windshield as he sat with the gun to his head. He was frowning and following her with his eyes. The man pushed the gun further against his temple, making his head lean to the side. “Now, turn the motor off!” Cerise heard the man say.
She reluctantly allowed the other man to pull her across the road. Her mind was in surreal mode. This wasn’t happening. She walked as though any second, she would find herself sitting next to Eddie again, engaging in their conversation, and shaking this aberrant thought out of her head.
The man pulled out a gun and held it against her spine. He made her put her hands behind her head. She felt her legs become rubber and stumbled forward, her body not able to stand up straight. She fell onto her knees then her hands when she got to the other side of the road.
“Get up!” the man ordered, pulling her up and poking the gun at her neck. She could hear the other man shouting at Eddie. Her face cringed ready to cry as she felt any second she would hear the blast of the gun against his head. He would be gone, or hurt very badly and she would be left alone with them.
The man moved the gun from her neck down to her mid-chest as he guided her to kneel on the loose asphalt on the side of the road.
“You’re dressed like a slut.” he said in his accent. He ran his dirty shoe down her leg, smearing dirt on her skin, then kicked at her knees to spread her legs apart. Her knee rolled on a rock and she lost her balance, falling onto her side. He reached down and yanked her up by her hair, then smacked her hard in the face with the gun. Her cheek stung like it held a thousand pins and needles then began to feel as if it weighed three times as much as the other side. Swelling encroached on her eye and she could only see in a squint. Her body shook almost in convulsions as he forced her to stay on her knees and keep her hands back behind her head.
The man walked around her lightly brushing the gun over her hair and body. He lifted her halter top with the barrel. The breeze of the air brushed across her bare breasts as she stared ahead dreading his next move. The man breathed heavily as he moved the barrel of the gun down to lift her skirt.
“That it? You his slut?” he bent forward and pressed his face against her numb cheek, she could barely feel his stubble. “Huh?” he whispered in her ear with his volatile breath.
She didn’t answer. In her mind, she wanted to stand up, push him away, and gear herself for fighting him. But she knew her body, weakened with fear, would not respond. She hoped her adrenaline would kick in, but she didn’t sense it yet. He nudged against her with his face, then rolled his head onto her chest. He asked her again. She tried to answer no, but her larynx cramped.
So this was how her life was going to end. She thought of her mother and her brother. She listened out towards the rental car across the road. She was desperately praying the other man would not pull the trigger on Eddie. Her mind waved in and out of reality. She prayed Eddie would do whatever the other man asked. That’s what she was going to do. Cooperate, and maybe they wouldn’t kill them. Whatever happened, if they could just make it out alive . . .
She couldn’t see or hear Eddie, but could see the other man leaning in and still shouting orders through his window. The motor finally turned off.
All went silent except the whistling of the wind as it blew across the mountains. It was hitting and burning her swollen cheek. She rolled her eyes in both directions to see if any cars were in the distance. She could see far into the horizon in both directions, there were none in sight for miles. The sky above was a calm baby blue with amasses of delicate cottony clouds suspended throughout. The sun cast a beautiful shadow on the mountain facing her. It’s eyes, if there were any, was their only witness.
The man stood up and brought the gun to her lips, then hit it against her teeth with such force she had to take it into her mouth. Tears rolled down her cheeks as she hadn’t even realized she was crying. She couldn’t swallow, so saliva seeped from the corner of her mouth. Her eyes bucked. She could already feel a sharp pain in her throat, as though a bullet would shoot through any moment.
The man stood over her, his crotch at her head level. He kept the gun between her teeth, her throat receiving the bitter taste of metal when she tried to swallow. Despite trying to hold her breath, his body odor trailed deep into her nostrils.