Burned Bridges (#PhotoStoryChallenge 7/5/18)

photostorychallengebridge(Photo by Radina Valova @radinavalova, host of #PhotoStoryPrompt)

((Another story starring, Issa, Ron, and V and some Greek mythology with an urban twist thrown in for good measure. Hope you enjoy!))

The ’79 Pontiac Trans Am hit the bridge at 90 miles an hour like a shooting star trying to outrun the night, tires spinning on concrete and moonlight. More monster than machine, the engine roared as Issa ground her foot into the gas pedal like she wouldn’t stop until she landed at Hell’s doorstep.

The problems in her side mirrors were closer than they appeared but she was focused on the one in front of her attempting to escape both her and the city behind them. Steady bursts of bullets hammered into her car creating fiery flashes of sparks as they collided with the protective spell sealed into the sleek, blue Firebird.

“If they make it to the other side of the bridge, we’re screwed,” Issa said, jerking to the car hard to the left. “And the spell on the car isn’t going to hold at this rate. Either of you geniuses got any ideas?”

Splayed out in the backseat, Ron kept his eyes shut and continued massaging his temples.

“Sure, I’ve got an idea. How about the next time you run up a gambling debt betting on illegal minotaur maze races, maybe don’t piss off the big man in charge even more by trying to steal all his money? Just a little suggestion for next time.”

“Don’t even try to take the high road here,” the sorceress snapped in reply. “You not only slept with his wife but held a bard hostage until he composed a fifty verse ballad turning your ten minutes of sloppy, drunken sex into an erotic version of the twelve labors of Hercules, starring your dick. I think we both know who the real villain is here. Besides, those races were rigged. Let’s just focus on killing this scum-sucking bastard and getting back in Dionysus’ good graces.”

“They’re going to get away,” the Indian woman sitting in the passenger seat muttered, nonchalantly turning the page of the book in her hands.

Issa frowned but kept her eye narrowed in on the black car ahead.

“V, are you saying that because you actually looked into the future and saw a possibility of it happening or are you just being patronizing?”

There was a brief pause before V answered in the same blasé tone as before.

“Both.”

Grinding enamel into enamel as she clenched her jaw, Issa growled, “Well you can just shove that future straight up Fate’s ass because it’s not gonna’ happen. Ron, reach under V’s seat and grab the emergency kit.”

With a diaphragm-deep groan, the knight rolled over and pulled out a large, black case from under the passenger’s seat. Popping it open, he balked at the contents.

“Why do you have a grenade launcher?!”

“It was in the emergency kit, right? Obviously it’s for emergencies.”

Eyes pinging between Issa and the weapon, Ron said with rising panic, “I’m the sword guy! You know, master of blades and literally anything else that doesn’t shoot projectiles or explode! Give me the wheel. I’ll drive and you shoot this unholy disgrace to the sacred art of killing cheating arseholes.”

“I can smell the tequila on your breath from up here,” said Issa, annoyed. “There’s no way you’re driving my baby, even if you weren’t drunk.”

“You were drinking with me! I passed out and when I came to, you were still drinking!”

“And I’ve repeatedly told you and half the cops in this damn city that I drive better drunk. Now take your balls out of your purse, man the eff up, and grab that grenade launcher!”

Grumbling under his breath, Ron did as instructed, sliding out one panel of the car’s T-top roof. Lifting the grenade launcher into his arms, he stood up, trying to keep himself and the weapon balanced against the wind punching him in the face.

“A little help, V? I can’t see a damn thing!” Ron shouted above the rushing air, trying to take aim at the speeding vehicle.

Sighing, the goddess didn’t look up from her book as she replied, “Don’t pull the trigger until I say so. I just got to the good part in this book and I don’t want to end up in one of those futures where you accidentally blow up our car.”

A few tense seconds of silence passed before Issa blurted out, “C’mon, V, they’ve almost reached the end of the bridge!”

Vishma’s third eye blinked slowly, her other two eyes glued to the book. “I can see that. I have two more eyes than you. Light ‘em up, Ron.”

“Here goes noth—” Ron announced, abruptly interrupting himself by pulling the trigger and taking the brunt of the recoil directly to his shoulder.

“Shit! I think I fractured my armpit!” he cursed out loud, wincing as he dropped back into his seat.

His shot hit true, striking one of the back wheels and sending the other car into a fiery barrel roll until it skidded to a stop. The mangled passenger door was violently thrust out into the road and a lone figure crawled out of the burning wreckage. Staggering to the edge of the bridge, the man quickly placed the large object in his hands onto his back and jumped.

Issa yanked the steering wheel hard to the right and slammed on the brakes. Jumping out of the car, she raced to the bridge’s guardrails, peering out over the dark river below. In the distance, heading for the city on the other side, she could make out the twin streams of flaming exhaust from a jetpack. Clutching his shoulder, Ron shuffled up to stand at the railing as well and stared with her.

“Daedalus, that crafty bastard,” he said, shaking his head in disbelief. “Of course he’d have a bloody jetpack.”

“Told you he’d get away,” V reminded them from the car, matter-of-factly.

Trying to erase the failure from her sight, Issa squeezed her eyes shut and pinched the bridge of her nose. Daedalus had fled to the one place he knew she wouldn’t follow. The one place she vowed she’d never return to. However, unfortunately for him and even more unfortunately for her, Issa didn’t have much of a choice.

“Get back in the car,” she told the knight in a hushed voice.

Ron only needed to take one look at her face to grasp exactly what she was thinking and instantly recognize it for the terrible idea that it was.

“You’re not serious, right? Issa, c’mon, you can’t honestly be considering this. You’re going to get us all killed! Perhaps permanently!”

He saw the Devil in her smile as she turned to him with the end of the world in her eyes and said, “That’s the plan, Ronny. That’s always been the plan.”

Then, laughing in a melodically maniacal kind of way, she purposefully patted him on his injured shoulder and walked back to the car. Without a word, V slid a bookmark onto the page that she suddenly found far less interesting than the story unfolding in reality, and gently closed her book.

 

 

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