Steam billowed out from under the hood, and every pore on my body. Who would have thought the old girl would overheat in the desert? It’s ludicrously hot out here. Before it died, the car said it was 112 degrees, and that was earlier in the morning. We ran out of water, and hadn’t seen any other cars for the last two hours. Finally, Allison saw a car coming up fast, no one follows the speed limit out here anyway. The four of us got out and tried to wave them down, hopeful they would stop and help. The older model black Corvette tore right past us without even slowing. Jason muttered “asshole” and we slumped back in the steaming car.
Seconds later we heard police sirens. I frantically tried to remember if I had broken any laws recently. Nothing came to mind, the car was registered to me, no one was drunk, we should be ok. Allison got out to flag the cop down, standing a safe distance from the lane this time. The first three cars drove past. Luckily the final policeman pulled over and got out of his cruiser. I explained the situation in my most respectful voice until he interjected.
“Any of you kids see a car go by?”
“Yeah, just before you guys came up.”
“Get a good look at it? Could you describe the vehicle?”
“It looked like an early 2000s Corvette, black.”
“How’d you end up out here anyway?”
“…Well the car overheated, so we pulled over.”
The policeman hesitated as he looked down the ribbon of tarmac.
“Thing is, we can’t have anyone knowing about that car, or it’s driver.”
“I barely even saw the driver.”
Officer Hutchins drew his gun. I immediately put my hands up as everyone else ducked behind the car.
“Wrong place, wrong time kids. I hate to do it, but no one can know about that car.”
“We didn’t see anyth—”
I was interrupted again, this time by a loud crack. As I collapsed holding my abdomen, Allison screamed, Jason rushed at the cop, and Sharon froze. I hit the ground in slow motion. Two more cracks and Jason fell. Then one each for the girls. The cop got back in his car and sped off down the deserted road. I looked down at the pool of blood spreading from my stomach, soaking into the sand and grit. Tilted my head back and gazed up at the bright blue sky. My friends were silent now, no more sputtering or gurgling. A vulture circled overhead as the steam from the engine rose.