It was just for fun because, of course it was fun. Nobody had a stare like hers. Nobody. You could read her mind through those smiling eyes and it was always going to be on the bad side. She wasn’t having fun unless it was doing something wrong.
“Where we goin?”
That twang in her voice only made you buckle further. The bit of off kilter country in her vocabulary was disarming. What put you back on full alert was the way she licked her lips when you thought she didn’t see you looking. She’s going to hurt you, boy.
Her feet were on the dash of your truck. She was barefoot. Soles flat against the dashboard. The airbag was turned off, not that it worked anyways. Third-hand trucks only ever get touched up on the essentials. Airbags never were any good when going off road anyways.
“Cut it the fuck out,” your daddy always used to say when he got a new truck. The first thing he did was take it through the backwoods to get the squeaks and whistles burnt out of it.
The airbag was the first thing to go off when he hit a tree trunk and flew over it. Your head busted against the backseat. Thankfully this one had seat belts.
“Machete’s on the floor. Cut that fucker outta there. Ain’t nothin’ but the Lord savin’ you today, boy.”
The Lord can’t save you now though. Your eyes kept glancing at her feet. Why did you love her feet so much right now? It was probably the way the skin went all the way up her legs to those daisy dukes she was wearing. How bad did you want to lean forward and take a peek between her legs? She would know though. You think you’re slick but she always knows.
“I don’t know directions. What’s east?”
She was looking at her fingernails. The twang in her voice bore it’s way out on the word east. Those e’s followed by a’s sounded as if her mouth had to work over time to get them out. You shifted your weight left and right and leaned forward in a mock attempt to make it look like you were trying to get comfortable. You were trying to steal a peek. She knew it and turned so you couldn’t. You knew it because she smirked again.
“Mud pit. Thought you might wanna go off road. S’more fun at night.”
You’re gonna catch whiplash looking back and forth at her like that. Better focus on the road. You can’t though. You saw her eyebrow raise. She’s got you and she knows it. You know it to and don’t care too much either.
“Uh huh. You done this before?”
She sat up straight and put her feet back on her flip fops. Ratted out old pink ones that she’s been wearing all summer. You saw them when they were brand new at school. She didn’t know you existed then and now she’s in the cab of the truck your driving. Look at you, boy. Your old man would be proud if he saw you and he probably wouldn’t even care you stole his truck to do it.
“With my daddy. Watched him ‘nough. It’a be alrigh’.”
You could hear her snort a bit of air through her nostrils and the smirk was burning a hole in the side of your face, “yer daddy know you stole his truck too?”
The way she said daddy made your palms sweat. The way a good country girl said daddy since she was little, but with enough of a difference to make you wonder what it sounds like in other situations. Where was all this coming from? Must be the devil inside her bringing out the flames. There was brimstone between your legs and only one way to put it out. She was your cure.
“Nah. He won’t know. I got this.”
“Mmhmm,” she leaned back and smiled. She tossed a glance at you while she held the smile and said it again.
It was getting dark. The sun was below the horizon and the shadows were creeping. The dusk was getting comfortable and you finally found the spot. This is where your daddy always took you. It was only a few times at night but you had the feel for it. Couldn’t be too different then day.
You jerked the wheel off the pavement and into the brush. Good thing her feet were on the floor and her seat belt was latched or you would of lost her.
“What the fuck! Gimme a warnin’!”
Shit. You consider apologizing but you’ve got to focus on the road now. The path is clear but it ain’t straight and smooth. Darkness is pouring across the dashboard and she’s holding on to the holy-shit handles above the door.
Was her demeanor all a show? Was the tough as shit girl who didn’t give a flying fuck about anything merely what she flaunted in front of the guys on Friday nights? Was she actually just a scared little pussycat? Well, you were gonna find out weren’t you?
“Sorry, if ya can’t handle it I can back it up and we can go park somewhere.”
She was silent for a minute. It was as long as a person could stretch sixty seconds out without it becoming a full ten. Then you heard her belt unbuckle.
“If we’re gonna do this we ain’t usin’ no pussy belts.”
She reached over and undid yours as well. The belts flung up into resting position and she looked at you, eyes piercing with a smile.
“Go get it stuck.”
The words were fuel in your veins. You practically floored it. You did floor it for a few seconds. Dirt and mud spit out from underneath and behind and painted the sides of the truck. It looked better that way.
“The only thing a paint job on a truck is good for is lettin’ you know where you missed.”
Your daddy was a country boy through and through and you were gonna do him proud tonight.
Your head was swiveling to her. The smile on her face was beaming in the moonlight. Then you saw where you were on the path and yelled to her.
“Fuck! Quick. Roll up that window!”
Her hands dipped down to the handle and cranked it furiously. Just as the right side of the car dipped into a hole the size of Biloxi her window was all the way up and coated in a thick brown sludge. She smiled your way with a laugh and you smiled back. Days couldn’t get better than this night.
“You got a rabbit foot on ya? Another second and you woulda been covered.”
She shook her head from side to side, “maybe you’ll find out later.”
Later couldn’t come soon enough. The truck was jumping and jerking. She was sent flying up a couple of times. A few more she slid all the way across the bench into you. She didn’t bother sliding back until gravity decided to give you another cock block and pushed her to her side of the cab.
It was like a ride at Disneyland that people paid a fortune for, but turned up to eleven.
“Why the fuck you wanna go to Disneyland boy? We got an amusement park right outside and it only takes deisel,” he always used to say. Don’t ever fuck with a man and his truck. There’s a reason country singers rank it up their with their women and their dogs.
You were almost at the end of the path. The woods opened up to a lake on the other side. Some people say there’s a gator living in it eating all the fish and that’s why nobody ever goes down here anymore. Your daddy thinks they’re full of shit. That its just rich people trying to make locals lose interest so they can swoop in and buy it and sell it off as prime real estate. He makes sure to keep this path plenty eaten up to let’m know there’s still interest.
“What’s that?” She said, pointing ahead at a set of lights.
“Another truck? I don’t know,” you pull to a stop and listen to the engine flex its muscles in the night. Not a bird, raccoon or anything can be heard for quite a distance with the way its humming.
The truck continues to approach. It isn’t stopping. You’re going to have to move and let them through but there isn’t anywhere to back into. The tree line is thick and its dark. She turns to you.
“You gonna back up? Or you gonna make’m move?”
You look her way. The path is cleared of brush overhead and the moonlight is catching her body. The headlights from the other truck are shining on her face. Her blonde ponytail held high on her head is so cute. You want to see what it looks like tumbled down her shoulders while she’s pressed up against you.
You don’t say a word and start forward. Your headlights meeting theirs, blinding you both from seeing who is in the other truck. You just head forward at them, faster then they are for you. The fifty yards closing quick. Nobody is giving. Your daddy is going to fucking kill you.
“Okay! Stop!” She yells out, gripping on the holy-shit handle again and curling up in the seat to brace herself. It’s too late for the belt. It’s too late to stop, you’re going too fast and there’s no grip in the mud.
The other truck blares its horn. You hear faint yelling. Something along the lines of, “what the fuck,” as they veer off and swipe a tree on your left. The tails of the two trucks clang against each other and send sparks into the air. You keep going as they stop dead in their tracks until you lose them around a bend.
“What the hell was that?!” She says to you coming down from a panic.
“That? You asked. I made’m move.”
“Yeah but, you ain’t afraid they gonna come find you and tell you what?”
You shook your head, “nah. I know the rules. Any dumb fuck crazy enough to do some shit like that you don’t wanna find at the end of it.”
She sat back in the seat and threw out a, “mmhmm,” again. You kept on driving until the path ended, the night fell and the moon was dancing on the water. You pulled the truck up along the water’s edge and killed the engine.
“So, Friday night. Better than the parking lot?”
You could finally take your eyes off the windshield and lean against your door and catch a good glimpse of her. She was composed. Her sly grin was back. Her feet were back on the dash tempting you to lean forward again.
“Uh huh. Little bit. More exciting anyways. What’re we doing now? This it?”
You smiled through a bit of panic. You didn’t think about anything else. You figured you’d come down here by the water, sit in the cab or the bed and make out. The how to get there part never materialized. Although everything to this point has been so out of the ordinary you figured why not push it further.
“Well I figured we’d see about that rabbits foot.”
She dropped her head and bit her lip to keep from smiling then raised her eyes and looked at you, “come look for it then.”
The trucks engine was cooling but the hood was still hot to the touch. It had been put in overdrive to get down to the lake and add in a little game of chicken, it needed a rest. The night was warm and with the engine off for long enough the animals felt safe to come out to hoot and holler in the darkness. Even with all the clattering in the trees nearly everything was still except for the slight rocking of the truck as the windows fogged up. It was going to take a while to see out of them again when they decided to finally stop. They went and got themselves proper stuck.