Blood Oranges

Written to the writing prompt here –

although I missed one word.  Warning, this got a bit doomier/darker than I meant it to.  No body horror, but suggestions of murder/kidnapping/other crimes.


“Put it in the trunk.”

Chase waved the keys to send the trunk lid popping up in the air.  The sleek black sedan, executive standard, had a trunk bigger than the car looked like it ought to have, which in this case was more than big enough for the rolled-up rug that Toke and Hep were carrying. 

“Aye, aye, Captain,” Toke muttered.  “What else are we gonna do? Stick a seatbelt on it and put it in the shotgun seat?”

Chase rolled her eyes.  “All right, all right.  No need to get snippy.  It’s just-“

“We know.” Hep did most of the work, steering the wrapped up bundle into the padded trunk and tossing a moving blanket over it, moving a few shopping bags to add further camouflage.  “This is different.  All right.  Done.  Wait.”

There were actually groceries in the trunk; he let a few of the blood oranges spill out onto the trunk floor, along with a box of mac’n’cheese, and grabbed three, shoving one in his pocket and tossing the others to Toke and Chase.  “Steer on.  Over the Delaware, right?”

Chase slid into the driver’s seat and dropped the orange in the cup holder as Toke slammed the trunk closed.  “Over the Delaware and into Trenton, yep.”  Seatbelts on, she started the car with a push button and rested her hand on the shifter.  “We a go?”

Toke folded out the console masquerading as DVD-player screen.  “We’re a go, Captain Washington.”

Hep checked the built in weapons, fingers trailing along the hand-grip on the shotgun door like he was just nervous about Chase’s driving, which maybe he was, all things considered.  “We’re a go.”

The car slipped out of the parking lot like it was sneaking onto the road.  Chase took three turns to get them on an empty stretch of backroad, just long enough for Toke to flip the switches, changing the plates, the headlights, and even the way the tires marked the ground under them. 

The car that hit the highway two minutes later looked like a boy’s muscle car; the way Chase drove it suggested that she had something to prove and the way the car let her handle it made it seem like it had something to prove, too. 

Of course, they did, the prototype stealth car, the driver, the gunner with his hand brushing over the controls like he was almost hoping someone would take them on, the techie in the back seat making the car run through its paces….

… the rolled up rug package in the back hidden behind a pile of groceries that’d been bought with their last free cash.  Hep cut the orange open and passed Chase wedges one at a time; she sucked on them, pulling the sweetness and the citric sharpness out of them like she needed it to survive while she shifted gears and watched the traffic move around her on the road.  They hadn’t been made, she knew that, but considering what they’d done and considering what was in their trunk – 

The first police car sped by in the other direction; she slowed down too fast like everyone else on the road.  Right now, their best chance was camoflague.  Right now, they just wanted to fit in. 

It was going to be when they got off the highway that she’d have to worry; it would be when they had to dodge cameras that she had an issue. 

Another police car went by.  Hep’s fingers twitched on the door handle.  In the back seat, Toke leaned forward and muttered. Chase’s fingers tightened on the steering wheel; her gaze darted to the left lanes, the right lanes, the rear-view. 

Another cop car.  Another.  The sirens were all she could hear. 

She nudged the gas just a little bit and slipped past an ancient K-car.  She watched the cobalt car to the left and wondered – were they pacing her? Were they racing her?

Were they tracing her?

“Easy, Captain,” Toke murmured.  

The package in the trunk was still silent.  The sirens were still screaming. 

Chase made herself go along with traffic and tried not to think about the blood oranges spilling across the trunk, about the blood spilling…

“Across the Delaware,” she muttered. 

They were going to make it to “Trenton.”  They were. 

But then what would they do?


Author’s Notes: Okay, this was intended to be a kidnapping story, but the use of “it” in the original prompt and then the blood oranges…

Inspired (including some of the car stuff) at least in part by The Transporter (Jason Statham, 2002) and by various things Q has done for 001 over the years. 

Want more?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *