Chapter 3: Jones
I've gone back to writing in my regular journal. I've realized that I can't sneak out and write my entry every night, instead I'm going to write these entries the tear 'em out and mail them. Places that only I will know to look for them and stuff, y'know? That way I know I can find them again, and I'm not running the risk my stuff being read. If I'm discrete about it, it'll take the others a while to realized I'm mailing something everyday. The postage is going to be killer, but what can you do? And it's not like whoever is reading my journal is going to call me on taking pages out, that would mean they would have to admit to going through my stuff.
Today we drove until around one, when we stopped for lunch at some diner in the middle of nowhere. And yet, somehow, despite the fact that there was nothing around for miles, we still had a fifteen minute wait until we were seated. I feigned excitement to fit it, after all, we had just ripped off a million or so dollars. Kinda makes you wonder why we were still trying to get Katie to this Midas character, with a million we could just flat-out buy her from him. Anyway, midway through the meal, Matthias got a call. Apparently, Midas had something he wanted Matthias and Natasha to take care of in that area ("Does he also collect sand?" I asked, gesturing to the barren desert around us, "Is this sand vintage?"). So the two of them essentially ditched us, saying that we should drive Katie to the train station three towns over. After they finished giving us directions, Matthias paid the check and they were out.
My first thought was that it was some kind of trap. A trick, you know, trying to make us think we weren't being watched so that they could see how what we would do with Katie if they weren't around. So, when Nick and I left the diner, I insisted we drive at least halfway to the town before stopping, as that would be more than sufficient time to tell if we were being followed. It turned out that Matthias and Natasha were being legit, they did have something else to do. I cannot guess what, but the total isolation from everyone else meant that Nick and I could finally have a chance to figure out what was up with Kitty without worrying about being caught. In a totally abandon strip of road, I pulled over and got out. About that same moment I remembered that Katie's trunk had a different lock than the rest of the car, Nick and I were SOL. We sat there for about ten minutes before Nick found a clothes hanger in the glove compartment and had the bright idea of trying to pick the lock. Right as we were about to, a hitchhiker approached us from completely out of the blue.
"You havin' car trouble?" he asked, a fairly logical assumption I guess.
"Ah, no, just stopping for a break," I said, hastily tossing the clothes hanger in the backseat.
"Which way are you two heading?"
"East," Nick answered.
"Well isn't that a coincidence, so am I! No chance you'd be willing to give me a ride."
"We..." Nick and I glanced at each other, and I grimaced then said, reluctantly, "Sure, we can give you a ride."
"Fantastic!" he said, and got in the back. Nick took the driver's seat this time, and I sat dejectedly on the passenger's side, put off by the fact that, once again, our plot to get into Katie's trunk had been foiled. We drove for an hour or so, the hitchhiker rambling on and Nick and myself only contributing stray "Mmhmm"'s and "I see"'s.
"So, Nick, where are you guys coming from?" the hitchhiker asked, something about the sentence nagged me.
"Vegas, we were staying at the Wynn," Nick answered.
"Oooh, the Wynn, nice. You guys must be loaded."
"Not really, just have some connections."
"So did you guys win big?"
"Eh, we played some cards. Won a bit, lost a bit, you know how it is."
"I don't believe we've exchanged names," I interjected.
"Oh, y'know, you're right! How impolite of me, I'm-" I stopped him.
"No, no. I mean, you just called Nick by his name, but we never told you our names," then it clicked with Nick too, and he started to pull over to a nearby gas station. I could see the hitchhiker was beginning to become nervous.
"I strongly suggest you start talking," Nick said as we parked, and he took the keys out of the ignition.
"I, well, you see..." he trailed off, trying to find the words. I got out, walked around to his side, and opened the door.
"No, hey, listen. Okay, it's like this... I, uh, know things."
"You 'know things'?"
"Things I shouldn't know, things that happened, this that are going to happen..."
"Bull, get out of the car."
"Katie, her name is Katie," he said, and I was beginning to grow more and more suspicious. The idea struck me that he might be a tail Matthias and Natasha pinned on us.
"How do you know that?"
"I also know what's in the trunk, and kid, listen to me. You do not want to go down there, it's going to make more questions than it answers," the was a silence.
"What's in the trunk?" Nick asked.
"I told you, you don't want to know. Just believe me on that one."
"How do we get into the trunk, who has the key?" I followed up, ignoring what he had said.
"Listen, just let it be-"
"Get out," I ordered.
"Hey man, no, be cool alright?" I grabbed him and threw him out, I got back into the car on the driver's side, and Nick took the passenger's position. We started pulling out, but the hitchhiker got up and started gesturing for us to stop.
"You really don't want to do that! Hey, listen, bad idea!" he yelled after us. I ignored him, but Nick, who was watching the road as I pulled out (my eyes were glued to the hitchhiker), started to get nervous.
"Jones, I think we should actually hold up for a second," he said. I didn't listen, and behind us the hitchhiker was still frantically waving and panicking. Nick was growing increasingly twitchy, and as I pulled onto the highway.
I gunned it, and Nick grabbed the wheel from me, and sent us flying off the road. Less than a second later, a moving truck that was passing us lost control. A tire blew, and the entire thing swung around like some sort of vehicular scythe, just barely missing Katie (had Nick not swerved us away, we would have been crushed). The truck continued on, knocking over every gas pump at the station, which caused a fountain of oil to spring up from each one, bathing the station with the black goo. An errant spark jumped into a pool of gasoline, and the entire place went up in flames. Nick and I just sad there as Katie slowed to a gentle roll, then a stop.
"This weird BS had better cut it out," I said after a few minutes, and called 911.
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