get away driver

Fool Me Twice – Mac Takes Off

Halfway to Mac’s nephew’s house, we pulled in at a convenience store to grab something to eat. We’d planned on waiting till we got to Spanky’s grandmother’s house, but since we hadn’t eaten anything all day, we both decided to make a pit stop before that.

When he pulled in to the 7/11, I told him to make it fast.

He looked at me with a sheepish grin. “Would ya mind? I’m kinda drunk.”

He wanted me to get the food.

I rolled my eyes, but agreed nonetheless. “All right, you lazy ass. Tell me what you want.”

He grinned and rubbed his hands together. “Okay, I want a big bag of trail mix. I want a hotdog with mustard and relish. I want a glazed honey bun. I want—”

Fool Me Twice - Mac Takes Off - Get Away Driver - Crime Thriller Novel Excerpt

“C’mon, Mac! You want a fucking filet mignon too? Hurry the fuck up!”

After repeating his order back to him, I walked inside the store and proceeded aisle to aisle, filling Mac’s order item by item. I then carried it all up front, piled it on the counter, and headed to the back to get some drinks. When I happened to glance out the window, it was just in time to see Mac pulling the truck out onto the street and driving away.

I know I’m stereotyping, but the clerk in the store looked and sounded just like Babu on the Simpsons.

Standing at the window, I was too stunned to speak or yell or even move. So, I just stood there with my mouth wide open.

“Are you okay, Sir?” asked the clerk.

No, I was not okay. I was definitely not okay.

“Excuse me, Sir, I’ll be right back.”

I hit the front door of the store running—across the parking lot, and out into the street, where I stood transfixed as I watched Spanky’s old truck drive into the distance. I continued watching as it turned onto the feeder road, got on the freeway, and then disappeared.

In despair, I turned around and walked back inside the 7/11.

The clerk eyed me sympathetically. “You do not look well, Sir. Do you need an ambulance?”

I felt like I’d been punched in the gut, “I’ll be all right.” Motioning towards the pile of stuff on the counter, I said, “But I won’t be needing any of this. I’m sorry.”

He immediately began gathering the items up in his arms. “That’s quite all right, Sir. Will you be needing a ride? My wife can watch the store.”

I stood there, slowly absorbing my situation. In the process, I almost broke down crying. “No thanks,” I said. “I have a phone. I’ll just call someone.”

The one thing I did buy, was a six-pack of longnecks. Then I walked outsides in a daze and sat down on the curb in front of the store, head spinning.

Maybe Mac was just playing a joke on me. If he was, it definitely wasn’t funny.

Suddenly, I stood up and then lurched around to the side of the building and threw up. I pulled out my phone, and with hands shaking, tried calling Mac’s number. When his voicemail picked up, I instead called Spanky and told him to come and get me.

He was surprised to hear my voice. “Already? I didn’t expect you for another hour.”

I sighed into the phone. “Something’s happened. I’ll tell you about it when I see you.” I gave him directions and hung up.

After walking back to the front of the store, I sat down on the curb once more and opened a beer. In my head, I mentally replayed everything that had occurred in the last few minutes. It was the same old bullshit questions that I always seemed to find myself asking: What if I’d done this? Or, what if I’d done that? Or, why hadn’t I done such-and-such?

It was the story of my life, writ small. And the more I thought about it, the clearer it became to me. Nearly everything Mac had said or done since I’d tracked him down, had been designed to lull me into thinking he was my friend. It all fit so nicely into my cynical worldview—just one more confirmation of my distrust of mankind in general.

Now I was forced to ask myself a question. Had anything Mac ever told me been the truth?

The story about his brother? About Tony the Toad? Or Louie Brocca? Had it all been bullshit?

By the time Spanky arrived, the beer was gone.