by Sparrow Adams
The stench of exhaust burned Dove’s eyes. Muffled voices from the front seat were throwing off her instincts. The fumes made it nearly impossible for her eyes to gain a clear sense of where the car was heading. Her forehead pressed against the rusted-out hole inside of the old car, fighting to see something familiar. A silo, cows, and an old warehouse with smoke filling the sky like billowing clouds, passed in slow motion. Time stood still in the dark compartment.
The brakes screeched, a full body slam against the back of the back seat.
"Jonny, I told you to pack those bags up safely," the driver said.
"I did, Billy. I did just as you told me, I swear," Jonny said.
Billy reached over and smacked Jonny on the back of the head. "Don't ever say my name out loud. We've been through this."
From outside the car, the screech of a corrugated metal door opening stabbed at her pounding headache. Maybe she had a concussion. Dove thought, the result of the crash into the back of the back seat.
Silhouettes moved about inside. It was too hard to make out any faces.
This time, she was ready and braced for impact.
The engine shut off. Four car doors slammed.
"Open the trunk, Chuck," A deep voice said. "Grab the bags."
"I ain't doing it. He can do it," Chuck said, pointing at Vincent.
She took in a long, slow breath.
The trunk popped open.
The light so bright the face appeared as fog. "Dove, is that you?" Vincent asked. "You're going to get yourself killed or something worse. What are you doing in there?"
“I am a statue who is about to get a million dollars. I am a statue who is about to get a million dollars. I am a statue who is about to get a million dollars. Don't open your eyes. Don't breathe,” Dove whispered, eyes shut.
"Dove, I can see you," Vincent said. "You gotta get out of here. Go. Run."
Dove shot up out of the trunk, disappearing into the night.
"Who you talking to, kid?" Chuck asked.
"He's probably talking to himself. He does it all the time," Jonny said.
Dove slid around the side of the warehouse by a cracked window. Pulling herself to the opening.
"How did I get myself into this business?" I don't know the first thing about buying and selling. It's a bunch of paint on paper that people pay way too much for,” Vincent mumbled.
"One, two, three, four, five, six, seven," Dove said. "Eight, nine, ten."
Ten men dressed in hazmat suits hauled the black bags. One bag per man. Moving like robots, repeating the motion.
"It's the NEO, New England Organization," one of the hazmat men muttered.
"Psst, Vincent, what's in those bags?" Dove asked through the window. "What's the NEO?"
"Where are these bags going to?" “Why did I ever agree to this job?” “Maybe I can turn my badge in.”
"Dove, I swear to God, you gotta get outta here," Vincent said. "Please go, before it's too late."
Thud! Dove and Vincent look up.
"What was that?" Dove asked.
"It looks like the ghostbuster crew dropped some bags," Vincent answered.
"Vincent, those are bodies!" Dove said. "We have to call the cops."
The bags kept piling up.
About the author
She is a recovering fundamentalist and shares with vulnerability her healing from abuse.
Jennifer currently lives in Michigan where the seasons keep changing. She has three beautiful children and two loyal Golden doodles.