She was born under a bad sign and a wandering star and human wreckage littered her travels as a result. There was good luck and bad luck and no luck at all and the latter kind was hers, it seemed. Sour coincidences, events turned ugly, freakshow humans with perverse intentions, acts of random violence - these were the constants in her life and, bizarrely, she wouldn’t have it any other way. She always survived. Sometimes she even prospered from the awfulness and corruption that inevitably came her way.
As a child, she had wished for herself a life of never-ending excitement. This wish had cursed her somehow, but it was a curse she wore like some cool summer accessory rather than a scarlet letter. She never wanted to be free of it.
Tonight was just supposed to be a lift to the next town. It was just supposed to be about the road and the winding of it that signaled a journey, the linking of past and future by a present of asphalt track.
The deal was for a little gas money and some chit-chat but her driver renegotiated on the fly and tried it on in the worst way. Somewhere between here and there he pulled over to the side of the road and smiled at her cruelly. The clink of his leather belt unbuckling sent her reaching for the door so he hit the central locking. He leaned towards her, fully exposed now, and cooed some sweet nothings at her that may have been halfway romantic if his cock was still in his trousers. He waxed poetic on her curves, the luster of her strawberry blond hair, the sweet fullness of her cherry-colored lips. She slapped at him and spat and hissed. He calmly pulled a short-bladed knife. She faked submissive and when he was suckered she wrestled for the blade. It all went bad and she felt it pierce between her ribs. The hurt was alien in its quantity and intensity and as it filled her she screamed in a vain attempt to exorcise it.
He freaked when he saw all her blood and he said words like accident and mistake. He even started to apologize and this offended her even more than the sight of his dick and his twisted attempts at wooing her.
She clutched at the wound and felt her hand get instantly wet. He moved in with a shhhh and pulled her close and held her and put a hand over her mouth. His thumb and forefinger closed over her nose and she thrashed and poked her black-painted fingernails into his eyes. She caught him good and he recoiled, hands shooting to his face. He rocked in his seat and screamed. She reached over, hit the central locking, grabbed her bag from between her feet and moved.
Halfway across the road she heard the driver’s door open. Out he came, bellowing madly, one hand still clutched to his left eye socket, the other around his knife.
From nowhere, there came a roaring sound and a blinding light. The impact was sick in its volume and its bass-heavy mix of breaking man and crumpling machine made her think that perhaps death was annunciating himself to her.
In a way, he was.
A beast of a car smashed into her suitor at speed. It tossed him over its roof, leaving him a ruined mess of misaligned parts and inner things burst loose and free.
From the side of the road, she saw globs of what was once man dripping from a bull bar, blood spatters coating indented metal, a windscreen spider-webbed with cracks. A man, bald and squat but broad, hollered on about the damage to the car with no regard for the tangled heap of meat on the road.
The handsome man looked down at the contents of her bag, which she'd spilled out in search for the makeshift Maxipad bandage. He chuckled and hoisted her up by the arm.
She was dragged to the car and tossed into the backseat. She knocked up against a third man. This one was beaten and bound and gagged with duct tape. He looked up at her, tears in his bruised, swollen eyes.
The handsome man got in the passenger side. The bald man got behind the wheel, fired up the car and glared at the road ahead.
The handsome man smiled.
'Okay, so we just got handed a mess of lemons, no doubt...'
He hooked a thumb over towards her.
'...but back there we got one hundred percent lemonade and I personally cannot wait to have a taste.'
Laughter burst out of her, sudden and loud and mad and unstoppable.
This was her curse. This was her gift. She loved it even harder.
Cameron Ashley continues to make things up and write them down. He has work upcoming in PLOTS WITH GUNS. He commits half-assed acts of intermittent bloggery at http://trashclassic.blogspot.com He likes it here. He might just stick around.