“Is he asleep?” Joseph Ford asked staring at the old man slumped in the green recliner.
“Yeah he’s asleep.” Charlie Rocks replied.
“Are you sure? I mean his eyes are still open?”
“Man relax. He just sleeps with his eyes open because of the war and shit. Look he’s drooling.”
Joseph stared at the old man’s liver spotted head and noticed the faraway look in his eyes. It sent a shiver down his spine.
“Okay,” Joseph said, “But what are we gonna do?”
“What are we gonna do? We’re going to take my grandpa’s car for a spin.”
Joseph felt his gut twist into knots. “The one in the garage? We can’t do that. What if we wreck it?”
Charlie smirked, walked over to the fridge grabbed a beer and shoved it in Joseph’s hand. “Stop being a pussy. Just drink this. I’ll be doing the driving.”
Joseph popped open the can and took a long drink. “Okay I’m ready.”
After Charlie pulled off the old dirty sheet revealing the car he couldn’t help but be amazed. He stared at the cream colored Porsche. It was a beauty-even in the cramped garage it shimmered, calling his name.
He hopped in and admired the black leather seats. A minute later, Joseph did the same.
Charlie nodded. He pulled out a bag of weed, packed a bowl, and lit up. He had to admit he was a little apprehensive about the whole idea, but he came up with it so he had to follow through. He didn’t want to look like a punk in front of Joseph and he’d been dreaming of this day for ages.
After a few tokes both Charlie and Joseph felt calm and relaxed.
Charlie inserted the key in the ignition, turned it, and the car purred to life. He put it in reverse and slowly backed out.
Joseph simply drank his beer and stared out the window.
“Hey whatcha lookin at?” Charlie asked.
“The moon. The stars. You know.”
Charlie drove speeding down the nearly empty streets. Adrenaline pumped through his veins as he pushed the car to 120 mph.
Joseph took no notice. He was too busy talking about girls at school and the terrible things he’d do to them.
Charlie laughed his head off agreeing with everything his friend said. He chimed in confessing things he had already done, all the time gripping the wheel tightly.
Finally, what seemed like hours, days, weeks, perhaps even years, they made it back to his grandpa’s house. The gas tank was almost on empty and it was almost five a clock in the morning. The first signs of dawn began to appear over the horizon.
Charlie pulled the car into the garage and parked.
“That was one helluva ride.” Joseph proclaimed.
“Tell me about it.”
“I will after I take a piss.”
Charlie laughed as he got out of the car.
Joseph went inside and a few minutes later screamed.
Charlie felt his balls shrivel up, but he ran inside heart racing.
“Joseph? What happened?”
As soon as Charlie stepped inside he was met with a bone shattering hit to his right knee. He heard and felt a resounding crack before falling to the ground in a heap of hurt.
He heard yelling and swearing, but he couldn’t understand a single word of it. It all sounded like gibberish to him. However, after a little bit of the pain subsided the words became loud and clear.
“Little fuckin pansies. Who told you you can ride around in my car? Someone better answer me or I’ll swear to God-
Charlie moaned clutching his knee.
“What’s that I can’t hear you? Why don’t you speak up?” It was more of a growl than a question.
Shell shocked, Charlie looked his Grandpa’s blurry figure who drifted in and out of focus. But the one thing he couldn’t help but notice was the Louisville slugger he held in his big, oversized hands.
Charlie managed to roll over and he saw Joseph lying in a puddle of blood.
“I’m going to ask you one last time? Who the fuck gave you permission to go on your little joyride?”
Charlie spit out one word, “Please...”
Grandpa sighed. Then he raised his hands over head, wiry muscles rippling, and swung downward.