The pavement ends after about five hundred yards, and turns into that fine whitish gravel rich people use. I wind through the woods, at the first turn, something in the trunk shifts, and there is a moist thump.
The tires crackle like they're popping a long, continuous sheet of bubble wrap, the tiny stuff, that you use to wrap crystal, and Hummel Figurines, and such. The cruiser's nose finally pokes out of the woods, and I see a small lake, or a large pond, a thing of beauty, green lawn oozing up out of the water at the far side, crawling up a gentle slope to a fine, lemon-yellow house. A manse, really.
I hate yellow.
The brakes squeal slightly as I crunch to a stop, to take it all in. Across the way, at the land-side end of a small dock, I see my target. He sees me, too, and waves. He points down to a gaggle of fish on a stringer in one hand, using the segments of a fishing pole, already disassembled, in his other hand, as a pointer.
I, there, a distant silhouette in my borrowed Smoky Bear hat, raise my left arm out the window, and wave lazily. Sure, welcome me in.
There's a box on the passenger seat, that I brought with me. I flick a switch, and all cell phone and radio traffic for a half mile radius ceases. No matter, I have no one to call.
I nose the cruiser around the pond, the pursuit engine growling like a hunting beast, not caring who holds its leash.
The circular driveway at the front of the house is finished concrete, and I pull to a stop, and kill the engine. The engine clicks and tinks, and air conditioner coolant hisses and spatters on the hot parts, like baby fat, frying.
I step out of the car, and toss the hat back in. The key alarm dings softly, a few times, until I gently shut the door....