Chapter 4.3Q

Double-J walked swiftly, eyes focused on the road in front of them, the sound of his rear foot wrenching from the snow behind him followed immediately by the sound of his front foot plowing down into the snow in front of him, scrunch-scrunch-scrunch-scrunch, no space for silence between footfalls.

Annie caught up to him, and Double-J quickened his pace, now almost running.

Someone’s in a hurry Annie said.

Someone’s fucking cold Double-J replied.

Hold on Annie said, suddenly stopping, her feet snapping together and her body straightening, as if standing at attention. Double-J kept walking several places, scrunch-scrunch-scrunch-scrunch, was ten feet away from where she had stopped before he turned with a heavy sigh.

What the fuck’s going on?

Exactly. Ever since I got in your car, you haven’t uttered a sentence that didn’t contain an f-bomb. I told you before, I could get myself home, you didn’t have to give a ride, you CHOSE to do so, just like you CHOSE to go down the fire road, and CHOSE to drive so goddam fast, just to get a reaction out of me.

Double-J stood still, looking blankly at Annie, his breath visible in the cold air. Annie was staring at him, her face intent and focused, body leaning forward, right arm pointing at Double-J, left arm pointed back in the direction of his abandoned car.

Now I’m SORRY about what happened, but like you said, there’s nothing we can DO about it except call for help. We’ve got a good half-hour walk in front of us, and I’d like to make it as little unpleasant as possible. So I don’t know what the HELL’s bothering you, but whatever it is, STOP taking it out on me. GOT IT?

Got it Double-J said, holding out both palms towards Annie. He nodded his head in the direction they had been walking. Let’s get the — let’s go.

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