The shitty Japanese thing that still clung to the illusion of being a car more or less sped along highway 10 towards a destination unknown to Ricky. He was driving, with the baggy-bloused lady’s gun still pointed at him, but she was just giving directions minute by minute, like a living blond GPS with too flat a chest. At least with a real GPS you could imagine the voice’s owner according to your own preferences. Ricky sighed and tried to focus.
One of his present problems with focus was that the radio was playing frigging Supertramp, from a cassette tape, for Christ’s sake. Even with the windows rolled all the way down, the noise of the wind couldn’t mask the intolerable Wurlitzer chords that filled the hot summer air. He tried conversation.
“Where are we going?” he asked, screaming to cover the wind and the Wurlitzer.
But the lady shook her head. “You’ll see.”
“At least tell me your name then,” he said.
Not going anywhere. “So, you like Supertramp?” Gunpoint was a good excuse for shitty lines.
“No,” she said.
Ok. “So… why are we listening to it then?” he said, and extended his hand towards the off button.
She batted his arm down with such force that his hand hit the gearshift. “DON’T TURN IT OFF!” she screamed.
“Ouch! You’re insane.”
She clenched her teeth, muttered “I wish I was,” and said nothing for the rest of the trip.
They finally arrived as dawn brought a fine band of pink and grey on the horizon. She’d made them take several detours and side roads, probably to try and confuse him. Ricky let her think it had worked, but he knew they were about 15.5 km northeast of Lac-Mégantic, near the US border. To the best of his knowledge, there was nothing out here.
They took a dirt road and drove through a wrought-iron gate. Ricky looked for a sign, a name plaque, anything, but the property seemed anonymous, at least from this entrance. Then in the distance, over the trees, he saw a bell tower.
“Taking me to church, lady?” he said. “Isn’t it a bit quick? I mean, I know how sexy I am, but maybe we ought to get to know each other a little.”
A ghost of a smile played on her lips. Or maybe it was a smirk. “We’re here. Turn left.”
They stopped in front of a grey stone building that looked more than a hundred years old. Morning mist still hung around a small courtyard with a statue of some saint in the centre. The light was a ghostly yellow, and Ricky wondered when was last time he’d been up this early.
She took the car keys and they entered a small coat room. “Wait here,” she said, “I’m going to slip into something more comfortable”. Right before she left the room, she added, like an afterthought: “Oh, and if you were thinking of hotwiring the car, don’t do it. It would explode.”
“You’re bluffing,” Ricky said.
“Maybe I am,” she said, and left.
Ricky stayed in the coatroom, which smelled of must and incense and something else that made his nose itchy, like a weird cleaning product or something. He peeked through a small window on his left and saw a man in the courtyard. He was dressed in overalls and climbing up a metal ladder. He carried some sort of contraption in his left hand, a long pole with some large copper cables coiled over it, and what looked like a big black light bulb on the end. Before he could wonder about this apparition, the lady walked back in.
Except she was wearing a black and white nun habit.
“Please follow me,” she said.
“You looked better when I could see some legs,” Ricky said. “Why are you dressed as a nun?”
She laughed. “Why do you think?”
“Wait… you are a nun?”
“But you’re young.”
“And you need to get laid but I can’t help you with that. However, if you will follow me, I will explain to you how not to die.”
TO BE CONTINUED