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Last Girls, Chapter Two


  01:57:00 am, by Nic Wilson   , 870 words  
Categories: Last Girls

Last Girls, Chapter Two

Angel came to with Betsy's hand on his shoulder, shaking him. His neck ached. He'd played football in high school, and been in a car accident before, so he recognized the injury. ?Everybody okay?? he asked, his whiplash preventing him from turning his neck far to check more than thirty degrees.
?We seem fine,? Alan said. ?Injuries you'd expect from a car accident. So far I'm not seeing anything too catastrophic.? He squeezed himself through the hole between the passenger eat and the door. He helped Denny out, then Betsy, then Angel.
Angel stretched, feeling the tension in his back. He was going to need to do some squats to loosen things back up.
Then he saw where they were. It was an auto yard, with crushing equipment scattered around. A heavy fog hung over the place. ?What the hell?? he asked. ?They just towed us to the wrecking yard?? he asked.
?Apparently,? Kelly said, from behind the front-end.
?Was anyone conscious?? Angel asked. ?Did anybody see what happened??
They exchanged glances, but no one volunteered anything.
?That can't be legal,? Betsy said, ?just towing injured people to a scrapyard and abandoning them.?
?How does it look?? Angel asked, walking around the hood to Kelly.
?Scraped up the driver's side. Dented in the front end a bit. No functional damage I can see- with the caveat that without something being visibly crushed or spewing a fluid I might not actually know something was broken.?
?Start her up, then,? he said, ?I'll watch for anything spurting fluids.?
Kelly got into the driver's seat and tried to turn the engine over. It growled, but refused to start.
?Give it some gas, first,? Angel said. He watched as the peddle pulled a cord, then listened again, but again it growled.
He walked around to the driver's side door. ?Try the lights,? he said. She flicked them on, and they seemed to work. ?Huh. So it isn't the battery.? He looked to the horizon, which was dark. ?Which means this is likely to be more complicated than we want to handle at night.?
He put his hands on his hips and sucked in a deep breath, letting it swell out his muscular chest and make him bigger still, ?I think we should take our gear and find a place to camp.?
?Aren't you supposed to stay in one place when you're lost?? Kelly asked. ?Let the rescuers come to you??
?If we were lost in a forest,? Angel said, ?yeah. But we're in a scrapyard. There's a chance if we pitch tents here we get run over by the next shift coming in. It's also possible that they don't have a regular crew. They might just have a townie who comes here once a month to crush cars and tidy the place up.?
?You just don't want to give up on your camping weekend,? Betsy said.
He shrugged. ?It's really not either or, though. For all we can see we could be sitting right in the middle of a usual roadway here. But if we huff it to a soft, safe area we can still salvage the night while being safe. What's everyone else think?? He glanced around at the others. ?Everyone okay for a little hike with some gear??
That question elicited a few murmurs and nods.
?Good. We'll divide up the gear.?
Angel took charge of that, too. It was what he did, take charge, because it was what men were supposed to do, especially in a crisis. And when it came to the cooler, easily the heaviest piece of their equipment since it was loaded with beer and ice, he took it himself, without asking for help.
?Where to?? Alan asked, hefting a backpack and a pair of sleeping bags.
Angel glanced around. There definitely seemed to be a path, and beyond that he could see trees, and he pointed in that general direction.
Angel walked to Betsy, and asked, ?Coming, babe??
She glared, and didn't respond. He knew that look well enough to know to let her alone. He sped up, to Alan, who was pressing ahead.
?Bets's pissed?? Alan asked after a moment.
?You know her.?
?Well,? Alan said, ?yes and no. We almost dated, once.?
?Almost?? Angel asked, his back tensing painfully, which Alan noticed.
?Timing didn't work out- nothing happened. But she isn't much of a cold fish; I mean, sure, she's most introverted, but she only gets icy when you talk over her.?
?I didn't-?
?You did. And I'm not even saying you're wrong, to argue we should leave the junkyard. But as somebody on the outs, I feel like I should warn you, because you don't want to be where I am, and not just because most of our girl friends give me 24/7 stink eye.?
?The reason you lost Kelly wasn't that you were too assertive- you cheated on her. And it's not just our girl friends who look down on you for that.? Angel pushed the edge of the cooler into Alan's side as he moved past him. He knew he wasn't always the most sensitive guy, but he would be damned if he was about to take romantic advice from someone like Alan.

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