The slap of the Dodge Challenger windshield wipers was one of the few sounds that kept him company down the dark and foggy back road that eventually led to his destination, Detroit. Jason Barnett didn't have time to finish the paint job on his car at the last town he'd driven from. His life was similar to a nomad's these past three and a half years going from place to place, but now he had heard an old friend was in trouble. He had left Mexico three months ago and now finally he had made it to Detroit. His heart pounded as he thundered passed the 'Welcome to Detroit' sign.
Jason reached down to the radio and clicked it on and searched the channels for a classic rock station that suited his 1970 Dodge challenger so well. As he searched the stations he found a song that he had associated with Krista so long ago. He clicked off radio feeling the emotions swell up too intensely for his liking. He was coming to Detroit to help her not to reminisce about old times.
Through the fog he saw blinking orange lights that warned him of some construction up ahead. He slowed the car to a stop in front of the barricade. His car idled loudly as if it was as impatient as him to get going.
He slapped his hands against the steering wheel and blew out a sigh of frustration.
"Damn bridge is closed. I guess I could always head back…but you know what; screw it."
Jason put the car in neutral and pressed on the parking brake and got out and looked on the other side of the bridge. No one was coming from that direction. It was one of the benefits of driving at two in the morning. He walked back to the car slammed the door shut and got in and took another glance in the rearview mirror. He took the parking brake off and threw the car in reverse. He looked over his right shoulder as he backed it up far enough to get the needed acceleration on the damp pavement.
Jason quirked a smile as he revved the engine. The glass-packs that he put on the mufflers made the car grumble and whine. Jason pressed the gas and shoved it into first. The tires squealed and spun on the wet pavement and accelerated forward. The whine of the engine told him when to shift to second gear.
Jason' grin grew larger as he grew closer to the barrier…the barrier that was preventing him from helping his friend. Again the engine whined and he shoved the car into third gear. The challenger splintered the wooden barricade like it was made of paper Mache. The car left the ground and for a moment Jason enjoyed the feeling of floating and closed his eyes imagining that this is what freedom felt like, he hadn't felt free for over three years yet here he was enjoying this small in time where he was…free.
His car landed in a shower of sparks and he heard the suspension of his car groan and complained about its treatment jogging him back to reality. He rolled his eyes at the upcoming barrier; he hadn't thought much about the barriers on this side until he nearly landed on top of them. He stomped on the brakes sending the car in a small fishtail spin. His heart was pounding from what he had just done. Once again despite his original intentions he'd broken the law. However, this was small change to what he had to do to survive. He chuckled and patted the dashboard. He shifted back to first and tapped his index finger against the steering wheel. "I'm glad there wasn't any police to see that stunt." He pressed hard on the gas and his car spun the tires against the asphalt and the car shot forward into the night.
The rumble of his car at idle was barely enough to keep him awake. He had pressed his limits physically getting into the city driving over 400 miles. He had to find a decent place to stop and rest. He turned down one of the residential roads and followed it till he passed a park. He looked at the entrance and found that it hadn't been secured that evening before. His luck this night was holding.
Jason looped around the block and turned into the driveway of the park. Parks like this one was no longer a playground for children at this time of night or morning as it was. It was dark and foreboding where things that went bump in the night sought refuge. The early morning fog clung to the ground giving it an eerie feeling of evil.
He put his car in neutral and turned off the headlights and windshield wipers. He reached for the radio and thought better of it and pulled his hand back. After idling for five minutes he turned off the engine and pulled out his .44 Magnum and popped out the cylinder. It was still fully loaded as it had been for the drive from Mexico. He clicked the cylinder back into place, made sure it was on safe and slid it back into its holster on his side and covered it with his jacket. "I think this old park is a good enough place to stop and get some sleep. Tomorrow I need to find some work and a place to live " He leaned his head back on the head rest and thought cleared his mind as he had done so many times before and went to sleep.
Jason heard a tapping sound on his window. It was early too early for him to be bothered by the sound. He rolled over but the tapping became more insistent. "Go away, Damn it, I'm trying to sleep here."
"Sir, this is a park and not a rest stop" said the voice outside of the car.
Jason' eyes shot open and rolled over slowly and saw a short pudgy man wearing a park ranger's uniform standing outside of his car. 'Shit,' thought Jason
He waved at the Park Ranger and nodded and reached for the ignition. That's when he saw the Park Ranger's gun in the holster. Did Park Ranger's carry guns? He couldn't remember, and why was there a Park Ranger assigned to a neighborhood park where children played? Something had changed since he'd been in Detroit ten years ago, especially if the officials who patrolled parks carried weapons.
"Sorry sir I'll get a move on right away," said Jason turning the ignition on and hearing the engine rumble to life.
The Park Ranger smiled at the rumbling of the engine. "Man that sounds sweet! Who is your mechanic?"
Jason rolled down his window and replied. "I do my own work on this car."
"Say do you do any side work?" asked the Park Ranger
"Occasionally why?" asked Jason watching the Park Ranger write something down on a slip of paper.
"If you got time give me a call. I need a brake job done on my car. I'll pay you fifty bucks for the work," said the Park Ranger handing him his number.
"Hey thanks man. I'll give you a call later and set it up," said Jason waving at the Park Ranger as he shoved the gearshift into first and eased his car out of the parking spot.
He patted the dashboard "That's right baby, just say you know how to work on a car and people give you the cash to do their easy work. At least that will get you a tank of gas, without dipping into the funds." Jason waved to the friendly Park Ranger and turned down the small road that led to the exit of the park.