Back Roads

Back Roads by Tawni O’Dell Read Free Book Online

Book: Back Roads by Tawni O’Dell Read Free Book Online
Authors: Tawni O’Dell
circled the rug a couple times and lay down with a sigh. The last thing I remembered was staring at the vague grayness of my unlit bulb against the pure black of the basement, and the next thing I remembered was the sound of Amber and her date on the couch.
    At first it was just random body shifting and muffled voices. I looked at my clock: 2:35 A . M .
    I sat up and swung my feet onto the floor. I heard a moan. I heard a giggle. Then a rhythmic furniture thumping started up.
    I didn’t know how long I sat there on my bed with my ears strained and my fists clenched before I accepted the incredible fact of what they were doing. It must have been awhile because when I opened my fists I had dug bloody little crescents into the palms of my hands with my chewed-off nails.
    Amber knew she wasn’t allowed to bring it in the house.
    I got up and slipped back into my jeans, threw Dad’s coat on, and went to get the .44 magnum Ruger Uncle Mike had given me. The sheriff’s department did take all of Dad’s guns, butUncle Mike felt I needed at least one. I never knew when a rabid skunk might happen by.
    The shells were in my drawer with the Victoria’s Secret catalog.
    I snuck quietly up the stairs. My plan was to go out the back door and shoot up his truck like Bonnie and Clyde’s getaway car, but I had forgotten that the kitchen looked right into the living room and right at the end of the couch.
    I saw him above her. He wasn’t even looking at her. He had his head back and his eyes closed. All I could see of Amber were her naked legs wrapped around his bare ass.
    I stopped and aimed the gun at his head.
    It would have been so easy. It should have been so easy, but it wasn’t. It wasn’t easy to shoot someone no matter how much you hated him or hated what he did. No matter how angry you were or how much you hurt inside. It wasn’t easy. How had she done it?
    I turned away and walked across the kitchen, banging into a chair on the way, no longer caring if they heard me. I slammed out the back door, took a stand in the front yard, and started pumping shots into the air.
    I had decided not to shoot his truck because then he couldn’t get the hell away from me which was my main goal by then. I wasn’t crazy, I told myself, feeling a little relieved. Crazy people didn’t think ahead.
    Amber’s date came lurching out of the house trying to get his pants up. It struck me that he wasn’t a very bright boy or he would have been running away from the gunfire, not toward it.
    Amber came out behind him in panties and her tiny sweater.
    “You said he was a sound sleeper,” her date screamed at her.
    “Stop it, Harley!” she screamed at me. “You son of a bitch! You prick!”
    Her date grabbed her by the arm and shook her. “What are you doing?” he cried.
    “You fucker! I hate you!” she kept screaming.
    “Don’t you have any parents?” I asked the boy as I stopped to reload.
    “Huh?” he said.
    “I hate you!” Amber shrieked at me.
    “Shut up!” he yelled at her.
    “Do you know what time it is?” I said.
    My voice sounded amazingly calm and sane, but I didn’t feel that way. My insides were heaving and my hands had started shaking again. I was glad I didn’t have to aim at anything.
    “It’s a school night,” I explained to him.
    “He’s fucking nuts,” the boy said, fumbling with the zipper on his jeans.
    “You don’t have to go,” Amber told him.
    He gave her a crazy laugh. “Yeah, right,” he cried.
    I noticed Misty and Jody standing in the doorway behind Amber. I didn’t care if they saw me ready to shoot someone, but I didn’t want them seeing Amber half-naked and thinking about what she’d been doing.
    “Get out of here,” I said to the boy, and started walking back to the house.
    He darted me a frantic look and bolted for his truck.
    “Go back to bed,” I told the girls as I pushed past them.
    A dozen questions sprang to their lips, but I silenced them all with a look.

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