Frozen Tracks

Frozen Tracks by Åke Edwardson Read Free Book Online

Book: Frozen Tracks by Åke Edwardson Read Free Book Online
Authors: Åke Edwardson
hidden his
face so that she couldn't see it. He'd opened the door
for her and helped her out and then he'd driven off.
When he got home he had—
    'Are we ever going to move, or what?'
    He gave a start, and in his rear-view mirror he could
see a man almost leaning into the tram driver's cab.
That wasn't allowed. The driver mus—
    'It's been red and green and purple and white ten
times, so when are you going to move your fucking
arse?' said the man, and he could smell the stench of
alcohol through the protective glass shielding him from
the horrible creature on the other side.
    'GET MOVING!' screamed the horrible creature.
    Horns were sounding from behind.
    Horns were sounding from the sides. He looked ahead
and the lights changed and he—
    'GET MOVING FOR FUCK'S SAKE!' yelled the
horrible creature, grabbing hold of his cab door handle,
and he set off rather faster than intended and something
happened to the lights that shouldn't have
happened and he went along with the tram as it moved
forward, he wasn't the one driving any more, it was as
if the other man was at the controls, the horrible creature
smelling of booze, a smell seeping through into his
cab, and he was suddenly scared that the police would
come and stop them right here and smell the drink and
would think he was driving while under the influence,
that he of all people, but he never touched a drop, and
if they thought that, that he was driving while under
the influence, he'd never be allowed to drive again. That
would be disastrous.
    He accelerated over the crossroads as if to get away
from the threat hanging on to his glass door, but the lights
had already changed for traffic coming from the east and
north and south and he ran straight into the back of a
Volvo V70 that had just turned off the main road and
the Volvo rammed into an Audi that had stopped for a
red light. Another Volvo drove into the right-hand side
of the tram. A BMW rammed into the Volvo. He let
the tram stop of its own accord. He couldn't touch the
controls, he couldn't move. He could hear the police
sirens in the distance, coming closer.
    'GET MOVING!' screeched the horrible creature.

    It was only in exceptional circumstances that Janne
Alinder went out in a patrol car, but this was one of
those occasions and, typi cally, all hell broke loose as he
drove sedately along the boulevard. The tram ahead of
him suddenly ran amok and almost bounced over the
crossroads and became a sort of hard airbag for a series
of cars that crashed into it from all directions.
    ' Saatana perkele ,' said Johan Minnonen, who had
been born in Finland, became a Swedish citizen and
then a police officer but seldom spoke a word of Finnish.
    Alinder immediately called for reinforcements. It
looked bad. Cars had gone up the sides of the tram and
then fallen back down again. It didn't need much speed
for that to happen. He could hear somebody screaming.
He could hear an engine that wouldn't shut up despite
being in its death throes. He could hear sirens. He could
see the lights. Somebody screamed again, a woman. An
ambulance appeared. It must have been just round the
corner when he sent out the emergency call. A police
car raced up, and another, and a patrol car fitted with
the new roof lights that spattered light out in circles
over the whole of the county.
    * * *
    Nobody had died. It turned out that there was one
broken arm and a few sprains and bruises caused by
airbags inflating. A drunk who had been standing next
to the tram driver's cab had been thrown against the
windscreen without smashing it. On the other hand, the
drunk's forehead had been smashed, but none of his
brains had run out as far as they could see.
    He'll soon be able to start enjoying life again, Alinder
had thought as the drunk was carried off to the ambulance.
    Alinder had been the first to enter the tram once he'd
persuaded the shocked driver to open the doors. He had
looked round: the man bleeding at the front, a woman
sobbing in a loud howl, two

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