Welcome to Denver

October 20, 1972, 4pm

Neville pumped gas into the small white Datsun. He was amazed at how he could fold his six foot frame into the tiny vehicle.

As usual, the trip was going without incident. They were currently taking a break in Des Moines, Iowa before heading on to South Dakota. Bette had told Neville that Parkston, South Dakota would be the last stop before getting to mountains in Colorado.

Bette stepped from the car. “I have to make a phone call. I’ll get some snacks and pay for the gas.” Her brunette hair was held in a pony tail over the back of her red tee shirt. It came half way down to the waistband of her blue jeans.

Neville leaned down and kissed her. “Go for it. Be adventurous.”

Bette playfully slapped his shoulder.

Alice gurgled from the back seat.

Neville smiled at the baby. “What are you looking at?” A seemingly random thought crossed his mind, “You love her. You really…”

The pump nozzle clicked off suggesting the tank was full.

Neville shook his head. The voice in his head did not sound like one he had heard there before. He put the pump back in its cradle. He brushed some dust off his own jean jacket which he wore over a white tee shirt. Glancing at Alice through the glass, he whispered as a joke, “Was that you? Are you in my head now?”

“Of course it was me.”

Neville almost fell over.

Alice’s eyes were fastened to his. She cooed at him.

“You can…” He was even more shocked when the week old child nodded. “Nah, nah…I’m seeing shit now. And hearing shit.”

“No, you’re not.”

He glanced over at the gas station.

Bette was just coming out with a grocery bag and she turned left to the phone.

Neville glanced down the road and saw a dark blue sedan off in the distance. It seemed odd, for some reason that he could not yet specify.

“Trouble. Get in the car.”

Neville glanced back down at the child. “What?”

“Neville!!!” Bette screamed as she sprinted to the car. “I don’t know how, but they’ve found us.”

Neville was in the drivers door and starting the ignition as Bette got in. “There is a sedan coming up the road behind us. Do you know it?” He pulled onto the road and accelerated.

Bette glanced around. “I see it, but no.”

“So what happened?”

“Wendy says there are three cars watching her place. That means they have found her. So, we run to the mountains, now.”

He pushed the engine to the speed limit. “Where to?”

“We can be in Denver in about twelve hours.”

“Make it fifteen.”

Bette looked at him. “Why?” Her gaze returned to the car behind them.

“There will be snow down there. If we push our luck we could get a speeding ticket…least of our problems, or we could get noticed by someone who does not know what vehicle they are looking for.”

Bette’s eyes dropped to Alice and just stared for a moment. “Good point. Don’t push our luck unless we are certain we have been seen.”

“We have another problem, though.” Neville said and followed it with a low whistle.

Bette turned around and saw the flashing lights in the distance of a road block. “That can’t be coincidence.”

Neville pulled off the side of the road and stopped the vehicle. They were close enough to see six officers in cowboy style hats milling about as they interviewed the only two drivers stopped before letting them go. “Now what?” he asked.

Almost in answer to his question, the blue sedan passed them doing an incredible speed. The driver even waved as he went past. It was Tony.

“Tony? What the fuck are you doing?” Neville pulled back on to the road and slowly followed.

Tony took the long curve before the road block. The sedan accelerated further.

Five of the six officers stood out front of the three cruisers along the side of the road.

For Tony, this made them easy targets as the sedan hit the group just after crashing through the wooden road barriers.

Two officers went up in the air. Two went flying to either side of the sedan. The last vanished beneath the car. The carnage ended as the sedan hit, head on, the first police cruiser.

Bette gasped at the scene.

“Oh, Tony,” Neville said as he continued slowly behind about 100 yards back.

Tony, all seven foot of him, emerged from the car with a shotgun. His black skin was a strong contrast to his white short collar and white pants.

“Holy shit.” Neville sensed what was happening and started to accelerate.

The single remaining office fired off twice at Tony. Tony reacted by falling back against the car. He then raised his shotgun and returned a single shot as the officer fired a third time.

Neville and Bette blasted through the scene and past the cruisers doing nearly 100 miles per hour..

Neville watched in his rear view mirror and saw both the office and Tony fall.
Bette began to turn.

Neville put his right arm on her shoulder. “Don’t.”

October 21, 1972, 8am

Neville awoke with the sound of the Datsun accelerating. Alice slept clutching his chest as they shared the passenger seat.

Bette, with red eyes, pulled off the highway onto Wadsworth. Noticing that Neville had stirred, she forced a slight grin. “Welcome to Denver. Well, technically, or safe house is in Lakewood, but whatever.”

Neville grunted. “Coffee?”

She nodded. “Will you be able to drive? Enough rest.”

“I’m good.” Neville straightened in his seat. “Coffee will make me better.”

Bette pulled into the parking lot of a small diner. “He’s dead, isn’t he? Tony, I mean.”

That female voice said in Neville’s head, “No, he’s not. But he now wishes he was.”

Neville glanced up at Bette with wide eyes. Her eyes answered the question before he asked, “You heard her, too, didn’t you?”

Bette nodded. “Yes.” Her eyes searched Alice. “I didn’t expect this.”

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