Welcome to Flash Pulp, episode two hundred and thirty-seven.
Tonight we present, The Getaway, Part 1 of 1.
This week’s episodes are brought to you by Jimmy and the Black Wind.
Flash Pulp is an experiment in broadcasting fresh pulp stories in the modern age – three to ten minutes of fiction brought to you Monday, Wednesday and Friday evenings.
Tonight, Terence Flanagan attempts to escape the inevitable, with a secret at his side.
Mulligan Smith in The Value of History, Part 1 of 1
Terrence Flanagan’s right hand held down his blue and brown tie, as he scurried to his car, and his left gripped a brown briefcase at the end of a ramrod-straight arm.
He paid little heed as his sensible loafer briefly submerged in one of the parking-lot’s yawning potholes.
Though he’d attempted to avoid drawing attention to himself, he was breathing heavily by the time he reached his Jetta. Pulling hard at the door handle, Flanagan swung himself into the interior, then paused, so that he might deliver the case gently onto the passenger seat.
The well maintained engine started smoothly, but he was skittish in his haste for departure, and reversed too quickly. The back-bumper abruptly impacted on a concrete divider.
With a sigh, Terrence wiped the sweat from his brow, and straightened his suit.
“It’s only five minutes to the freeway,” he told no one.
The rest of the exit was a much more graceful affair, but, two blocks later, disaster struck.
A black and white patrol car pulled away from the curb, slipping into traffic directly behind the Jetta.
Seconds later, Flanagan was tap-dancing gently upon the gas, and waiting out a jaywalking teen, when the cruiser flipped on its lights.
Terrence’s fingers began to shake, but his eyes remained firmly on the girl’s progress.
As she retook the sidewalk, his gaze flipped briefly to his rear-view mirror, where the patrol car’s white door was opening.
At the next turn, he pulled the wheel to the left, and came close to losing a mirror to a mailbox on the far corner.
The cruiser kept pace.
While allowing his focus to dart briefly from the road, he cut short a silver mini-van which had nearly blown off a red light, but he was heartened to see the case remaining steady on its perch.
With the freeway still in mind, Flanagan made a tight right, and was forced to switch lanes to avoid a row of parked vehicles.
He could feel his heartbeat in his ear drums, and his engine seemed to be the only other sound in the world.
His progress had brought him into a residential zone, and he was almost slowed by another pedestrian, but he managed to swing wide of the mop-haired boy.
Despite his maneuvers, though, a final twist of the wheel brought him to a halt.
The crossroad, mere yards from the on-ramp, was thick with unmoving cars, all awaiting the removal of a double-lane blockage by a stalled transport.
Terence’s adrenaline ran dry. As the police sedan came to a stop behind him, he lowered his window, and pulled the keys from the ignition.
“I’ve never driven like that in my life,” was all he could deliver between sobs.
“What are you talking about?” asked the wide-mouthed policeman who came to his window, “I just wanted to let you know your tail light was out.”
Flanagan damned himself for not having checked after his too-quick start from The Square Peg Porn Shop, but it was too late to hide his tears.
“Hey, you all right pal?” asked the cop.
Biting his lip, Terrence considered attempting to account for the exotic apparatus hidden beside him, and the shame which had driven him to shoplift it.
There would be no chance for such a discussion, however. Even as he cleared his throat to give reply, the cement beneath his still-warm tires began to sway, and the neighbourhood beasts howled.
Soon all was darkness, and explanations were moot.
Beyond, the river of cars which had brought the chase to a stop disgorged their occupants, and the fleeing runners trampled each other in their eagerness to escape the rising visage of Kar’Wick, the Spider-God.
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