Tuesday, January 2, 2007

Running on Empty

"I don't fucking believe this."

Matt leaned against the steering wheel again, rocking his forehead back and forth as if somehow, denial would change the fact that he was out of gas.

And he'd been doing so well too. he was focused, determined, and had a destination for once in the months since that terrible night. Everything was clear, he was no longer pitying himself, and he was ready to actually do something.

And now he was out of gas. Out. Of. FUCKING. Gas.

He'd gotten spoiled to his motorcycle. An anima familiar was a wonderful thing, especially when it had the body of a Harley Davidson VRSCX and the spirit of a gryphon. That had probably been the only good thing to come out of his first encounter with the Order of St. Michael. One of them had been riding that motorcycle. A spell stolen from a Dark One's PDA and a soul gem later, Zephyr had been "born"

That bike was really his best friend, even if he couldn't feel her now or tell if she was okay. Damn Holy Seal. if he could, he'd tear the damn thing off himself but its magic kept him from affecting it in any way and locked it around his brow. Damn it.

The thing that had really spoiled him on Zephyr had been her lack of need for real fuel. She ran on, macabre as it might sound, blood and didn't need much at a time. She only really consumed the red stuff when she flew, a trick he'd been really surprised to learn she had the first time they went off an overpass. Well, flew and repaired damage. She guzzled blood when she was hurt; it was how she healed. Of course, typically when she'd been beat up, there were hostile idiots nearby volunteering to "top her off". Only fitting.

Unfortunately, real vehicles didn't take O Negative in the gas tank. They took gas, hence why it was called a gas tank. Matt had driven at ludicrous speeds past about a hundred gas stations now, never once thinking about putting a few twenties in its belly. Now, sitting in the stretch between Nashville and Knoxville called the Longest Mile, there was nothing.

Not a damned thing.

The last street sign had read Cookeville 102. A hundred miles to the nearest real town. That was quite a walk, to be sure. He could make it, but coming back for the car would be pointless if he did. Not exactly a suitable distance lugging back a gas can. He could try to thumb a ride, but
he looked exactly like the kind of person that people didn't pick up. Black trench coat, torn shirt, sunglasses, and biker's knee boots? He might as well have a button on his lapel that said:

"Hi. I am here to rape and pillage. Please form a queue."

Without magic, this was going to be difficult. He couldn't conjure gasoline for the car. he couldn't try to apport out of here, but even without the Seal, transportive spells were chancy at best. He was very Doctor McCoy when it came to the idea of breaking himself into energy and whisking across space. No thanks. Matt liked his molecules contiguous.

So that left... what? Walking again? Trying to hitchhike anyway? Kicking on the hazards and waiting for someone foolish enough to be kind? His karma was already pretty hammered; could he really afford to jump someone decent enough to stop for him?

Then, like a smack to the face, it occurred to him that he could actually just accept help without having to do anything illegal. It wasn't inconceivable that someone could just come along and let him use their cell phone long enough to call for roadside assistance. It wasn't like Matt couldn't pay for gas. There was somewhere close to fifty large in the glove box.

Feeling silly, he pushed the hazards button on the steering wheel and settled back to rest until help arrived.

He didn't wake up until the armored St. Michaels van rammed him hard enough to force him off the road and into the nearest ditch...

1 comment:

Erisraven said...

Oh, that just sucks. Let me guess. Seal also serves as a locator, doesn't it? I'd wanna keep track of anything I slapped that onto.