We rolled with only minor slowdowns. The worst delay was near Louisville outside of La Grange which I had thought was in Texas. I remember one of my "Uncles" playing some band that sang a song about it over and over. He would be sitting back in the recliner, knocking back a bear or five, and would tell me "That's real music boy. They don't play shit like this no more. " I learned not to come inside when he started playing that music, especially if Mom was home. He got excitable and he when he did they went at it like animals. It also didn't help that I had, without thinking, said "Thank God" the first time he told me that.
I blew down the side of the road and stopped only when I had to. The Army guy told me they were conducting a tactical counter insurgency sweep a couple of miles away and they didn't want people getting off the ramps and driving into the operational area. He was more than a little patronizing about telling me this too. I told him that was great but I was transporting suspected insurgents to Louisville and I was not going to be getting off on any ramps around here. He gave me reluctant tactical permission to proceed. I resisted the desire to shoot him, got back in the truck and kept going. It was nice. No traffic and I was able to stay at 60 mph for about 30 minutes. I was feeling good. I started looking for crows and trying to contact Freya. I saw plenty of crows but I wasn't getting a connection yet.
It was a couple of hours before nightfall and I wanted to find something to eat and a place to sleep so I took the off ramp from I-64 a few miles out of Louisville for some state highway that desperately needed its pot holes filled in three years ago. Driving one of those electric hybrid cars might save you some money but if they didn't start fixing these local roads soon you would end up saving even more gas because that hybrid wasn't going to be able to go anywhere. Even the Interstate required me to keep the speed down so I could avoid some of the holes that pockmarked it. Jesus and Juan appreciated it I'm sure. They were going to be even more bruised since they had been bouncing around in the back every time I caught a hole too fast.
I pulled off the state road into a roadside pullover that was the home of a couple of sofas and a burnt our car of unknown make. There was an empty suitcase in the weeds not far from it and some clothes that were well on the way to rotting into rags strewn around it. Leftovers from someone else who tried to make a run for it. It was getting to the point were I didn't even notice anymore the wrecks that still littered the roads.
"Okay Zane. Gather up all our cell phones and the other stuff they gave us at the camp. Get them together and stay in the truck for now."
I jumped down, closed the cab door behind me and told my two terrorists "Hey guys." Then I dropped the gate and motioned them to get out. Once they were out I told them "Okay. Turn around." That's when the older one dropped to his knees and began begging me not to shoot him.
I looked at him. I looked at the younger one who looked like he was going to bust out into tears any second and said "You idiots. I'm not going to shoot you. I'm going to cut you loose. Get up and turn around."
Both of them were babbling their thanks as I cut them loose. I think the young one wanted hug me but changed his mind. I'm not really a hugging type of guy.
"Look. I'm going to leave you some clothes and cell phones. They're yours. Just don't tell anyone where you got them. You're on your own."
Juan and Jesus were still thanking me and swearing on some saints heart they would never say anything. I had backed up a bit as I wanted a little room when I walked back to the truck. I had made it halfway when the younger one stopped me cold. He said "Don't worry sir. We tell no one about the bodies we saw in the garbage."