After a very close vote, you people have chosen that Craig remain in the car with Mason. Although I was hoping that Craig would steal Mason’s beef jerkey and run, I’m not in control.
If you haven’t read part 1, here it is.
Without further ado, here is part two of “Landonburg or Bust.”
Craig glanced around Mason’s junk heap of a car. Amongst the scattered cassette tapes and petrified French fries, he noticed a box on the floor, the only thing in the car not coated in dust. In the middle of the stained oak sat a lock, the metal tarnished from years of use.
Craig wondered what prized possession could be in the box. Gold? Diamonds? Knowing Mason, it was probably an old AC/DC eight track.
“Whatcha lookin’ at?” Mason asked, his head poking through the window.
“Nothing,” Craig said, snapping back into reality.
“Well, I know you said you didn’t want any,” Mason said, the door creaking as it opened, “but I got ya some jerky anyway.”
The two sat in silence, the only sound between them coming from the dried meats they gnawed on.
“You were lookin’ at my box, weren’t ya?” Mason asked through a mouthful of jerky, abruptly breaking the silence.
“I might have glanced at it…”
“Nah, you was lookin’ at it,” Mason said, interrupting. His face became more serious than Craig had seen before the jerky stop. His hands gripped the wheel a bit tighter, forcing the blood away from Mason’s knuckles. “You wanna know what’s in there?”
Craig thought through his options. Of course he wanted to know what was in there. Everyone would want to know what was in there. It was a mysterious box in the middle of a car, a box that had been locked for ages.
On the other hand, what if he didn’t want to know what was in the box? What if it was some sort of voodoo? Maybe a dead animal? Or worse, what if it really was an AC/DC eight track?
“A few years ago,” Mason began, “I was campin’ in the woods. A man came through the brush and said, ‘You out here by yourself?’
“Well, of course I was. I had never seen no one else out there. The man came up and said, ‘You gonna be out here ALL night?’ I hadn’t planned on goin’ back home, so I says, ‘Yeah, I was plannin’ on it.’
“The man looked up at the sky, towards the moon, and says, ‘You’re gonna need this.’ Then he hands me a box.
“I’d never seen a box like this before. The wood was shinier than I’d ever seen. I looked up, but the man had gone. Inside the box lay a gun with a note that says, ‘For a hitchhiker on June 28th.’ I had no idea what it was talkin’ about ‘til today. You’re a hitchhiker, and today, today is June 28th.”
Craig’s eyes widened. Was Mason thinking about shooting him? What was he talking about? He thought about jumping out of the unlocked door, but taking a tumble out of a speeding vehicle was very rarely advised.
Mason turned, making eye contact with Craig. His blood-shot eyes twitched slightly. His teeth began to grind, slowly back and forth, making his up lip tremor.
All of a sudden, a smile crept onto Mason’s face.
“HA! I gotcha! That’s just my weed box. You always got to lock up your weed.”
Craig slightly relaxed his tensed body. He wiped the little beads of sweat from his forehead as he breathed a sigh of relief. “That’s…a good one.”
“Haha! I know. I jus’ thought it up right there on the spot. Jus’ made it up. Classic!” Mason continued laughing. “Hey, you mind if I make a stop real quick? I got somethin’ to do up here.”
“That’s fine,” Craig said, closing his eyes as the feeling of relief swept over his body. “Do whatever you need to.”
“It won’t be too long,” Mason said, still smiling as he climbed out. “Jus’ wait right here. Gun in a box… you sucker. Ha!”
Laying his head back, Craig could not believe that he had fallen for a practical joke from this hillbilly. How could he be outthought by Mason, of all people in the world. Mason.
Of course, what if Mason was not playing a joke? Craig looked back at the box. Next to him, on the driver’s seat, bouncing light into his eyes, sat Mason’s keys.