After two segments of Landonburg or Bust, Craig was left with the decision of whether to open Mason’s box or run away. America has voted (and by America, I mean roughly 12 people) and you have chosen the box.
We join out protagonist after the choice is made.
A glance to the left and right revealed a completely empty street. Only the sound of distant traffic made its way through Craig’s window.
Slowly, he reached for the driver’s seat, carefully picking up Mason’s keys. Examining each key, Craig’s eyes focused on an aged bronze key. The key was shorter than the rest, barely visible amongst the rest, its tarnished teeth fighting to be seen.
With his eyes to the door Mason had disappeared into, Craig reached back for the box. His wrist strained under the unexpected weight of the wooden vessel. It had grown warm in the sun, a touch of the lock leaving a burning sensation on Craig’s palm.
Craig carefully thought through his decision. Does he want to know what the box contains? Well, naturally. He felt the same curiosity he experienced every Christmas as he hunted down and subsequently ruined the surprise his gifts were supposed to bring. The only difference was this box might contain the personal belongings of a potentially psychotic redneck, a potentially psychotic redneck he was trapped in a car with.
Of course, there was no time to hesitate. Mason would be back in a matter of minutes. Craig quickly slipped the key into keyhole. A quick twist, a click of the lock, and the box could be opened.
The smell of mildew and mothballs overwhelmed him as he lifted the lid. Craig took a deep breath, preparing for the worst. Inside sat… a piece of paper.
Craig exhaled and chuckled to himself. He picked up the piece of paper. Folded into quarters, it had seen better days.
“Whatcha got there?”
The voice came out of nowhere, surprising Craig. He slipped the paper back into the box and turned around to face Mason.
“That looks a lot like my box,” Mason said, his brow furrowing as his stare became more intense. “Why are ya lookin’ at my box?”
“I was curious. I didn’t realize it was that big of a deal.”
“Oh,” Mason said, a smile creeping over his face, “It’s a big deal. Good news is, now I’ve got some company for the road.” His hand gently patted his pocket, drawing attention to the pistol shaped bulge. “You wouldn’t abandon me now, would ya?”
“I guess not,” Craig said, his voice slightly shaky.
“Good. Buckle up. Safety first,” Mason said, obviously unaware of the intense irony involved in that statement. If it was not for the gun and threats, Craig would explain it to him, but he was fairly sure at this juncture, the humor would not be appreciated.
The engine roared as Mason backed out of the parking spot. His hand rested on the gun, reminding Craig that, despite his assumption that Mason was nothing but a stupid hick, he was very clearly in control of the situation.
“So, what’d ya see in the box?” Mason asked, his eyes focused on the road.
“Just that piece of paper. I didn’t even open it.”
Mason looked at him and laughed. “You didn’t even open it? Crap, man. You got yourself deep into this thing without knowin’ nothin’.” He chuckled to himself as he continued driving before his laughter abruptly stopped. He began to curse as he glanced in the rearview.
The car was illuminated by flashing red and blue lights.
Mason looked at Craig. “Don’t you say a word,” he said, patting his gun to reinforce his point. He slowly pulled over to the side of the road.
The door opened and a local police officer strolled to Mason’s driver side window. “License and registration,” he said, the calm demeanor of his voice slicing through the tension that filled the car.
- Choose Your Own Adventure: Landonburg or Bust Part 2 (badlandsbadley.wordpress.com)
- Choose Your Own Adventure: Landonburg or Bust (Pt. 1) (badlandsbadley.wordpress.com)