The Cadillac Diaries: Episode 8

Chop Shop Suey

November 2007

It was a brisk day as Ray leisurely drove the Cadillac down Main Street, enjoying the chilly air and the glorious colors of autumn. Up front, Pete paced back and forth trotting from the open window to the middle of the seat.

“Relax, buddy. Everything’s fine,” Ray assured him.

Pete gave no response, just kept pacing.

As the Cadillac pulled to a stop, Ray rested his head against the seat and exhaled deeply.

“I have to admit I thought getting out of there was going to be a little tougher,” he said.

Just as Ray looked over at Pete, a gun went off sending a bullet smashing through the back window of the Cadillac. When Ray ducked his head and looked back, he saw a black truck speeding towards him. He slammed on the gas, spinning the rear tires as the car pushed forward.

“Get your head down!” Ray yelled.

Pete barked excitedly.

“I can’t hide! I have to drive!” Ray snapped.

He knew the Cadillac couldn’t outrun the truck, so he needed a plan fast. The truck kept coming and was almost on Ray’s bumper when he spotted a sharp right just ahead. Quickly pulling the emergency brake, Ray sharply turned the wheel causing the Cadillac to slide around the corner. The truck shot past, its tires screeching as the driver hit the brakes.

“That’s not going to keep working,” Ray said.

He drove the accelerator to the floor, and the speedometer peaked out. But the truck had made the turn and was catching up. When Ray’s eyes scanned the street ahead looking for help, he spotted the nose of a cop car as it pulled up to the intersection.

“This has to be close,” he said.

As the cop started to pull out, Ray swerved to the right, blasted his horn, and just grazed past the front end of the patrol car. When the cop clicked on his red and blue lights and hit the siren, the black truck made a sudden left turn breaking off the chase.

“Well that helped. At least now we’ve reduced the risk of getting shot,” Ray said.

Pete barked as he jumped back and forth.

“Don’t blame me. This is your fault,” Ray reminded Pete.

The dog lowered his head and whimpered.

“This is entirely your fault,” Ray said.

Pete looked sideways at Ray and barked again.

“Now you’re just lying,” Ray said. “Think back. You’re getting all the blame for this.”

Pete stopped barking and tilted his head to one side.

4 Days Earlier

When the doors opened that morning, Ray reluctantly followed Deborah inside the supermarket as Pete trotted faithfully behind.

“I’m sorry, Dad, but you’ve got to start eating more vegetables. A diet of pizza and tangerines isn’t healthy, “ Deborah said.

“I eat vegetables,” Ray defended.

“Spaghetti sauce doesn’t count,” Deborah snapped, brows raised.

“Well if you’re going to tie my hands,” Ray said.

“I have to,” Deborah answered. “You won’t listen to me.”

“Excuse me, sir,” one of the store employees called as he approached Ray.

“Yea?” Ray asked.

“I’m afraid I can’t allow your dog in here. You’ll have to take him outside,” the man instructed.

“He won’t listen to me. You try,” Ray said.

The employee turned away from Ray and faced Pete, who appeared to be watching the conversation.

“Out!” the man ordered, pointing towards the door.

Pete yawned and stretched out onto the cool floor, indifferent to the demand.

“Outside, now!” the man insisted.

Pete looked up at the employee, hopped up, and walked further inside the store. The man glared at Ray who let out a sigh and went after the dog.

Deborah waited with the man for Ray’s return. After a few minutes, she apologized,

“I’m sorry. The dog tends to be very stubborn.”

She turned and hurried off in the direction Ray and Pete had gone. When she was out of earshot, she said,

“I wonder where he gets it from?”

A few aisles over, Deborah spotted Ray engaged in conversation with a woman in her mid forties. Pete was looking up at the woman’s tear-stained face.

Deborah hurried over and asked,

“What’s wrong?”

“Hey, sweetheart. This is Kelly Baker. Her daughter Brooke was attacked recently and found lying in the street over near the college. She had been beaten near to death. When Kelly’s husband Brian tried to find out what happened to his daughter, he was arrested and charged with attempted murder,” Ray explained.

“Oh, I’m so sorry,” Deborah said. “My husband Richard is a police officer, and I can ask him if he would mind looking into it.”

“Thank you. That would also help,” Mrs. Baker said.

Deborah gently patted Mrs. Baker’s shoulder. “I’ll call him right away. Your husband’s name is Brian Baker, correct?”

Mrs. Baker nodded, and Deborah dialed Richard’s cell. After talking with him for a few minutes, she hung up and said,

“My husband’s name is Detective Richard Clay. Okay? He promised he’d check into it and. . .” Deborah trailed off and looked at Mrs. Baker with a confused expression.

“Did you say that would also help?” she asked emphasizing the word also.

“Yes. Your father said he’d look into it,” Mrs. Baker explained.

“What?” Deborah asked.

She turned to see Ray slowly walking away.

“Daddy!” Deborah snapped.

“Run, man, run!” Ray said to Pete.

Deborah apologized to Mrs. Baker and hurried after Ray who was fleeing the supermarket.

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Published in: on August 2, 2010 at 12:39 am  Leave a Comment  

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