Ray stepped out of the gas station restroom and stood for a minute to survey his surroundings. He'd never seen so much flat country bunched into one place. The burgundy Olds was the only spot of color in the sunburned landscape. A line from Thelma & Louise came to mind. We're not in the middle of nowhere, but we can see it from here. Hell, if this didn't qualify as nowhere, he would hate to see what did.
Mid-afternoon heat radiated off metal and asphalt. Ray could almost hear the lazy slide of a steel guitar soundtrack in the background as he climbed into the Olds. Grace sat in the front seat, fanning herself with the straw hat she bought when they stopped for lunch in Shattuck.
"Where's Benny?" he asked, glancing at the empty back seat.
"He patted me on the shoulder and told me not to worry. Then he headed for that market over there." She pointed to a whitewashed Mom and Pop across the dusty narrow road from the station. "Maybe he's gone to get us some cold drinks."
Ray stared at the Mom and Pop. Another scene from Thelma & Louise played in slow motion through his head. Another dusty, narrow road in the middle of nowhere. The slide of the steel guitar scraped a warning up his spine. "Were you with him the whole time before that?" he asked.
"No. I had to use the ladies' room."
Ray fought to control his shaking hands as he yanked the keys from the ignition and fumbled for the one that went to the glove box.
"What is it?" Grace asked. "What's wrong?"
"Prob'ly nothing," he muttered, but his gut told him otherwise. He unlocked the glove box and popped it open.
A dark hole gaped where the revolver should have been. Ray thrust his hand into the compartment and pushed receipts and warranties, registration and insurance cards around. A long, silver flashlight fell out onto the floor.
Cold fear flushed through Ray. "Crap."
"What is it?"
He straightened and looked at the building across the road. "I think Benny's robbing the store."
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