Ray saw Benny charge from behind the store, a gym bag in one hand, the Smith & Wesson flashing in the other. Head back, squat legs pumping, his son plowed toward the car, shouting, "Drive, Dad! Go!"
"What's gotten into that child?" Grace asked. "What's that in his hand?"
Before Ray could answer, the bag landed in Grace's lap and Benny launched himself at the open window. He got as far as his belly.
"Go," he grunted, attempting to wiggle the rest of the way through the window and into the back of the car. He tossed the gun on the rear seat and pushed with both hands, but he stuck fast in the window's taper.
Ray had the crazy urge to make a wisecrack about too much fried chicken. Then he looked beyond his son to the big man waving his hand while doing a fast waddle toward them, and the gravity of the situation hit his adrenalin switch.
"Get him in the car and buckle up," Ray ordered. He jabbed the key in the ignition and gunned 360 horses to life.
The big man waddled faster. "Wait! I want a word with you!"
Grace turned in her seat, grabbed Benny by the pants and hauled his butt and legs inside. The boy sprawled on the rear seat with a grunt and Ray threw the Olds in gear. Grace barely got turned around in time to keep from being propelled into the back with Benny as the Olds shot forward.
"Lord have mercy!" she screamed, fumbling for her seatbelt.
The rear tires squalled and left a cloud of burnt rubber in their wake. Ray checked the rearview mirror and saw the big man stop and fan the air, then bend over and brace his hands on his knees.
"Will somebody please tell me what's going on?" Grace shouted. "Where'd that gun come from?"
"Benny's robbed the store," Ray said and mashed the throttle to the floor. The W-30 custom V8 flew up the highway at 110 miles per hour.
"You're not making any sense. Why would the child rob a store?" Grace clutched the edges of her seat. "For heaven's sake, slow down!"
"Slow down?" Ray barked a harsh laugh. "My son just robbed a store and you want me to slow down?"
Ray looked at Benny in the rearview mirror. The boy's straw cowboy hat rested low on his forehead and he sat back with that smile of satisfaction he always got when he accomplished something nobody expected him capable of doing.
He robbed the store for sure. "Open the bag, Grace."
She picked it up off the floor and unzipped it. "Oh." She lifted out a neat, green bundle of twenties. "Oh, my."
Click Follow to receive emails when this author adds content on Bublish