Jay Branch pulled over to the side of I-40 and stepped out of the truck and relieved himself on a large tan rock wall face that bordered one side of the interstate he had followed for more than a day and had taken him through six states on his near cross country excursion to save his daughter’s life.
He stepped back up into the Bronco that was idling by the side of the road and checked all of the gauges and saw that it appeared he had gas and it was not running hot but he knew how these old trucks could just decide to lose oil and or water in the blink of an eye. So he shut the beast down and while he let it cool down a bit he removed the final energy drink out of the bag that was now pretty much just a bag of cold water in the floor. He then put his hand back into the freezing cold water and retrieved what was the last scraps of what was once ice cubes and put them in the generic gas station big gulp cup. After pouring the last of the vodka from his large Gatorade bottle with what he noticed was a shaky hand, he then topped it with a strange light blue can of Monster he had not yet tried which filled the cup with a florescent baby blue liquid. The drink itself was a bit too tart but the vodka seemed to water it down just enough to make it an excellent mixer. He took a few quick pulls from the straw and then placed the cup back in the plastic Wal-Mart cup holder that laid between the two front seats and grabbed the bag of cold water and walked to the back of the truck. Then while holding the bag in one hand, removed his t-shirt first from the left side and then from the right and tossed it through the now open back window and then leaned forward just a bit and laid the bag on his head, neck and back and let it just release the cold liquid all over him producing an effect that was just a little too cold to be refreshing but cold enough to wake up and cool down every cell in his body simultaneously. He also noticed that the puddle that was now at his feet was dark and he could tell that he was now streaked from where the water had slid down him creating lanes of clean in the dirt field that was his body. He walked back to the passenger side of the truck and removed a stack of thick paper towels he had gotten from a gas station and proceeded to the hood that he had already popped the release on before his impromptu shower. He first checked the oil finding it a half quart low and then after filling that and giving plenty of cool down time he removed the radiator cap and saw that it was completely full and simply closed it back up. The old Bronco appeared to be a nice rare find and he hoped it would make the journey back to Georgia okay if he took it slow and kept an eye on the fluids. He returned to the front seat, stretched a dry t-shirt over his head and then tried to make sure everything was clear in his mind.
He was stalling and he knew it. He was now sitting in the driver’s seat of the old Bronco just staring forward. He was a little past Kingman and he had less than twenty minutes to be at the road that he had seen on the on the Google map picture and the strange old junk yard that Grace may have been in. It was 11:20 Arizona time and the asshole would be calling in less than three hours to check Jay’s status.
“Binoculars!” Jay said in a loud voice and then a flood of information came crashing like white water though his brain. He knew that he was going to at least have to scout the location better to give himself as much of an advantage as he could get even if for one second he thought about bringing the cops in he would need to have solid proof that Grace was where he thought and that the one asshole was the only one on the property. He needed more than just the pistol. He was a mediocre shot at best and the more options he had the better. He pulled out his phone and found the closest Wal-Mart which was two exits back off of Stockton Hill Road in Kingman.