Path of Endurance chapter 06
Brianna stretched out and tried to find a more comfortable place to her numb back. Bryan had been asleep for hours right next to her, his head still lying on her thigh. She checked her wrist watch: 3:36 AM. And she had driven all night. It was no wonder her lids felt like lead, or at least as heavy as lead.
She aimed all the fans in the dashboard towards herself and set them to blow cold air at her face. Even knowing that Bryan was still a little sick, she decided to keep it this way for a few minutes. After feeling a bit more refreshed, she set the temperature back to normal and set the fans back to their normal positions.
Then, the dawn. The first rays of the sun reached Brianna's tired eyes and swept away the dream from her face. The sight brought a smile on Brianna's lips; soon they'd reach Detroit, and then she could finally sleep, too. But still she wondered if the authorities were after them. Not that she had spotted any, which was only a good thing, because she had a feeling that even though Cary wouldn't care if they ran off, but he'd be sure to want his car back.
Brianna switched on the car radio, keeping the volume low. Nothing but SQUEEEEEzing. Brianna tried to find the tuning buttons, but soon came to conclusion it was not an AM-radio after all. It turned out to be a shortwave radio. And knowing full well that the road she drove on was also favored by the truck drivers who kept each other informed about the traffic and even about police business, Brianna switched to the truckers' channel. Who knows, perhaps they'd know something she didn't.
Soon, a conversation between two truckers caught her attention.
"So, uh, any sign of the escapees yet?"
"No, not yet. But when Cary was busted for burning his house, he told the cops his kids stole his wallet and his car. I think the cops actually began searching for the pickup."
"Really? Now that's something new. I've... wait a minute!"
A sudden silence. At the same time, a truck drove past Brianna.
"You know, I think I just saw the car."
"Cary's pickup. I think it was Brianna behind the wheel."
"What, seriously? Where they driving?"
"Interstate 90, heading west between Cleveland and Toledo. My guess is they're heading towards Michigan."
"You know, tell that to the cops and you'll get a nice reward."
Brianna switched off the radio. As soon as they'd be on the other side of lake Erie, she'd dump the car. A turn to the interstate 75 and they'd be home free.
They came to a bridge that ran over a river with an exceptionally strong current. Brianna pulled over slightly before it.
"Why do we stop here?" Bryan inquired.
"We need to get rid of this car. We were spotted on our way here," Brianna explained.
They checked the car for anything useful, but after finding none they pushed the car over the cliff into the river. That was the most loud "splash" Bryan had heard.
"How're we gonna get to Detroit now, sis?"
Bryan definition of 'hitchhiking' was slightly different from Brianna's. Whereas Bryan supposed to stick his thumb up and wait for a passer-by, Brianna took him to a caf? nearby. From there she spoke to various truck drivers, apparently pretending to be a hooker. A very expensive hooker; Bryan saw her turn down massive rolls of greenbacks. She was pretty close of crushing one trucker's wrist when he slapped her behind.
Finally she returned to Bryan, who had been sniffing the smell of fresh-baked toasts and coffee for a good while. ?Sis, I'm hungry?, he said, hardly aloud. Brianna gave him an encouraging smile and flipped a roll of greenbacks from her pocket. She was still a skillful pickpocket. They sat down at a table with an orange juice, a coffee and two toasts that were gone in no time. Brianna kept a close eye on one particular trucker. He had said he was on his way to New Detroit Stamping and Brianna figured that'd be their free ticket into Detroit.
After the guy left his spot at the table and returned to his truck, he was swiftly followed by Bryan and Brianna. Brianna helped Bryan to the back of the truck and leap onto it herself the moment she noted that the truck was on the move. They searched a safe spot in the middle of the metal junk going to the stamping and cuddled into each other.
Eight mile road.
Brianna and Bryan jumped off the truck, only to find themselves in the middle of Harlem ? or at least something alike. No matter where they laid their eyes, there were only black people on sight. Bryan, who had lived all his life in the middle of white people, span like a spinning top when he tried to see all the people at the same time. Brianna, however, ceased moving ? she realized what mistake she had done when she had decided to jump off the truck here. But noting Bryan's spinning, she grabbed him by his shoulders to stop him. "Stop staring, bro," she muttered. "They don't like being looked at."
"I've never seen so many blacks, sis. Where'd they all come from?"
"Hush now, bro..."
"But sis, why there's no white people around?"
A group of exceptionally mean-looking black youngsters approached those two. Brianna pulled Bryan as close to herself as possible, backing up as she went. And now that Bryan noted the approaching gang, he kept Brianna near himself automatically. The leader of the group stepped forward and looked at Brianna, who kept her sight on the ground and hands around Bryan.
"You gotta be a looong way from home, girl," he supposed and pulled out a knife. "You know, I figure you're lost. 'Cause no sane whitey would drag her ass all the way here. But since you're here...."
He circled the tip of the knife around her nipple. She didn't react, as if she hadn't been awake. Bryan looked up and saw that his sister had closer her eyes. What was she doing? What were those people up to? But most importantly, why Brianna didn't react?
But just as the leader placed the knife under her chin, Brianna quickly pushed Bryan out of her way and sent two quick and powerful punches into the leader's gut. Finishing her set with a powerful blow into his chest with her knee, the leader flew through the air away from them. But all the time, Brianna had kept her eyes closed.
It was then when the leader stood up from the ground, Brianna slashed her eyes open. She laid her insane, gray eyes on the leader and on the gang, that ? now seeing her eyes well ? thought twice about attacking. The leader, who wasn't from the smallest end, was blown five meters through air by Brianna's knee, and now on the second look she wasn't so weak-looking female they had first supposed; her thick arms stuck out from her tight, black t-shirt and her brown, snake-patterned pants weren't able to hide the muscles of her legs. Even her abs stuck out through the shirt.
She raised her arms towards the sky and let out a maniacal laughter.
A laughter Bryan would remember for the rest of his life.
A laughter he, too, made famous later on.
Brianna lowered her arms to her battle stance. One of the gang members lunged at her, but she struck him back with ease, using only one, single front kick. Few others pressed their lucks as well, with Brianna still striking them back. When the leader of the group attacked once more, Brianna grabbed him by his right wrist and twisted into a painful lock behind his back. Laughing yet once again, she mocked; "Some leader you are!"
She pushed him on the ground, into the nearest puddle she found. The leader, embarrassed for loosing to a girl, slowly stood up and backed away. Brianna reached out for Bryan, who came nearer and held her by her hand.
"News flash, motherfucker," Brianna snapped at the leader. "Don't mess with Fury ? you'll only get your ass kicked."
Some hours later the sky ripped open and it began to rain hard. The whole area was even a messier slum area than the area Brianna and Bryan originally came. Homeless people, collapsed houses and gangstas roaming around and trying find shelter from the rain. Brianna and Bryan happened to come across an abandoned warehouse building which seemed convenient enough for them to spend the night. Bryan hopped onto her back and she climbed a ladder until she reached a broken window. She kicked the remaining pieces of glass away and climbed in, Bryan still on her back. The warehouse was surprisingly warm even though it must have been abandoned for years. They sought the warmest spot, and Brianna laid down onto her back. Bryan sat next to her for a while, but then he climbed on Brianna and laid his head down upon her chest. Brianna smiled and caressed his white hair. She had sometimes wondered why Bryan's hair was white, anyway. Cary was a dark blond, Brianna herself was dark brunette, as was their mother, too. Maybe it was some sort of gene mutation or something. Or they had different fathers. Or something. Brianna was too damn tried to think. Or care.
"Brianna?" Bryan whispered.
"What do we do now?"
"We get some sleep."
"What about in the morning?"
"I'll start looking for a job."
"What about me?"
Brianna opened her eyes gave a gentle snap on the tip of Bryan's nose. "You're going to school, silly."
Bryan rubbed his nose. "I don't wanna go to school."
"Sorry bro, no one's asking if you wanna go or not. You gotta go."
"Why? I can read and write already."
"Listen, bro ? you go to school, then to university, study hard and get yourself a real work where you can earn more than you use, so you don't have to lead a same kind of life I do."
"But sis, I wanna be just like you."
"Hush now, bro. Sis is tired."
The final comment made Bryan shut up by himself. He, too, began to feel tired, and it didn't take long before he fell asleep on top of his sister.