Day 168 & 169: Bothered

Ever since Jig and Wedge took over the Botherhood things have been going downhill. This time, literally.

Some wiseguys were selling “natural remedies” for, well, a particularly nasty disease, and marketed the drug to a vaguely offensive demographic. The truck they sold the goods out of was painted with all the colours of the rainbow, to give you a hint. Anyway, it was a shitty thing to do, because the drug didn’t cure a damn thing except hope, and more than that, these assholes were cutting into the Botherhood’s… hood. Pretty foolish, all told.

“Mm,” said Wedge as Jig explained it all. He was driving the car, as usual, roaring nearly 200 kph down the mountain road after the cube truck. He had his sawed-off resting on the windowsill, hoping to get around beside the truck.

“Why aren’t you wearing your mask?” asked Jig, her voice muffled by the Winnie the Pooh mask she wore.

Wedge’s eyes flicked to the Piglet mask on the console. He shuddered and turned his gaze back on the road.

“This is about brand consistency,” Jig said. “We’re not just called the Botherhood because we bother people. And not just because we’ve got our own neighbourhood. But because it’s a Winnie the Pooh pun, goddamnit. You know this is important to me.”

There wasn’t enough room on the right, so Wedge swung around the truck to the left. He couldn’t get up to the window without risking the truck ramming them–they were in a jag, after all–much smaller. So he hung back a little and hoped Jig would get the message. She did. She stuck half her body out the window and pointed her own shotgun at the back wheel of the truck and fired.

“Better going downhill with a flat than up,” Jig said as the truck lost its equilibrium and began fishtailing. Wedge tapped the brake just a little so they wouldn’t slam into the truck.

They watched it swerve, smash into the side rail, bounce back, smash into the mountain cliffside face, and go back again to tip over the side rail and begin rolling down the hill.

“Rock and roll,” Jig said. They pulled over on the side of the road, got out, and looked down the hill where the truck had finally stopped sliding, tipped on its side. The rainbow paint was scarred and muddied.

Wedge made to get out of the car. Jig said, “Ahem.”

Wedge sighed and put on the fucking pig mask. Then they both got out.

“Golly,” said Jig, “I don’t know if I have the boots for this…”

But she followed Wedge as they carefully made their way down the hill. They stepped over countless bottles of sugar pills on the way. When they reached the truck, Jig climbed up the wheel and pointed her shotgun down into the smashed passenger-side window.

The driver was dead, and the other was on the way. He was making noise, still, his mouth and chin wet and shiny red. He was hanging limply on his side, gravity pulling him toward his deceased companion, held up only by his seat belt.

“Why?” he asked no one. “Just tryin to make a few bucks. Never know. Placebo effect. Psychosomatic response…”

“YOU’RE a psychosomatic response,” said Jig. “Jesus, mate. Fuck is wrong with you?”

The fool looked at Jig. She was haloed by the sun in the sky. A bear angel.

“He’s bothered,” said Wedge from the ground, lighting a cigarette.

“I’M bothered!” said Jig. “I’m bothered for YOU, Wedge. What they did…”

Wedge was bothered, too, of course. He knew people who would pay anything for a cure. He was lucky not to have to be one of those people. Yet.

“Just finish,” said Wedge. His hands were shaking.

“Not you?”

“Not me.”

The shotgun shot rang out in the mountains. The fools wouldn’t bother anyone anymore.

Today’s SIX prompt categories (since I’m mashing two days together): “Jig and Wedge,” “Natural remedy,” “A chase scene,” “Chasing a rainbow,” “The fool,” and, “Trucker.”

My computer had to go to the shop, hence the late prompt (and thus, double-prompt). Thank goodness for libraries.

– H.

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