Hit and run

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Hit and run
From my upcoming memoir 99% True.
It all started innocently enough on a lazy Saturday afternoon. My new best friend David—a dark-haired, athletic, alpha male transplant from Dallas—helped me prepare the bait: overalls stuffed with newspaper, a hoodie sweatshirt with a basketball for a head, and Dad's old boots pinned to the pant cuffs. We hoisted the body out of the garage and dragged it to the edge of the orange grove nearest my house, its lifeless head bouncing along La Palma Ave. as twilight approached. The street was empty, so we threw the dummy face-down onto the road and hid amongst the trees, preparing an arsenal of rotting oranges scooped off the fertile ground. Night sounds surrounded us as we tensed in the shadows. Suddenly, the highway turned to daylight. With a loud boomp boomp, a car mangled the torso and screeched to a halt. The body, now crumpled on the asphalt, was lit red by taillights. The car roared away. “Shit!” said David. “Hit and run!” “Hang on!” I said. “Here comes another.” The body, twisted on the highway, was again brightly lit as a car swerved to miss it. Doors were flung open. Soon, gasps of horror turned to cries of panic under a hail of oranges, as we pelted the driver and passengers with our stores of orange ammunition. “What the hell?” cried the driver, shielding his head as he knelt next to the body. “Dammit, this is a dummy!” Without warning, the sound of a third vehicle paused our barrage of oranges. Tires screeched, doors opened, and bright lights again moved toward the lifeless lump on the road as we prepared our next round of missiles. Suddenly, the world flashed bright red and blue. “It’s the cops!” cried David. "Run!" I yelled, not daring to look back. Halfway into the orange grove the flashlights started gaining on me, so I hurtled Old Man Niedermeyer’s fence and hid in his cactus garden, braving the poking spines. The cops’ bright lights played over the orange trees as red and blue washed the grove. I held my breath and exhaled only after they left. We’d live to see another Saturday.
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Paul McGowan

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