Copyright© 2010 by Michael Wolfam
Five songs later, they could faintly make out the flashing lights of a patrol car that was blocking the road. As they approached, a bored officer slowly got out and raised his hand in the universal signal to stop. Finn started bringing the wrecker to a halt.
"Wonder what he's doing out here?" Liv asked worriedly. "I've never seen a roadblock in Eagles Landing before."
"Yeah, that is weird. I don't know what's going on, but it might have something to do with your soft headed buddy back there. Duck down for a bit, I'll handle this," Finn rolled down the window. Liv complied as the Deputy swaggered up to the driver's window.
"Hey Jim, you catch anything good tonight?" the Deputy asked, before getting close enough to see the driver. "Holy shit! That you Bubba-Fish, I mean Finn?"
"What's up Miller? Who gave you a position of authority while I was gone? What the hell were they thinking?" Finn joked as he reached out the window to shake the hand of his high school buddy. The wrecker's window sat just above the deputy's head and he had to reach up to grasp Finn's outstretched hand.
"Hey, it's a great job. There's not much I gotta do around here and I get to drive a fast car and carry a gun! The only down side is that nothing exciting ever happens in Eagles Lading. But what happened to you? Get a Section 8? Always knew you'd wash out. Figured it wouldn't take six years for you to do it!" he laughed.
"I came back to help the old man out with the salvage yard. I'm just getting back from Denver," Finn motioned to the flatbed. "Went to pick up some old cars Dad wants to restore. It'll never happen. They'll rust away long before he ever messes with 'em. But what the hell, makes him happy. Hey Miller, stop by the yard sometime and we'll drink some beers and catch up. Miller time!" he hooted. Under normal circumstances, Finn would have asked Miller to help Liv, but his instincts said something was wrong.
"You know it! Good to see ya again, Finn. Say hi to the folks for me." Deputy Miller stepped back and waved the truck past the parked patrol car.
"Miller time?" Liv asked mockingly as she popped up from her hiding place. "You talk to your buddies using beer slogans?"
"Hey, don't knock it, or I'm gonna give you a slogan."
"Oh yeah, what would that be?"
"Liv, tap the Rockies!" Finn didn't even try avoiding the playful smack he got to the side of the head.
"Okay, seriously now," he said with a sober look on his face. "What do you want to do first? We can stop by your place, head over to the Sheriff's house, or to the yard and drop off the cars."
Liv looked down at herself. Her sweater and skirt were torn and stained. There were cuts on her arm from the car crash and her hands were greasy from winching the car out of the mineshaft. She looked like hell. Perfect.
"Let's go to the Sheriff's place first. There's no way he couldn't believe me if I show up looking like this!" she said as they passed through the deserted town square. The wrecker was the only vehicle on the road.
There were only four stop lights in Eagles Landing. They hit each of them red. At the last light, Finn flicked on the right turn signal.
"Not right, turn left," Liv interrupted. Sherriff Warner doesn't live in The Park anymore. He's got a new place on the outskirts of town. Pretty fancy digs, too."
"Glad to hear he isn't living in his mom's trailer anymore." Finn turned in the direction Liv indicated. "I see they still roll up the sidewalks extra early around here. It's too bad; I could really go for some of Mel's key lime pie right about now." Finn pointed at the small diner with darkened windows.
"Yeah, tell me about it," Liv sighed. "It's sad that Mel's is the most happening joint in town! Oh, that's where I work by the way. It's nice because it never stays open past seven so I always get home early. Nearest action is a country bar half an hour away. Even then, you have to go all the way to Boulder to have a real night out. I'm hoping they'll open a night club in Eagles Landing one of these days. With all the rehabbies in town they would do awesome business."
"Rehabbies? What the hell are rehabbies? Sounds like a bad STD."
Liv laughed. "Pretty much. Oh, that's right, I forgot. You left just before they finished the rehab center."
"Three Crosses? Wasn't it built by your dad's old buddy Mitch? I remember Mom telling me something about it."
"Yep, good ol' Mitch," Liv replied, disgust in her voice.