Into the Jungle - Bell
Official Journal: File #---3. Part 3
The Brickston's doors closed behind us with a slight sound of squeezing air to pass through the cracks before it sealed shut. The mist had now evolved into a subtle rain which quietly drenched the city. I popped my collar and placed my hat upon my head. It was a battered, old hat, but this trusty hat was part of me now. "So... that was a nice little place, right?" Ivan let out a "humph" and tipped his hat to Murray, who was packing up his shop for the night. "It could be worse. Seemed like a gentleman though" was his final answer. I threw him the keys to the van, and we got in. We didn't have money to buy a nice car or anything, so our team bought a used utility van off of a Mexican businessman going out of business. It's not strictly comfy, or in the best of shape, but it works for us and feels like home. However, the idea of getting a new car entertained me, so I brought it up to Ivan.
"What kind of car would you want to have if we could own a private car?"
Ivan grunted. "I'm not into the whole car thing. This works just-"
"Come on now!" I said almost pleadingly. "Let's start with this, what color?"
"I should have guessed. What about Blue? Purple? Red? Maybe-"
"I like red. Red is good."
"Okay, now a red... what? What kind of car?"
He sighed for a moment and then looked at the rear view mirror. "That car."
I turned around to look out the back window. Sure enough, a sleek looking city car was tailing us closely through the foggy rain.
"You know, that thing has been following us for a long time now. Real erratic and no turn signals."
I was puzzled, so I questioned, "Do you think we're being followed?"
"I'm saying..." Ivan replied with a pause. "I'm not completely comfortable right now."
"Well do something then! Lets find a place to turn in. We're about to pass a rest st-"
I was tossed to the left, only to have my belt restrain my sudden movement. The wheels screeched violently against the wet pavement as Ivan suddenly turned into the stop. The car behind us kept moving down the highway, and we pulled into the rest area.
I crept slowly out of the bathroom at the rest stop to find Ivan continuously inserting a single dollar bill into a soda machine. It refused to accept, probably scared snack-less of Ivan's presence. I stood there taking in the sight for my entertainment, fully aware that he probably knew I was watching. I didn't care, I needed some time to rest my sore arm from the sharp turn he had made earlier. After a few more tries, the machine dared not to spit out the dollar again. Ivan, who seemed surprised, took a few extra moments to decide on what to purchase. He pressed a button, and nothing happened. He stared at the machine for a few seconds, expecting anything. Nothing. He pressed again. Waited. Nothing. "Hrraaugh!" His fist collided abruptly with the machine, and it gave up his selected soda as an offering of peace. He adjusted his tie, cracked his neck, and took his soda. With a fizz, the bottled opened, and he looked at me expecting something. He caught my wide eyes staring at him.
"Sorry" was his response. I shook my head to regain composure. "Nah, you're find. I hate those things." A couple walked into the building to take their rest. The woman parted ways into the bathroom, and the man stared Ivan and I down. He cleared his throat and stepped over to the soda machine. He pulled out a dollar, and we stood there watching him. Again, the stubborn machine refused his money, and spat it out at the man over and over again. He paused a couple of times to question if he should back down and spare some dignity, or to return the stubbornness. Ivan stood there, idly watching and secretly relishing the moment. I would have relished it too, but I noticed another pair of headlights approaching. It was the car.
I stiffened, but stayed calm. I walked towards Ivan and said "Lovely night really, right fellas? Wouldn't be better if I hit two stones with one bird." The man turned and looked at me like I was crazy, but Ivan glared with his dark mask at me. He glanced outside in time to see the headlights turn off. He turned back his glare, "I'm going to stand over there, but..." he paused and leaned in towards my ear. "We need to get this guy out of here" was spoken in a barely audible whisper. I nodded and took a few steps back to lean against the wall. Ivan pressed a button on the machine and threw another punch at the machine again, this time blacking out the lights. A soda clunked around and popped out onto the tray, and the man looked stunned. The man's company arrived from the restroom and seemed horrified with Ivan standing over the man, who wore a face of fear. To make matters worse, the front door opened, and another woman walked in with a long red jacket and a daring look on her face. She closed the door, blocking the exit. Ivan and I had our hands in our jackets, ready to pull out his 1911 handgun and my revolver on the first twitch of a threat. Nothing. The stubborn soda machine's buzzing quietly play a sad tune as all of us stood in time's stalemate. The redcoat woman stared at me boldly yet refused to move. I shot a glance at Ivan who was obviously wondering how to go about this situation. He decided to make the first move. He lurched down slowly and grabbed the soda in the tray. The woman in the doorway started to move, but I audibly cocked my revolver, and she stopped. The sound also made the bystander squeal hysterically for a second, but she stopped. Ivan continued, and gave the soda to the man. "I think it's time that you get back on the road, sir." The man grabbed the bottle and and snatched his woman-friend. They pushed past the redcoat woman and hurried to their car. They ran off quickly, and the room returned to its stalemate. Ivan took the bold move of pulling out his pistol openly, loading the clip and snapping back the hammer and slide. "I hope you've got some good news for us ma'm."