| April 11, 2005

The voice crackled on the CB. “Spotted that blue Buick, license number TULS4U that the police are looking for. I’m at mile marker 65. He’s riding in the hammer lane. I’m coming up beside him.”

Red waited. He was three miles ahead of Bunny. He smiled, glad the traffic was light.

“There’s a kid in the passenger seat. Blonde hair, looks to be about the size of my 6-year-old. Driver sped past me when I got beside him.”

“Copy that, Bunny. Stay close. Farmer, where are you? Got your cell phone?

“Yeah, Red. I’ll call the cops. I’m right behind Bunny. Big Dog’s coming up behind me.”

Red adjusted his sun visor for the lowering crimson ball of light. They had about two hours to stop this guy before it got dark.

“Red, the state patrol’s on its way, coming from Lexington and Elizabethtown. We need to keep that guy on the parkway.”

“I know, Farmer,” Red said, remembering his own little girl back home in St. Louis. He could imagine the pain and fright this little girl’s parents must be feeling. Why hadn’t he gotten his cell phone fixed before he’d left home? He really needed to hear Libby’s voice right now. She called him to say her prayers each night.

Red pulled across the upcoming off-ramp, making it impossible for anyone to exit. The blue car flew by, followed by Bunny in his sleek Volvo; Farmer, in his older Mack; and Big Dog, running a new Peterbilt.

“Quick thinking, Red,” said Farmer. “Wonder where this guy’s headed. Wish this old Mack had more horses. These hills give me fits. Don’t know if I can keep up.”

“Try your best,” Red said, pulling his rig back onto the parkway. His Freightliner growled as he geared up. He watched Bunny try to pull around the Buick as they went downhill.

Suddenly, Bunny zigzagged. “That guy’s got a shotgun! I’m OK, but I think he hit my air. My air pressure’s dropping. Whoa! My breaks just locked. I’m gone.” Bunny skillfully guided his skidding rig to the side of the road and put his four-ways on. He gave a “good luck” sign as Red passed by.

“This is the Blue Buick talking. Now you all listen. Me and my little girl are going home to Memphis. You tell your friends and the cops to let us alone or somebody dies. You got that?”
Dead silence followed.

Red flipped to Channel 25, his and Farmer’s standby channel. “Farmer, you there? Let the state patrol know what’s going on and get help for Bunny. I’m coming around you so I can see this guy.”

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