Thumbs Down (6-18-18)

[WP] You are an immortal truck driver whose Sisyphean task is to drive until a hitchhiker kills you. No matter how insane the hitchhikers look, you can’t seem to get them to do it. [Link to post.]

“…roger that. This is Easy Pickin’s signing out.” Paulie ‘Easy Pickin’ ‘ Ramone draped the curly black CB wire on a hook affixed to the dash. Then he turned to properly greet his new passenger. “Sorry ’bout that.” He tilted his head toward the CB. “Weekly report, and let me tell you…” Paulie dragged the back of his hand across his brow to wipe away imaginary sweat. “Whew! That’s what I love about this job, no micro-managing, you know? But, don’t think it’s all good. No sir.” Paulie’s attention swung between the road and the tan woman with sun-bleached hair he met at the gas station. Her shorts ended well above her knee, but the bulging black backpack she carried on her lap blocked most of his lecherous attempts. “Sorry. I mean, ‘no ma’am’. You are definitely all woman,” he forced his eyes to linger on her cleavage before moving on to appreciate the rest of her body.

“I was saying,” Paulie continued. “It’s a dangerous job too. They ain’t expectin’ to hear me holler at ’em for seven days yet. Something happens to me? Ain’t no one gonna know ’bout it for a long while, it’ll take ’em at least another week just to realize they ain’t heard from me,” he chuckled to himself. 

“Nothing’ll happen to you as long as I’m tagging along,” the woman said. Paulie caught a flirting smile in his peripheral vision. “You’re Easy Pickin’, I never thought I’d get a chance to ride with you.” Paulie glanced off the road for a moment and locked onto her crystal blue eyes. 

“Heard of me?” He asked, then returned his gaze to the road. The woman scooted closer to him. 

“You’re the single most important reason that hitchhiking is becoming popular again.” She rested her hand on his thigh, palm down. “Just knowing that someone out there is willing to trust strangers encouraged more people to do it. I don’t think you realize that you’ve started a movement. You’re such a sensitive man. You have to be to have that much trust in your heart.” Her hand began to caress up and down his thigh. “I love sensitive men.” Paulie glanced at the clock on the radio. 5:39p.m.

“I hope you don’t much mind. I got me a habit, ritual almost, that I do every week after my report. I quit early, find the nearest motel, and just relax for the rest of the day.” He pointed to a bright orange and yellow “MOTEL” sign. “Like that one,” he said. Paulie changed lanes to get on the right side of the road. “Now, you’re more than welcome to join me, but you’re just as welcome to move along on your own if you like.” He lifted his hands in front of him with the palms facing outward and shrugged. “Never let it be said that Easy Pickin’ wants to collect favors.” The woman turned her head to kiss Paulie’s check, then she turned more to line her lips up with his ear. 

“I’d love to stay with you,” she whispered in his ear. The alarm clock on the short bedside table displayed 5:50p.m. when Paulie and the woman walked in the door. The woman dropped her backpack, then walked towards the bathroom at the back of the run-down room. 

“I need a shower. Why don’t you warm up the bed,” she said over her shoulder as she pulled her t-shirt off, then dropped it to the floor. She reached the bathroom naked, leaving a trail of clothing behind her on the maroon carpet. 

“Can do!” Paulie said. In seconds he stretched out fully on the bed, enjoying the feel of the sheets against his naked skin. “She could be the one!” he cheered to himself with a smile. “Please let her be the one.” He did not realize that he drifted off to sleep until he woke with a start. He felt restricted, and after taking stock of his body he realized his hands were handcuffed to the headboard while his feet were cuffed to the other end. 

“I’m sorry, Easy.” The woman stood next to the bed fully dressed and pointing a gun at Paulie. “It’s nothing personal, I do respect you. But, someone rich wants you dead, and I like money.” Paulie’s body slumped to the bed. He sighed heavily.

“God Damnit. You fucked everything up, just let me out of here.” Paulie said.

“Nice try. Goodnight Mr. Paycheck,” the woman leaned forward and placed the gun on Paulie’s balding forehead. He shook his head.

“Won’t work,” Paulie said.*BANG* the blonde pulled the trigger. Blood splattered the headboard and wall. She looked down at the large hole she created, but then she saw it shrinking before her eyes. She watched the bullet rise to the surface and get pushed out of Paulie’s skull, then new skull grew to cover the hole, followed by fresh skin. “Like I said. You fucked everything up, now let me out of here. 

“What just happened?” she asked. Though luckily she had the presence of mind to uncuff Paulie as she waited for an answer. 

“You weren’t supposed to say someone hired you!” Paulie replied with a voice full of frustration. “Because if someone hired you, then you’re not a hitchhiker! ARRRGGGHHH” Paulie growled and rubbed the soreness in his wrists. She freed both his hands then moved to free his feet. 

“You want to get killed?” she asked. 

“Yeah. Long story, but I can only be killed by a hitchhiker. Which I thought you were until you said anything.” Paulie glared at her, then stood from the bed once his feet were free.

“Sorry,” she said. She bit her lip and locked eyes with Paulie. “I guess I can’t kill you, but we can still spend the night, right?” she asked. Paulie shook his head, then aimed the woman’s black gun at her. 

“Sorry, I’m busy. I’ve got to find your replacement,” he said, then fired the gun.

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