Lysanne let her left hand dangle outside as the car sped along the highway. The window was all the way down, fresh, salty beach air tousling her hair and filling her lungs.
They’d always wanted to go to the beach and finally here they were; sea on one side, LA on the other, rock and roll blasting from her beat up caddy’s tinny radio.
Lysanne took a long drag on her joint, “I told you we’d get here one day, baby.”
Robbie didn’t answer. He might have been asleep; it was hard to tell behind his dark shades.
“Well if you’re sleeping that’s all the more for me,” she sucked in the sweet, herby smoke and slowly exhaled.
She could have done without the marijuana, it would only make her sleepy. But she needed something to mask the stench of days on the road under the unforgiving California sun.
“Gee, we’re stopping and taking a shower at the first motel we find,” she told him.
His head lolled a little as she hit a bump on the road but he didn’t stir.
“Lazy ass,” she muttered.
Lysanne kept driving, until she was past the packed touristy beaches and even past the smaller, quieter beaches favoured by the locals. She and Robbie needed total privacy: you weren’t a runaway with nothing to run from.
She was thinking about lying with him in the sun, watching it set, making out as the gentle waves lapped at their feet when the sudden blare of sirens and a flash of blue light jerked her out of her daydreams.
“Shit, shit, shit,” she muttered, pulling over and hastening to put out the joint and throwing it down by the pedals.
The officers walked quickly towards her and signalled for her to get out of her vehicle. Nervously she complied.
“Is this your vehicle ma’am?” asked the shorter of the pair, who was wearing mirrored sunglasses and a thick, droopy mustache.
“Yes, officer,” Lysanne replied, voice as sweet as she could make it.
“ID? Says here it’s not insured,” said the taller of the officers, brandishing a long list of registration plate numbers at her.
“Oh,” Lysanne stammered, handing over her license, “that must be a mistake.”
The short, moustachioed officer had noticed Robbie in the passenger seat, “that your boyfriend?”
“Yes, he’s just sleeping. Please don’t wake him.”
The officer began walking around the car, tapped Robbie on the shoulder through the open window, then straightened quickly, gaze snapping back to Lysanne.
She hesitated only a second as she debated whether to run but it was enough for the tall officer to grab her by the wrists and twist them roughly behind her back. The other officer was talking hurriedly down his radio.
Lysanne chanced feigning innocence, “is he alright?”
“Ma’am, are you aware that the man in your passenger seat is deceased?”
She felt fear drop into her stomach like a stone.
“I don’t – he… he…” no excuse was forthcoming. She felt the tears start thick and fast.
They were reading her rights but all she could see was Robbie. And all she could hear was that girl giggling and moaning. And all she could feel was the same red-hot rage she’d felt before.
“This is your fault!” She screamed at him as the officers dragged her toward their car. “It’s all your fault! You promised! You promised we’d be together forever! If you’d have just kept that promise I’d never have had to do this!”
For today’s Flash Fiction Challenge the prompt was ‘write a road trip story’. I hope you enjoyed my twist on it: a taste of the 70s with a dash of murder.