His only edge was to see them first.
As far as he could tell, they had not been followed. He had changed lanes and make awkward short cuts to see if anyone behind them took the bait.
There was no reason to alarm Tammy, so he went about his bringing out a possible pursuer in silence. To her, this was simply how he drove.
They pulled to a red light and waited. Tammy reached over and quickly changed the radio station. "Hate that song," she commented.
John told her to turn the noise off all the way. And as he said it, a car passing in front of them caught his attention. It looked like the exact same Chevy from the tunnel, but it went by so fast a decent make on the car was impossible. Their light turned green and the truck behind them instantly honked its horn.
The ring road around the mall was busy. It circled the complex of shops and the seemingly endless parking lot. Fast food places and other restaurants lined the road making traffic a living nightmare. Cars were coming in every direction like some real-life video game. John pulled into the flow and they circled the parking lot looking for a good turn-in.
Just as he was getting a little flustered at the crazy afternoon drivers, Tammy reached over and gently squeezed his hand. He had forgotten about the Chevy he saw and came close to forgetting everything else. Maybe the movie was a good idea if he could hold her hand the whole time.
Suddenly tires screeched and they were rammed in the back.
The scene ahead turned from asphalt to shrubbery as the Jeep was now facing sideways. Sharp tingles of pain shot up John's spine and Tammy was nearly in the floorboard.
He heard a motor racing. Tammy pulled herself up and looked out the back window.
"It's him!" she screamed. "My God, it's him!"
"Hold on!" John yelled.
The Chevy sped backwards and left two black skid marks on the pavement and then rammed the Jeep a second time. It pushed them all the way over the landscaping and into the outer parking lot.
"What's he doing?"
John was still stunned from the first blow. "Just hold on a second," he said calmly. "Where is he? Where'd he go now? I can't see him."
Tammy looked around frantically. "He's gone. Please let him be gone. I don't see him anywhere."
The Jeep's engine was not running and John could not recall ever turning it off. He looked in the rearview mirror and saw a neat section of boxwoods mangled and uprooted along with his own wheel marks cut through the fresh-cut grass. Passing cars slowed but nobody offered to help.