Excerpts

1980. The pack of indescribably negative circumstances mounted.

Learn More About the Book I had been on the run for 22 hours in a stolen Mercedes when night fell across the Midwest for a second time. From Denver to Seattle should have taken no more than a full day, but I was hardly halfway there because of the blizzard.

Montana: A desolate stretchimg-excerpts of highway just north of Billings; a wild and unknown territory where not even a plow driver dared to brave the ice. I tossed a cigarette from the car, closed the window, and held tight to the steering wheel. High winds tailed the storm and the empty canyon bridges rippled like flying carpets.

It was at that very moment, several hours beyond the blinding snowstorm, when I felt the first inkling that something had gone hideously wrong with my plan.

I could tell by the temperature in the cabin that I was no longer traveling alone. There was a rustle, the burping noise of bare flesh sliding across new leather, and from the back seat I could hear the gasp of insidious lungs.

My MAC-10 machine pistol, a beast of a weapon, was lodged beneath the passenger seat. Behind the MAC was about 10 grand cash and 1 kilogram of cocaine, all of it stolen.

Out of nowhere a smell overtook me and I came dangerously close to hurling onto the instrument panel. I let down the windows and very suddenly reached for my gat. Someone had snuck into the back seat of my car. I raised the gun but stopped myself before turning it backward and firing 30 rounds into the seat of my own vehicle.

A hot palm wrapped my neck. Whoever was in the back seat had to make sure that I remained facing the forward. I heard the unmistakable sound of a double-action revolver being cocked. I was pretty sure that the barrel wasn’t being aimed at the road sign:

CAUTION
STEEP CLIFFS AHEAD
55MPH

10 years on the run and this is how it’s going to end? I sure as hell hope not.

“Who’s back there?” I checked the mirrors. Nothing. “WHO’S BACK THERE!”

The Benz, which I had stolen using my notoriously effective “bank draft scam,” increased speed and began to howl around even the slightest corners. I was outrunning my headlights at 90mph or more, no way to stop the car within a reasonable distance, especially with ice sporadically ruining the grip.

The smell became worse. It tormented me into severe nausea. What was worse: I couldn’t be sure what it was. Maybe rotted meat? A dead body? It had to be one of the two….

“Who’s back there? If you’re a Fed you better just speak up or I’m gonna let loose with this thing.” I tapped the MAC, which I had placed in my lap. No… it wasn’t a Fed. A Fed would have shot me when my hand came close to the gun. It was wishful thinking to believe that this guy had come from the government. There wasn’t a chance I’d be that lucky.

“Holy shit!” I exclaimed. “It’s you, isn’t it, Bill? They let you out already? Bill Fallie! You old snake! You didn’t like prison or what?” I let out a good and crazy laugh, tried to scare him out of shooting me.

No words from the back seat. The windows were down. At 90mph, in the dead of winter, engine howling, it was borderline impossible for me to hear anything anyway.

The reality of my situation set in. Fear overcame me. I grabbed my tooter, took a good rip of coke, and the powder from the open container blew throughout the interior of my stolen 6.9 liter Benz.

“Did you sneak in at the last gas station or what?” No answer. “HUH?” I yelled. I knew that my gun was useless. What was I going to do? Did I imagine that I could make a quick move and shoot the man before he was able to pull the trigger? Hardly.

“You shoot me, Bill, and we’re both dead,” I said. I kept my foot fixed firmly on the accelerator. In the rearview mirror I could see nothing. I tapped the brakes and the red lights offered me a silhouetted view of the intruder.

“Jen?” I asked. “No shit, is that YOU…?” It wasn’t Jen. Well, unless she’d shaved all of her hair off. “You’re one of Jennifer’s goons, aren’t you? You’re coming to collect on me or something?” I felt my adrenaline rise.

It was over. I was a dead man. The only option was to stop the car and have him do me on the side of the road. Bullshit, I wasn’t going out that easy. There was something else. I had to THINK. I’d never been one to just give in. Something else… but… wait… I couldn’t do that. Or could I? I casually increased the volume on the stereo, his sweaty hand pinching my neck the entire time. I took a good breath of cold Montana air, smashed the gas, and aimed the Mercedes emblem for a break in the guard rail. We’d sure make a mess at the bottom of that cliff, but suicide beat letting a cut-rate hitman have the last laugh.

The accelerator went through the floorboard and I let out a roar equivalent to the wind. I took one last glance at the speedometer: 97mph. It was as good a speed as any.