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Barchetta

Sushi stared at the sky.

She didn’t want to stare, but every time she tried to move her head, her right side became numb and her left side lit up with a burning pain. And she was scared to close her eyes, scared that that would be it, game over.

So she stared at the sky.

She could hear the whirr of the car wheels.Barco

Take it out of gear, someone, she thought, still looking at the blue and cloudy sky. But after a few minutes she decided that she would have to get up, or she might die, so she rolled herself onto her stomach, drew up her knees and, cradling her head in the crook of her elbow, rose with some difficulty, groggy, concussed. Her eyes cleared and she found herself at the top of a grassy verge at the side of the road.

Half walking, half jogging on rubbery legs she made her way down the embankment, past the overturned car to where Joey lay on the grass; legs bent oddly, arms splayed.

She slumped down onto her knees beside him, pain shooting across her shoulders and down through her legs, asked him ‘Hey, how’re you doing?’

‘Feel fine,’ Joey whispered, smiling wanly.

‘You’re looking like Christ. Your arms spread out like that, and your long hair. You look like Jesus, if he was a car thief.’

‘Don’t care; feel ok,’ he murmured.

Sushi nodded, laughed a little, which made her arm tingle and scared her, and she got serious and said, ‘You didn’t make that curve though.’

‘I should have gone to meet the probation officer, like I was supposed to,’ he whispered. ‘I should have resisted the urge to steal that Fiat.’

They sat a few more moments; Joey lay quiet, breathing softly. ‘The police will be here soon,’ she told him.

Joey coughed, ‘Yeah, they’ll be wanting an action replay for ‘Police, Camera, Action!”’

His breathing was laboured; talking seemed to tire him out and he lay quiet. Sushi looked at him for a few moments, watched his breathing slow; watched the rise and fall of his chest diminish. His face was becoming the colour of blank canvas.

She took hold of his hand and squeezed it.

He whispered, Susan.

She held onto his hand for a minute or two more. His grip faded and she gently laid his hand on the ground. Then she took a mobile phone from her jacket pocket, shook it to see if any bits fell off and when none did, began dialling a number.

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