An Excellent Distraction

Isabel wore a gun under a gray blazer. She was in Tennessee, on interstate 65. It was terrifically hot. All four windows were down. Even with the tornado that tossed papers, receipts, and fast food bags back and forth and out on to the road the car was stifling. She had shot the radio out two days ago when she heard the news report. She was listening to the wind. A cop swung out behind her. She told the mirror not to worry, and pressed her foot to the floor.

They did 130 miles an hour through Nashville, angry faces and violent gestures scattered behind them. The traffic thickened and slowed around her. Six cop cars barricaded the road ahead, so she jumped the divide and crashed past them on the median. Bullets slammed into the car — she laughed — the noise of the firing came to her. She was tired of the car. The barrier ended as she left the city; there were trees lining the road for as far as she could see.

She slued through the woods until the sirens faded into the distance, then crashed into a white elm. She went through the window laughing.