Carjacking by Jerry McFadden

Two gang members get more than they bargained for when they jack a Chevy; by Jerry McFadden.

Jason and LeShawne were in an ugly mood. No one would give them a ride to the mall. They finally had to take the Metro bus, slouching low in the seats so no one could see them. The massive parking lot in the hot sun turned their mood from ugly to surly as they looked in vain for a vehicle to 'jack, something slick and sleek that would impress the homeys.

Then they thought they had it: A dude walked out of Macy's, going straight for a black Dodge Viper. Definitely a sweet ride - but their timing was off. The dude backed out of his parking space before they could get there. The car blew out of the lot in a screech of tires and blue smoke, laying a strip of rubber all the way to the exit. Jason and LeShawne were outraged. They didn't get the license plate number but they agreed the next time they saw a black Dodge Viper, that driver was in trouble. The car was gonna be theirs for sure, but they were gonna trash his ass, too, as payback.

They went once more around the parking lot, in the hot sun, righteously pissed. Have a good day, your ass. By mutual but unspoken understanding, they were not doing any more sports cars. Gotta go instead for something big. Something oversized. Something that would take up space in the 'hood, something they could party in.

And there it was - a Chevrolet Suburban. Huge sucker. As long as a van but flashy like a SUV. Three rows of seats on the inside. They could get wasted in there; smoking, drinking, playing with the sisters, trashing the interior, remembering it tomorrow as a truly great night.

Gotta have a plan: Retreat to the shade at the side of the mall, wait for as long as it takes, and don't take no shit from nobody.

The wait wasn't long. They didn't see where she came from, but one of the side doors opened and shut, then a woman walked around to stuff packages in the back. Jason and LeShawne barely reacted in time. She was almost to the driver's door before they could intercept her.

Jason motioned for LeShawne to take the right side while he sprinted around to the left to grab the woman. If he was too slow LeShawne would jump in the passenger side and push her back out, right into his arms. But he caught up to her just as she was climbing up behind the steering wheel.

He grabbed her by her shirt collar and yanked her out. Good looking white woman. Fairly young. Short blonde hair, white dress shirt, blue jeans, Nikes without socks. Her eyes went wide in panic.

She had nothing of in her hands. Her purse was probably in the seat. Jason yanked the silver watch with the expandable band over her wrist and her hand, then gave her a vicious shove, saying, "Beat it, bitch!" slamming her hard against the adjacent car.

He swung up into the seat with an easy athletic grace. The keys were in the ignition. LeShawne was already beside him, yelling, "Go! Go! Go!"

They blasted backward out of the parking space, whipped around towards the exit, laying rubber just like the black Dodge Viper, only slower, already laughing at how good they were, and at the shocked look in the woman's face. LeShawne looked back and reported, "Oh man, is she pissed. Really pissed. She's waving her hands and yelling at us. Now she just pulled her cell phone from her jean pockets and is hitting the numbers."

"Calling 911," Jason said, then slipped into a mimicking female voice, "Oh officer, officer, my car has been stolen. My precious Chevrolet Suburban has been stolen. Please help me!"

Then they heard a phone ringing in the back seat.

"What the hell is that? The stupid broad's calling her own car?"

"No. It's mine," a timid voice said from the back seat.

Jason and LeShawne both looked around to see a small boy hiding low behind the seats.

"How did you get in here?" Jason asked.

"I - I climbed in, before you grabbed Momma."

"I didn't see you getting into the car."

The boy just shrugged.

"How old are you?"

"Ten. But I will be eleven next month."


"Can I answer my phone? It's Momma."

"Give me the goddamn phone. I'll talk to Momma!" LeShawne said, reaching back to grab the phone from the kid. He turned to Jason to ask, "What we gonna do? This is freaking kidnapping. Carjacking is no big deal but kidnapping a kid? They get their nose all out of joint about that!"

Jason nodded. "Dump him out. Give him back his phone so his momma can find him or call her back yourself and tell her he's at Fulton and 10th and she should come get her goddamned kid."

"I can't find Herman," the kid said.

Both Jason and LeShawne glanced back at the kid.

"You're baby brother's here, too?" Jason asked.

"I don't have a baby brother."

"So who the hell is Herman?"

"My snake."

Jason smashed on the brakes, fishtailing the Suburban, almost getting hit by a Ford Taurus behind them.

"You got a snake in this car? You got a loose snake in this car?"

"His box tipped over when you were taking those hard turns at the mall."

"What kinda snake is it?" LeShawne asked.

"Who gives a fuck what kinda snake it is! It's a snake!" Jason shouted, slowly edging back into traffic.

But LeShawne had more questions, "How big is it? Does he bite?' He raised his feet off the floor to plant them high up on the dashboard. Jason noticed the gesture and was very conscious of having his feet on the pedals, with nowhere else to put them, thinking that he should make dumbass LeShawne do the driving.

"Six feet. But he only bites when he is upset. Then he gets real mean."

"Six freaking feet? That's taller than I am! How do you know when he's upset?'

"He gets upset when there is a lot of noise and shouting."

"Like now?"

The boy nodded and repeated, "Like now."

"Why can't you find him?" Jason asked, frantically looking around at the back. "He's six freaking feet. Ain't he laying on the floor or the seat? "No. He does this all the time. He finds a hole and climbs into the seats or the side panels to hide. Then he wiggles from one seat to another or climbs into the vents and comes out somewhere else. He does that at home, too, hiding in the sofas and heating vents."

"Shit," LeShawne said.

"My Momma hates it when he does that."

"No shit."

"Screw this. Do something, LeShawne," Jason ordered.

"And just what the fuck it is that you want me do, big man? Climb around the freaking seats looking for a freaking six-foot snake? Pull my freaking gun out and shoot through the freaking seats or into the freaking side panels and hope that I hit him? Or maybe we gonna dump the kid and drive off and look for the snake later tonight, just to be sure I got him? And who is going to pull the freaking snake out? You or me?"

"Oh, Man."

"I've had enough of this shit," LeShawne said. "Just pull over and let me out, NOW. Then you and the kid can deal with Mr. Herman, the 6-foot-hidden-I-don't-what-kind-of-pissed-off-snake it is. I'm outta here."

Jason pulled over the curb and they both got out, not bothering to turn off the engine, slamming the doors hard in disgust.

Timothy watched them walk away, yelling at each other, gesturing wildly, occasionally punching each other on the shoulder. He waited to be sure they were not coming back before he dialed Momma. He knew she would be scared and he was afraid they had hurt her when they pushed her away from the car like that. He would just tell her they got angry when they found him in the car and decided to leave him alone and went away.

He wasn't going to tell her about making up the story about the snake in the car. She always got angry with him when he made up stories like that.


  1. what a good story, and an, for me, unexpected twist at the end,
    good characterisations, really well written draws you with ease into the story

  2. A great short story, a grand celebration of the inventiveness and courage of children. It was very satisfying to see LeShawne and Jason get their comeuppance. Many thanks,