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A young girl lost in the backwoods. She has no cell phone coverage and her car is broken down. She makes a deal with a local group of hicks to get her car fixed. It's not the deal she wanted but giving in is better than giving up. Isabelle just finished a grueling semester. With finals behind her. she heads to the beach to spend a few weeks relaxing. She decides to take the scenic route through the backwoods and ends up in a minor accident. She isn't hurt but her car is damaged and she has no cell phone coverage to call for help. She finds a local bar frequented by hillbillies and is forced to make a deal for help. She is forced to swallow her pride, among other things, as she realizes giving in is better than giving up.
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Copyright © 2018 by E. A. Jeffries
All rights reserved. This book or any portion thereof may not be reproduced or used in any manner whatsoever without the express written permission of the publisher except for the use of brief quotations in a book review.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, businesses, places, events, locales, and incidents are either the products of the author’s imagination or used in a fictitious manner. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events is purely coincidental.
Cover and back cover images provided by Pixabay. Special thanks to https://pixabay.com/ for providing free to use stock images under either Creative Commons or Public Domain.
For image licensing notices, see:
A Deal’s a Deal
E. A. Jeffries
Isabelle's playlist cycled to her favorite song. She turned up the volume and was swaying her head back and forth and dipping her shoulders to the music as she drove down the country road.
After the grueling sophomore year at university, she decided to treat herself to a week at the beach. She hit the road as soon as she could. She just packed her bags, jumped in her car and started driving towards the coast. She sent her parents a text that she was going to the beach for a few weeks.
She decided to take the back roads and enjoy the idyllic scenery as she traveled. She liked the forest if it was outside of her car window. She looked at the clock and realized it was getting close to dark, so she stepped on the gas to try to reach the next town before sundown.
The little red coupe sped down the highway. It was moving far too fast for the curvy back roads, but she didn't care. The car was fast and maneuverable, and she had utter faith in her driving. She zipped back and forth as the road turned left and right through the idyllic countryside.
She traveled a few more miles up the road and her smart phone lost its signal and dropped to zero bars and the music stopped with her data connection down. “Damn it,” she said to herself. “Fuck this stupid cell phone company. For what I pay them they should have towers everywhere I go!”
She sighed and turned on the radio. She went from station to station and found nothing but country music and religious stations. “This must be hell. I'm in hell. O. M. G. Don't these hicks have any real music?” she said to herself and took another drink from her latte, even though it was very cold at this point.
The road came to an end at a few miles and turned only left or right. She was confused. Her GPS wasn't working with no signal and she didn't know which way to go. She took a guess and turned right. She drove for a while, at least an hour along the winding, country road. She considered turning back but it was late in the evening and the last town was at least three hours behind her.
She was getting frustrated at being lost, her cell phone not working and her drink being cold. She pushed the gas pedal down further, thinking something had to be on this road and she wanted to get their faster. She went around a sharp curve and lost control of the car. She slid off the road and over a low embankment.
She was unhurt but pissed. “Stupid fucking country roads. Don't they know how to bank curves?”
She exited the car and looked it over. It appeared to have no real damage although both tires on the passenger side were flat. She knew she had a spare but didn't know how to change a tire and even if she did, she couldn't do anything about the second one.
She checked her phone again and still no signal. “God damnit! The man at store said they had nationwide coverage. Well, fuck him and his phone!” she screamed at the trees. A squirrel barked back at her.
She looked at the road. She would have to walk to find help. She looked down at her mini skirt and high heels. She wasn't really dressed for the walk, but she didn't have a choice. She looked through her bags in the hatch but knew it was futile. The only things she packed were bikinis and club outfits.
She took off her heels and carried them as she started to walk down the highway. It was quickly getting dark. It was quiet other than the sounds of the forest. She was getting nervous. The only thing she knew was the city and the closest she had been to the outdoors was jogging in the park. All manners of terrors were creeping through her mind from wolves to bigfoot and even zombies.
She walked for about an hour. By that point it was dark with only a sliver of a moon to light the way. She saw a feint light ahead and picked up her pace. She quickly headed towards the light. As the light came into view, she saw it was a parking lot.
The lot was mostly vacant except for a few pickups and a couple of farm tractors. There was an old building with fading paint and a big sign on it. “Bar,” was the only word on the sign. A neon sign flashing “Op n” was hanging beside the door. The “e” on the sign was burned out.
She put her heels back on and walked up to the door then entered. Low country music was playing on the jukebox. The large room was smoky and not very well lit. She walked towards the bar and passed a pool table with an ashtray and cigarette burns on it. The felt was faded. Several drink rings were in the wood of table where people had left drinks sitting for too long.
As she approached the bar, she looked around. There were four men sitting at one table playing cards. They were laughing and insulting each other as they placed bets. Another table had two men talking about a new model of farm device. All the men cast a glance at her but didn't pay her much heed.
The bartender set a napkin on the bar and put a grimy glass on it. “What kin I getcha, missy?”
“I need to use your phone. I'm lost, and I ran off the road a little way back and blew out two tires. I need to call AAA,” she told him.
“Ain't got no phone. Got me a C.B. Radio. I can get Billy to come on down with his tow truck and getcher car into town,” he replied.
She nodded. “I would like that. Thank you.”
The bartender went over to a table and picked up the mic and keyed it. “This here is Magnum. You gotcher ears on, Big Billy?”
The C.B. Crackled with static. “Howdy, Magnum. This here's Big Billy. What can I do you for?”
“We got us a little missy stranded out here. Gots a few flats on her car and needs a wrecker. You wanna grab your rollback and go get her car?”
“She got money? Towin ain't free,” the voice replied.
“You got money, missy?” the bartender asked.
“I have a platinum Visa and Mastercard,” she replied.
Magnum keyed the mic again. “She's a sayin she's got a credit card.”
“I guess it will do. Cash is better. Gonna charge extra for the hassle of a credit card and a havin to go out this late,” Big Billy replied.
The bartender looked at her.
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