When Maddie struck Frank across the head he got rocked like a boxer. Blood burst from his right eye socket and the car pitched left and off the road.
The truck bucked and jolted over uneven ground. Sharon stabilized herself by grabbing Frank by the neck, putting him in a headlock, her arm slippery with his blood.
Brit tumbled into the back seat of the Suburban. Sharon got kicked by her as Brit disappeared into the back.
“You fuggggg…” Frank gurgled. He let go of the wheel and grabbed Sharon’s arm. Maddie got a firm hold on the wheel, but rather than turn back to the road, she turned them further into the desert. Sharon noticed how alert Maddie was – her back straight, eyes fixed out the windshield despite the rocking. Had she done this before?
Frank pulled at Sharon’s arm. He tore into her flesh with his nails. He was desperate, but not as desperate as Sharon. She pulled back with every bit of strength and leverage she could summon. Gritting her teeth, spitting with effort, she held on. Despite the pain, the tearing, his gurgling, she held on.
The suburban struck something hard and immobile and stopped dead.
Maddie crashed through the windshield and was gone. Frank pitched forward, dragging Sharon out of the back seat and tumbling her into the front. She slid into the cubed glass that littered the front seat. Frank’s pitch forward had yanked her arm so hard that something gave way. Her should disconnected.
Once the stars disappeared from her eyes she assessed the stillness.
Frank was out cold. His face covered in blood.
Maddie was out of the car somewhere, thrown through the windshield.
Brit couldn’t be seen but she could be heard, moaning in the rear well of the truck.
Sharon couldn’t move her arm without unbearable pain. But apart from some cuts and scratches she was sure she was okay.
The driver side door swung open. Frank’s body lolled out into the vacant space – his seatbelt keeping him from falling out.