A Saudi Car Bomb by William Cannon

Mom said I could come out and wait in the car. Actually, it’s a new Lincoln Navigator. It’s really tight. We’re at Walmart. My little sister Cassie, I call her Cass, wants to argue with me about everything. She wants Captain Crunch. I want Lucky Charms. She wants Ravioli-O’s. I want Spaghetti-O’s. Even the cookies. She knows how much I like Oreos. She eats em too. But today she wants stupid animal crackers. They ain’t even real cookies. Mom done told us she ain’t buyin everything. Cass is just bein a hater.

Great. The Lincoln’s locked. Now I gotta stand here like an idiot til they come out. Betcha Mom knew it was locked. She just didn’t wanna hear no more fussin.

There’s a little four-door white Honda parked beside us. It’s trashed out. Stinks real bad. Man, it’s hot out here. The sun’s bright. I gotta squint my eyes. What’s takin em so long? I can’t help but to keep lookin inside the Honda. There’s a buncha files. And a huge chunk of broken mirror sittin in the passenger seat. Next to it is a red tube of lip stick. It’s open with the red stickin out.

I back up til I’m touchin our Navigator. Don’t wanna get caught peekin round in someone’s car. I scan over the people in the parkin lot. Whose car is this?

There’s a dirty blond wig in the back seat. A lotta empty Taco Bell bags, wrappers and cups. Jeez. They must live at Taco Bell. There’s a drink holder thingy on the door. It’s gotta Taco Bell cup in it. Looks full. There’s a huge fly on the very tip of the straw. Wonder why they didn’t take it with em?

I remember hearin bout some kid. A girl I think. She took a drink of Coke. It was in a can. And there was a bumble bee in it. It was still alive. She got stung in the mouth a buncha times. I guess bees and flies can tread in a Coke and Kool Aid for a long time. Longer than I could. What if she’d swallowed the bumble bee? I can’t imagine gettin stung in my stomach. I’d be runnin round screamin like I was nutso and nobody’d know why.

So, it’s kinda windy out here but it don’t help. My wet bangs are stickin to my forehead. I can feel sweat runnin down my back. My Transformers shirt is gettin wet. Wish they’d hurry up.

I like Taco Bell’s Chalupas. Now I’m hungry. Wonder where the chunk of broken mirror come from? And why would it be in the front seat n’all? Someone could get hurt. Bobby broke a mirror in the boy’s bathroom at school last year. Cut his hand. Lotta blood.

A street racer drives by me. It’s bumpin Justin Bieber. The Eenie Meenie song with Sean Kingston. I hate Justin Bieber. He’s gay.

God there’s like a million flies in this car. What kinda girl would leave the top off her lip stick—and the red stickin out of it? Betcha it’s fat people.

C’mon Mom—It’s hot out here! I’d go back in but what if I miss em? Then they’d hafta wait on me. Mom would probly freak out and think I got stolen. If she looked in the Honda she’d see the scary mirror, the lip stick, the dirty blonde wig. She’d call 911. Cops’d be all over the place.

Hey! I forgot I gotta piece of grape Hubba Bubba in my pocket. The wrapper’s stuck to it. After I’m done pullin at it I got about half a piece. I toss the sticky wrapper in the Honda. The loud Justin Bieber car goes by again. Wonder what’s in the trunk of the Honda? More trash. A dead body. A bomb. A car bomber. Some terrorist. Probly some Saudi Arabian guy. Who’s usin Taco Bell as a cover. I look at the security cameras on all the light poles. Then back in the suspicious Honda. The sun reflects off the mirror right in my eyes. I turn away and close em tight. Little hands grab hold of my waist from behind me. I jump.

“Ga Jasper—why so jumpy?” It’s Cass.

“Where you guys been? It’s hot as heck out here.”

She’s all happy and eatin her stupid animal crackers.

I can almost feel the Walmart air conditioning still on her.

“Sorry baby—Cass and I were playin the game with the little crane thingy. We tried fishing out the Pink Panther but couldn’t get him.”

I’m so mad. I’m mad at both of em. How could she leave me out here in million-degree heat? Next to a Saudi car bomb. And the whole time her and Cass got their eyeballs glued to a glass case full of stuffed toys and a mini crane. Pumpin dollars into it and tryin to, how’d she say it, “Fish out the Pink Panther”? Grrrr. Animal crackers! Air conditioning. Pink Panther. No Oreos. “Can we just hurry up and go.”

“Mom, Jasper’s still being grumpy.”

As we back outta the parkin spot I can see the big fly still on the tip of the straw out of the Taco Bell cup. I hear the Justin Bieber street racer go by us again. God they got Eenie Meenie on repeat. The bass shakes the ground and our Navigator like crazy.

“Oooh, Justin Bieber!” says Cass with a big smile. She pulls Oreos out of the bag beside her. “Here ya go brother—Mom got us both.” Then she sings, “Shorty is a eenie meenie miney mo lover.”

“Don’t eat a lot of those, kids. We’re stopping at Taco Bell for a quick dinner.” Right as we pull outta the parkin lot I almost look back. To see if I can see the owner of the Honda yet. But I stop myself. I don’t wanna know. Fat people. Saudis. Terrorists. Doesn’t matter. I got Oreos. Chalupas are comin. The A/C is cold. The leather smells good. I smile big with Oreo-black teeth and look at Cass. We sing together, “Shorty is a eenie meenie miney mo lover.”

I know one thing — ain’t lettin no fly on the tip of my straw. Not today. Not ever.

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