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Great Minds Think Alike


Jon Baldwin

Copyright © 2001
All Rights Reserved

THE RED FIAT X-19—red, but for a black hard top and a black ventilated hood over the small mid-engine—squeezed into an empty slot. The two mini-vans conveniently parked to either side dwarfed the tiny Italian sports car.

The reddish-haired driver put on a California Angels ball cap. Dark sunglasses followed. He turned to his teen-age passenger.

"Glad to be of help," he said.

"Hey, thanks for the lift, man!" the kid replied. "I'd probably still be out there if you hadn't stopped."

Glancing at the kid's short cropped, dyed-purple hair, the thick black ring in his nose, and his torn jeans—a large Nazi Swastika drawn in black ink in between tears on his left thigh—he decided the kid was probably right. He said anyway, "It was no problem. I've been stuck without a ride before, myself, so I know what it's like. Now I try to help out any hitchhikers I can."

The man pushed open his door and maneuvered himself from the cramped Fiat. The kid exited on his side.

"How 'bout that Coke I offered?" the man said.

"That'd be cool."

They started out a few steps through the parking lot in direction of the grocery store. The man stopped abruptly and put out an arm.

"Hold up a second. Be right back. Forgot something."

The puzzled kid watched the man as he returned towards the Fiat, tugging off the black leather gloves he'd strangely been wearing since the onset. The man disappeared around one of the mini-vans, the tiny Fiat all but hidden from view.

Out of sight of the kid, the man slipped the gloves back on. He realized he'd removed them too soon in his haste. He inserted the key to the rear trunk. The Fiat, like similar mid-engine sports cars, had both a front and rear trunk compartment, the rear being the much smaller of the two. He lifted the trunk lid up halfway, positioning his body so as to make viewing its contents from afar extremely difficult. He'd suspected for a while now the parking lot to be under surveillance, so he took the appropriate precautions. He propped open the trunk with an elbow and wrestled his hands from the gloves. A sickening stench arose from the trunk. Holding his breath, he looked down at the stiff and broken human legs stuffed into the narrow space. Tatters of dark purple flesh revealed where the body had been cut in two at the waistline.

He'd tried cramming the corpse into the front compartment, but—experimenting with multiple positions—it just wouldn't fit. So, after careful measurements, the legs had had to come off.

He tossed the leather gloves into the trunk. The car keys followed.


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