Under the Aurora bridge, Winona Svoboda’s wild curly hair fell across her face and tickled her cheek. Her face tingled as it danced across her nose. She playfully blew it upward, out of her eyes.
Sweet, skunky smoke filled the interior of the car. She could see the orange of the streetlights through the fogged sunroof. She watched the rain stream from the purple darkness above the glow of the nightlights and beat along the hood of the grey sedan.
She inhaled the smoke and held it deep in her lungs until she felt like coughing and then exhaled in ecstasy. Her body relaxed. The nerves in her face dulled. Her legs evaporated. And her chest tightened.
She ran her hands along the thighs of her two companions and stopped at their waistband, teasing her fingers along the zippers to their trousers. Both older men lay back nearly comatose passing their joints between them and slouching their heads onto her shoulders.
Adeptly, she slipped a hand into the pants of both playmates and felt the top bits of hair in her fingers.
“I’m too high to get up, woman,” said the man on her left.
The one on her right just lay, barely noticing her advances.
Winona reached further into each man’s pants and found what she sought. The one on her left sat a little more rigid and responded to her caress more immediately. With some additional coaxing of the man on her right, she eventually found herself with two handfuls of manhood.
As if on cue, she felt a strong, hairy hand work its way up her ratty t-shirt and another work its way under her skirt, along her thigh and into her welcoming nest.
All four hands went to work. Winona could feel herself quiver. Nerves ran up her spine and down her legs to her toes.
She arched her back and happened to look out the sunroof in search of the stars. But she could only see the rafters and the span of the Aurora bridge that ran down the street, through the park and across the Fremont Channel to downtown Seattle.
A blur caught her by surprise and caused a reflective reaction. She yanked her hands out of the two sets of trousers and covered her face. At first, it looked like a giant bird, maybe an eagle falling through the tree. In an instant, it crashed on top of the vehicle, smashing the sunroof and denting the ceiling above their heads.
For a split second, Winona witnessed a face and a shoulder before the body rolled to one side and fell to the ground.
Both of the men in the car jolted and exited on opposite sides. The rain quickly soaked their long, thinning, greying hair and their dirty brown overcoats.
“What the hell,” jolted the man in the brown stained tank top under his canvas rain coat. “I think the dude jumped.”
“Christ,” said the other man. “Scared the piss outta me. He’s a gonner for sure. Poor bastard.”
Winona scrambled out of the car and wiped the rain from her eyes.
“Jesus,” she said. “We find a perfectly good car, unlocked in the rain and some asshole goes and jumps the Aurora right on top of it.”
“Bad luck man, ain’t that right Jackson?”
“Damn right,” Jackson replied, pulling his canvas rain coat over his shoulders to shelter his exposed chest from the cold.
“We gotta get outa here,” Winona said. “Cops’ll come and screw with us. We gotta get back to the underpass and act like we weren’t never here.”
“What about this poor dead guy?” asked Jackson. “Can’t just leave him here. You think me and Duff could lift him?”
“Why?” asked Winona. “He ain’t goin nowhere. Cops’ll take care of him. Let’s roll.”
Neither Winona, nor her two escorts noticed, at first, that the trunk popped open in the commotion. But, as Duff passed first, he stopped and let out a loud howl.
“What that hell is this?” asked Jackson.
“Check this out,” Duff whispered loudly.
Winona rounded the tail lights of the car and peered into the trunk. She blinked and jumped as if a small monster had reached for her from the depths of the rear cavern.
She reopened her eyes and looked more closely at the lithe frame of a young girl, curled and squirming in the trunk with mouth gagged and her arms and legs lashed together to immobilize her in a pathetic fetal position.
“Don’t just stand there,” Winona snapped. “Get her the hell outa there.”
Duff and Jackson lifted her from the trunk. She twisted her hips and arched her back in resistance. The two sixty-something vagabonds nearly dropped her. They rested her in the grass under the bridge where the rain only spattered. They attempted to remove the restraints from her hands and legs. Winona tugged at the gag across her mouth and managed to remove it from her neck.
“What’s your name, little girl?” she asked. “What are you doing tied up in the trunk?”
The girl continued to squirm against the bindings on her wrists and ankles and made tiny moaning sounds. But she didn’t speak. Her eyes darted like a scared animal as she writhed across the grass like a snake.
“Hold still,” Winona said. “We’re gonna help you.”
“She’s a little Asian girl,” Duff said. “She can’t be 10, 12 years old.”
All three struggled to loosen the tight ties, but failed to free her hands and legs.
“Let’s take her up to the underpass and use some of the scrap metal behind the troll to try and cut her free,” Winona suggested.
Duff lifted the girl and managed to hold her like a small baby over his shoulder. The platform of the bridge spanned two uphill blocks and rejoined the ground at a point about 200 yards away. Under the connection point between the bridge overhead and the top of the hill was a flat sandy area adjacent to North 36th street, followed by a gradual smooth cement incline next to the landmark Fremont Troll, a well-known Seattle landmark sculpture at the base of the underpass.
Duff ascended the hill and walked toward the underpass with the girl in his arms. Winona, still standing by the car, stared at the lifeless body lying face down in the grass.
“We can’t just leave him here in the rain,” she said.
“Not for nothin,” Jackson said slowly. “But maybe he got some money or some weed or something on him?”
“We don’t got time to screw around with this dead guy,” Winona said, looking over her shoulder. “We gotta go. They’ll know we were in the car. They’ll blame us for the damage. Hell, they may even say we kidnapped the girl. We gotta get back up there, lay down like we were up there sleeping all along and hide that girl from sight until we can figure out how to turn her into the cops without getting in trouble us-selves.”
“How about we load him on the shopping cart and wheel him up there?” Jackson asked. “I’d like to see them cops’ faces when they see the damage and there ain’t no dead body that did it.”
“What’re we gonna do with a dead body?”
“Strip him for the clothes. I bet he got a decent pair of underwear. And, them shoes don’t look too bad, neither.”
“Fine, whatever,” Winona snapped. “Just make it quick. Them cocksucker cops’ll probably be here soon wanting to rough us up for breaking and entering. I hate them dudes. Let’s go.”