“Cole!” Sharon shouted. “Are you crazy?!”
Cole gripped the gator’s skin with every ounce of strength he had in him, holding on tight as Skippy pressed forward, bucking wildly to the left and right in a vain attempt to throw Cole off while he chased the Diablo.
A bullet whizzed past Cole’s head.
“Rusty, you asshole!” Cole screamed. “Cease fire!”
The skies opened and the rain poured down heavily. This made it even more difficult for Cole to hold on. Plus, the poor weather interfered with the group cell phone conversation. Cole could barely make out the words that were being spoken to him through the static.
“My bad,” Rusty said. “Bzztt bssshhhkktz…I was aiming at the gator.”
Cole pulled out a long, incredibly sharp combat knife with a jagged edge from a sheath clipped to his belt. He used his left hand to clutch the gator’s hide even harder, while he used his right hand to raise the blade high into the air and bring it down onto the gator’s head.
Snap! The blade broke off as soon as it hit the gator’s head, flew into the air and clattered on the highway below.
“You’ve got to be kidding me!” Cole said.
“Cole,” came the voice of Maude in Cole’s ear. “Are you ever gonna put on some pants or are you just gonna let your tucas flap in the breeze all day for the entire world to see?”
“Not exactly my top priority right now, Maude!” Cole said.
“Yeah, well, make it a priority to get off that gator,” Maude said. “How in the hell am I going to shove this big rig up his ass when you’re riding him like Seabiscuit?”
Cole turned to the right and looked at the giant, gator-sized dent in the trailer attached to the right Burt was driving. “Doesn’t look like it will work.”
“Won’t hurt to try,” Maude said.
Sharon and Rusty were ahead of Cole. Maude’s truck was to the left. Burt’s truck remained on the right. Behind him? A plethora of fast moving cars that were virtually certain to run him over if the gator didn’t find a way to mangle him first.
Cole spotted a bright, shiny grab bar next to the driver’s side door of Burt’s truck.
“Here goes nothing,” Cole said. With his one and only leg, he pushed off of Skippy’s back, narrowly missed being snapped between a set of gator jaws, and snagged hold of the grab bar with his right hand.
Burt rolled down his window. “Son, you must have a death wish!”
The old man kept one hand on the wheel of the big rig and offered Cole his left hand. Cole grabbed it, shimmied through the open window and into the passenger’s side of the cab.
“Oh God,” Cole said as he struggled to catch his breath. “Oh my God.”
“Looks like killing a toilet gator is harder than we thought,” Burt said.
“You think?” Cole asked.
The Diablo swerved and sideswiped Maude’s rig.
“Whoa,” Maude said. “Watch it there, girly!”
“This thing handles like shit in the rain!” Sharon said. “I’ve got to get off.”
“Take the next exit,” Cole said. “We’ll head downtown and box him in.”