Downtown Sitwell was a mess of old buildings lined up on either side of a narrow road, a tribute of sorts to a time straight out of yesteryear, back when Mom and Pop shops thrived. The Sitwell Park Mall had long rendered the district obsolete, though many small businesses, ranging from flower stores and clothing boutiques, to bakeries, delis and restaurants, struggled on.
The gang entered the area in a convoy, with the Diablo up front first, Burt and Cole’s rig second, an insanely enraged Skippy third and Maude bringing up the rear. Save for a few parked cars, the stores had been abandoned due to the hurricane, which was unleashing buckets of non-stop rain and oppressive winds.
One gust ripped a parking meter right out of the sidewalk on the left hand side of the road and sent it soaring through the first rig’s windshield. Burt and Cole looked away just in time to avoid being blinded by the scattered shards of glass as the meter landed in the cab between them.
“Mother of God!” Burt cried.
BRAMP! BRAMP! Maude blared on her horn. “Boys, you’re gonna wanna speed up, because I’m gonna ram that sucker!”
“You think that’s such a good idea?” Sharon asked.
“Do first, think second,” Maude said. “That’s…bzztt…bsshhhk…been my way my whole life and it’s got me this far.”
Cole realized his mother figure was about to put herself in some serious danger, but he also knew there would be no use in trying to talk her out of it. “Good luck, Maude.”
“Don’t need luck,” Maude replied. “I got skills.”
Maude stepped on the gas. Her rig sped up, moving down the narrow road, coming ever so close to that big green tail when all of a sudden, skipped turned, jumped into the air, and attacked the rig head on. He chomped his way through the engine block, bringing the rig to such an abrupt stop while it had been traveling a high speed that entire vehicle, cab and trailer, jack-knifed.
Cole watched in his rear view mirror as the trailer tipped over and bashed its way through a number of businesses – Tony’s Pizzeria, Mr. Flashy’s Tux Shop, the Red Rose Florist, Leon’s Deli. The trailer finally rested inside the office of B and G Insurance Company.
Burt hit the brakes. “Jesus! Is she ok?”
“Maude?” Cole screamed into bluetooth headset. “Maude!”