Skippy was stunned, but not down for the count yet. He reeled from the explosion, which bought the gang just enough time to retreat into Pemberton’s Hardware store. After Sharon picked the lock, everyone ran inside and hid behind the counter. Their clothes were sopping wet, dripping water all over the floor.
“Are you going to be ok without your oxygen, my little cumquat?” Burt asked
“Cumquat?” Cole asked.
“Yes,” Maude replied. “I can’t go all day without it but I should be fine for a few hours, my handsome stallion.”
“Handsome stallion?” Cole looked to Rusty. “When did that happen?”
“Last night,” Rusty said. “Oh, by the way, good job Burt.”
Burt and Rusty exchanged a high-five.
“Nothing stops him,” Sharon said. “We’ve tried bullets, grenades, trucks, explosives.”
“Speaking of that,” Cole said as he pulled the detonator stick out of his pocket and pressed the red button a bunch of times. “Moses really screwed the pooch here.”
“What a pussy,” Rusty said. “Turning tail and running out on us in our time of need.”
“I don’t know,” Cole said as he pulled out his phone and sent a text message to Moses. “Why…won’t…C4…work…and…failure to send. Shit, Hurricane Dakota Rothschild has shut everything down.”
“Just like a rich socialite bitch,” Rusty said. “Everything is about her.”
The gang took an hour. They rested. Dozed off. Loaded their weapons. Raided the hardware store for supplies. They even helped themselves to some beef jerky and chips set up near the counter in an impulse buy display.
“What’s next, fearless leader?” Rusty asked.
Cole stepped over to the store’s front window. The complete lower half of the building was now submerged in water. Parked cars, downed utility poles, assorted debris, everything out on the street looked as though it had been magically transported to the bottom of the ocean.
“The hurricane to end all hurricanes,” Cole said.
“At the same time as the gator to end all gators,” Rusty added.
“Just our luck,” Sharon said.
Cole draped his arm around Sharon’s shoulder and looked out at the town underwater. “Story of our life, babe. If it weren’t for bad luck, we’d have no luck at all.”
“I don’t know about that,” Sharon said. “I feel lucky to have you.”
“Gag,” Rusty said.
“Pussy!” Maude shouted.
“Yeah, Cole!” Burt said. “You big pussy!”
Cole glared at Burt.
“What?” Burt said. “Sorry. I just wanted in on the fun.”
“Look people,” Cole said. “Sharon and I are back together. Anyone got a problem with that?”
Maude pulled out a flask and took a swig. “No problem. It’s your life. I just think you’re a pussy for taking her back is all.”
“There were extenuating circumstances,” Cole said. “We’ll explain when Mother Nature and a thunder lizard aren’t conspiring to destroy us, OK?”
Rusty squinted into the grimy water through the store’s dirty glass. “Where the hell did old snappy jaws go anyway?”
“Good question,” Sharon said. “I don’t see him.”
“You think he’s gone?” Rusty asked.
Maude emitted a boozy burp. “That sucker ran away with his tail between his legs. Probably half way to Cuba by now.”
“I don’t know,” Cole said as he stared into the water. “Something about this doesn’t seem…”
WHAM! Out of nowhere, Skippy pounded his head into the window and roared. The gang let out a collective scream. “Ack!”