“Here’s the antidote, Doc!” cried stunt driver Cruze Oversteer, tossing the bottle to his old friend and aging physician, Doc McFlintlock. “That should save Trixie, right?”
Doc examined the bright green liquid as he vaulted into Cruze’s pickup truck, his feet gripping handily on the Husky Liners Heavy Duty floor mats. “That should do the trick, sonny.” he said. “She only needs a few ounces.”
Cruze and Doc had just stolen the antidote from the secret bunker of Colonel Franz Blucher, the Neo-Nazi warlord and mad scientist who had just that morning poisoned Cruze’s beautiful fiancé, secret agent Trixie Love. Now they had less than an hour to get back to Trixie’s stylish, midtown apartment where she waited for them. If they didn’t make it by then, the poison would do its work.
“Good,” said Cruze as he fired up the truck and sped away down the muddy mountain road. “Once Trixie’s better, we can lay low until after the honeymoon. Maybe I can even scare up some stunt work until this all blows over.”
“You? Work? I’m not holding my breath,” chuckled the old man.
“Hey now,” laughed Cruze. “I-”
Automatic gunfire zipped over and around the truck. Cruze checked his rearview mirror only to see a fleet of Blucher’s armored pickup trucks thundering after them. “Looks like ol’ Franz isn’t going to let us off so easy,” said Doc.
“I count thirteen,” said Cruze. “My lucky number.”
But as they rounded a curve, Cruze looked back to see the front truck slinging thick, sticky mud onto trucks behind it, who couldn’t clear it fast enough. Blinded, three of the trucks flew off a cliff, while the next swerved into a boulder and exploded in a tower of orange flame. Cruze patiently counted off eight more explosions as the trucks piled up. “That leaves only one,” he said, narrowing his gaze. “For once I wish I hadn’t installed my Husky Liners custom fit mud guards.”
“And I’ll bet those guys wish they had. Those cheap Ebay flaps weren’t designed to fit their trucks and didn’t cover enough of the tire area.”
More bullets ricocheted off the pickup. If they could just make it to the border…
“Doc, check the Gearbox,” yelled Cruze.
“The transmission? It sounds fine to me.”
“No, old man! The Husky Liners Gearbox! It’s a handy storage unit under the back
seat. It can hold tons of stuff in organized compartments. It’s bound to have something we can use against those goons.”
Doc wedged the antidote between the seats and crawled to the back, where he rummaged around in the durable Gearbox until he found what he was looking for: a flare gun. “I’m gonna jump in the bed for a clear shot,” said Doc.
“Okay,” said Cruze, catching his gaze. “Don’t die out there, old man.”
“Count on it,” said Doc with a wink. Opening the door against the violent alpine wind, he leapt into the truck bed and crouched behind the Husky Liners aluminum tailgate. “This isn’t bulletproof,” he grunted. “But it sure looks nice.”
The gun truck sped up to reach them, and in its bed, a huge soldier with an eyepatch leveled his rifle- right at Doc’s head. It was now or never. Doc grabbed Cruze’s spare gas can and threw it through the enemy’s windshield. “Y’all need to work on your fuel efficiency,” he said with a gritty smirk, and fired.
The truck detonated in a massive ball of flame, but Doc didn’t see it. He was already moving back toward the cab.
…Until he heard another V8 roar and realized that Cruze had missed one in his count. The truck burst through the smoke and fire, guns hot. But instead of ramming them, it angled toward an inclined rock beside the road and jumped it, ramping straight over them.
And as it landed, Doc looked in horror at the man in the bed.
He had a rocket launcher.
Hands sweating, Doc chambered a new flare. Then he grabbed the brilliant aluminum finish of the Husky Liners contractor rack and took aim. “Looks like this job calls for-“ he paused to put on his sunglasses- “a little flare.” He pulled the trigger.
At the brilliant burst of fire and light, the rocket man dropped his launcher, which went off, decimating the truck. Cruze watched from inside as shrapnel bounced off of his Husky Liners headlight and paint protection film. But those weren’t the least of his troubles. The flaming truck wreckage was right in their path. “Hang on, Doc!” he yelled, flooring the accelerator. “We’re gonna fly!”
As the pickup hit the mangled metal and flew through the air, Cruze looked to the right to see the lid fly off of the antidote bottle, ejecting its green contents in a solid, slow motion geyser. “Trixie!” he yelled. The pickup hit the ground and the antidote splattered all over the floor. Not a drop remained in the bottle. “No! It can’t end like this!” he sobbed, slamming on the brakes.
Doc jumped out of the bed and ran to the window. “What’s wrong?” he asked, then saw the bottle and put a palm to his face.
“Wait!” shouted Cruze. “You said she only needs a couple of ounces, right?”
“So my Husky Liners Heavy Duty floor mats can hold at least forty ounces of liquid!”
Doc glanced the floor mat and smiled. The deep grooves had caught more than enough of the antidote.
“Ready your syringe, Doctor,” said Cruze, throwing the truck back into gear. “Then call the product placement reps and see about our check.”
Andy Sheehan is a blogger, aspiring novelist, and relentless hoon. He plans to will his 2002 Subaru WRX Wagon to his firstborn, plans his daily commute around the swoop of its roads, and doesn’t plan to ever buy an automatic. A cool-car omnipath, he loves the common Mustang or Chevelle, but hunts for the weird and wonderful Velorexes and Cosmos of the autoverse. And when he can afford a garage, he’s going to turn an MX-5 into a race car.