Part 8 - At the Swarm's Mercy
Brett reached for the door handle. Her fingers shook then dropped away. She couldn't bring herself to open the door. "This sucks."
The bees swarmed closer. One hit the windshield of the truck. Then another.
Worse still, her cell phone chirped, the battery dying.
"This sucks more."
She gripped her shaking hand with the other, but nothing would steady her nerves. "Damned if I do. Damned if I don't." If she sat inside the truck she was no better off than taking her chances out there. "I need that key."
Her quaking fingers edged toward the window crank. When she touched the scorching metal, she yanked her hand away. Her fingers burned. Just like the bees. "Brett, you dumb ass, it's hot in here. Truck's been sitting in the sun all day."
Forward ventured her fingers again. With gentle pressure she cracked open her window. She held the dying cell phone to it.
The swarming bees backed away.
A sob wracked through her as her hand crept toward the door handle. "I'm sorry." She blubbered at the bees. I'm not ready to die. Whatever my crime, I don't deserve to die. "I'm so sorry."
She held her breath and jerked open the door. As if on fire, she jumped out. "Please keep calling, Bill. Please keep calling."
Toward the back of the pickup she stole careful to place her feet unhurried and with as little noise as possible. The ring of her phone faded. The tone distorted. La la laaaawwhaaa. Sickeningly. Brett shook it. "Not now!" The battery symbol blinked. Its warning so dire. Then it went black.
"Damn it." Brett ducked below the truck's bed and crawled under the rear axle. She reached for the back tire and the key. The nearing buzz made her heart pound. It grew louder. Her fingers fumbled around then yanked the magnetic holder free. It dropped into the dirt several times as she struggled to open it. She heard the key rattling inside then clutched it like gold when it fell into her palm. She pressed her lips to the key, inundating her senses with the tang of metal.
She crept forward toward the cab. When she got there, she peered cautiously out. A black cloud marred the blue sky.
If she didn't get in the truck, she couldn't recharge the phone. She couldn't get out of here. To stay here was death. To risk it was death. "What a choice!"
What should happen to Brett next? Get involved with the fate of the Volcanic Killer Ash Bees.
Previous episodes of Terror in the High Desert can be found at: http://mpaxauthor.blogspot.com/p/terror-in-high-desert.html