(This week, as part of the publising process, I’m offering you an excerpt from Spree. They’ve just robbed a Vons grocery store in West Los Angeles the day before, made good on their escape, and spent the night in a Loma Linda Motel 6. This takes place early in the novel, so there aren’t any spoilers here. Hope you enjoy!)
Steve cracked an eye open, saw muted sunlight, closed his eye.
“C’mon, man. Get up.”
The light got brighter. He opened his eye again, just the one, and saw that Eddie had opened the drapes on the front window.
“What time is it?” he said.
“Time to go. C’mon. We gotta roll.”
He sat up. Something was off. Eddie’s tone of voice was wrong somehow. “What’s up?”
“We gotta go! Get dressed. Hurry. I’ll be in the car.”
Damn, what was homie’s problem? It felt like he’d just went to sleep. He was pretty sure he could still smell the In-N-Out burgers they’d had. He rubbed his eyes as Eddie slammed the door. A moment later, the Cutlass’s engine fired up. Steve looked out the window and Eddie made frantic come on motions.
Shit. Eddie’d done something. He was always pulling stupid shit, and it seemed like maybe it was getting worse. Or maybe he was just showing his true colors.
Steve dressed as quickly as he could. Eddie raced the engine a couple times while he was at it.
“Chill, dude,” he muttered as he tied his shoes. There, done. He looked around, made sure he wasn’t forgetting anything. He sniffed. Damn, his pits reeked. He fell asleep without taking a shower, and now Toxic Eddie was in a hurry for something. Well, whatever. Time to bail.
He got into the car and barely had the door shut when Eddie backed out and took off like his ass was on fire. He barely slowed when they reached the street, weaving around sluggish commuter traffic and blasting back on the freeway like a rocket heading for orbit.
That’s about the time Steve heard the sirens. And noticed there was an In-N-Out bag on the console. He stared at it for a minute, then looked at Eddie. When he saw the grin on his buddy’s face, something inside clenched up. No, it wasn’t inside. It was his shoulders and back muscles. Tension, dude.
“What’d you do, Eddie?”
Eddie chuckled. No, it was more like a snicker. “We got our rooms for free, man.”
“Close your mouth. You’ll draw flies.” Eddie snickered again.
Steve stared at Eddie a few seconds more, then looked back down at the fast food bag. After a few moments, he opened it and peered inside.
“You stupid fuck,” he said. “You robbed our motel.”
Eddie nodded and gave that stupid snicker once more. It made him sound nuts. Maybe he was.
“Dude, you robbed our motel in broad daylight? What the fuck, man?”
Eddie shrugged, gaze still on the road. “They charged too much for a room anyway, man. And this was what we was gonna do, so who gives a shit?”
“I do, asshat! You coulda told me, at least.”
“I was just gettin’ a candy bar, you know? Nobody there but me and the clerk, so I figured what the fuck. I got a refund.”