The sharp crack of small caliber weapons is unmistakable, it’s not the boom of a shotgun and not the loud bang of a deer rifle. When those sounds are so close together to sound almost continuous, it has to be more than one weapon on full automatic. Ransom had all of these thoughts as he dropped his bike and jumped the guide rail on his right. Joe had done the exact same thing. They looked at each other through the underbrush they had landed in, shock and fear on their faces.
“What the &*$*&,” mouthed Joe.
Ransom didn’t answer; the gunfire had stopped almost as soon as it had started and the surrounding forest was mostly silent. The distant murmur of water over rocks was the only sound until the tell-tale hiss of rubber on asphalt was joined by the low purr of a well tuned, large engine.
Ransom poked his head up and tried to peer under the guide rail to the parking area across the road, his view was interrupted for a second by the passing car he had heard, but he saw enough to know that he couldn’t see anything so he slid back down the embankment and glanced over at Joe.
Joe had crawled all the way up to the guide rail, positioning himself behind one of the support posts. Ransom had visions of a recent paint ball battle, then realized that these were real bullets and that while Joe was fit, he wasn’t thinner than the post.
“Get down,” Ransom whispered as loudly as he could.
“I can see two people laying on the ground over there,” Joe called back, not even trying to be quiet, “and no one else.”
Ransom crawled over to where Joe was slowly standing up.
“What are you doing?” Joe asked, “What if there are more of ‘em and they want to kill us for just being here.”
“Didn’t you see the two guys in the parking lot as we came around the bend?” Asked Joe.
“No,” Ransom admitted, “ I was too busy trying to catch my breath; don’t you know any roads without hills?”
“If you could pass by a bag of Doritos’s, the hills wouldn’t bother you so much,” Joe pointed out while climbing back over the guide rail.
“Bite me,” Ransom replied, joining his friend in the miniscule line of grass between the white line and the galvanized steel that pretended to stop cars from hurting the trees when the drunks driving them failed to negotiate the curves.
Joe started to cross the road, then stopped as another car whooshed past. Muttering under his breath, Joe changed his mind and leaned down to grab his bike before starting across the street again.
“What, the bike gonna protect you from the next nut that flies around that bend?” Ransom asked as he too picked up his bike and started across the road. “This is not smart,” he said to no one in particular.