Joe had already pushed his bike, with the bag on the saddle, into the woods just off the macadam path, where he was waiting for ransom.
“You didn’t touch anything except the bag, right?” Joe asked.
“I’ve got gloves on,” Ransom replied, “with fingers,” he added, rather smugly.
“Yeah, well,” Joe started to reply when they heard another car, this time slowing down, “Let’s get going, we don’t want that car to see us.”
“I thought we were calling the cops,” Ransom whined. Okay, he didn’t really whine, but it sure felt like it at the time.
“Just ride,” Joe called, 15 feet away and picking up speed.
Ransom clambered on to his bike while holding the gym bag on the top tube with his left hand. “Still not smart,” he said to the same person he had talked to before.
Both riders managed to round the first bend before the car entered the lot, they wouldn’t be seen, by that driver at least. They pedaled in silence for a while, each to his own thoughts, until Ransom dropped his chain down a few gears and put on some speed.
When he caught Joe he asked what next.
“Headed home, I guess,” Joe answered.
“Gonna be tough explaining to the cops how the bags from the murder scene got to your house,” Ransom pointed out.
“That car’ll call the cops,” Joe pointed out, “or, at least, the driver will.”
“Fine,” Ransom gave in, “but no more effing hills, it’s hard enough to keep on e hand on the bag and keep up with you as it is.”
“Okay, straight home, just that little hill at the end.”
“whatthefu%$ever,” Ransom muttered under his breath, “Small hill my ass,” he said out loud, dropping in behind joe, finding his cadence, and doing his best to keep up. He thought he heard Joe holler something about his ass not being small at all, and something about walking past a Doritos’s bag, but couldn’t really be sure. The last 200 yards to Joe’s drive was straight up hill, and the driveway was actually past 90 degrees, it was that steep. Or so it felt after a long ride.
They coasted the bikes into the open garage, Joe looking fresh, Ransom looking like death warmed up, but much better than he had a year ago when the torture started. It usually took him minute or two, but he always thanked Joe for the ride, for putting up with his whining on the hills, and for not leaving him in the dust.
“You’re getting better,” Joe replied when Ransom finally got the thank you out, “another year or so and you’ll be ready for that bike to the shore thing you want to do.”
Ransom had leaned his bike against the garage wall and was contemplating unzipping the black gym bag when he heard Joe inhale sharply, followed by a “holy F#%$.”
“Mine’s full of money,” he said.
Ransom opened the bag to find exactly what he expected, plastic wrapped powder. It looked like confectioners’ sugar though the cellophane, but he was pretty sure it wasn’t that.
“I got the bag full of drugs,” Ransom said, “and now we’re both gonna die.”