“How come you get to kill more than me? It’s not fair.”
“Quit bitchin’ man, you weren’t even gonna be here at all, remember?”
“Yeah, but shit, it’s not fair.”
The two men walked across the parking lot toward the stadium. Their baseball caps were pulled low over their eyes, their numbered jerseys were faded and well-worn. They looked pretty much like any of the other thousands of fans going to the game. The complainer rubbed his chin.
“This stuff itches like crap.”
“Quit rubbing it and just stay focused, alright? Don’t be an ass and screw this up.”
The men showed their tickets, went through the security gate, and found their seats without speaking another word to each other. They had been best friends for years, but this outing had created a lot of stress. It was an important test and had to be done right.
They watched the first innings of the game and were careful to copy the behavior of the crowd around them. They looked like loyal fans; no one would suspect a thing.
As the fourth inning began, they pulled their cell phones from their pockets and, again, looked like all of the others taking photos and checking their messages.
“Hey, I’ve got thirteen. What you got?”
“Three. I told you it wasn’t…”
“C’mon, we figured that would happen. There’s always more pacemakers in a crowd like this than those insulin pumps. Let’s do this. Hey cool, now I got fifteen.”
They took a moment to look around the crowd. They weren’t concerned about being caught but were trying to guess which of the baseball fans were now connected to the app on their phones. They had to be within thirty feet, so that’s where they looked.
“You ready?” the fifteen guy said.
“Ok, ping ‘em.”
They pressed the button on the app. The little icon next to each person on their lists blinked once or twice before turning from green to red.
“Time to go.”
They got up from their seats, walked up the steps, and stopped at one of the stadium food stands. They were still waiting for their hot dogs and drinks when the first EMTs appeared. They saw three more teams arrive as they walked to their car.
The fifteen guy slid behind the wheel and drove out of the parking lot, headed to the I-64 ramp and the Poplar Street Bridge.
“Welcome to Illinois buddy,” fifteen said a few minutes later.
“We did it. We actually fucking did it!”
“And from the look of those EMTs, I guess it worked.”
They smiled and fist-bumped. The buddies were back once again.
“I wonder what the next job will be?”
“Maybe they’ll tell us when we drop the car off. We’re just about there.”
“Sounds good. When we’re done I’m gonna go get me some…hey, dude, slow down a bit…we don’t need no cops stopping us now.”
“Dude! Slow down, man.”
“I’m trying. Something’s wrong with the thing…must be stuck.”
“Shit man. Slow the fuck down…and quit weaving around. You’re gonna hit something.”
“I’m not weaving nothin’! This damn car is fucked-up or something. I can’t slow it down and can’t keep it straight.”
“You’re doing 85 man…90…what the fu…?”
As the two men tried to understand what was happening, a voice came from the car radio.
“Gentlemen, Gris-Gris thanks you for your service.”
“What the f…”
The car was doing 98 miles per hour when it drove itself into the concrete divider separating the lanes of I-64 and I-55.
There was no need for EMTs to rush to the scene.