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When I turned onto Jefferson Avenue, I risked a glance in the rear view mirror and saw the alien tracker was getting closer. Two more hours until daylight. Ten more minutes to the dark waterfront downstream from Zug Island. I pressed the pedal down and cranked out some speed. I couldn't tell if the tracker was gaining or staying even and I didn't care. I just wanted the E.T.'s body out of the trunk before I died of a heart attack.
The streets were shiny and slick like it rained while I was inside selling my soul to Adele for fifteen thousand. I needed the run money. I drove by boarded up buildings and broken sidewalks that huddled in darkness by the side of the road. Roving gangs stripped the wires out of the streetlights to sell the copper.
Not a good neighborhood for a flat tire.
But I couldn't worry about that. The alien tracker was after the E.T. in the trunk and me along with it. Getting rid of the E.T.'s corpse was job one and only. I just had to get past Zug Island so I could dump the body in the river before its owner sucked me up into the sky along with the dead alien.
Maybe I'd get lucky, but I couldn't count on it. Homeland Security was always at Zug because of the steel mill. Maybe they'd notice the spinning light moving through Detroit air space. They had firepower on the island, serious firepower. Maybe they could shoot it down. Probably not. I was on my own.
Downstream of Zug, nobody was on the alert for anything except not getting their ass shot before the sun came up. That's where I'd pull over and dump the body. Let the river carry it away to wherever it was its polluted waters flowed.
At night fiery plumes of sparks shot into the air above the giant ovens at Zug and made the island look like a lunatic's version of twenty-first century Oz. Night people lurked in the shadows playing dead men's games. No better place to toss an alien corpse into a river in the whole damned state.
Eleven minutes later I turned left onto a gravel road that headed toward the waterfront. The windshield was fogging because I was hyperventilating fear. I pushed a button and the driver's side window growled and rolled down into its slot. I stuck my head out to see where I was going while the wipers smeared the windshield.
A bottle broke beneath the tires. Another and then two more while I kept my eyes on the road in front of me for twisted metal frames or piles of fractured cement blocks or anything else large enough break my car.
Five feet from the railing, I turned of the lights and pushed the trunk button. When I heard it pop, I opened the door and ran to the back of the car without even turning off the engine. I stepped on a pile of something that squealed like a pack of rats. I jumped back and looked frantically around. Pit bulls were terrified of Detroit rats and so was I. I waited. Nothing moved. I thought I saw tiny red eyes staring at me from beneath the bumper.
Suddenly I remembered what I was running from and looked back at the sky.
The alien tracker was close enough that I could see electrical waves rippling along its metal skin.
I went to the trunk, moved the blanket aside and pulled out the garbage bag containing the dead alien. Before I could take my first step toward the river, I heard a voice from somewhere behind me say, "Hey, bitch, what you got in that bag?"