It’s a bit different, but I think it’s going to be a fun one. I’m not including it as an official volume in the Bloodletting series, but something of a side-story. It’s called Caroline and Charlie: Death Games. Keep in mind that I just wrote this like, ten minutes ago. I just got excited about it and had to share, so it’s probably going to change before publication at the end of the month.




The desert air stung her eyes and made it nearly impossible to see. Next time she would remember to bring goggles, not for protection (that was against the rules) but simply to facilitate an ability to see.

Give me your sunglasses!” Charlie shouted to Caroline over the rush of the wind and the roar of the Cadillac’s engine.

No! You’ll break them and they’re expensive!” Caroline hollered back, shaking her head and laughing.

Bitch!” Charlie yelled and Caroline made a sarcastic angry face and pressed the gas, bringing the huge car up to 35 mph. Charlie made the mistake of looking down and her eyes focused enough to see the road flying by between her feet. Her heart jumped into her throat and caveman survival instincts forced her to clutch the door and side mirror of the Cadillac even closer than she already was.

Along with the goggles, she would have to bring a hat or scarf for her hair, which was beating against her face in a hurricane. It wasn’t the pain that bothered her, but the distraction. She needed to focus on keeping her balance for as long as possible, and that was difficult when she couldn’t see and her face was being lashed with a thousand tiny whips. Goggles and a hat, definitely a must. She imagined herself with a leather pilot’s cap and goggles, like Snoopy sitting on his doghouse, chasing after The Red Baron and she laughed again.

Charlie squinted her eyes and looked up in time to see the headlights of an oncoming car in the opposite lane. She held her fist up, middle finger extended, as it soared past, horn blaring. For half a second she was able to see the horrified, slack jawed stare of a blue-haired old woman behind the wheel.

Faster you whore!” Charlie screamed at Caroline through the window, laughing.

Don’t be such a backseat driver, you mangy cunted cocksucker!” Caroline yelled, gunning the engine up to 45. The asphalt careening beneath Charlie’s feet shook the skates violently, making her legs numb. It wouldn’t be long now. She wondered what would give out first, the wheels on the skates or her legs. She hoped it would be her legs, because she liked the skates and would rather they weren’t broken in the process.

The jeans, jacket and t-shirt were all old and ill-fitting. They’d been procured for this express purpose, stolen from the Salvation Army Thrift Store the week before. Caroline had a surprising number of keys that opened various shops and houses around town. She was quite resourceful. When they needed something, more often than not, they could just walk into a store after hours and take it. One of the benefits of living in a small town.

It was two in the morning and the roads were virtually empty. Charlie knew that they would have to finish soon, because that old woman would probably call the cops and they needed to be out of there before that happened. Charlie leaned forward into the wind, angling her head down and focusing on keeping her legs locked straight ahead and bent slightly at the knee like a skier to keep them from flipping out from under her.

Caroline brought the Caddy up to 50 and Charlie realized she could smell the brassy stink of overheated metal. She glanced down and saw trails of smoke streaming out from under her feet.

SHIT!” Charlie screamed, and then she went down. A wheel on her right foot flew off and she was immediately thrown onto the road and under the Cadillac. Her head hit the ground and death spared her from experiencing the rest of the damage, which was brutal.