On the highway, Jonah dropped it into fifth and lunged forward, burning across the black top and making it to New York State in five minutes flat. We cruised into Bog’s Creek, a rural town that bordered Landbury. Jonah chirped through the gears as he downshifted off the exit ramp and swerved past the graffiti-covered train station, marking the start of the main drag, lined with soaped-up windows and For Rent signs. Aside from a beat up motorcycle or a rusty car every few hundred feet, nothing but empty parking spaces lined the barren streets.
Jonah whipped down a side street vacant with dark houses. Besides the rustling of dead leaves, everything was completely still. We drove farther out until Jonah grimly pointed toward the ancient, desolate-looking house that sat with its back to the woods.
“There it is,” he said as we turned into the large dirt parking lot, hidden from the road by a thick row of menacing trees. A couple of space lamps speckled with what seemed to be thousands of dead insects shined over the hundred or so cars. We exited the Mustang into the cold wind, and I gazed up at the ramshackle castle that leaned to the left and threatened to collapse. It looked like a cross between Dracula’s lair and a condemned tenement. Every window was pitch dark except for a small one near the entrance to the club, identified with only a blue OPEN sign and a blinking red arrow pointing down to the cellar stairs.
“So this is Images?”
“Yup,” Jonah said disgustedly.
“WHAT’S UP NOW, SKATER FAGS?” a deep voice boomed across the lot.
The color drained out of our faces when we saw a handful of skinheads walking out across the empty lot toward us–followed by a mob swarming from around the building.
“We got to get the fuck out of here, man!” cried Obi.
“Empire State Skinheads,” Connor stepped forward, staring nervously back and forth between the other gang and Egan. They were holding sticks, chains, and rocks.
“YOU’RE FUCKING DEAD!” the boss in the trench coat screamed. “TIME TO PAY FOR YOUR DISRESPECT!”
The first rush began. Younger skinheads skipped forward, hurling rocks and chunks of bricks. By then, both Casey and Vick were in Vick’s car with the engine fired up. Vick hit the gas. His tires spun and he fishtailed to the side, whipping up a cloud of dust before catching some traction. He headed straight toward the pack. They dove to the sides, crashing into each other to get out of the way, hitting the ground and rolling as he plowed through. The smarter ones were ready, having maneuvered far enough out of his way but close enough to bring their bricks and bats down upon his car.
“Kelly!” I heard a muffled shout and turned around to see that Jonah had gotten in his car and was now screaming at me to do the same. I quickly jumped in and slammed the door as the next platoon was upon us. Jonah hit the gas and raced into the oncoming fleet, making them dive out of his way.
The trench coat led his herd of skinheads at us with their boots beating the ground like a stampede of buffalo. Jonah flew forward, driving straight for the trench coat who, at the last moment, raised a gun and fired. Jonah screamed and swerved into another group of skinheads as a bat shattered a side window, hitting my face like a hailstorm.
We sized up our predicament quickly. If we could get across the ditch at the far end of the parking lot and up the embankment, we could escape through the factory’s exit. Vick hit the gas and sped for the ditch, with Jonah and me on his tail. He jumped the curb and bottomed out in the ditch. His wheels began to spin, fishtailing as he tried to climb the embankment.
Jonah jumped the curb and flew into the hill. The Mustang’s wheels dug into the dirt, polluting the air with a storm of dust. Both cars screamed as they careened sideways, kicking up small rocks and almost flipping over as we tried to get up that embankment.