The sun gropes the asphalt roadway, claws through the glass of the car, and points its fiery fingertips straight into my eyes. Needless to say, it burns. I squint and pull down the visor, hoping to evade Apollo's wrath. It seems that Apollo often harasses the gorgeous men of the world. Jealous, he is.
"Hey, Cass… could you look in the glove compartment for some sunglasses?" My fingers tighten on the steering wheel as I struggle to see when the stoplight changes.
Cassidy sighs. Her heels drop on the dashboard as if it was an ottoman. As if it was her house.
"I'm not your maid. Get it yourself."
"I'm driving!" I stare at Cassidy, gaping as she lounges in the passenger seat and picks her teeth with her fingernails. "Obviously you are too dense to see that with your feet all over the dashboard and your fingers all in your mouth! Are you a teething baby now, huh?"
"The light changed." Cassidy says, pointing ahead.
My foot sharply taps the accelerator and the car jolts forward, pushing our backs flush against the seats.
"Didn't your mother ever tell you not to take out your anger on your car? I remember learning that when I got my '86 Volvo." she taunts.
"Just get your feet off of the dashboard!"
"Drama Queen…" she mutters.
"You know, maybe if you'd look for some sunglasses—"
"You know, maybe if you weren't so anal all the time—"
My foot slips off of the gas pedal. Anal. Anal?
"So that's what you think of me? What sort of friend are you? Or should I say 'what sordid friend you are'? Honestly, I don't know why I put up with you. My father always told me to watch out for women like you, but I thought that I could handle it. I always knew that I was gifted. My charm has always seemed to work wonders, so I assumed that it would work on you. Except, it didn't. But, I'm convinced that you're lame or something. Like Hephaestus, except more… brain-oriented. I think it's like merging someone from an insane asylum with a nymph. Yep, insane and deceptive. That's you, Cassidy." I retort, sharpening the ending statement with a vehement edge.
Timed with my eyes glancing in her direction, Cassidy morphs into a very frightening looking woman – wide-eyed and growling. She abruptly reaches over and jerks the steering wheel towards her chest. "Quit babbling, watch the road, and stay in your lane! You're about to get us killed!"
I quickly reposition my hands on the steering wheel, trying to fix Cassidy's impending overcorrection into the car at our right. "You are the one who just about killed us."
"Well, excuse me for being a little upset!" she says, flailing her arms out for emphasis. "You're sitting over there tearing through me while I just have to take it all in. I can't walk away or defend myself. No, I could never defend myself because you're too thick-headed to see to reason! And furthermore, you are a mortal incarnate of Narcissus! Take that straight to your mythology fetish!"
"Fetish? It's hardly a fetish. Cassidy, my dear, everyone needs something they are passionate about. That's why you have no inner beauty. You are as dull as… fresh lumber."
Cassidy snorts and states sardonically, "Well, at least I'm fresh! No rotting in my immediate future!"
"Yeah, but you aren't glossed with a lacquer finish either. And, without that, you are merely a lifeless four by four." I assert, a smirk twitching at my lips.
"Madison, pull over," she commands, her voice terse. "I can't handle this. I can't handle you."
"Has your mind gone to Lethe? We can't just pull over!"
Blue lights and a whirring shriek pervade the outside perimeter of the car. My foot crushes the brake pad to avoid slamming into the police car that blocks my path.
"So, Cassidy, does this constitute pulling over?" My voice quavers, bouncing between two mediums of high and low pitch.
Police officers surround the car, pointing guns at our necks.
"Get out of the vehicle with your hands up!" an officer bellows.
"You know, Cass, grand theft auto seemed a lot easier when it was in a video game."
"Madison, just keep your mouth shut – for once in your life." Cassidy's eyes glaze over with a film of tears.
I guess Apollo takes his vengeance seriously. I think, just as I am being cuffed and slammed into the back of a police car. Yep, I feel just like Odysseus about now.