Continued from Part V…
There’s a good time and there’s a bad time to be tied up, and this situation was definitely the latter.
It seemed like there was nothing that could be done. We stood there for several minutes, quietly contemplating the fate of our province. Then, all of a sudden, The Runt perked up.
“Wait,” she said. “The pizza pocket!”
“You just got that?” I said, once again questioning her intelligence. “I mean, it wasn’t much of a joke, but I felt it was pretty obvious what he meant…”
“No, I mean maybe we can use it!” she said. “Remember how the insides of those things are always so deceptively hot?”
I had 30 years worth of burnt palates that could attest to that truth. I was beginning to see where she was going with this.
“You’re thinking maybe they can burn through the ropes,” I said, finishing her thought.
She nodded approvingly.
“Brilliant!” said Horsman. “Brian — see if you can reach it.”
I kicked my feet toward it, snagging it with my toe.
“I got it!” I exclaimed, kicking it up into my hands. We were in luck — it felt warm.
“He actually cooked it!” I said.
“Now that’s commitment to a bit,” said Horsman.
I squeezed, and the gooey pizza innards squirted out, instantly dissolving the ropes as if it were battery acid. I was freed!
It took me a good 15 minutes to untie Horsman. I must have missed the Scout meeting on tying and untying knots as a kid. Eventually, I resorted to biting it off. Whatever works, I say. That’s my mantra.
Horsman untied The Runt, and we moved toward the exit.
Just as we made it past the door, we saw McCain fraternizing with his underlings only a few metres away. We ducked behind a barrel labelled “Deep’n Delicious chemical mix.”
McCain’s attention was not on the building we had just come from. He was making some kind of joke, a pun on the term “Superfries,” and the men were pretending to laugh.
“What are we going to do?” I whispered.
“Just a second,” said The Runt. “I’ll be right back.”
“What?” said Horsman and I together, but she had already run off behind the warehouse.
“Whatever,” I said. “Screw her. We need to find a way out.”
“What about that?” said Horsman, pointing to the transport truck in front of us.
“That could work,” I said, but then reconsidered. “Wait, we don’t have the keys!”
“No problem,” said The Runt, suddenly reappearing behind us. “I know how to hot-wire a car.”
Horsman and I both shrugged.
“Fine,” I said. “Let’s do it.”
Under my feet, The Runt gave me the thumbs up. I turned the ignition, and he truck roared to life.
“Hey!” said a guard, the first to hear the sound of our escape.
McCain turned, sharply. Then, realizing what had happened, shouted to his men.
“They’re getting away!”
As we tore out the front entrance, the men jumped into their cars and followed after us, McCain’s car leading the pack. As we made it onto the highway, he stuck his head out of his sunroof, and began tossing handfuls of mini-potatoes at us as he rode our tail.
The chase was on.
“There are too many of them!” cried Horsman. “They’re gaining on us!”
The Runt smiled.
“Oh, I wouldn’t be too worried about it,” she said coyly. “I left them a little surprise before we took off.”
Suddenly, behind us an oil tank exploded, and fire spread to the fields.
“What the hell?!” we heard McCain cry, as their litany of cars swerved back toward the facility.
We saw as the flame quickly crawled up the building, swiftly turning the whole of McCain’s farm into a swirling blaze of orange light.
“Goddamn, kid,” I said admiringly. “You really know how to make an exit.”
We continued to speed down the highway, leaving a trail of horror and anguish in our wake.
“It’s, um, a little much, isn’t it?” asked Horsman, uncertainly. “I mean, don’t they deserve due process?”
“I’d say this process was long due,” I said, high-fiving The Runt.
“I..uh..I…OK,” said Horsman, scratching his head.
He was pretty quiet the rest of the way back.
That was pretty much all there was to it.
Things went more or less back to normal after that, with only a few notable changes. The main difference being The Runt. I hired her, of course. How could I not? I made her my deputy-deputy premier. Her parents aren’t crazy about it. “She’s twelve,” they say. “She should be in school.” But what do they know? Have they seen the lunch menus in those places?…All healthy and gross.
As for Horsman, he doesn’t talk to us much anymore. He just sort of keeps his head down and performs his duties quietly. I don’t know what his problem his. I’d fire him, but y’know…blackmail.
Oh, and the McCains? The fire had spread across their entire fields, taking out most of their buildings, too. They couldn’t prove to insurers that they themselves had not caused the fire, and the cost of repairs were too great for them to bear. The disaster had effectively wiped out the entire company, so their influence ceased to be an issue.
In the end, I guess you could say that all was well in New Brunswick. The balance had been restored. I mean, sure, thousands lost their jobs in the process, but New Brunswick is nothing if not resilient, right?