The three girls with bare legs stood around the teenaged boy as he was looking under the hood of his ancient car. The girls were big and wore elevated shoes to provide height to their girth. If they weren’t sisters, they were at least members of the same club, something likely to do with big being beautiful. A mannequin head was anchored to the trunk, like a rearview scout. She had bright red hair and stared unblinking at the waves of passing traffic. She’d once been a full-sized mannequin, but her storefront days were over, and now she was nothing more than a skinny adolescent boy’s idea of a joke.
The boy was trying to repair the engine. The three girls stood around to watching him go through useless motions, but he was the owner of the car, and he was male, so he faked his mechanical skills. “Yep, just like I thought. It’s the alternator. Nothing I can do about that. I’ll need to call for a tow truck.” They were lucky. They were on a pleasant city street in an upscale part of town with modest traffic near a convenience store and gas station. The kid made the call just as a police patrol car pulled up behind the car, and a bald officer with the outline of a bullet-proof vest stepped out the car.
His shift was over, and he was headed home, but the mannequin’s head posted on the trunk lid caught his eye. He saw the four of them standing next to the open hood. He’d turned this into a public relations exercise. Their rich parents couldn’t be far away. Someone would soon be by to rescue them, and it would look good to have him putting out flares.
“What you got there?” he said, a big smile on his face nodding toward the head staring at him from atop the trunk lid. The girls’ faces went stone cold, but the boy smiled back pleasantly and said “Just a spare and some tools. I’ve got a tow truck coming. We’ll be out of the way in no time.”
“You sure the rest of the body isn’t in the trunk? I think that face looks a bit like a missing person I was briefed about last week.” The officer said this just to mess with the kid.
“You think we’d ever do something like that?” the biggest of the three girls said with a sweet high pitched inflection, rolling her eyes, and trying to charm with her oversized smile. The other girls, one with purple hair, and the other with pink, giggled, but something wasn’t right. He noticed the hands trembled, and the four of them couldn’t stop fidgeting. “Son, why don’t you let me take a look in the trunk?
The boy walked up to the officer. “Could we talk privately. . . away from them.” The officer smiled, looked at the girls, and said “Sure son.” They stepped a safe distance away. The boy said, I got a surprise in the trunk. It’s for these girls. You open the trunk, they’ll see the surprise. You’ll ruin it for me. This could be my big day, if you know what I mean officer.”
“What we talking about here son? Flowers, jewelry, tickets to a rock concert? Look, we can keep this between you and me, I’d just like to take a look.”
Now the boy glanced back at his girls, then looked at the officer. Well, if you insist, but you’re gonna make it very difficult for me.” The officer started walking up to the disembodied head over the top of the trunk. The boy turned to the girls, made the sign of the cross with his index fingers, then followed behind. The girls met them at the trunk and stood in a tight arc just behind the officer. Just as the boy opened the trunk, the biggest of the girls slammed a tool iron into officer’s skull. There was a hollow cracking, like the breaking open of a coconut. His torso slumped into the trunk, while the other two girls lifted his legs and swung the rest of him all the way in. It was over in a matter of seconds. The boy slammed the trunk closed before another wave of traffic reached them. When he regained consciousness for a few seconds, the officer realized his head was resting on a cold bare shoulder, his eyes inches from a slender headless neck. Then his eyes set in a frozen stare as blood clots shut down his brain.
“Looks like we got ourselves a new head,” the boy said to the girls.
“You think we should mount it with or without the helmet?” asked one of the girls.
“I think we should use the helmet. I think his head is pretty messed up,” said the girl with the green and yellow Eastertime hair.
The tow truck arrived, changed the battery, and the girls and the skinny young man drove out of the city. They drove non-stop through the night, and six hours into the next day. “I think they’re starting to smell back there,” one of the girls said.
“I say we dump them. Then I’d like to get a nice hotel room,” one of the quieter girls said. Crossing the state line into Arizona, they pulled off the main highway along a dirt trail leading to a canyon ridge. Amid a grove of giant oaks next to a stream they mixed a plaster molding for the officer’s severed head. He’ll match nicely with your mother, the girls said to the boy. That evening they took their prizes into their hotel room, setting them side by side on the dresser so they faced the king-sized bed. Then they crawled in, and let the excitement of being watched add to the fantasies they acted out until dawn, until the amphetamines finally wore off, and the six of them slept like the dead.