Head plastered to the cracked vinyl seat of Dad’s old jeep, I gripped the door’s armrest. We rushed to the hospital, gas pedal to the floor. Tires screeched around every corner. I knew what Mom would be shouting if she were here. “Slow down, Sean! This isn’t the Indy 500.”
A siren wailed. In the rearview mirror, I caught a glimpse of blue and red lights approaching fast behind us. “Dad, um, I think we’re being chased by the police.”
“Oh great. Just what we need.” Dad pulled to the side of the road. He swore just loud enough that I heard and lowered his window.
Gravel crunched beneath the feet of the officer. Metal jangled with each step. I couldn’t take my eyes off the gun in his holster.
Augie stopped crying and stared wide-eyed at the stout policeman who leaned in through Dad’s window. “What’s your hurry, Mister? I clocked you going fifty in a twenty-five. I’ll need to see your license and registration.”
Dad fumbled to find his wallet. “I’m sorry, Officer, but we’re on our way to the emergency room. My son, is…well, my son is very sick, sir.”
The policeman peered into the back seat. Augie stared back at him with his innocent eyes.
“Is that a real gun?” I pointed to the policeman’s holster.
He ignored my question. “Which one of you is ill?”
I pointed to Augie who burst into tears again.
“What’s the matter with the little guy?” asked the policeman.
“Um, he’s got, um, green gas, officer,” Dad explained, his face turning as red as the superhero on Augie’s footed pajamas.
The policeman frowned. “You pullin’ my leg?”
“No, sir, I’m dead serious.”
“Show him, Augie.” I patted my brother on his little blond head. “Let ’em rip.”
Augie scrunched up his face and pushed hard.
Nothing. If Augie couldn’t make green gas, would Dad get arrested? “Come on, Augie. Try harder,” I said. “Do you want me to pull your finger?”
Dad cleared his throat. “That’s enough, Julius.”
We all stared as Augie tried his darndest to let loose a whopper. Beads of sweat formed on Dad’s forehead. He glanced at his watch. I imagined Mom would be having fits while she waited at the hospital. The officer had just started to write out a ticket when the back seat rumbled.
Augie smiled wide as he let loose the loudest, smelliest, greenest gas of the day. I plugged my nose and gave him a thumbs up.
The policeman’s eyebrows almost flew off his forehead. He quickly apologized and offered to escort us to the hospital. “Follow me.” His belt and belly jingle-jangled as he raced back to his patrol car.
“Cool.” Dad peeled off the shoulder of the road and squealed onto the pavement. I gripped the seat. Time for a wild ride.