Drop the pedal

Matanzas, late afternoon, shadows pushing sunlight from the thin streets. Heading north with brother-in-law, looking for the connection to the Via Blanca. Red turismo plates on the Hyundai screaming “I’m a mark! I’m a mark!”
Two guys leaning against an brick wall. Taller one steps out on the roadway, flat palm high, big shining grin, eyes knowing and amused.
Chances 90 per cent, no, 99, he just wants to scam us. Buy my sawdust cigars. Wouldn’t you like to meet my sister. No car-jackings in Cuba.
Doesn’t matter. Right foot has goosed the throttle. Tall guy’s grin becomes an O as he twirls away from Hyundai bumper, grille, fender.
Ease off gas, look in the mirror. Tall man is sauntering back to the sidewalk, not looking our way, oh I’m so cool.
Turn to brother-in-law. “Buddy wouldn’t last a night in Detroit.”


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