Daniel Albertson drove the same stretch of highway every Tuesday for the past twelve years. As a pharmaceutical salesman, he traveled the long stretch of lonely road, from the border town to the city, one a week, covering his sales territory. It was a boring drive, offering up few highlights from south Texas. The sun was hot, the land was dry, and the road seemed to go on forever. He often found himself drifting, humming old pop standards to himself, or just pounding on the dash, hoping a song he recognized would come over the radio. He hated the drive, but he knew it well. He knew all the bumps and bridges, all of the speed traps, the long lonely stretches, even the places where the truckers would duck off the main highway to avoid being weighed, and the old truck stops that offered up the best pies. He'd been there before, it was a road he frequented many times, a road his trusty blue family sedan knew all too well.
Albert Lee twitched nervously in the front seat of his stolen Toyota Camry. He banged on the buttons of the radio as he looked over his shoulders, first right, then left, to see if anybody was tailing him. It had been about an hour since the border crossing, but he was not yet comfortable. In the backseat, under an old blanket and some towels, he was carrying two large bundles of dope. A drugrunner for only a few months, his habit forced him into dealing and muling. He tried to alter his route back from Mexico, taking a different route every time, to avoid getting caught. Sometimes, he would travel by night, sometimes in the day, often stopping only to steal a new ride or swap a license plate or two. On this particular day, he got lucky-the Camry was relatively clean, had a full tank of gas, and probably would not be missed for another few hours. The back road he was driving was central enough-two lanes in parts but four lanes in others, that he could probably travel unnoticed all the way into the city. Still anxious from the border crossing and the lines he'd been blowing up his nose, he drove upon a blue sedan, going near the speed limit up ahead.
Albert twitched again and wondered what to do. Could it be the cops? They had been known to use unmarked cars in these parts and blue was just their color. He decided to make a run for it, take a chance, and just blow past the family sedan. Giving in to full throttle, he floored it down the two lane road until he came right up behind the blue family sedan. He swung out to pass and didn't see the oncoming truck until the last minute. The family sedan swerved just in time to avoid a major wreck but the driver was not happy. Daniel jolted his blue family sedan towards the shoulder, waving his arms in anger at a speeding Toyota Camry that had just cut him off, making him narrowly miss hitting a truck head-on, on the otherwise empty road. Albert twitched and waved back not knowing what to do. Jolted out of his comfort zone, and angered by the chance encounter, Daniel's rage started to build. "Oh you want a piece of me?" he asked aloud at the Toyota. "Yeah, well let's see about this." He sped up to catch the Toyota, which had still been speeding full throttle on the empty back road.
Daniel throttled the trusty family sedan and swung out into the oncoming lane. The Toyota and the family sedan were each keeping pace with one another, traveling side by side, as Albert leaned on the throttle to keep up. Albert twitched and jumped in his seat as the two cars swallowed the Texas landscape in record pace, each gunning full speed ahead at the open road. Occasionally glancing at each other, the two men drove side by side for a few miles, tension building between the two, with neither about to back down. The race, it seemed, was on, with each man carving out a pieces of the old back road to call their own.
Mary Doerr had just picked her infant son up from his grandmothers as she turned her old white Ford truck onto the back country road. It was a sunny day, good for doing laundry she thought, as she drove the typically lonely stretch of highway towards her ranch. Living out in the country and so close to the border was a bit desolate, but provided her a nice, safe place to raise a family. She glanced at her reflection in her rear view mirror, stopping long enough to sweep her bangs off her forehead. As she dusted her hair out of her eyes, she spotted it oncoming over the horizon-an unusual occurrence-two cars, speeding full throttle, coming right at her on the back country road.