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Roadside Assistance

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“Oh hell no!” Azimio Adams walked forward to stop the man’s approach. “What are you doing here, Hummel?”

“Did you call for roadside assistance?” Kurt asked briskly. He looked at his clipboard to avoid looking at his former high school nemesis. David Karofsky had become a friend, but there’d been no truce with Azimio Adams.

“No way you’re touching my car,” Azimio insisted.

“Fine.” Kurt marked something on the clipboard before holding it out. “Sign at the X indicating you refused service and I’ll transfer your call to another service station. They should be here sometime before three.”

“Three in the morning?” Azimio was incredulous. “It’s not even midnight.”

“Yes, but the next nearest station on call tonight is responding to a twenty-car pile-up on 71 north of Cincinnati. It’ll be three a.m. if you’re lucky.” Kurt tapped the clipboard. “Are you going to sign? I have other calls.”

“No. Fine. Fix it - if you can. But so help me, if you mess up my car…”

“How would I ‘mess up’ your non-functioning car?” Kurt scoffed as he brushed past Azimio to inspect the damage. As he expected, it was nothing more than a flat tire.

“Didn’t you tell the dispatcher your tire came off?” Kurt asked as walked back to his truck to get his supplies - he wasn’t about to use Azimio’s, if he even had the necessary tools.

“Do you have a spare tire?” Kurt asked as he spread out a tarp and set about placing the jack.

“Of course,” Azimio snapped. “It’s in the trunk.”

“Would you get it please?” Kurt asked, sitting back and watching as Azimio walked a wide circle around him before getting to the trunk. There were clattering and clunking sounds and some quiet swearing before Azimio closed the trunk.

“No spare?” Kurt asked.

“Guess not,” Azimio snapped. “Some jerk must have stolen it.”

“If the damage isn’t too bad, I’ll patch the tire. It’ll hold long enough to get you to my dad’s garage.” Kurt shrugged. “If I can’t patch it, I’ll have to give you a tow.”

“You’re not taking my car anywhere but Jackson’s Garage. I’m not having you messing with anything else, the tire’s bad enough.”

“Fine,” Kurt shrugged. “It’ll be an extra seventy-five for the tow on top of the charge for the service call.”

“Bullshit!” Azimio shouted, moving toward Kurt with hands balled into fists. Kurt watched him, expressionless, then started to remove the jack. "What are you doing? It’s not fixed.“

"Your call for roadside assistance does not entitle you to threaten or abuse service personnel,” Kurt recited. “If you start walking now, you should be home in an hour. You can call Jackson’s and have your car towed in the morning.”

“That’s exactly what I’m going to do.” Azimio snarled. “Then I won’t have some sparkle-fairy princess messing with my car.” Without another work he turned and walked off.

Kurt watched him go for a moment, then returned to his task, lowering the jack and freeing it before standing up to gather his tools. He had one more call and then he could go back to the garage where Finn and Adam were manning the telephone while Kurt and his dad were out on service calls. It had been a busy night and the last thing Kurt had needed was Azimio Adams and his attitude. Kurt reclaimed his clipboard, stored his tools and climbed into the truck. He was filling out the paperwork when he heard someone screaming.

“Hummel! Wait! Don’t leave! Hummel!” Azimio Adams practically slammed into the side of the truck. He was gasping for breath and looked as if he’d seen a ghost.

“What’s wrong?” Kurt asked, rolling down his window but not leaving his seat.

“Holy sh– That’s messed up. Like… His head.” Azimio was making gestures with his hands that Kurt couldn’t interpret. He was oddly fascinated.

“I have no idea what you’re talking about.” Kurt said, putting the key in the ignition and starting the truck.

“No, man. Come on, You can’t leave me here.” Azimio was practically clawing at the door.

“You didn’t want me to fix your car,” Kurt reminded him. “Other customers are waiting.”

“No! You’ve got to get me out of here. There’s something out there.”

“Have you been drinking?” Kurt asked, narrowing his eyes as he studied Azimio like a particularly ugly insect.

“Look,” Azimio took a sharp breath and let it out. He pulled out his wallet. “Forget about the car. I’ll give you everything in my wallet if you get me out of here.” He pulled out a pile of bills and shoved them at Kurt, who had to take them before they were dropped all over him.

“Get in,” Kurt said with the air of someone exercising extreme patience. He counted out fifty dollars and handed Azimio the rest. “For the service call.” He waited until Azimio has his seat belt fastened, then put the truck into gear and drove.

“Look..” Azimio said after a tense silence. He paused and changed topics. “Thanks for the ride. There was some kind of psycho out there. All in black, riding a motorcycle. It looked like…”

“Yes?” Kurt prompted when it seemed like the sentence would never be finished.

“I must have been seeing things. Damn woods with all the crazy sounds late at night. Plays tricks.” Azimio kept twitching, as if he were about to shake apart. Without a word Kurt reached down into the small cooler he kept in the truck and handed Azimio a bottle of water. Azimio accepted it gratefully and drank half in one long swallow. It calmed him a little.

“What did you see?” Kurt asked quietly. He kept his eyes on the road.

“A guy all in black. Making this terrible sound - like laughter from hell. But there was no way 'cause he didn’t have a head. Just a body and this big old carved pumpkin in his hands. Dude comes tearing by, making that sound and then he just lifts that pumpkin up and…” Azimio took another drink of water before finishing, voice barely above a whisper. “He threw that pumpkin right at me. Nearly hit me with it. And all I could hear was that laugh, getting closer. Scared the shit out of me, y'know?”

“Yeah,” Kurt said quietly. “I know what that’s like.”

The rest of the ride to Azimio’s house was silent except for the quiet 'thanks for the ride’ as Azimio got out of the truck. Kurt didn’t wait for him to go into the house before he drove away.

+++++

“Classic!” Finn crowed while Puck, Adam and Kurt urged him to replay the video.

“You should put this on youtube,” Puck said, leaning over and snagging another slice of pizza, paid for with Azimio’s fifty. It was almost two in the morning but they were too excited to go to sleep.

“You’re brilliant,” Kurt told Adam, following the words with a kiss. It had been Adam who’d suggested the headless horseman as a method of extracting a little payback when the call came in that Azimio Adams needed roadside assistance. Kurt had provided the jack-o-lantern. Finn had loaned his motorcycle and posed as the rider, and Puck had hidden nearby and recorded the whole thing.

“We should screen cap some of these and post them around town,” Finn suggested, taking the last slice of pepperoni, bacon and sausage with extra cheese. Kurt claimed a slice of vegetarian and snuggled against Adam to share the pizza.

“I know that smile,” Adam said. “Feel like sharing?”

“Just thinking of an old saying,” Kurt replied, eyes bright with amusement. “But in this case, revenge was a dish best served with pumpkin.”

 

::end::