This continues an excerpt from Mad Science Institute, a novel of calamities, creatures, and college matriculation. The novel will be available 12/16/2011, but you can read the beginning here first!
He looked at her hopefully as he produced the worn little box containing his great-grandmother’s ring. The matching groom’s band was in his pocket. He had hoped that they might wear them out of the restaurant.
“Do you want me to get down on one knee?” He realized her hands were shaking. And so were his.
“You know I can’t,” she said. “Especially not right now.”
“I know you can. Especially right now.”
She opened her mouth to say something but her words were cut off by the roar of an engine in the parking lot. Dean watched McKenzie’s eyes as they widened first with recognition, then with fear.
Dean spun in his chair to see a huge motorcycle weaving its way through the lines of parked cars outside. The bike was glossy black and adorned with airbrushed skulls; its handlebars, muffler, and other chrome fixtures were lined with jagged spikes. The rear wheel had been modified to ride on two wheels instead of one, giving the machine a distinctive wedge-shape. On the enormous gas tank was stamped a huge, white swastika.
As big and as evil as this bike seemed, its rider was even bigger and meaner. He wore black, studded leather from head to foot, but wore no helmet to cover his scalp. It looked as though an avalanche of fat and muscle had started on top of his head and tumbled down his body, piling up around the ledge of his shoulders before spilling over to land in a heap at his midsection.
The biker was moving slowly through the parking lot, turning his head side to side to look at each car he passed. He paused by a silver Lexus with Minnesota plates—McKenzie’s car. Revving his engine twice, he put on a burst of speed and roared away.
McKenzie stood up so fast that she bumped the table, sloshing water out of her glass and onto their shared plate of sushi.
“What?” Dean said, also standing. “You know that guy? Is that—is that the guy you’re running from?”
“I have to go.”
He grabbed her by the wrist and held her until she looked into his eyes. “We go together from now on.”
She shook her head. “First we need to get somewhere safe.”
“My house.” Dean said. It wasn’t a suggestion, it was a statement.
“Okay, but… give me your keys. We’re switching cars. You drive around for a while to throw them off. If they catch up to you, they’ll see it isn’t me and they’ll leave you alone.”
“They?” Dean repeated.
“I’ll meet you back at your place. Hurry—before they come back.”