The first turn brought then from paved blacktop to gravel.

“What the hell?” groused Sunny. “How far out in the goddamn boondocks is this thing?”

“John knows the way,” said Elain from the passenger seat, indicating the taillights of the Celica ahead of them. “Just keep following him.”

The next turn tore away the gravel and left them on a hardpacked dirt road, a little squishy from the recent rain.

“Are you kidding? I just washed this thing.” Sunny glared at the moist earth ahead of them. “It’s going to look like we went out ‘muddin” like a bunch of hillbillies.”

Elain sighed. “More following John, less comment from the peanut gallery.”

A moment later, John’s Celica turned onto an even narrower dirt road, wide enough only for a single car and decidedly squashier than the last. Sunny tightened her hands around the wheel until her knuckles whitened.

“John knows where he’s going. He’ll get us there, you’ll see.” Elain kept her eyes riveted on the distant taillights.

The narrow road abruptly widened into a field that was laced with deep, furrowed tire tracks and pools of stagnant water. A squirrel lapping at one of the tiretrack ponds narrowly escapes a good waffling at the hands of Sunny’s left front tire, and Sunny herself squealed as streams of mud began to shoot up out of the wheel wells and splatter against the side of her car. It fishtaled slightly as it waddled across the field-they really were muddin’ now.

“My car-” Sunny shrieked.

“Just follow John.” Elain said through clenched teeth.

“My paint-”

“Just follow John.”

“My tires-”

“Just follow John!” Elain screamed it this time.

The muddy field abruptly ended at a lakeshore–probably the Sidras Reservoir. John’s Celica didn’t even slow down as it moved through the mire, leaving a deep and furrowed trail that rapidly pooled with cocoa-brown water.

It drove straight to the shore, into the water, and out of sight.

Sunny slammed on the brakes and her car oozed to a stop on the shore, just as a single bubble rose to the surface and popped where John’s Celica had gone in.

“Want me to keep following him?” she asked Elain.