I Tucked the Bundle of Wire Into My Pocket

  • by jenyour secret is safe with us
  • He did both.
  • her husband materialized
  • no explanations for the fresh cuts
  • took an Imperial Pint of vinegar

Tune in next time part 74                             Click Here for Earlier Installments

I tucked the bundle of wire into my pocket and thought about Svetlana. The surprise I felt came not from the fact of her escape from her bindings but from the knowledge that she could have escaped at any time. Why had she chosen to remain my bound captive for so long? Was she proving her cooperation, or attempting to lull me?

Beside the campfire sat a woman. On a spit in the flames was the roasting carcass of some medium-sized animal, maybe a goat. I watched as the woman took an Imperial Pint of vinegar from the ground beside her and basted the meat. Even so my mouth watered.

While the woman was occupied with recorking the vinegar bottle, Svetlana sprang from the darkness and cut two long strips of meat from the roasting animal and disappeared back into the shadows. Where had she gotten the knife?

The woman put the vinegar down and looked at her meal, confused. I could tell her dim imagination offered no explanations for the fresh cuts that now marred the cooking meat.

Just then her husband materialized from inside the weird blue van. I assume it was her husband, anyway. They acted married. I didn’t know whether to expect him to yell or laugh about the state of their dinner. He did both.

While the couple bickered, Svetlana appeared at my elbow and handed me a strip of hot, greasy meat. It burned my tongue and tasted strongly of vinegar, but I was too hungry to care. I ate it all in seconds and thought about daring Svetlana to get us more.

“I’ve had just about enough of your chauvinism, Harold!” the vinegar-woman cried as she shoved the man into the fire. I told you they acted married.

Harold screamed and stumbled around, his clothing and hair in flames. His wife watched, chuckling as he ran blindly off into the desert night.

“Serves you right you sonnovabitch!” she yelled after him.

Svetlana chose that moment to approach.

“We need transportation,” she said. “If you give us the keys to your van, your secret is safe with us. If you feel the need to argue, we’ll tell the authorities what we saw you do to poor Harold.”


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