Mean Men Behind

by | Dec 8, 2020 | Fiction, Issue Eighteen

He went up the embankment on the side of the road where he could see for a mile or two in every direction. The Big House smoked beyond the hill. He climbed back down and found her where he’d left her, leaning against the rusted teal Ford Taurus Station Wagon. She’ll get up and go, she said. I know, I know.

Later, miles down I-90, at the border, a three-legged dog limps and hops down the highway. Leave em, he says. You always did like dogs. She rolls down her window and trains her 44 on the mutt and feigns pulling the trigger, making that noise people make with their mouths when they fake shooting a gun, like peshew.

Gas is easy to come by with the stolen credit card. It’s the only thing left to us and them. They are half way to St Louis now. Back where they come from, back in Ashwaubenon, things were ok for a bit but then they struggled to get with the program — to fall in line. Now they run. Anyway, gas is easy to come by so they haven’t let the tail catch the dog, not yet.

Once Boss came for her he knew their time there was through and he would’ve let her go with him, would’ve given her up, but that wasn’t her style. Boss came and she dropped him where he stood. The gun was illegal of course, but really what was law anyway? Just a set of behaviors agreed upon and she never agreed upon nothing no way. He set the fire, though.

They didn’t have to burn, she said. Maybe not, we needed to make sure we could get gone, though. But still, they didn’t have to burn, she repeats. He reminds her of the fact that they can’t go squeamish now; it simply won’t serve their purpose.

What purpose is that? To be free, he answers. That ship’s sailed, love.

The cherries and blueberries are stretched across the interstate with Mean Men behind. They have their own guns trained. I told you traffic was light. You were right, always are. What now, love? He can’t see the strip on the road but he knows it’s there. I don’t know. Fine time to run low on ideas. Fine time indeed.

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