His hand dived in the pocket, curling around in dangerously tight space before reappearing with the key ring dangling from his meaty fist. Moments later we were standing in the cabin’s tiny kitchen/living room. “Nice place,” he observed before pushing me down on the lumpy couch.
“How did you find me?” I really needed to know what mistake I’d made that allowed him to track me down.
“Just a hunch.”
“A hunch?” I stared at him in appalled disbelief. “How could you find someone with a hunch?”
He opened the old-fashioned icebox and helped himself to one of my sodas. Twisting the cap off, he took a hefty swallow before turning to face me. “I studied your file. You seem to alternate the types of locations you choose. Your last one was urban so the next would be rural. Then I drew a circle that covered the territory you could travel in two days. After that, I eliminated places that were too similar to other locations you’ve chosen in the past.” He took another long drink. “You were too well prepared to run so I reasoned you probably had somewhere to run to.”
“Nope. Everyone in the world has a pattern to their lives. Even the ones who deliberately try to eliminate patterns. It was just a matter of figuring out what your pattern was.” He squatted in front of me, caught my chin in his hand and stared deep in my eyes. “I found you once. I can find you again. So you might as well tell me what the hell this is all about. No one spends their life scrambling from one place to another without good reason.”
Impatience and irritation rose up within me. “I told you. There are people after me. They want me dead.”
“Yeah. According to you they want your blood first, though. What are they? Vampires?” I didn’t like the way he was looking at me.
“They’re one of those neo-supremist groups,” I snarled. “And they no doubt followed you here. Now I’ll have to leave my gardening stuff behind and all my plants will die. Thanks a lot!”
“That’s what you’re worried about? A few plants?”
“When you don’t have much, every little bit counts.”
Something—a shift in light, a change in the insect humming outside—something tipped me off and I dove off the couch taking him to the floor as the window exploded. The whine of shots whistled overhead. “Stay down,” I yelled as I rolled across the floor toward the tiny bedroom, steadily cursing under my breath at the hand cuffs. In the doorway I paused long enough to wriggle and hunch until I wrenched my arms over my feet so they were at least in front of me. Then I was up and running bent over for my bugout bag.
The cop was right behind me as more shots and the sound of tinkling glass filled the air.
“You don’t follow directions very well.” I jerked my shotgun from the bag, as the front door slammed against the wall. “Down!”
He dropped to the floor as I pulled the trigger.
©Anny Cook 2012