My beard itched. How long had I been here? I could not tell you. I’d run for hours before finally settling down in the middle of the desert; and let me tell you, it gets cold at night in Nevada.
The sounds of tumbleweeds whisking by was a haunting sound amid the dark silence that surrounded me. There were no other signs of life that i could tell, save the odd scurry from a fearful desert rat.
“I should not have left her,” i murmured to myself. Somehow, saying it aloud made it more true. You never leave your partner behind; no matter what.
The stars overhead glimmered like a shimmering black scarf draped over my eyes. My life had become such a blur.
The drugs. The alcohol.
The murder & mayhem.
I checked my gun. Full mag, one in the chamber.
“if they come,” i nodded to myself (somehow it wasn’t at all reassuring), “i’ll be ready,”
“He’s here somewhere!” said one voice, male, deep.
“Somewhere. Pete, I hate to tell you, but it’s a damn big desert!” said the other; female, familiar,
“Charlie!” She called.
My heart leapt into my throat. She was not who I'd expect they'd send. "Go Away!" I shouted. I stood and bolted over a stoney dune, and ducked my head out of sight.
"Charlie, we're here to help you," she said
"Bull!" I barked, "You just want to bring me back and stick me full of needles and do more of your 'tests'!"
"We were making progress, Charlie. You weren't sick anymore, remember?" her voice was musical, but it grated against my nerves, and something within me snapped; a deep desire to wrap my hands around her neck and squeeze for all i was worth. Maybe then, she'd shut up!
"Come on, Charlie. It's me: Miranda. When have I ever hurt you?"
Miranda never travelled alone. She always had one of the 'Company's' stiffs with her; armed to the teeth no doubt. From my vantage, I had a decent line of sight, and squeezed the pummel of my pistol reassuringly.
"The day you brought me to The Bunker!" I said, firing off four shots. The stiff went down, two bullet holes in his forehead, two in the chest; i'd become a good shot! I stood and faced Miranda.
"Now give me one reason why I shouldn't put a bullet in your eye!"