Scab: Ambush

Updated: May 31, 2018

In the back of my mind it made sense that we would have to leave before we were ready. Sun still up, a beige RV our escape vehicle, miles of open country surrounding the little farm house Izzy’s family had called home. A perfect cluster of brilliantly placed problems- of course the people we were trying to avoid would, in their way, force our hand. I didn’t even grumble as I sat in the driver’s seat and started our new home’s engine. It felt right to have such a situation thrust on my shoulders. Everything going perfectly would just be TOO easy. I half expected the tire to blow out, or the engine to stall- you know, to keep things interesting. I shoved a handful of honey roasted peanuts in my mouth- wondered briefly where they had come from- and started down the driveway.

The setting sun cast long shadows surrounded by orange light, and I hoped that the odd colors and elongated shadows would help hide our movement. As I turned the RV onto the dirt road I blanched as the dust started to kick up. The wind was still, and the road was dry which allowed the cloud to rise spectacularly into the air. I imagined what was visible from mile distant- how much of an arrow the cloud must have been. I stuffed more peanuts into my mouth, and eagerly anticipated the blacktop.

“Maybel, come up here,” I yelled to the back of the RV.

“Yes,” she said from over my shoulder a couple seconds later.

“Look on the map, find the nearest town along that road.”

She sat in the passenger seat, and opened the map to the right spot. I had already marked where the farm was located, and I had oriented her with it previously in the day. She was sharp, and in only a few seconds had located it.

“Let’s avoid that town,” I said. “Find us a good route west.”

Figuring things out on the fly wasn’t what I wanted, but the alternative was sitting idle while we figured out what to do.

“Turn left at the next intersection,” she said, her face in the map.

I did as she said, a little voice in the back of my mind warning me of trusting her too readily. I acknowledged it, and found myself driving on asphalt. The cloud of dust gone, I eagerly awaited her next direction.

“In about two miles, there will be a small county road, take a left there.”

Confused, I acknowledged her direction, and felt the urge to stuff my face. Her sudden calm and sense of purpose perplexed me, and to a degree unsettled me. The idea started to form in the back of my mind that she was helping them- leading me and Izzy into an ambush. I pushed the feeling down as far as I could, and devoted my mind to driving. I could trust her, and if that wasn't true, well, I'd deal with that when the time came.

I felt a tap on my shoulder and chanced a glance. It was Izzy, a worried look on her face.

“What,” I asked.

“I have to potty again,” she said.

“Well, you’re going to have to wait, ok?”

“But I gotta go NOW,” she said in the sweetest little pleading voice she could muster.

“Take the next right,” Said Maybel.

“Sit down, sweetie,” I said.

“What’d you say to me,” asked Maybel.

My head snapped reflexively toward Maybel’s accusatory tone. “I was talking to Izzy.”

“I gotta pee NOW!”

“Oh,” said Maybel.”

“Go sit down, you can pee when we stop,” I said.

“This right.”

I took the right.