Run, Robby, Run
by Kenneth James Crist
Located on the grounds of Fort Meade, the
headquarters for the NSA, the nation's premier covert intelligence gathering
organization, is housed in two high-rise office structures, built and dedicated
by Ronald Reagan in 1986, and in other structures on the base, including an
estimated 10 acres of which are underground. At least 20,000 employees work for
the NSA at Fort Meade, making it the largest employer in the county, one of the
largest employers in Maryland, and the largest employer of mathematicians in
the country. While the extent of NSA's technical facilities is guarded as a
national security measure, the NSA's headquarters is believed to house one of
the most powerful supercomputers in the world. The NSA operates other computer
labs, offices, and satellite interception posts around the world.
Four years almost to the day after Robby Metcalf
received his honorable discharge from the United States Army, a small man in an
equally small office read a memo on his secure computer at Fort Meade. The memo
had to do with rumors about an ex-Army Ranger who had sustained a head injury
in the Iraq war and, as a consequence, could now talk to animals.
In most government offices, the memo would have been
shredded or perhaps filed away somewhere and ignored, as being too incredible
to waste valuable time on, but not at the NSA. The small man in the small
office, buried several stories below the main building, logged into the
mainframe and began doing what NSA does best—gathering intelligence. . . .
Having rescued a 20-year-old
captivity, torture, rape and sodomy and perhaps eventual death the night
before, Fuzzy and I decided we’d sleep in. At some point, I figured we’d have
to deal with Detective Tambar, and, hindsight always being 20/20, I felt we
should have skipped that step in the process and left him out of the loop. Too
late now. But Tambar had a pretty strong sense of right and wrong, and I could
probably tailor my story to make everything turn out okay.
I knew we couldn’t
sleep too late, though, or
we’d miss out on getting any kind of a decent breakfast. It was almost ten when
I finally dragged my ass out into the daylight and brushed my teeth and put my
boots on. Fuzzy went out and made some quick rounds and then we set off, headed
Most of the birds I always
listened to for
chatter about what might be going on had flown south for the winter. The
exceptions were crows and pigeons. Crows are some of the world’s great
bullshitters and you really can’t trust much of what they say. Pigeons, at
least the city version, are horny bastards with mostly sex and getting handouts
on their minds. They don’t pay much attention to what’s going on unless
something really bad goes down.
We went by Castle’s
on 3rd street,
but our favorite cook was gone on vacation, so we headed on down to Punkie’s
Coffee Shop on Cleveland. There, the menu wasn’t much, but they made huge
cinnamon rolls and that would hold us until lunch. Turk Wilson was tattooed and
looked like a swarthy Middle Eastern type, but he grew up in Boston. When he
wasn’t supplying yuppies and millennials with their expensive coffees and
lattes, he was the road captain for the local chapter of the Road Devils M/C.
The Devils weren’t into crime of any kind, in spite of the name, and there was
probably more legal talent in their ranks than in any other organization of
bikers. They were mostly cops and lawyers.
Turk fixed us up and when
he got a break, came
out back to talk for a few minutes. “There were a couple of suits around
yesterday, askin’ about ya,” he said.
“Suits? What, tax
He shrugged and said, “Government
car with about forty antennas all over it, kiss-me-quick haircuts, shiny
“You tell ‘em
where ta find me?”
“Shit yeah. Drew ‘em
a fuckin’ map. Asshole!”
“Okay, sorry, I shoulda
known better that ta
say that. They say what they wanted?”
for guys who wanted
citizen cooperation. They used the old ‘matter of national security’ rap. Just
lookin’ for ya, is all.”
say I really like that. . . .”
As Fuzzy and I were walking
back, I asked, “Did
you get any of that back there with Turk?”
“Not really, but I
can tell you’re not happy.
What’s the deal?”
we’re gonna hafta move.”
“You mean find another
bridge? Or a house
“Maybe worse than
that. We may hafta leave
Fuzzy stopped and just stood.
I stopped and
waited, thinking he was looking for a good pee spot. But when I looked back he
was just sitting, staring at me. Finally, he said, “You mean leave town. And
then I’ll never see you again.”
“No, I said ‘we.’
I won’t leave you behind.
Wherever I go, you go too.”
“How will that work?
I can’t go on a bus or a
plane. . . They’d want me to go in a
crate. . . ”
Fuzzy understood crates
and he loathed them. I
never asked, but I was sure he’d had some bad experiences with being crated at
some point in his past.
“No. We won’t
use public transport. Nobody’s
goin’ in any crate. I’ll figure something out.”
We walked on in silence
and we were getting
close to our bridge when I saw Fuzzy’s nose come up. “We got trouble, Boss,” he
I looked across the end
of the block, our
position still hidden by trees and parked cars, bushes and the corner of a
house. There was a slick-top Dodge Charger under our bridge and it wasn’t
Julius Tambar’s ride. I could see two white men in suits and they had all my
worldly possessions dragged out and scattered all over.
said, “this is just wrong. Who
the hell are those guys?”
CIA, NSA. Who knows? But we
gotta split and I mean right now.”
“Did we do something
“No, but I don’t
think that matters. They’ve
probably found out about my ability. . . ”
Fuzzy looked up at me and
said, “You have an .
. . ability?”
“Being able to talk
to animals, dummy.”
“Oh, yeah. Is that
against the law?”
“No. But I’m
sure it’s something they think
they could use.”
“Use it for what?”
walk before they spot us. This
way.” We began cutting back through alleys and back yards and soon we were
several blocks away.
Soon, Fuzzy asked again,
“Use it for what,
If you’re in a foreign
country and you can talk to the animals, it would be an advantage. Maybe they
think I could teach spies or soldiers how to do what I can do.”
“Could you? Teach
“Nope. I don’t
know how I can do it. So how
could I teach anyone else?”
“So, just tell ‘em
that and yer good.”
“Not that easy, Fuzz.
Why would they believe
“Where we goin’
“Gonna hafta find
“Okay, the ATM, then
“No, not the ATM.”
Fuzzy had seen me use the
ATM card dozens of times, so he had picked up the term. “Gonna need a different
kind of ATM this time, Buddy.”
~ ~ ~
My name is Robby Metcalf.
I was a soldier and I
fought in Iraq. It was tough duty, but I was okay until my squad’s Humvee was
blown up by a roadside IED. I was up top in the gunner’s seat at the time and I
was blown clear and when I landed, I still was clutching the M-60. I survived
along with my medical corpsman. I was sent stateside to recuperate and
eventually got my Purple Heart and my discharge, along with the ability to talk
to animals. Something in my head causes it and I have no control over it. If I
take enough meds to turn my head into mush, I can make it go away, but then I
can’t talk to my friends, like Fuzzy and Lucille. . .
We walked about fourteen
blocks north, getting
into sleazier areas all the time. I had abandoned all my stuff, but it was just
that—stuff. Nothing I couldn’t replace or do without. But if we were going to
head out and disappear, we would need money—cash and quite a bit of it.
When I started seeing cars
through the neighborhood, I knew we were getting close to what we needed. Cars
full of white people only cruise areas like we were in during the daytime and
then for only two things, illicit drugs or illicit pussy. I stopped on a corner
and knelt to untie and retie a shoe. I told Fuzzy, “Go around to the front of
those first couple of houses and come back and tell me what you see.” He
sauntered away, sniffing, lifting, peeing a few drops here, a few there. In
about four minutes, he was back.
“Second house has
two big, mean-lookin’ guys on
the front porch. And a pit bull. And kids runnin’ back and forth to cars that
are stoppin’ in front.”
“Can you kick a pit
“Does a squirrel do
weird shit with nuts?”
“Okay, you go tear
up the pit bull, but don’t
get shot in the process. I need a distraction so I can get in through the back.
Make it real noisy, okay?”
“Kay. Be careful,
Typical. The dog was going
around front to lock
asses with a pit and he tells me to be careful. When I heard the shit start, I
ran directly to the back of the second house. There was a porch with an old
wooden screen door, held shut with a granny hook. I snatched it open, the hook
flying over my shoulder, and slid quietly inside. It sounded like Fuzzy was
taking on all the dogs in the city out front. I figured I had three minutes.
Dope dealers love a good dog fight, until their dog starts losing.
I found myself in a kitchen.
I did a quick
search, cupboards, freezer, under the sink. Nothing. I went left into a
bedroom. Dresser, nightstands, nothing. Closet, under clothes, upper shelf,
and—payday. A red Nike box with three fat rolls of money, one roll of hundreds,
one roll of twenties and one roll of tens. I took them all, stuffed them in my
pockets and shagged ass. When I made it to the alley, I woodchuck whistled, and
presently Fuzzy came bounding around the house. I expected to see the pit bull
chasing him, but he was alone. There was quite a bit of blood and none of it
was his. We ran about eight blocks, expecting pursuit, but none was
forthcoming. Presently we slowed and when our breathing settled a bit, Fuzzy
said, “Think I may have killed him, Boss.” He was grinning and panting. Looked
like he’d had a good old time for himself.
the assholes didn’t shoot ya,” I
“Never saw any guns
at all. Weird, huh?”
“Yep. I thought all
the dealers had guns handy.”
“Where we headed next?”
“Better see if we
can find someplace to wash
the blood off you. Next, we gotta buy a car. Then we’ll go back by our place
and see if the Feds are still around. I need my cell phone. It’s got some
numbers in it I don’t wanna lose.”
“If the Feds went
through all our stuff, why
would they leave a cell phone?”
Sometimes the dog was smarter
I didn’t feel we had
time to do the whole dog
groomer thing, so we stopped at a car wash. The weather was cold enough they
had left the machines on winter settings, so there was a small stream of warm
water coming out of the spray nozzles all the time, to keep them from freezing
up. Fuzzy wasn’t too pleased, but he didn’t like smelling like blood, either. I
washed him off while he stood patiently, giving me the stink-eye. I found one
old towel someone had left behind and fluffed him as best I could. It would
have to do. We walked on, toward Broadway, where the car lots were. Not the
good lots, those were more uptown. I wanted the buy here-pay here lots, where I
could make a quick deal.
We looked on six lots in
about forty minutes.
We kept ourselves to pickup trucks, bypassing SUV’s and regular cars. We also
stuck to the smaller foreign trucks for economy reasons and ease of parking. I
insisted on four-wheel drive because if things got bad enough, we might have to
take to the hills.
We settled on a ten-year-old
Mazda that had
actually been a one-owner truck. I looked for signs of good care and a picky
owner. The mileage was high, but the service records were all there and they
were impressive. I remembered all the Mazda trucks I had seen in Iraq, carrying
soldiers and machine guns and everything else one could imagine. They seemed to
run forever with a minimal amount of care. The dealer wanted about a thousand
too much, but with no trade-in and cash only, I didn’t have much wiggle room. I
got him down five hundred and the deal was done. I waited while they put a
60-day tag on it and checked everything over, then we were on our way.
The back seat was a joke,
the truck being early
enough that it was not a true four-door. Fuzzy claimed the front passenger seat
and I did not argue. I headed back to take a last look under the Ninth Street Bridge.
It was a waste of time. The Feds were parked a block down with a good view of
the place and all my stuff had been picked up and was probably in the trunk of
their car now. I drove right past them and, since they didn’t know the truck, I
didn’t get a second look.
“Well, Fuzz, I guess
it’s time to make like a
tree and leave,” I said. He didn’t get that one. . .
~ ~ ~
As we passed through the
outskirts of town, I decided
to stop at good old Walmart and spend some more of the dealer’s money. I didn’t
plan to do any camping, but there is always the matter of survival. I bought a
nice sleeping bag and some canned food, toiletries and such. I got a couple
boxes of Milk Bones. I drew the line at actually purchasing dog food. Fuzzy had
always eaten whatever I ate and it seemed to suit him. I got some candles and a
couple lighters and a stainless steel water bowl for Fuzzy. A case of bottled
water went into the cart. As I was about to hit the checkout, I saw a display
of cell phones and, from the brochures, I realized I could use the same carrier
I’d had before and probably download all the numbers that had been in the other
phone. I had to buy a car charger, as it didn’t come with one, but that was a
small nuisance. Twenty-five minutes later, I officially owned more stuff than
I’d ever had since my discharge from the Army.
Almost as an afterthought,
I pulled in at a
sporting goods store and bought a handgun. I had trouble deciding between a
used 9mm Beretta and a new Glock Model 22, but in the end, the Glock won out.
The Beretta was blued steel and pretty, but the Glock had fewer parts to rust.
I bought a box of .40 caliber shells to go with it and we left the city behind.
Some dogs get nervous around
guns. Fuzzy just
looked at it as I was loading it and stashing it under my seat and said, “I see
you finally wised up.”
a bad place, Boss. I feel better
knowing we got a gun, that’s all. Especially since you’ve taken to ripping off
“Hey, that was a one-time
thing. Besides, dope
dealers should be shot in the head and their money taken as a matter of
He turned around twice and curled
up in the seat. “We’ll see. . . .”
name was Levi Espinoza, and he was pissed. It took several hours for him to
figure out that the dog fight, in which he’d lost one of his best breeding
dogs, was merely a distraction. Later that afternoon, when he went to the
bedroom to add money into his stash, he realized what the deal was really all
about. In the far distance, he’d seen a man join up with the German Shepherd
and he’d sent a couple of his boys to find them, but they’d been unsuccessful.
Once he realized the incident had been about more than just a dogfight, he made
some calls, and among his contacts, he found someone who knew about a guy with
a big Shepherd who lived under a bridge. . . .
I didn’t really start
to relax until we entered
Pennsylvania on I-84 at Port Jervis. By then, having seen nothing suspicious in
the traffic around us, no one following us, I began to figure we were probably
okay. It was getting late in the day and I was ready for some supper and a room
with a shower, a bed, and a door that locked. We found a place with motels and
fast-food eateries forty miles east of Scranton and we pulled in. I fed Fuzzy
while sitting on the tailgate of the Mazda, in the parking lot of a burger
joint. I filled his bowl with water and we ate and people-watched, maybe a
little more intensely than we normally would. Nobody paid us much attention
except one guy about thirty years old with a couple kids. They stopped and made
a fuss over Fuzzy, and he ate it up.
I picked a fairly cheap
motel, figuring they
would be more receptive to having a large dog in the room. The place was built
with cinder blocks that had been plastered over at some point with stucco and
it was outlined in pink and green neon. Forty-five bucks got us a room. The guy
was a short little prick with a large goiter on his neck that I was trying hard
not to stare at. He wasn’t too happy about Fuzzy and wanted to know why the dog
couldn’t sleep in the truck. I carefully explained that Fuzzy was a service dog
and that I had PTSD from being in the war. I told him that without the dog,
anything could happen. I could go off at any time and maybe hurt somebody. When
the guy looked up at me, I gave him my most demented look and he bought it.
Meanwhile, Fuzzy was staring at the guy’s neck and whining, “What the fuck is that
thing on his neck, Boss?”
In the room, I showered
and turned in. Fuzzy
didn’t want any part of the bed, so I rolled out the new sleeping bag and he
was happy on the floor. It was the first time either of us had slept indoors in
a long time.
NSA agents had
decided Metcalf wasn’t coming back. They were also aware that there were some
other people looking for him, but they didn’t know why. Levi Espinoza hadn’t
called the cops. What would he say? “Hey, a guy killed my dog and ripped off my
dope money stash?” Dope dealers tended to take care of problems like Robby
themselves. By nightfall, they began to realize he’d probably skipped town and
they started making phone calls. He had to show up somewhere
. . . .
looking at ways Metcalf could have blown town. They checked the airport, the
bus terminal, the train station, talking to people and reviewing video from security
cameras. Nothing. They had no idea what kind of resources he might have,
although the only bank account they found showed a balance of under a thousand
dollars and no withdrawals. They couldn’t see him trying to hitchhike, not with
the dog. But if he did, he would eventually get stopped and checked by a cop
somewhere, so they did the expedient thing. They entered him in NCIC and hoped
for the best. As soon as they did that, they got a hit. He had purchased a
handgun earlier that day at Jake’s, a well-known gun store on the west side.
contact and, from the store’s video feed, saw the Mazda pickup as it pulled out
of the lot, headed west. The tag was a temporary and they were unable to get a
number. Agents started checking car lots about the time Robby and Fuzzy were
eating burgers on the tailgate. They started with car lots that were within
walking distance of Metcalf’s bridge. By nine-thirty, they knew the year, color
and VIN number of the Mazda and how much Robby had paid for it. The mystery
deepened: Where did Metcalf get the money to buy a truck and skip town?
Fuzzy got me up at 2 A.M. to go outside
and pee. When we stayed under the bridge, he would just get up and go do his
business, and I’d often sleep right through it. I was glad he had sense enough
to wake me. Once back in bed, I was restless and antsy. I had the thought of
pursuit in the back of my mind and I was no longer tired. About two-forty, I
sat up and said, “Fuck it. Let’s roll.” I didn’t have to tell Fuzzy twice. I
think the restrictions of being indoors bothered him. I rolled the sleeping bag
and put it and all our other stuff in the truck, dropped the key in the night
box outside the office, and we headed out, again travelling west and south,
down to Interstate 80.
had the best luck of anyone, so it seemed. There was a Mexican cleanup guy who
worked at the car lot where Robby Metcalf had bought the Mazda, and guess where
he bought his dope? In the process of bullshitting their way to a transaction,
he and the dealer talked about what had been going on lately. When the dealer
got down to “that god-damned white boy and the big fuckin’ German Shepherd,”
the lights went on. In three more minutes, the dealer knew the make, model, and
color of the truck Metcalf had bought. He didn’t have the VIN number, but he
didn’t need it, either. He sold the cleanup guy his heroin for half off and got
on his phone.
Interstate 80 runs more
or less straight west
across Pennsylvania and Ohio, where it joins I-90 and goes to Chicago. Fuzzy
and I made routine fuel stops and got chow whenever we were hungry and just
rolled on. I knew at some point, we were going to have to get off I-80. I had
no desire to see Chicago or go anywhere near it. I figured the more rural we
stayed, the better. Fuzzy was restless and seemed to spend a lot of time
sleeping or just lying on the passenger seat. I finally asked him what was
bothering him and he said, “Boss, I’m ready to go home.”
It seemed hard to believe
he could be lonesome
for a bridge underpass in the middle of a fair-sized city, one that was also
inhabited by a six-foot black snake, but there it was. I knew in a couple of
days, he’d get over it, but I hated to see him so down.
The dealer called
his “best boy,” a large, black ex-cop and high-powered skip tracer who went by
the handle Pappy Ray. Pappy Ray happened to be gay and his best boy was
a diminutive Puerto Rican named
Thomaso Angelino Rodriguez, AKA Tommy Beans. They dropped what they were doing
at that moment, which was fairly disgusting and involved rope and water-soluble
lubricant, and jumped in Pappy Ray’s pink antique Chrysler Imperial and made a
beeline to the dealer’s.
them lined out on Robby Metcalf, the German Shepherd, and the Mazda pickup, and
launched them west like a big pink cruise missile. . . .
In four days, we were in
Texas, and the weather
had turned downright sultry. I think it was beginning to dawn on Fuzzy that the
bridge part of our lives was over. He had settled in much better and he was
enjoying seeing the cattle and pronghorns and oil wells and anything that was
new and different. It had become an adventure, and I had begun at last to
On day six, we stopped early
at a motel just
outside San Antonio and we did the takeout thing as a late lunch. I also
stopped at a package store and got a six-pack of Millers to put in the fridge.
I was seated in a white plastic stack chair outside Room 37, drinking a cold
one, when an absolute vision pulled around from the office driving a yellow
Jeep. I noticed the machine first. It was lifted three or four inches and
sported white-letter mudder tires. It had no doors, but it had a black canvas
surrey top, strictly for shade, and a roll bar, a light kit, and a winch.
Looking where the driver’s
side door should
have been, I saw a long, tanned leg and a black cowboy boot. My attention was
suddenly riveted. I watched her as she took her time getting out. Her shorts
were Daisy Dukes, raggedy as hell. The boots looked like they might have
belonged to her grandfather. A red blouse was rolled up and tied just under her
boobs, which were considerable. Her face was a bit angular, with pronounced
cheekbones and pale blue eyes. Her ash blonde hair was tied back in a ponytail,
held in place by some kind of sparkly elastic thing. I glanced at Fuzzy and he
was staring, too.
you got another-a them beers, do
ya?” She smiled, revealing dimples and teeth so white, I figured they were
“Fuzzy, would you
get the lady a beer?”
Fuzzy sprang up and shouldered
his way into the
room. I didn’t have to watch him do his beer trick. I knew he would nose open
the fridge and very carefully ease out a bottle, then set it on the floor, and
push the fridge door shut. In a minute, he was back, the cold beer held
carefully in his teeth. He approached the Jeep lady and she squatted down to
pet him and take the beer. That afforded me a brief look down her blouse. I
liked what I saw.
She cracked open the cap
and took a hefty gulp
of Genuine Draft and said, “How long did it take to teach him that trick?”
“I never taught him
anything. He learns stuff
on his own. His name’s Fuzzy.”
“Well, thank you,
Fuzzy.” She ruffled his neck
hair, then stood and said, “Thanks for the beer.”
She walked back down toward
the office and
unlocked Number 34 and went inside without so much as a glance back.
a package, huh Boss?” Fuzzy said,
“Hey, you think she might wanna . . . you know . . . make puppies with ya?”
“Probably not, Big
Guy, but ya never know.” It
was getting hotter where we were sitting, which was on the west side of the
building. I was debating whether to go back inside, but if she came back out, I
didn’t want to miss the show, so I sat and waited a while.
In about twenty minutes,
the door of Number 34
opened, and a bare arm holding an empty beer bottle slid out. “This beer is
empty,” I heard her call, “and I think I need one more.” This time I went in
and got it.
I walked down to the room
and the door was
standing four inches ajar and the arm was still there with the empty bottle. I
took it out of her hand and replaced it with the full one, already opened. The
arm disappeared back inside, but the door remained ajar.
it a minute, waiting for an invitation, then finally just slowly eased the door
open. She was seated on the end of the bed, naked, and as I watched, she took
the ice-cold bottle and ran it slowly over her left breast, causing the nipple
to pucker up and harden. Then she did the other breast. I was frozen in place
and momentarily stunned. I could see the wetness from the condensation on the
bottle, making the perfect tan of her breasts shiny. Then she spread her legs
wide and rubbed the bottle on her shaved vulva, gasping as she did so. “It’s
just too fuckin’ hot out there today,” she said. I stepped the rest of the way
into her room and pushed the door shut and didn’t say anything for quite a
Sometime during the next
hour, about the time I
was doing her from behind and just after her fifth orgasm, I had the presence
of mind to ask her name. She was huffing and puffing, straining to get off again
and she said, “It’s Alice . . . Ann . . . Ackerman. . . . Oh, God . . . honey .
. . what’s yours?”
I waited until we had finished
that round and
then said, “Robby Metcalf, at your service, Ma’am. . . .”
Holy shit. Alice Ann Ackerman.
Triple A, for
sure. About nine o’clock, I finally stumbled back to my own room. Fuzzy, who
had been waiting patiently outside the door of Number 34, trudged along beside
me. He made no snide comments. None at all. Unusual for him. He drank half a
bowl of water and we fell into bed and slept like we’d been pole-axed.
In the morning, the Feds
had the place
I had been dreaming one
of those hard-on
inducing dreams that you remember vividly for about three minutes. In it, I was
in the process of marrying the hot Jeep-driving blonde and taking her to live
happily ever after under the Ninth Street Bridge. Fuzzy was the ring bearer,
carrying the rings on a pillow strapped on his back. The Jeep had a “Totally
Fucked” sign on the back instead of “Just Married,” and there were a lot of
clear Miller bottles tied on the back.
Pounding on the door, along
barking, brought me out of that one, and I padded barefoot to the door over
carpet that was slightly crunchy from being shampooed about a million times. I
cracked open the door to find two agents in suits aiming guns at me. My own gun
was still under the seat in the Mazda. Oops.
Fuzzy’s low growl
was not even very articulate,
but I told him it was okay. I didn’t want him shot trying to defend me or
himself. I merely stepped back, turned around and placed my hands on the back
of my neck and waited.
“Agent Matthews, NSA,”
the bigger of the two
said, as he walked over to the table and pulled out a chair to sit. His partner
stayed at the door. Fuzzy’s lips were still lifting and he was charged like a
Buddy,” I said.
He snorted and it sounded
very much like,
“Please sit, Mr. Metcalf.
We’re all on the same
side, here.” Fuzzy snorted again.
“If we’re all
on the same side, why are you
guys chasing me?”
“Why did you take
say I love my country, but I fear
my government. Rather than lock assholes with you guys, it was easier to just
“Mr. Metcalf, we’re
going to take you into
“What are you protecting
“A certain drug dealer,
one Levi Espinoza, who
has now sent a team out to find you. Did you ever count the money?”
and change,” I said, “and
I’ll take my chances, thank you.”
“No, Mr. Metcalf,
we can’t allow that. You’re
much too valuable to allow some dope-dealing shitass to have you killed.”
looked very dedicated at that
moment, and very emphatic. “You have a very unique talent that we want.”
~ ~ ~
I was impressed with the
manners and the
efficiency of the NSA boys. In forty minutes, they had the Mazda towed to a
“secure facility,” had me and Fuzzy loaded into a car, and whisked away to the
nearest airport that was big enough to take jet aircraft.
As we were being walked
out to the car, I saw
Alice Ann standing outside her room, watching. She called out, “Robby! Are you
some kind of wanted desperado?”
I just smiled at her and
left it at that. If
she wanted to go the rest of her life believing she’d slept with the modern-day
equivalent of Billy the Kid, it was okay by me. I figured I’d never see her
When we rolled onto the
tarmac at the small
airport, Fuzzy looked around and whined quietly, “Am I gonna get crated, Boss?”
“I don’t think
Agent Matthews turned in
his seat and asked,
“Was that a conversation?”
“Yeah,” I said,
“he wants to know if he’s gonna
hafta ride in a crate.”
“No. Hell, no. No
crates for that big guy. You
and he are the stars of this little show.”
We rolled up to a Gulfstream
5, and in less
than ten minutes, we were wheels up for Maryland. Fuzzy got a window seat and I
got champagne. . . .
Continued in the
next issue of Yellow Mama. . . .
Crist is a tired, broken-down old motorcycle
from Wichita Kansas.
He began writing a novel in 1994 as keyboard practice
has since written
four more novels, several novellas and a butt-load of short
publications have been seen in Bewildering Stories,
A Twist of Noir, A Shot of Ink, Eaten Alive, The New
Flesh, The Sink, The Edge, Skin and
Bones, Twisted Sister and Kudzu
a few. Recently,
he had three stories
accepted by John Thompson at Hardboiled, for two anthologies that
were published in April of 2014, The
War and Hardboiled, both
He also has
up in Kindle format, for sale on
of Mirages, The
Gazing Ball, Joshua, and
his latest zombie fiction. One of his novellas, Surviving Montezuma, is
by Anne Stickel at Black Petals.
72 last June, he
still rides his big Harley every
day that weather permits
and is now completely
retired. He volunteers as a
driver for the American Red Cross and he is also a member of the American
Legion Riders and the Kansas Patriot Guard.