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Test Subjet 7I wondered why Andy was still so silent.
They day dragged on in silence. A bright, searing hot sun beat on us through the car windows, and we found ourselves almost worshiping the air conditioning.
We did not stop for food today, there was simply no where to stop. And though I was not hungry, I was left tired and shaky.
Andy took the wheel as the sun went down, and it became a struggle to keep my eyes open for any length of time.
Without ever meaning to, I ended up leaning against Erics chest, and he wrapped his arms around me to keep me warm.
In the night, the desert was cold. Unbearably so.
The jostling movements of the car on the dirt road made it very hard to sleep. Just as I would drift off, we would hit a particularly large hill or ditch, and pull me back.
I was just drifting off again, when I heard Andy speak for the first time in almost twenty four hours.
His voice was low and rough.
I know what youre doing. He growled. And Alice is mine.
Test Subjects part 6When I finally woke up again, the sun was high in the sky and we were speeding down a dirt road somewhere.
I stirred, and Eric saw my open eyes in his mirror.
Nice to see you awake Sleeping Beauty. I smiled sleepily.
Where are we? I asked, my voice groggy and think with sleep.
No idea. He shrugged.
What? That couldnt be good.
Were not on a road thats in current use, and we cant use our cell phones because they can track anyone under nineteen on them now. Anyone with their phones on is going to be caught. And probably shot. They dont like to take prisoners apparently. He chuckled. I didnt see his humor.
So . . . are we lost?
In a word, yes.
Andy shook his head. Were not lost. Were right here. I know exactly where we are. Eric chuckled darkly and continued to watch me through his mirror.
What? He was making me self consciou
Test Subjects 5We pulled onto his street, and he slammed the breaks. There were police cars. The old kind you saw in black and white movies. The kind that held a bunch of people in the back. They lined the street on both sides.
But what was more frightening . . .
Hundreds of policemen ran up and down the streets, some help fighting children in their arms. The large police cars held their back doors open wide, and the children were shoved violently inside with children from other neighborhoods.
I noticed, with alarm, that no parents stood crying on their door step. There was no tears and violent protests from any adults. Just the kids.
Before I could tear my eyes away from the scene, Andy gunned the engine and sped in a u turn, squealing back the road where we had come.
Suddenly, I was sure that he had not been wise. I waited for the police cars so follow us and track us down, shooting us like it said I all the stories.
They didnt follow. I was very confused.
We have to pick up Eric.
The Coffee GodThe Coffee God behind the counter shuffles foot to foot, a dance of steam and espresso. Black painted fingernails, inch gauged ears and a gray striped sweatshirt, hood crooked on his back. There's a cigarette tucked behind one ear; it bobs and twitches with each step.
“Non-fat caramel latte,” he calls, just as he always does, part of a spell, part of a mantra, toneless (just a tuck at the end). I reach. He looks up.
The espresso maker hisses.
There's something like a grin, something like a spark, something like a shared secret linked eye to eye. When he passes over the drink (rough cardboard sleeve hot to the touch), he lingers. Our fingers brush, a shiver, a jolt, a ten-watt shock.
The Coffee God tilts his chin, shouts, “Hey, mind if I take my break now?”
and ducks around the counter without waiting for a reply.
He slips his cigarette between his lips without taking his eyes from mine. I follow him out the door.
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