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The Drifter Chapter Five

When a drifter unleashes the wildness of a shy woman, she runs away with him.
When I woke up, I wanted to make an early start, but was surprised that despite our tense situation, Carla had other ideas and was stroking my cock, letting me know she wanted a good wake-up fuck.

“You really are insatiable aren't you?”

“Yes, and I know you like that. You're already hard.”

She crawled between my legs and started moving her tongue slowly up and down my hard cock, delicately licking, while her devilish blue eyes watched me writhing. She took my cock in her mouth and bobbed up and down, then swallowed, taking it deep in her mouth, driving me insane with her mouth and tongue moving faster, bobbing up and down, sensing I was close. Just as I was on the verge, my cock swelling in her mouth, my ass lifted off the bed, she pulled her mouth away and smiled. I fell back to the bed and looked at her saliva covered lips just above my hard cock.

“I like teasing you.” She smiled and I noticed her dimples.

“You're playing with fire,” I said, looking at her wet lips.

“Oh yeah.”


“What are you going to do?”

“You know what I'm going to do.”

She smirked. “You want to fuck me, don't you?”

“Yes. I want to fuck you.”

“You'll have to catch me first.” She laughed and jumped out of bed and dashed into the bathroom and turned on the shower.

I ran after her and grabbed her while the water got warm. We kissed and rubbed our naked bodies. I gripped her ass and she gripped mine. When we climbed in the shower, she grabbed my cock, “I want this.”

We stood under the steamy water and kissed while she rubbed her pussy with the head of my cock. I liked how aggressive she had become and knew this was another one of her fantasies.

I grabbed the soap and washcloth and moved it up and down her back and between her legs, but then, I took charge and quickly turned her around to face the wall. I pushed her against the wet tiles.“Bend over!”

She smiled back at me, then pressed her hands against the tiled wall, her legs apart, her wet hair falling forward over her face. I leaned over and rammed my cock into her pussy as hard as I could.

“Oh, yes...Fuck me! Fuck me!” Her words echoed in the shower which was now filled with steam.

I rammed her pussy as hard as I could while she pushed back taking my cock deep. It didn't take long before she exploded and screamed. I kept thrusting, loving how her pussy clutched my cock. With her hands on the wall, she pushed back, taking me deeper, squeezing my thrusting cock, both of us screaming. My whole body tensed; my cock swelled in her tight pussy. My whole body shook as I exploded in an overwhelming orgasm and shot gobs of my hot cum into her overflowing pussy. My wailing voice filled the shower. I leaned over her under the pounding water, unable to budge. After a minute, she turned and we embraced under the warm, cascading water.

At breakfast we sat in the same booth we sat in the night before. We had Johnny's famous hot cakes and Carla said Betty's were better because she adds vanilla. Still, she left half of them, pushed the plate aside. She held her coffee mug with both hands as she sipped. Both of us were quiet. I could tell she was upset about her mother's phone call . She glanced out the window then looked at me. “Now what?”

“Not sure. I think we have some time before the police come looking for you, I mean, us. It's only been one day and they probably get lots of calls from frantic mothers looking for their run away daughters.”

“Are you sorry you got into this mess with me?” She looked at me and I could see she was dreading my answer.

“Not yet. I'll tell you if they catch up with us.”

She nodded, then sighed deeply. I could feel her searching my eyes for something more reassuring. I glanced at her hands gripping her empty coffee mug.

“What are you thinking?” She looked at me over the rim of her mug.

“I'm thinking how brave you are to do this.”

“I'm scared. I've never done anything like this.”

“Me either.”

I reached for her hands. She released the coffee mug and took mine.

“I can't believe this is happening. I'm actually doing something. Thank you for taking this chance with me. I don't know what's going to happen, but I hope I can really break away.”

“One day at a time.”

“Right. And no expectations.” She smiled.

“Right, but you can hope. Hope and expectations are different. You can hope things will be a certain way, but then you have to wait and see what happens. Like I can hope we make it to Bolinas and not get caught by the police, but who knows what will happen. We'll see.”

I finished my coffee and glanced out at my truck in the parking lot. “I was wondering if I should see about trading in my truck for something different. Maybe get a different license number.”

“Would you really do that?”

“I don't know. I love this old truck. It's been my traveling companion for quite some time, but maybe it would be the wise thing to do under the circumstances.”

“I'm really complicating your life, aren't I?”

“Yes, you certainly are.” I said it in a serious voice, then smiled.

“Sorry,” she said and took her hand from mine. She sighed deeply and closed her eyes--the sign of someone who holds a lot in.

“Listen, Carla, you're not complicating my life, I am.” I took her hands back and squeezed. “I decided to take you with me. I could have said no way am I taking you with me, but I didn't and I'm glad I took you. I have no regrets.”

“Really, no regrets.”

“No regrets. Maybe it's crazy to do this, but here we are, we'll make it. What's life if you don't take chances.”

Carla didn't say anything, but I could feel her mulling over my words. She narrowed her eyes. “I was right. You have a lot to teach me, but maybe you won't be sorry and maybe I have things to teach you.” She smiled, seductively, tilting her head to the side and bit her lower lip.

“We'll see.” I chuckled and knew what she meant.

“Let's get on the road.”

I stood up, glanced at the check, put ten dollars on the table and realized I only had ten dollars left and we'd be relying on her money. I followed her out of the restaurant and to the truck. When we got in, she took out her cell phone and glanced at it. “Oh, damn, another message from my mom.”

“What did she say?”

Carla closed her eyes, obviously upset. She sighed and pressed the button and played the message so I could hear.

“I've called the police. I told them you were kidnapped. They know his license number and what he looks like. Call me and let me know you're alright and they'll stop looking for you. Please come home.”

“That doesn't sound good. They think I'm a kidnapper.” I slumped back in my seat and stared straight ahead. “Maybe, I should trade this truck in on something. I only have ten bucks and I don't think I can get another job now that they're looking for me.”

Carla didn't say anything. She reached over and took my hand. We sat there for a few minutes. “I have money. Remember I got cash from the ATM. We'll be okay.”

We were on the Texas border and kept driving along Route Sixty-six. We were on the northern part called the Panhandle. We drove through several small towns and every time I saw a police car, I trembled and wondered if they had my license number and were on the look out for a green pick-up truck. I glanced in the rear view mirror to see if they were following, but I knew it was just a matter of time before they'd be looking for me.

I drove past several used car lots but didn't stop. They looked pretty run down and I didn't see any pick-up trucks. We drove through a small town called Tomkinsville and on the outskirts, sitting in a driveway by the road, I spotted a black pickup truck with a cab on the back and a for sale sign on the windshield. What luck.

I pulled over to the side and parked next to it. I got out and wondered where the owner was. Carla stood next to me but didn't say anything.

While I walked around the truck, looking in the back, examining the tires, I heard a dog bark and looked up and saw an old man limping towards us. He had shaggy long gray hair, a thin face and wore a faded blue baseball cap.

“Good truck, mister,” he said in a gravelly voice. He looked at me and at Carla.

“Looks good. How much?”

“Well, I'm asking five hundred. It's got a lot of miles but runs good. Don't burn oil.”

“I don't have five hundred, but I'll trade you my truck for it. Mine's a '98 Chevy. A lot newer than yours.”

“What am I gonna do with a truck when I'm trying to sell this one.”

“You'd get a lot more for mine. It's probably worth at least eight hundred, maybe a thousand.”

“I don't know,” he said and rubbed his chin. “I'm trying to get rid of things, but you're right. I could get more for yours. Let me think on it a minute...why don't you come up to the house and we can talk about it more.” 

I didn't really want to do that. I just wanted to trade my truck for his and get on the road before the police started looking for my truck.

“Okay, but we can't stay too long.”

He nodded, then looked at Carla. “You look familiar,” he said. “Seems like I seen you somewhere. I don't know.”

We entered his kitchen which smelled like stale tobacco. The table was littered with newspapers and unopened mail. The television was on in the living room but no one was listening.

He picked up a piece of mail.“Look at this, will ya? Says I might have won a million dollars from this publishing clearing house.”

“That's great,” Carla said.

“Don't know what I'd do with a million dollars, but I sure would like to figure it out. I'm going to fill this thing out and send it in. I have a feeling I'm going to win this million dollars. I just have a feeling.”

“I hope you do,” Carla said.

I happened to glance in at the television in the other room and was stunned to see a picture of Carla and the announcer saying she's been missing for two days and has been kidnapped by a drifter named Joshua Wiseman. Damn, they know my name.

I glanced at the old guy talking to Carla and continued listening. I realized that he must have seen her picture and that's why she looked familiar. I was glad he wasn't paying any attention to the television while talking to Carla. I listened to the television. “If you have any information please contact your local police. The kidnapper is driving a green ninety-eight Chevrolet truck with the license number on your screen.”

I went back to where they were standing. “So, how about this trade. It's a good deal for you.”

He paused and looked at me and then at Carla. “Okay, it's a deal. I'll trade you. Why not? Might make a few more bucks for it.”

“Do you have the title?”

“Yep, it's in the glove compartment. Just come on down and I'll sign it over to you and you can give me your title and we'll call it even. Sounds like a good deal for me.”

We walked back to our trucks at the end of the driveway. He took the title from his glove compartment, signed it and handed it to me and I did the same. I kept his license plate and he kept mine, even though mine was from Pennsylvania. I'm not sure how legal that deal was, but that's what happened. It took five minutes to empty out the back of my truck and pile it in the back of our new truck. Just as we drove off, he said to Carla. “Damn you look familiar.”

Carla didn't say anything while I started up the truck and headed for the highway. She waved and shouted back to him. “Hope you win the million dollars.”

While we headed west, I told her what I saw on the television and why she looked familiar to him.

“Wow! That was close. I don't believe this is happening.”

“Well, even though we have this truck, they have your photo on the television and they know my name.”

“That means we won't be able to stay in motels and we'll have to be careful where we stop.”


Four hours later, we drove through Amarillo, New Mexico. Carla stayed in the truck so she wouldn't be recognized when we stopped for gas. She handed me thirty dollars while I ran into the convenience store to pay and bought some sandwiches, potato chips and two large coffees. There was a television on a shelf above a counter where people were having lunch. Carla's photo came on the screen with the same announcement I had heard earlier, but they also had a sketch of me with long shaggy hair, my long nose and narrow eyes. I was surprised at how much it looked like me and wondered who described me to the artist.

When I got back in the truck, I told Carla what I saw.

“I feel bad. I've gotten you in trouble with the police.” She looked at me and I could see her concern.

“I think once we get to Bolinas, we'll be okay, but that's several days away. We'll just have to be careful.”

I could see the Black Mountains in the distance and decided to get to the foothills and camp some place. I kept driving and could see the sun setting below the mountain, but didn't see a place where we could pull over. I knew it would get chilly as soon as the sun went down. I wanted to make a fire, but we needed to find a place where we would not be seen from the road. We drove past a lake and I noticed a narrow road next to it and wondered where it went.

I turned right and followed it as it twisted its way though the woods surrounding the lake. It was getting dark and I couldn't find a clearing.

Carla was leaning forward. “We'll find a spot.”

“I hope so, this road could go on forever and we can't park on this road.”

I continued driving on the twisting, narrow road. It was getting darker because of the trees on both sides. Just as I turned a bend, another little road appeared and I took a chance and turned onto it and within fifty yards saw the lake shimmering in the dim twilight. I stopped on the edge of the lake and saw there was a small clearing nearby. I noticed a small fire pit surrounded by rocks and a small pile of logs. A metal grading leaned against the logs. It looked like this was a place where people fished and camped.

“Here we are. This is perfect. What luck.”

When we hopped out of the truck, we stood next to each other and admired the still water.

“Let's gather some kindling and make a fire.”

Carla dashed off towards the edge of the woods and came back with an arm load. I had a battery operated lantern in the truck that I used to read and write by at night. We arranged the logs over the kindling and within fifteen minutes had a good fire going. I didn't know whether we were on private property or not, but felt certain we'd be okay as long as no one saw the fire.

I got out my camping gear and found in my supplies a can of chicken noodle soup, two cans of ravioli in sauce and a large can of beef stew.

“Well, madam,” I said and held up each can. “This is the menu and I am going to serve you a gourmet dinner. What would you like? The beef stew is delicious, but madam might like the canned ravioli.”

“Hmmm. Let me see.” Carla put her finger on her chin and narrowed her eyes as she looked up at the cans. “It all looks so appetizing, I can't decide.”

I smiled and held up my can opener. “May I recommend the beef stew. It comes with a delectable gravy and is filled with potatoes, carrots, peas, wonderful beans, a touch of corn and beef from factory raised cows.”

“The beef stew sounds lovely. I will take your recommendation. Thank you, sir.”

“I'll just open this can and pour it into this pot and within five minutes you will have such a delicious dinner your tongue will throw a party for your mouth.”

Hmm. A party for my mouth. I like the sound of that.”

I ignored her playful comment and opened the can of beef stew and poured it into the pot. “Is madam hungry?”

“Very hungry,” she said, moving her tongue over her lower lip then her upper lip. “Are you hungry?”

“I am.”

“Good. I like hungry men.” She bit her lower lip and smiled, tilting her head to the side the way she does when she's being coy.

What a tease, I thought, enjoying her sexy playfulness.

I placed the pot of stew on the grating. Carla was sitting on one of the logs that surrounded the fire pit. I looked up at her face glowing from the fire. We were quiet, breathing in the moment.

“This is nice,” I said, changing the mood.

“Perfect.” She nodded and smiled, revealing her dimples.

I stirred the stew and saw it was beginning to bubble. It was now dark and the only light was the fire and the lantern. I grabbed two mugs, filled the yellow one with stew and handed it to her. I filled my slightly chipped green mug and sat next to her on the log. We clicked mugs.

“To fine dining,” I said.

“I'll second that.”

Later, in the back of my truck, under my sleeping bag, we made slow, passionate love. We kissed tenderly and touched gently. Her body felt so warm and soft and we both wanted to explore and savor each other. We touched and kissed all over our bodies. We alternated positions with me on top, her arms and legs holding me and then she pushed me onto my back and straddled my body. Our mouths, tongues and hands caressed each other. Then I was on top of her, pressing my hardness and could feel her wetness. She spread her legs and we were both grinding slowly, kissing, touching, enjoying the slow pleasure we were sharing and wanting to hold on to the quivering sensations that swept over us. I moved my hands through her hair and her hands moved down my back and gripped my ass and pulled me harder against her. The grip of her hands made me grab her hair in my fingers and pull.

“I love when you pull my hair.”

“Good.” I pulled harder and felt her lift herself higher and wrap her legs tighter.

We kissed deeply with moans that soon grew louder. With my cock deep in her, our bodies moved slowly together as one. We were on the verge of erupting in huge orgasms. I was thrusting harder then suddenly stopped and held my cock deep and still. We held each other and wallowed in the exquisite pleasure we were giving each other. It was as if we were slow dancing to music only we could hear. Our bodies barely moved. I loved how she felt under me with her legs wrapped around me as she held me deep in her. We didn't want this to end and I could feel her muscles squeezing my cock while I slowly swiveled my hips and sensed our need to cum growing. We were moving together slowly, savoring the sensation, the intensity rising as I gyrated faster and she lifted her hips.

“Please, Please! Now!”

Her hungry eyes looked deep into mine as she lifted her ass. I reared back and with one hard thrust drove her back to the sleeping bag.

Oh yessss! Yesss!”

I rammed my cock deeper and harder with each thrust.

“Harder! Harder! Fuck me harder!”

Our slow lovemaking was now passionate fucking. Our bodies slammed against each other in wild abandon. Carla was unlike any woman I had ever fucked before. She was releasing years of fury and using my cock to unlock all that had been held captive.

“Take me! Take me! Oh my God. Take me! I want you to take me.”

Her intensity was almost more than I could stand, but her screaming wildness and complete abandon inspired me to pound my cock harder, faster, deeper. Her primal screams filled my truck as she arched her back.

“Oh, my God. I'm cumming. I'm cumming. Fuck me harder! Harder!”

It was all I could do to hold onto her as she convulsed and erupted in a huge orgasm. Her tight pussy squeezed my swollen cock and I felt my whole body shake as gobs of cum shot into her tight pussy while I writhed in the most intense orgasm of my life before I collapsed heavily on her. I was panting and gasping for air while her strong arms and legs embraced me. I lay still, unable to budge and felt closer to her in that moment than ever before. I felt her heart and breathing and suddenly didn't care that I was a fugitive. I loved that she was with me in this truck by this lake in the middle of nowhere. Only now existed.

After a few minutes of embracing each other, I lifted my head and smiled into her eyes.

“We'll make it.”

She looked up at me and smiled. “I know!”


By eight, we were on the road. I had made coffee over the fire and surprised Carla with apple cinnamon muffins I bought at the convenience store the day before. I made more coffee and filled the thermos.

We were heading towards the Black Mountains. When we crossed the Colorado River, I noticed it seemed shallow and remembered reading with alarm how more and more water had been used for irrigation during the droughts and was being diverted to California because of water shortages and the river was barely a trickle before reaching the Gulf of Mexico.

“See how low the river is. That's serious.”

“I know. My grandpa talks about the drought a lot. He's worried. All the ranchers are.” As we crossed the bridge, Carla stared at the river then looked at me as if trying to read my mind. I closed my eyes at the thought of the water crisis not only there but all around the world. I shook my head then turned to her. “It's only going to get worse.”

In the distance we could see Mount Perkins. I knew we should stock up with water because once over the mountain we would be in the Mojave Desert and in eastern California. I also knew I was low on gas and hoped we would find a gas station where we could also fill up some jugs with water.

We pulled into an old dusty gas station on the outskirts of Oatman, Arizona. It was a pretty dilapidated town that had once been a thriving place because of the gold mines. Now it was practically a ghost town. Oatman was like a lot of towns that were boom towns when the mines were attracting businesses, but then faded into obscurity when the mines closed.

After driving through a mostly boarded up town with a small grocery store that was opened and, a few doors away, The Gold Nugget Saloon. I chuckled at the faded name over the front door that was badly needing paint. Every other place was closed. On the outskirts of the town was an old gas station with the sign, Gus's Gas Station and Auto Repair hung on a post just off the highway. It had two pumps and seemed like a gas station from another era. An open sign was in the window and I noticed an old Esso sign leaning against the side of the garage. The small dilapidated building had a few loose boards and faded yellow paint. When I pulled up next to one of the pumps, a small boy in jeans and a torn pale green T-shirt came out of the building. He had long blond hair that came down near his shoulders and a yellow baseball cap which he wore backwards. I glanced up and saw an old bald headed man standing in the doorway, watching. He wore a short sleeved tan shirt, black baggy pants that were worn out at the knees and held up with black suspenders. He was a small man, thin and wiry with a narrow face and dark bags under his eyes. He looked weary as he leaned against the wall with his hands in his pockets.

The boy came around to my door. “How much gas do you want, mister?”

“Fill'er up,” I said, surprised that a kid was going to pump gas rather than it being the computerized self-serve gas stations I was used to.

I got out of the truck and noticed Carla looking at the old man standing in the doorway.

“I'm going to check the oil,” I said to the boy.

“I'll do it, mister. That's my job.”

“Thanks,” I said and watched him lift the hose from the old pump.

I could see it was heavy for him, but he managed to pull it to my gas tank and started pumping. I looked around and noticed several piles of tires next to an old tow truck parked alongside of the building. The wide door to the garage was half open. Next to the front door sat an old red soda case and I wondered if it was empty or filled with ice cold bottles of soda, then doubted it. Two rickety wooden chairs were on the other side of the front door and I imagined the old man and the boy sitting there watching the traffic go by. I looked at the boy holding the nuzzle of the hose and guessed he was twelve or younger and wondered why he was here pumping gas and not in school.

“What's your name?” I asked, standing next to him.

“Fred.” He narrowed his eyes. “Why do you want to know?”

“I just wanted to know. I'm not used to seeing a kid your age pumping gas.”

“Well, I've been helping Jim.” He looked up at the old man standing in the doorway. “This is his place.”


I looked up at Jim with his hands in his pocket, watching us. I noticed he was looking at Carla in the truck and wondered whether he was recognizing her.

“Well, it's good that your helping him. Are you related to him?”

“No, he's just a friend. I like helping him and he shows me lots of stuff about cars. I like cars and learning how to fix things.”

“Do you go to school?”

“I'm supposed to, but I don't go. This is better.” He took the hose away from the gas tank and put it back where it belonged. “You're full now.”

“Does your mom know you're not in school?”

“Don't have a mom or a dad. Jim kind of took me in.”

“Really. I'm sorry you don't have a mom or dad.” I glanced at Jim lighting up a cigarette.

Fred didn't say anything and I was reluctant to ask more.

“I'll check the oil,” he said and went to the front of the truck. I opened the door and released the hood.

Just then Carla got out of the truck. “I'm going to go to the bathroom.”

Once the hood was up, I stood next to the boy while he looked for the oil stick. I watched Carla go up to Jim in the doorway. When she spoke, he nodded and pointed with his thumb to the side of the building but didn't speak. When she walked away, he watched her for a second or two, then looked back at what Fred was doing.

“You're oil's okay, mister.” He showed me the stick.

“How much do I owe you?” I asked when he put the hood down.

“Thirty-five dollars and seventy-two cents.” He didn't look at the pump to check the amount and I could see he was a smart boy.

“Okay, my friend is going to pay when she comes out of the bathroom,” I said and followed him up to the where Jim was standing.

“Pretty woman, you got with you,” Jim said.

“Thanks. Looks like your gas station is the last of a kind. I don't see gas stations like this anymore where someone actually pumps gas and checks the oil.”

“Hey Fred.” He turned to the boy. “Didn't you forget to wash his windshield?”

“Oh, right. I did. I'll do it now.” He looked up at me. “Sorry.”

I turned and watched him run back to my truck just as Carla came around from the side of the building. Jim watched her walking towards us but didn't say anything. Again, I wondered if he recognized her.

“Fred's a good kid..learns fast and I like having him around.”

We watched Fred spray the windshield and wipe it with a rag he had in his pocket.

“He's had a rough time. Too bad about his parents. They were both drunks and then his father stabbed his mom in a big fight...killed her and he's in prison for life and now Fred lives here in the backroom where I live.”

“I'd think some agency would be taking care of him,” Carla said.

“They found a home for him but he hated it and took off.” He took a deep breath and a puff from his cigarette.

“Aren't they looking for him? Do they know he's here,” I asked.

“Nope.” He looked at Fred. “They don't know where he is. He's kinda hiding here. Fact is he can learn more here than in school. Good thing we both like to read. I have a pretty good library in the back.”

“Really. That's good. So you kind of adopted him. Is that right?”

“I think we adopted each other.” Jim said. “He kind of showed up like a stray cat and started hanging around. He loves cars and I'm teaching him what I know, but who knows what's going to happen when I'm not around.”

“It's interesting how people find each other.” I glanced at Carla and I thought about how we had found each other two days ago and now we were on the run with the police after me. She looked at me and I wondered if she was thinking the same thing.

“Yeah, it's interesting how life happens.” Jim said, exhaling smoke through his nose.

“So how much do we owe you?” Carla asked.

Fred had joined us in front in the doorway and Jim asked him what the gas cost.

“Thirty-five-seventy two.”

Carla opened up her backpack and took out her wallet, counted out the money and handed it to Jim. Just then, her cell phone rang. She glanced at it and closed her eye as if shutting out reality, then listened to the message.

“On no,” she gasped when she closed her phone. “They found your old truck and the guy told them what happened. The police have the license number.”

“Hey, what's going on. Why are the police after you?” Jim looked at me.

“That's not good...Damn!”

I was surprised that she said anything out loud but turned to Jim. “It's a long story.”

“Are you outlaws?” Jim scratched his face and looked at Carla.

“No we're not outlaws,” Carla said. “He's helping me like you're helping Fred.”

“I don't get what you mean. Why are the cops after you?”

“My mom thinks he kidnapped me so she called the police, but I'm running away and he's helping me. It's hard to explain. I'm not being kidnapped.”

Jim didn't say anything, but looked at me and Carla, then nodded. He glanced at Fred and rubbed his chin. I could see he was trying to figure out what was going on.

“So you're like Romeo and crossed lovers.” He chuckled.

“I'd say we're more like Bonnie and Clyde except we aren't bank robbers.” I was surprised he knew that line from Romeo and Juliet.

“Oh right. Bonnie and Clyde. I heard about them. They robbed a bank near here once...that was in the thirties...during the Depression.”

“What should we do?” Carla asked.

“I don't know for sure. We could take a chance and see if we can make it to Bolinas, or we should hide out for awhile some place?”

I noticed Fred listening and look at Carla.

“Maybe it's none of my business, miss, but why are you running away from home?”

Carla glanced at me before answering. “I just needed to get away from how I was living. I wasn't happy trying to fit it.”

“That's why I ran away,” Fred said, looking up at Jim then back at Carla. “I hated where they made me live.”

“I guess I'm running away too,” I added.

“Where did you say you was heading?” Jim asked.


“Bolinas...where the hell is that?”

“Northern California...just above San Francisco.”

Jim nodded, took a deep weary sigh, then sat down on one of the chairs and took out another cigarette.

“You won't make it in that truck. They'll catch you.” Jim said. “You might have to hide out somewhere 'till you can get another truck or change license plates.”

“You're probably right.” I looked at Carla.

“Where can we hide?” Carla asked.

I glanced over at the truck parked by the gas pump. I knew kidnapping a women was considered big news and there would be interviews with a frantic mother and soon everyone would be on the lookout for me. Carla's face and the sketch of me would be on television and in newspapers. I looked at Carla's frightened face and wondered if I had made a huge mistake taking her, but also knew I was falling in love with her.

“I think I know where you can hide,” Jim said. “It might be a little strange, but I know this woman Anna who would hide you—she's a character that's for sure...but no would find you there.”

Carla and I glanced at each other but didn't speak. Both of us were thinking about what Jim was suggesting.

“Where is she? Is it far from here?” I asked.

Jim pointed to the Black Mountains. “Maybe forty miles over the mountain...Near Death Valley in the desert. She's in an old ghost town called Hesterville, but she changed the name to Avalon...don't know why.” Jim puffed on his cigarette. “If you make it there, you'll be set for awhile.”

“Avalon,” I repeated. “ How could she change the name of a town?”

“ She just did.” Jim shrugged. “She's a strange one and just does what she wants to.”

I knew we were near the Mojave Desert and remembered I wanted to fill up our jugs with water.

“Carla, if we hide out with her we'd be a day or so from Santa Monica. Then we'd have to go up the coast to reach Bolinas, what do you think?”

“How can we find her?” Carla asked Jim.

“I'll give you directions. Tell her Jim sent you. She knows me and you're not the first folks I sent to her. By the way, she's kind of an outlaw too.”

The more he spoke, the more fascinated I was, but more than that--we had to find a place to hide.

“Mind if I fill up a jug or two of water,” I asked.

“Well, just a jug or two but no more. Water is getting scarce these days. Don't want my well to run dry.”

“I'll get the water,” Carla said and ran to the truck.

“How do you know this woman if she lives on the other side of the mountain in the desert.”

“Well, she stopped here about five, maybe six years ago. Her car broke down right in front of here and I had to fix her Buick. She said she used to be a ballet dancer in New York and was on her way to Hollywood.”

“So why is she living near Death Valley in the desert?”

“You'll see when you meet her.” Jim chuckled and took a deep draw on his cigarette then coughed. “She's a character though. We became friends when she invited me out there to see what she was doing. That was two years ago. Craziest thing I ever saw, but she'll hide you.”

“Interesting. I'm looking forward to meeting her.”

“She was pretty famous according to the newspaper articles she showed me in this big scrapbook...a big star in ballet...Just tell her Jim sent you.”

When Carla returned with two jugs of water, we said goodbye to Jim and Fred and pulled out onto Route Sixty-six and headed for the Black Mountains. I glanced in the rear view mirror and saw the two of them standing by the front door. Jim had his hands in his pocket and Fred waved.

When the gas station faded from view, Carla looked over at me.

“Are you sorry you took me with you and now the police are looking for you?”

“No, I'm not sorry. I just hope we don't get caught.”

She reached over and gave my hand a squeeze.

While driving, I made sure I stayed within the speed limit and kept my eyes on the look out for police cars but didn't see any. We drove up the steep, twisting roads climbing the mountain and stopped near the top to look out at the Mojave Desert in the distance.

“Why would anyone choose to live in a ghost town?” Carla asked.

“We'll find out soon.” Sitting in the truck, I looked out at the wide, flat and dry panorama stretching as far as I could see. I was quiet and absorbing the mysterious beauty of the desert. After five minutes, I turned on the ignition. Driving down the steep mountain road made me think of life's twists and turns. I glanced at Carla and could see she was deep in thought, like me. When we drove towards the desert, I could feel the temperature rising. I looked at the gas gauge and saw we we were half full.

“Jim said forty miles and we'd be there, didn't he?”

Just then, I saw smoke billowing out from under the hood and pulled over to the side of the road.

“Damn, what a place to break down.”

While cars and trucks sped by us, I got out of the truck and carefully lifted the hood, making sure to avoid the hot steam. I'm pretty good with repairing cars and hoped this wasn't too serious. What was serious though was the police car I saw heading in our direction. I glanced at Carla sitting in the truck then leaned over to see what was wrong. Two minutes later, the police car stopped in back of my truck and I could hear the crunch of his footsteps getting closer.

When he stood next to me, I saw he was a sheriff and not the State Police. I noticed he didn't look at my license plate and seemed more concerned that I was having mechanical trouble. He had a pot belly that hung over his belt and strained the buttons on his tan shirt. I glanced at his badge then at his jowls and double chin. His wide brimmed cowboy hat shaded his eyes.

“Not a good place to break down,” he said. “People die out here from the heat.”

“I know, but I think the hose from the radiator broke loose...that's what I'm checking.”

I glanced up and saw Carla sitting in the truck, then noticed her duck down so she couldn't be seen.

“Where are you heading?” he asked as several cars sped by. He chuckled. “No one pays attention to the goddamn speed limit on this road.” He turned and watched a red sports car roar by. “I must give six or seven tickets a day out here....fifty bucks, sometimes over a hundred depending on the speed.”

“I bet.” I touched the hose to see if it was cooling down.

“Hope you can fix her. Not a gas station for miles.”

“I got my tools in the back. I think I can handle it. It's the hose and I need to see if I can attach it.”

He looked at me and narrowed his eyes. “Where did you say you were heading?”

“I'm visiting a friend not far from here in Avalon.”

“Avalon? Don't tell me you know that nut, Anna?”

“Well, she's not exactly a friend, but I heard about her and wanted to meet her.”

He shook his head as if agitated. “She lives in the old ghost town, Hesterville and changed the name to Avalon when she opened her theater. Craziest goddamn thing you ever saw.”

“Well, that's where I'm heading.” I didn't know about the theater.

“I better wait here with you and see if you can get your truck going Don't want you stranded out here in the heat.”


I went to the rear of the truck to get my tools. While he followed me, he glanced into the truck and saw Carla ducking.

“Hey, miss, you should come out and get some air. It's too damn hot to sit in that truck with the air conditioner off.” Then I heard him ask. “Are you looking for something?”

“Yes, I'm looking for a ring I dropped. I'll be out in a minute.”

When I brought my tools to the front of the truck, the sheriff followed me just as Carla got out of the truck. I was glad she leaned against the side door, avoiding any chances of being recognized.

“They say that woman, Anna was a famous ballet dance in New York and was on her way to Hollywood and ended up staying in Hesterville and fixed up an old theater there then changed the name to Avalon like it's her town. Craziest thing. A theater in a ghost town.” He shook his head.

“Some friends told me about her. I'm a writer so I thought I'd find out more about her and write a story.”

He glanced over at Carla.

“Now ain't that better being out of that hot truck.”

“Yes, much better. I found my ring.”

“Good,” The sheriff said and smiled. “I'm glad.”

It was really hot as the sun got higher and I noticed the dark wet spots staining his shirt under his arm pits.

“I got it,” I said, making sure it was tight and then closed the hood.

“Well, good luck to you. Hope you get a good story out of that crazy woman. Say hello to Mosa for me...she's a cutie who works with that nut.”

He glanced over at Carla then back at me. When I returned my tools to the back of the truck, he walked back to his car.

Carla got back into the truck and I waved back at the sheriff.

“That was close.” I climbed back behind the wheel and glanced in the rear view mirror.

“I don't think he recognized me.” Carla leaned her head against the back of the seat and exhaled a deep sigh.

I turned on the ignition and waited for the sheriff to drive off in front of us. We were back on the road looking for Avalon.

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