I was glad to see Lynn on more than one level, but business first, reunion later. “I’m stuck in here, Lynn,” I whispered. “I’m handcuffed to the john.”
Lynn immediately reached into her shirt and pulled out a handcuff key. “Neat trick,” I said.
“Really helps if you can get to it before the strip search starts,” she answered as she went to work uncuffing me. The cuff came loose from my wrist with a low metallic “chink.” Lynn had unlocked the cuff attached to the john first, so I snagged the cuffs and crammed them into my backpack.
“Ya’ never know when you’ll need ’em, huh?,” Lynn commented dryly. I had a million questions for Lynn, but no time to ask them. If I wanted to be an escapee, I had to finish escaping. I grabbed Lynn’s arm to pull her into the shadows behind the rows of Port-a-johns, and I tripped over Trish.
Trish was sprawled, face down, in the mud that used to be lush grass. I immediately bent to help her, and Lynn pulled me back up. “I hit her in the head with my mace,” Lynn explained. Lynn held up a long athletic sock. I made out a shape in the toe that could only be a can of Spam. Was there no end of uses for Spam?
“Hopefully she’s OK. If she’s not, there isn’t a thing we can do about it. I had to bean her to get to you. She was their watchman.” I felt badly about Trish, but Lynn was right. We couldn’t sit here and nurse the enemy back to health. I resumed my escape and jerked Lynn into the shadows behind the rows of toilets. I wasn’t sure which way to go, but we couldn’t stand around looking obviously not supposed to be free.
Once we hit the shadows, Lynn dug in her heels and put on the brakes almost immediately. “This is the end of the line for me, Kiddo,” Lynn whispered. “I’m not going where you are going, tonight. Consider this repayment for your kindnesses to me.” She slipped away from me and disappeared into a sudden drifting cloud of smoke.
“Shit, Lynn,” I said.
I was alone and scared again, but at least I wasn’t in a stinky toilet. I was in the middle of the enemy camp, however. I’d never liked being hunted. When I was a kid, games of Hide-And-Go-Seek would send me into shrieking panics. That meant that I needed to do what I needed to do before anybody noticed I was missing and sent up an alarm. I realized that I needed to hide Trish to cover my tracks. Lynn’s appearance had been so sudden that I hadn’t thought of anything but running.
I snuck quietly back to the Port-a-johns. I was going to drag Trish into the shadows and club her ass again, if I had to. I hugged each Port-a-john as I arrived at it, then tiptoed to the next. I should have expected what happened next. Shitty luck dictated it.
Trish was gone from the mud. My whole body buzzed with the electricity of freaked-outedness. I confused myself by becoming certain that I was confused. I stopped being sure that I was near the right toilets.
In total frustration, I stepped into the corridor between the lines of Port-a-johns and looked up and down, like I was in a grocery store aisle looking for the cart I’d momentarily abandoned and now needed again. That’s when I saw Trish. At least, I saw her feet. Someone had already dragged the rest of her off the path. One of Trish’s boots caught the corner of a toilet, and the dragging stopped. I saw the boot and the foot in it wave up and down as the dragger jerked at the body. Finally, the boot stopped waving and the thwarted dragger came out of the shadows to unhook the boot.
Like a moron, I was just standing in the corridor between the toilets, watching Trish be dragged away. So I was in full view of the body snatcher when she came out. And it was, indeed, a body snatcher. “Fuck Bob. I got my own supplies,” Jaye hissed at me. Then she disappeared behind the toilet, and Trish’s feet disappeared shortly after.