A flash fiction piece in preparation for my novel tentatively titled Annie and the Second Anasazi, scheduled for publication in 2013. Sign up for notification by email here.
After Daddy, I knew I would be next. And I knew he was gone. They’d killed him. So I ran. In my boots and costume. People saw me and stopped to watch. I made appearances in stores, on TV and billboards, but I never ran through the streets. I’m surprised a camera didn’t get any of it.
I did just like Daddy said. In locker 857 at the old train station, combination 6-3-5-7-9, I found a heavy duffel bag and staggered with it into a restroom.
People noticed. Probably stood outside to wait for me.
Inside the bag, I found street clothes, rough and thick, a sun hat that looked new on the underside and worn on the topside, and several pairs of used shoes. In the bottom I found the money vest. A quarter-million dollars. And a set of instructions. In what looked like three dozen cities across the country, he had cached something away for me. The instructions said “there is a pathway to survival.” Not for Daddy. Not anymore.
When I left the restroom, I looked like everybody else on the street and the crowd stepped aside to let me pass while they waited for Miss Annie to come back out. Never realized I already had.
My first imperative on my Daddy’s survival list said, “Go to a safe place to recover, Annie. I’m sorry.”
In tears, I caught the Sweat Train north, paying a young man a dollar to take my turn at the push bar. A couple refused to take the money because I looked too thin and small. Nobody recognized me. I didn’t even recognize me. Rage began boiling in my stomach after I saws the patter, understood its meaning. Too late to help Daddy. And now all I want is to destroy those who have killed everyone in my life I love. I hope Daddy’s secrete safe house is well-armed.
In the duffel back, I found an envelope with paper and pen and I wrote a note while the train slowly rolled through the night.
I figured it out. The Devil is in your new House of God. Expect the fires of Hell to burn you out.
It may not have been his hands that did the dirty work, but Reagan Newcastle controlled those hands like puppets. He would not be easy to take down. But easy no longer mattered.
Annie and the Second Anasazi, set in 2054 A.D., is about a migration of intellectuals into the deserts of New Mexico where people live like the ancient ones because of changing climate coupled with an intolerable mix of politics and religion that rises in the cities of the American South. Annie is the daughter of Tucker and Lydia Roth of Girl on a Rock.