Friday, November 02, 2012
New Beginning 976
The Briscoe Prison van pulled up to the bus stop at the Shell station off Interstate 35, the West Texas sun hanging just past noon.
Joe Fane and the guard got out, the guard saying, "You got your ticket, your gate money, your parole certificate." He presented a clipboard. "Sign here." Joe signed.
The guard kept up his chatter: "You get to Houston, you check in with your PO. Twenty-four hours, understood?"
"Else your name goes on the fugitive list."
Traffic rushed by on the interstate. Joe squinted across the desiccated prairie toward Laredo, eighty miles to the southwest. He pictured the bridge there, the border. Cross over, hitchhike to the coast. Sign on with a boat crew and beach himself on a Caribbean island. Charley Shyler would never find him.
"One more thing--don't blow your money on pussy." The guard tossed his clipboard into the van. "You got family there?"
"That's not good. What about friends?"
Joe shrugged. "Guess I'll find out.
The bus hove into view, exiting the interstate onto the service road and up an incline. It lumbered onto the shoulder and stopped, brakes exhaling. The passenger door whooshed open. The driver appeared. "Ticket."
Joe handed it up, waiting as the driver rifled through the flimsy sheets, tearing out parts.
"San Antone through to Houston, one way."
Joe boarded the bus.
The guard called after, "Six months, Joe. That's all you gotta do. Don't fuck it up."
The guard sighed in chorus with the closing door. Another one ready to venture out on his own. But he knew the odds were not in Joe's favor.
He waved at the receding bus, unsure whether Fane could see him, or even cared to look. Maybe for the best they didn't get too attached, anyway.
"Go, my friend, run. Be free. Be free."
Barely had the bus trundled back on to the highway ramp, when a giant hawk swooped out of the sky and grabbed the vehicle in its sharp talons.
"Noooo! Not again!" The guard's heart fell. Why was it always so difficult, so risky, to release them back into the wild?
Opening: jcwriter.....Continuation: anon.