“Haven’t been this way in years,” I said.
Monika simply nodded. Her focus was on the rutted dirt road with three foot ditches on either side. One wrong weave and we were stuck. If we met a wide car we were done for. My nerves were showing. “Are you sure it’s okay for me to come out here? Things are a bit different than last time.”
“I was sent to you for help, so I imagine you should be welcomed,” she said.
“You know how to make a man feel at ease, don’t you?” I said.
A closed lipped smile crossed her face. Even from the side I could see that mind reading expression come to her eyes. She somehow dug deeper down into my meanings than I even knew were there. Monika wasn’t a model beauty, but she was an exotic mix of whatever she was and it fit together to make for a pleasant work of art.
I keep mentioning her looks because at this point she hadn’t said much. I knew there was intelligence there, and humor, but she had kept herself close so far. Lori Jackson was an African American woman I had grown up with, but I had no idea what Ghun came from. My best guess from Monika’s features was the Far East somewhere.
“Well, I was told I wasn’t welcomed after things changed,” I said staring ahead.
I could see her glance at me out of the corner of my eye. “Things change, Rose. People change and situations change. Needs change.”
“So I’m needed so now I am accepted?” I asked.
“Don’t question it, just take advantage of it,” she said. Like I said, intelligent.
“If you….” The tree fell right in front of us. Monika didn’t have time to come to a complete stop and we tapped the tree turned log hard.
Monika was out and on the hood of the Jeep before I was even able to lift my head up. Her stance said this wasn’t an accident. I opened the door and stood beside the Jeep with both guns out. I was going to at least look helpful.
“What is it?” I asked.
“Rose, you don’t want to do this,” said a voice from nowhere.
“Well I can’t exactly go anywhere,” I said. I had an auto reply set in my mind. Sometimes I couldn’t control it.
Something big came up and over the log at Monika. She fell flat onto the hood and the body slammed into the windshield. It was a large man, way large. I spun as I heard crackling behind me. Both barrels came up and settled on another form, tall and thin this time. Why couldn’t I get the big ones to shoot? I could hit a big one.
“Now, now, Mr. Rose, let’s not do that,” said the stick. “We just don’t want you getting involved in anything that’s not your business.”
“I stubbed my toe when we hit the tree. It’s my business now.” I hated my mind setting.
“Your corpse,” he said. He was fast but Monika was faster. She landed on his head. And I literally mean his head. She drove it down into the dirt and there was a sick sound that I didn’t want an explanation of.
“More are out there, we have to go,” she said. She slid through my side of the Jeep and I followed.
It was only seconds and we were speeding back the way we came. I saw Monika searching the side of the road. “Looking for something?”
“Side road, barely, but it can get us home,” she said. The wheel jerked suddenly and I fell against her, but it didn’t bother her steering. She was hard as a rock. Soft looking but all muscle. We bounced through the woods which were really almost swamp. Monika didn’t bother looking behind, she stayed focused on ahead.
She should have been looking to the side as well. “Whoa!” I couldn’t help but yell as the arm reached through the window. There had been a thump as if something had fallen on us.
“Shoot him,” she said calmly.
“But I might kill him,” I yelled.
“You or him,” she said and kept steering.
I grasped for a solution. My fingers found the window button and the glass began to rise. The face on the other side was not ugly but it was mean and it almost laughed at the thought of a window stopping him. But that was all the distraction I needed. I slammed the gun in my hand through the glass at the face. He reacted the way I had hoped. He flinched.
Then he fell.
“Should have killed him,” she said.
“He’ll just keep coming.”
“You know a lot for someone who doesn’t do anything with it,” she said.
“I know.” I was silent as she drove. No matter what he was I couldn’t do it. I couldn’t kill. It just wasn’t in me. I couldn’t pull the trigger to wound him in case I accidently hit him wrong. I may have failed the Bible but I wasn’t going to fail God.
“We’re here,” she said.
God don’t fail me.