He should have been here by now.
I’ve been waiting fifteen minutes. It’s not like Clarry to be late. Usually he’s on time, if not early, sniffing around hoping for a spare pair of tights, looking for my old boots. Army taught him that. To be on time, not the foot fetish. Fixed his teeth, taught him punctuality, made him afraid of the damn dark.
I confess, there are things in the dark to be afraid of. I’m one of them.
I check my gear again. Boots, leather, one pair, like Clarry would say. Garters, ditto, with extra ammo, rounds and mags both. Cinched down tight around my thighs until the skin wrinkles up like the bark on an old madrone. That’s under the skirt: some secrets a lady’s got to keep. Shirt, vest, jacket. Knife in my pocket, gun in the small of my back. Josiah says you’re not supposed to carry it there, but Josiah doesn’t have all this to get in the way of a gun. Hide a holster on these hips? You joking?
Long gun’s in the case on the back of my bike, where it belongs. Checked it twice. Oiled and ready, like it’s been since it was my grandpap’s gun. He used to say he got some game with it. Gran would laugh, say he still got game. She could shoot, too, my gran. Taught me like she taught my momma, Before.
Clarry’s still not here, and I’m starting to get nervous. We had a schedule. A calendar – not on paper, who’s that dumb – and a list of scores to settle. We’re down to the last one.
Tick tock, Clarry.
Girl’s got a living to make, out here.