Shoved into Myrtle’s back yard with two FBI agents at the front door, Darlene felt the panic of a child still searching for the perfect hiding spot when the seeker just counted, “twenty-three!”
“Just a minute. My knee’s bothering me.”
Darlene smiled. She heard Myrtle’s exaggerated shuffle and knew she was stalling.
For a split-second, Darlene contemplated climbing the 6-foot tall block wall, but thought better of it, remembering she couldn’t even shimmy up a chain link fence in grade school. Her options limited, she bounded for the cobwebbed storage shed. She slipped inside, leaving the door ajar so a thin stream of sunlight leaked inside.
She huddled in the corner beside what might’ve been a wheelbarrow, praying the agents’ visit would be quick. After several minutes, sweat beaded around her hairline; then trickled down her face. Darlene wiped her forehead with her shirt. She had to think of a plan, or she’d die an inelegant death. She figured she had less than half an hour in the unforgiving Arizona August heat.
Her heart lurched when she heard a male voice. Agent Mulroney. Aloneness overtook her. Mulroney had Haversill, Myrtle had Darlene’s father- but she had no one to band with. Darlene had no one she could trust. Myrtle was hiding something about her father, and for that reason, Darlene couldn’t risk confiding.
“You can’t do this!”
“We have a warrant,” Mulroney said. “You know harboring a fugitive is a felony?”
“The only thing I’m harboring is-” Myrtle gasped, and then groaned.
“Let’s get her inside. Could be a heart attack!” Haversill shouted.
The sliding door slammed shut. Trembling with fear, Darlene started to feel her way to the door, but stopped. She inched backward and patted around until her fingertips grazed the plastic fertilizer bag. She slid her hand behind it and snatched her tote bag.
In that instant she understood the moth, as she was drawn to the safety deposit box contents- even though the knowledge would likely kill her.
BAND (verb): to gather together; unite. <they banded themselves together for protection>
If you want to read other responses, or try the challenge yourself, click on the tricycle picture to view Trifecta’s site. Happy writing (and reading!)
This continuation of Darlene’s Story is still in Darlene’s point of view. Click here for Darlene’s Story page if you want to read the entire piece. Thanks for stopping by!
Additional note of thanks: I appreciate everyone who read (and voted) for my last two Trifecta community-voted challenge pieces. Keepers of Secrets shared a 3-way tie for third place, and Nature shared a 3-way tie for second place.