“Am I supposed to give you fifty thousand dollars?” Her expression changed as she spoke. Now she looked at me like I was a cockroach, or a coiled snake. I hoped she didn’t have a taser in her kimono pocket.
“Or not.” I waved my smartphone, as if that would explain anything. “I have to deliver the message. I’m sorry. I have to deliver it. I—” I was about to spill the beans completely, babble about Evil and Charlie Herbert and everything I knew, just to get out of this terrible situation, but she cut me off by turning away.
“Wait here!” she called over her shoulder. She left the door open, and the kitchen door within, and moved quickly back into the house. So quickly she was almost running, and the kimono bounced and flapped around enough for me to realize she wasn’t wearing anything else underneath it.
Done, I texted.
Who did you talk to?
Mrs. Wilding. She went back in the house. I poked my head in through the door and looked, but didn’t see any sign of her coming back.
There was a brief pause. Start walking back, my unknown enemy finally messaged me. Not too fast, and I recommend you keep an eye over your shoulder.
I did exactly as he suggested. I walked at a calm pace, and I looked back constantly, and that was why, when I was about thirty yards from the house I saw the Greek-looking guy come hopping out. He wore jeans and a Nick Cave t-shirt but had bare feet, and he held a long shotgun in his hands.
“Hey!” he shouted.
I didn’t slow down and I didn’t look back. I ducked my head and sprinted for the trees.