In Matters of Combustion Engines

“Wait,” I said, just as I thought Zack’s body—and the dead deer—should have been about to come into view.  I was whispering.  “What about Marilyn Wilding?”

Evil chewed his lip.  He whispered back.  “What about her?”

“She sent Zack after me with a gun.  She heard shots.  What did she do then?”

Evil considered.  “Called the cops?”

“Maybe.”  I hoped not.  I was already nervous enough about the Howard County Sheriff’s Office.  “Or did she get another gun and come out after him?”

Evil looked around us, tilting his head back and forth as he examined the ridge behind us and the sun sloping off towards the Flats.

“What are you thinking?” I asked.

“I’m thinking we leave the shotgun.  If we cut across that way”—he gestured—“we ought to hit that little cabin he had me tied up in.  There’s a phone.  We can call your Dad, or the Sheriff, or the FBI, or whoever you want.  Heck, maybe we ought to call 911 and tell ’em we need to be life flighted down to the hospital in Boise or Spokane.”

It wasn’t a bad idea, actually.  Except that Michael Fellows had my smartphone.  “I have to warn Dad,” I said, and I started crawling out of the defile in the direction Evil had pointed.

“Shoot.”  Evil followed me, still whispering and moving carefully so as to be quiet.  “It’d be kind of fun to lie down on the landing skids of a helicopter and watch the Frank Church Wilderness zip past under, don’t you think?”

“I think I’d vomit,” I said.  “And I don’t know if they’re called landing skids.”

“In matters of combustion engines and bitchin’ modes of transportation,” Evil advised me, “never, ever go up against a sagebilly.”

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