“Oh for Christ’s sake,” I groaned despairingly as Shorty moved in for the cuffing deed. Then a thought occurred to me. “So that explains that woman!” I snapped my fingers in revelation.
Shorty blinked and paused mid-step. “You mean me?”
“No. Jesus, not you. You’re five. This was a woman…” I lost myself momentarily in the memory. That split second is all Shorty needed, tackling me to the ground and detained me in one fell swoop.
“Who are you talking about?” She pressed.
“Is that a gun?” I felt cold steel against the back of my neck.
“No,” she chided. “It’s a piece of metal pipe I carry around for use in situations like this. Now tell me about this woman.”
“I don’t know who she is,” I said. “She showed up this morning after you punched me and shot up the diner I was at. I ran away and haven’t seen her since.”
“What did she look like?”
“Tall, thin, tan…”
“What was she wearing?”
“A dress?” I felt the metal move from my head. I glanced over my shoulder to see a withering look. “I think it was yellow,” I elaborated. “And she wore boots.”
“Damn it,” Shorty looked away, pained as she stashed her heat away in one of her infinite pockets. Promptly she stood and strolled away.
“Where are you going?” Jumping to my feet I trailed after.
“Oh, I don’t know. Probably back to the police station to look up another bounty.”
“So… you don’t want me anymore?” I felt relieved yet troubled at the sudden shift.
“It’s not that,” she sighed. “I’m just out of my league. Annett’s after you, which means no one else is.”
“Annett,” I tasted the name on my tongue. “So she is a bounty hunter?”
“Obviously,” Shorty condescended.
“I thought only grubby little dropouts like you were bounty hunters, not tall women in high heels.”
“It’s a strange line of work that attracts a strange line of people.”
“Is she really that good?” I asked. “She just outpaces everyone?”
Shorty glanced from left to right. “No, not really. She is good at what she does, no doubt. But more than that it means no one else is stupid enough to get in her way.”
“No shit, she tried to kill me.”
“She didn’t try to kill you, she just doesn’t know how to be subtle. I’m surprised she let you get away.”
“I ran.” I specified.
“She let you get away.” She corrected. “Either way I’m out. Have a nice life behind bars. Sorry about the mistaken identity, but no one’s going to give you sympathy. Especially not Annett.”
I slowed and stopped, watching the short figured girl shrink with each step. I wasn’t smart; not at all. But I wasn’t stupid either. “Hey!” I ran after Shorty and grabbed her elbow. “Arrest me.”
“What?” She asked, trying to shake me off.
I held tighter. “I’ll go with you willingly. Arrest me. If this Annett is as bad as you say she is and as bad as I remember her to be I’d rather plead my case in court than keep running.”
“Sucks to be you.” She said coolly. Disengaging herself she walked away faster.
“I’m serious.” I chased after. She quickened her pace and it wasn’t long before I flat out ran to keep her in sight. “Arrest me! You can collect the bounty and feet your cat!”
“Get away from me creepy old man!”
“I’ll put the handcuffs on myself!”