The headache woke me up before anything else. Dirt clogged my nose as I fought through the blinding light overhead to gain some baring. Squirming, I discovered myself incapacitated with ropes, dragged along the ground like a sack of potatoes by none other than Annett in her knee high boots. She glanced over her shoulder, hearing my struggles. “Mike,” she began. “You are under arrest for the robberies of seven banks, assault, eluding police, resisting arrest, lewd conduct─”
“Lewd conduct?” I cried. “Lady, who─ what─” I looked around to see nothing recognizable. Were we in the desert? I looked behind our trek to see the city, my home, growing smaller by the step, surely being replaced with a wasteland of sand and heat. Finally the last few moments I remembered before blacking out hit me. “Are Santa and Bonnie all right? How could you break their window like that? They just got married you know! Where are we? I’m the wrong guy! Why are you dragging me on the ground? I can walk!” I spilled out rapidly. A bump in the road jarred me as Annett continued her task. “Didn’t you hear what I said? I know you’re a bounty hunter and I know you’re after this Mike guy who robs banks, but that’s not me. Look, Shorty can explain everything─”
“Shorty?” Annette stopped. “You saw Shorty?”
“She decked me in the face.” I replied lamely.
“Wow, you really are weak.” Readjusting the rope slung over her shoulder she soldiered on. “Shorty’s a low level wannabe. She’s never bagged a bounty the entire time she’s worked in the business. If even she could lay hands on you…” She faded away into a low chuckle, growing into a riotous mirth. Contrary to all appearances Annett’s cool exterior was a lie. She was bat-shit crazy. Not because of the reckless way she wielded her many deadly weapons, but because of her laugh. It wasn’t creepy, or bone chilling, or evil. To an outsider it might even sound a little funny. But from my bound position on the ground it just sounded like a wack-job’s laugh: long, loud, and overly dramatic.
“Are we going to a police station? We aren’t even in the city anymore. And can you please stopping dragging me over desert rocks? My legs do work, last time I checked…”
A clap of thunder broke my stream of complaints, echoing off thin air over the flat wasteland. Great, I thought. It’s going to rain and I’ll get muddy. Annett stopped at the sound. Unconsciously her grip tightening on the robes. Then I could sense it. Something was coming. Following her intense gaze I saw a cloud of dust in the distance prophesying the coming of something big. Really big.
“What’s that?” I asked faintly.
“Him.” Annett said.
“His name is Him.” She clarified. “I suppose it was only a matter of time.”
I wanted to yell. I wanted to shout at the woman who kidnapped me and make all sorts of accusations and demands. But the thundering was growing. “Should we be running?” I whispered.
“We wouldn’t make it very far. Besides,” letting go of my rope she reached between her shoulder blades and pulled out a sawed-off shotgun. “That’s not really my style.” About to argue my case, for running away had certainly proven itself to be my style, I stopped short as a figure came into view. “Shut up,” Annett said. “And try not to cry.”
I whimpered and curled into a huddled mass, hoping to adapt the look of an insignificant insect. The next moment a man, if you weren’t too strict with the term, stopped before us. His shadow could eclipse a group of children playing soccer on a hot day. A five foot, neon green mohawk ran up his head like a neon flag presiding over a crew of chains, piercings, and tattoos. He smiled and revealed rows of purposefully sharpened-to-a-point gold teeth. Any other day and I might have laughed, but not now. Now, not even the woman who hunted me down and hogtied me ran such a chill up my spin. “Hello little lady,” Him spoke in a deep southern accent. “Long time no see. That’s him, right?” His sight turned to me. “I’m gonna need what you got.” Annette fumed silently, which I had a growing suspicion she did often. Then it hit me. This guy was a bounty hunter. Of course.
Displaying strength you can’t buy Annett hurled me away, sending me flopping to a stop a few yards away near a cactus. Heedlessly she raised her gun, aiming at the giant’s head. She emptied the barrels. Him laughed, unscathed. I blinked to make sure the desert heat hadn’t gotten to me. Sure enough, Him stood tall without a drop of blood to show for all of Annett’s hardware. Tisking, Annett threw her gun away in favor of something bigger. I blinked and she held her rocket launcher. “Oh shit,” I managed to get out before a battle of warriors began before me. The sight was quite impressive, but amidst the chaos and distraction I managed to get away.
“How?” Officer Buck asked, leaning forward eagerly to hear.
“I got to my feet with the aid of a cactus and hopped away while they fought. I couldn’t even hope of untying the ropes by myself, so I wandered in my bound state looking for a recognizable land mark to point me back towards the city. You wouldn’t think Annett could have drug me that far way while I was unconscious, right?”
“Right.” Buck nodded.