Chapter 2

(Posted – 5/20/2021)

I’ve always wanted a DeLorean. How much would it be to fund time travel? I’m too distracted, I’ll get home and have someone take me to the bank.

Stopped cars filled my street while people overflowed the sidewalks.

Is there a street party?

My sixth-floor apartment’s open blinds displayed my cactus Clyde, but someone was in moving around in my apartment.

“There he is.” My landlord yelled from the sidewalk.

The city block of couriers, reporters, businesspeople, and half naked women holding signs proposing marriage faced me, swarmed my Mustang.

Thank God I drive with locked doors, and windows up.

My car rocked under the knocking storm until police cleared the area. A male officer smiled outside my window.


Gavin was my older cousin who treated me like a younger brother. His work on a case involving bank robbers and a body in a duffle bag promoted him to police captain. He motioned to open the driver’s door between us, and I did. The horde lurched toward us, but Gavin’s team contained them. I leapt into the passenger’s seat while Gavin entered, and the mob groaned.

Gavin closed the door. “Congratulations.” He shook my hand. “Darlene, and the kids say hi. We feared the worst when you didn’t answer your phone.”

My jaw dropped. “Sorry, it died this morning. I charged it while picking up my check but forgot to turn it on.”

My smartphone’s red charging light glowed in the cup holder between us.

Gavin smiled. “Keep it off, I bet it’s flooded with voicemail and text messages.” He studied my face. “You look like Hell.”

I smirked. “Couldn’t sleep, and nodded off waiting for my check.”

“You, shouldn’t be driving.” Gavin looked at my apartment. “I used the key you gave me.” He produced his walkie-talkie and activated it. “Rookie.”

A figure appeared behind Clyde. “Yes sir.” He said from Gavin’s walkie.

“You got everything?”

“Yes sir, I believe so.”

“Copy, stand by.”


Gavin faced me. “Got your passport, packed a shirt, jeans, a pair of socks, boxers…”

“I swear I was going to do laundry tomorrow.” My cheeks warmed.

Gavin nodded. “Do you need anything else?”

I bit my lip. “Um, toothbrush? Wait, where am I going?”

“You can buy a toothbrush later. I’m sending you away.”

The swelling horde were pushed back by Gavin’s team. A blonde stood beside my street parking. 

I pointed at her. “Gavin, it’s Kim.”

Gavin squeezed his walkie. “Rookie grab the jacket on the door and lock it up. See you at the rendezvous.”

Gavin’s walkie chirped. “Copy sir.”

Gavin scanned our surroundings and clicked his walkie. “Tony, how’s the road looking?”

“Your six is cleared. Reverse and you’re good.”

“Copy, all units, we’re leaving. Repeat, we are leaving.”

Gavin reversed us into the intersection blocked by police cars. Kim’s eyes watered as she waved.

“Gavin, I’m over her. But her breakup email didn’t make sense…”

“Don’t act like a damn fool.” Gavin scoffed. “What did Darlene tell you?”

“Kim saw what she wanted, because she wanted out.” I faced the open road. “She’s not the one for me.”

Police motorcycles took points around us. Sirens blared, Gavin hit the gas, and we sped toward the freeway. Gavin’s walkie-talkie reported pedestrians and news vehicles were pursuing us. Two escorts broke formation.

Gavin towards to them. “They’re causing a slowdown. Hold on.” He swung my Mustang onto an off ramp, and shot us onto the highway.

Our last escorts zoomed past while we matched the highway’s speed limit, and entered the cracked parking lot of a burnt down barbecue restaurant.

Gavin’s walkie chirped. “Sir.”


“ETA, ten minutes.”

“Copy, we’re here.”


Gavin drifted us into the center of the fragmented lot. “What’s it like to be rich?”

I smiled. “I don’t know. My name’s not Rich.”

He chuckled. “Bastard.”

I offered Gavin my lottery check.

He hesitated like it was the last slice of pizza, and took it. The Mustang’s engine hummed.

“That’s… A lot of money. Guess you’ll only be smoking Cuban cigars now.” He returned my check. “Don’t fuck up.”

“What? How could I? You’ll be with me…”

“No, I’m sending you away.”


Gavin squinted. “That mob found you without the media. The world’s gonna’ know about you in a few hours, so I’m putting you on the first flight out of here.” He sighed. “I hope they didn’t get pictures of you.”

“Gavin, come with me, bring Darlene, the kids, call the family…”

“Our family with money? Please, as if the holidays weren’t bad enough. Anyway we’d slow you down. You need to keep a low profile till this blows over.”

I chewed my lip. “For how long?”

Gavin shrugged. “Maybe a year?”

A police car entered the lot.

Gavin unbuckled his seatbelt, and left my car. I joined Gavin in front of my idling Mustang as the police cruiser stopped, and rocked while the officers exited. The obese driver used the vehicle’s door and roof to aid his exit. His partner riding shotgun sprung from the car with my black backpack. The duo approached looking like a grandparent and grandchild.

Gavin nodded to the waddling officer. “Shane.”

Shane wheezed and nodded to Gavin.

The other officer beamed. “Sir.”

Gavin nodded. “Rookie.”

The rookie gave me my backpack. “Here you go sir, congratulations on winning the lottery.” He pointed to my vehicle. “That’s a nice car you got there I love Mustangs.”

Gavin smirked. “You like it rookie? You can have it.” He patted the rookie’s back and went to the squad car.

I froze. “What?”

The rookie faced Gavin. “Sir?”

Shane chuckled while lumbering into the Mustang’s passenger side.

Gavin leaned on the squad car’s driver’s door. “Mr. Moneybags won’t need it where he’s going. Bag all personal belongings, and put them on my desk.” Gavin thumped the cruiser’s roof. “Let’s go.”

The rookie grabbed my hand. “Thank you sir. I’ll take real good care of her.” He jumped into my Mustang.

Shane wheezed stretching to close his door. “Now keep her under the speed limit Goddamnit, I get car sick.”

The rookie reversed my Mustang into a hundred-eighty-degree spin that shut Shane’s door, and sped onto the freeway.

Gavin cleared his throat.

“Okay, I’m coming.” I went to Gavin.

He tossed me a Ziploc bag.

I snatched it before it hit the ground.

Gavin nodded. “That’s a disposable phone, and your family’s info. Call your folks, tell them you’ll keep in touch, and mail them postcards while you’re leaving a city. Never tell us where you are or where you’re going.”

I entered the squad car’s passenger side. “Why?”

“I don’t want to deal with a relative being held for ransom, or chopped up in a duffle bag by some bank robbers.”


The woman in the red trench coat unloaded medical books from her bag. She ignored the shopkeeper’s sympathetic words about dropping out of medical school. Her parents filled the woman’s mind, along with her foolish childhood dream of falling in love with a patent or doctor. The shopkeeper interrupted her thoughts, and the woman sold her dreams for a fraction of their worth.

(Posted – 5/20/2021)

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