A rare weekend update! We learn who here mortal father is and then she yanks reality – such as it is – out from under everyone.
Now with this and “Regent” in the hands of my copyeditor and cover designer, I’m taking the rest of the the weekend off. I think I’ve been alternating tea-wine a little too hard and fast and have near-constant headaches and trouble sleeping. A pause is called for.
Two more installments of Prophet before I have to find something else to keep y’all entertained.
“What do we…?” Tell began.
“Nearest law is the sheriff in Roswell, about fifty miles west,” David yelled back. “He’s got to know about this to call in some help in case there are more of these guys. Logan? You take point; due south maybe thirty miles back to the main road then we make best time to that town.”
“Got it,” he replied, starting the jeep and putting it in motion at the same time. Tell was turning their motor over as he and Kalí pulled their doors shut.
“I do not think they will pursue us now, given their losses,” she said calmly for a woman who just shot two men at a nearly impossible range. “I shall observe behind us and provide suppressing fire if needed.”
“Through the back window?” Tell yelled, trying to catch up to the jeep.
“It will be the first thing I shoot out.”
Forty minutes later they turned right onto Highway 380. As it was a main road west from Lubbock into New Mexico Province it was maintained if not well, then good enough. They sped up to fifty. Looking back, he saw Kalí – my wife – was now looking both behind them and north, perhaps in case the thieves came down a different dirt road. Speaking of…
“Kalí, my wife?”
“Yes, David, my husband?” She didn’t turn around.
“That was not only two amazing shots but also you kept your wits in what could have been a firefight,” he went on. “You have some kind of military background?”
“Some. From my father. But also if I am in need, my Father will help me,” she said to confuse him.
“So who’s your dad?” Tell asked, finally relaxing a little.
“Hold up,” he looked back for a second. “You mean Brigadier Rigó, from our Field Forces?”
“Your dad’s a general and you are out here in the middle of nowhere?” David had to ask. “Why?”
“I am doing God’s work.” She finally set her rifle next to her. “I think we have escaped successfully.”
Now she turned around. Seeing David right there, Kalí leaned forward and kissed him. “And since we are now on surnames, what is my new one?”
“Huh? Oh.” I never told her. “Perry.”
“I shall be Kalí Perry. Good.” She leaned back and took some water from one of her canteens.
“You sure have a hot mess, Dave,” Tell muttered.
Driving past the circular irrigated patches just across the Pecos River, it seemed Logan knew where he was going and once they were through some semi-alive commercial district, he turned north onto Main. A domed building, an obvious county courthouse, loomed ahead on their right but the jeep turned right then left, parking before a more utilitarian-looking Chaves County Building.
“It’s only about noon,” David said, looking at his watch as they all piled out, “so the sheriff should be in. Let’s see what we can do.”
The men started toward the front steps but halted, aware someone wasn’t coming.
“You know,” Tell drawled, “it would add a little to our story to have General Rigó’s daughter say her side of it.”
“No.” That seemed final but she kept on. “I am justice but not human justice. This is not my fight.”
“General?” Logan asked, lost.
“It was your fight when you shot two men,” Tell frowned. Kalí did not move. “Fine, whatever.”
A secretary passed them on to a deputy onto Sheriff Chisum, who took the notes his deputy had made and added more as the four talked. He looked at their wildcatting license and called for another secretary to make a copy of it. Pulling some maps from a drawer, he came round to a work table about ten feet away from his desk, asking where, exactly, all this happened.
“I think finding them will be difficult as I bet they have bolted due west, to get back across the Rio Grande to Mexico,” he sighed. “Even with two dead or wounded.”
He returned to his desk and spoke into a landline phone, saying he needed a posse put together to move out in two hours.
“One more thing, boys,” he said, cradling the phone. “This gal who took the shots? Why isn’t she up here, too?”
Three of them looked at David. Chisum saw that and did, too.
“She… is a very odd person, Sheriff,” he tried. “She does not like getting mixed up in things like this.”
“This gal shot two men in my county,” he rumbled, “and is mixed up whether she wants to be or not. Is she outside? I can have her brought in…”
He raised the phone again.
“I…” David swallowed. “I don’t think that will work. She’s pretty good at just wandering off.”
“Mister Perry?” the sheriff asked. “What is the gal to you?”
“We, well, we’re married, I guess. It was a little sudden.”
About ten seconds passed.
“She’s outside, you say?” Chisum asked.
“So far as I know,” David admitted. She said she can go anywhere but I didn’t know what she meant.
“Hmm. There’s a little breakroom with vending machines on the ground floor. You three get some food and drink in you. Perry? With me.”
As they left his office, Tell’s look was all ‘I told you so.’
Outside into the eighty-five-degree heat, they walked down the steps. The sheriff looked around, seeing no one. She left?
“I am over here,” he heard Kalí’s voice to the right just a little. Walking about a dozen feet, she was sitting with her legs straight out, leaning against a tree. Isn’t she hot in all that? As they came close, she stood, picking up her rifle and slinging it across her back.
“You’d be Miss Kalí, then,” the sheriff asked, touching his hand to the brim of his hat. “Sound like you found yourself in some trouble.”
“That is why I am God’s agent,” she replied. Perhaps picking up on her new husband’s anxiety, she pulled all of her head coverings off, holding them in her left hand.
“Well, now,” David couldn’t tell if he was faking it or not, “aren’t you just the cutest little thing! And that’s an old k98, right?”
“Your friends inside said you dropped two men at nearly two miles. That’s good shootin’. Maybe you could teach some of that to my men,” he tried leading her.
“Thank you. No.”
“Miss Kalí?” now with an exasperated sigh, “I am going to need a statement from you.”
“My husband and his colleagues were faced with immediate danger. I removed the danger.”
“That’s it?” he pressed. She just looked at him.
“And, for the record, your last name is?” he tried again.
“Perry.” That got a shake of the sheriff’s head.
“No, I meant before y’all got married.”
Chisum took in a very deep breath and the power of his office seemed to swirl about him.
“I prefer not to arrest a cute, little hero like you,” he rumbled. “But I will.”
I swear her green eye just twinkled, David thought as she walked over slowly before standing on her tip-toes to kiss him.
“No, you won’t.”
She was gone. Both of their jaws hanging open in surprise, Chisum and David stared at the space where she was a second ago.
“What the actual hell was and is this, Mister Perry?” he demanded.
“I have no idea.”