How a Runaway Runs
“What’s your name?” Evie asked, helping the boy to sit up.
“Migelle.” He replied, noticing the pain in his leg. His voice was on the higher side, but only by a bit, and he spoke with the slightest of lisps.
“Hello. My name’s Evie. I’m sorry I made you sleep outside, but I wanted to make sure you were okay. You-”
Evie was a tad shocked by the bluntness. “Y-Yes...”
Migelle scoffed angrily. “I fucking knew it...”
“Why...were you shot? I mean, you seem to have expected it...”
“I did. But I don’t see how that’s any business of yours.”
“H-Hey! I think it is!”
“Oh yeah? Why?”
Evie thought for a moment. “Because...I saved your life!”
Migelle looked over at the young girl in front of him and tilted his head. ”You did? Is that...is that why I’m alive?”
Evie nodded. “You were bleeding, so I took the bullets out and bandaged you.”
“But...you’re blind, aren’t you? I mean, you’re wearing a cloth on your face and stuff...”
“Well...I may be blind, yes, but I still saved you. It wasn’t easy and it took a long time, so I think it would be nice if you would tell me why you got shot in the first place.”
Migelle sighed and looked down at the binding on his leg; he touched the cloth that now resided over his jeans and looked back up at Evie. “I ran away. From a ‘boys club’.”
“What’s...a ‘boys club’?”
“It’s like the town’s brothel, except they make you do all sorts of requests. My father sold me to it when I was young to pay for the mortgage on his house. I guess that I wasn’t as important to him as a place to live...”
Evie frowned. “I’m sorry.”
“There’s nothing for you to be sorry about. They made me fight and...” He looked up at Evie and thought of her age. “Stuff. I finally decided that I didn’t care of they took my father’s house away; I wasn’t going to be there anymore. But since I ran away, they came after me. When I wouldn’t go back, they decided to let me go permanently.”
"Ask him about the mafia." Con whispered.
“’No’ what?” Migelle replied, looking confused.
“Um...no, that’s...not right. I mean, they’re not a ‘mafia’, right?”
Migelle leaned back on a dumpster. “They are in their own way. They do ‘favors’ for people if they give up their sons; try to control lives. I needed to run so I ran. I’ve run before, but they always caught me and sent me back. But this time I wouldn’t go back... I won’t go back...”
Evie frowned and let her head sink down a bit. “I ran away too, you know.”
“You ran away? How? You’re...”
“I know I’m blind. That doesn’t mean I’m useless. But in truth...I never planned on it. I was forced to, and now I can’t escape the demons in my head, so I have to run further.”
“Where did you run from?”
Evie moved her head back up to face him. “I guess...I can tell you. Since you ran too.”
“I was born in a research lab; of three-hundred and one, I was the last. I was the only one to survive, since they did things to my DNA before I was born. Because of that though, I’m blind. They did experiments on me, and made me do painful things... But I never knew that there was a way out. One day, someone came and made me run away with her, but then she left me alone. I’m looking for her now; I need her to set things straight so I can have some peace.”
“Wow...that’s pretty heavy.”
“I don’t think words can be heavy.”
“Um...right. Well that’s pretty serious then. How did you make it this far by yourself?”
“Well I... I’m not by myself.”
Migelle looked around. “It looks like you are.”
“I...have a friend. His name is Mister Con. You can meet him if you like. He helped me save you.”
“I’d like to meet him, then.”
Evie nodded and took a deep breath. “Mister? Do you think you could...say hello or something?”
“He can’t hear you, Mister...” She sighed.
"Oh right." Con watched as Migelle looked around confused, and he picked up a beer bottle.
“H-Hey! Look out, Evie!” Migelle reached out and winced hard in pain. Evie frowned.
“No! It’s okay! That’s Mister!”
“What?” Migelle looked up at the bottle he thought had been thrown, and stared as it now floated in the air. “Th-this isn’t possible!”
“He’s...dead. He died in a car crash and now he can only touch beer bottles and me. You don’t need to worry; he won’t hurt you.”
"Hurt me!? He’s not even there!”
Evie frowned and Con waved the bottle back and forth, laughing.
"Oh I’m here alright, sucker!"
“Please excuse whatever he’s doing. He’s drunk; always drunk.”
"Damn straight, Vodka." Con said, taking a swig. Migelle gasped as the liquid poured out and suddenly dissipated. For a moment, he could see a flash of an outline where the liquid dispersed.
“He’s there... He’s really there...”
“Mhmm. I’m sorry if he scared you. But...I wanted to introduce you to my friend. He worked so hard to help you. We both did.”
Migelle took a breath and knelt down, putting his hands to the ground and bowing. “Th-thank you Evie and M-Mister Con for saving my life. I promise...I shall repay you for this.”
Evie seemed shocked at the sudden change in character. “‘Re-pay’? That’s not really necessary...”
“No! I shall repay you. No one’s ever...been so nice to me before. You said you were looking for someone right? A girl?”
“Then I will help you find her.”
Evie smiled and made Migelle sit up, then hugged him. “Thank you! Thank you so much!”
Migelle blushed a bit. “I owe you two my life; I won’t forget that.”
Evie and Migelle slept for a bit longer before heading out; it had been a tough night for both of them. Con got Migelle to hold his beer, and held Evie’s hand as they walked.
"He seems like a good kid." Con said, looking over at his new beer-boy.
Evie smiled and nodded.
“Hey,” Migelle started, looking forward. “I think that.....maybe we should get you some new clothes or something. We just got a truckload yesterday, and it would be a good chance to ask about the ‘B&G’. You said that’s where that girl got off, right?”
“Yeah, I think so. But I don’t know if I have enough money.”
“We’ll see I guess. It’s just that...your clothes are all blood stained, and now that your dress is all ripped up you must be cold.”
“At night, yeah, but it’s really hot in the day.”
“Let’s just go to the ‘B&G’. You and Con shop a bit not to look suspicious at least, and I’ll ask around a bit.”
Evie nodded; it seemed that Migelle was really worried, and she didn’t want to offend him. Besides, her dress was quite dirty and worn at this point.
The ‘B&G’, named after the company it took stock from, was a large and well-built store.
“The town got its name because there’s a large fire hazard in this area. The town’s burnt down three times since its original construction. This building is in prime location though.”
“Prime location for what?”
“Not being burned.”
Evie nodded in slight understanding and entered. A few people were shopping here and there, and Migelle went off to talk to some of the unloading personnel.
“What do you think I should try on?” Evie whispered to Con, not sure who was around her.
"Well you’re wearin’ a white dress right now so...why don’t you try on a white dress?"
“Well...I’ve been wearing this same thing forever. Maybe I should try something else?”
“Need any help?”
Evie jumped as a saleswoman walked up to her, smiling and cheerful.
“I-I uh...am looking for some new clothes. I got into a bit of an accident.” Evie turned towards the woman.
“I can see...that. Ooh...sorry...”
“Hm? Oh, because I’m blind?” Evie pointed to her eye cloth.
“It’s okay. I could use your help because of it actually.” Evie smiled, and the woman relaxed.
“Well, I can do that! Here, let’s get you to a fitting room!”
The woman smiled and took Evie’s arm, leading her gently to a room and shut the door.
“I’ll pass some clothes over the door so you won’t ever have to worry about someone seeing you!”
“So she jumped out of the back of the truck?”
“That’s right, kid. Right outta a crate, too. It was creepy.”
“Do you know where she was going?”
“Well, I saw her a bit later at the stop. Seemed she hitched a ride to the city, but couldn’t get no further. They’d heard that she stole some ‘B&G’ merch.”
“What did she steal.”
“Clothes. A whole outfit, actually. When she jumped outta the truck she was mid-changed. I think she said she wanted to go to Baggs, but the guy wouldn’t take her.”
“Why you lookin’ for her anyway?”
“I’m not. My friend is.”
“How’s that loo-. How’s that feel?”
“It’s okay, don’t feel bad. And it feels nice, thank you.”
As Evie stepped out she could feel the lack of blood-and-sand stains on her clothes. She wore a loose white tank-top that had a white and teal stripped undershirt. She also now wore a teal skirt and had new socks; she kept her old shoes and eye cloth though.
“This material was made for the desert, so it’s light, but surprisingly warm at night! The white colour reflects sunlight, and the teal adds a touch of ‘zazz’!”
Evie “stared” blankly at the saleswoman for a moment, who immediately felt awkward for, once again, forgetting Evie’s blindness. The silence between them was almost overbearing until Migelle walked over.
“Not bad, Evie. That should be better. The ‘B&G’ is good for warm-climate clothing.”
Evie smiled in his general direction.
“How much?” he asked the woman.
“For all she’s wearing? About fifty.”
"Fifty? For a blind girl!? Come on now.”
The woman bit her cheek; this was a blind girl. “I can do forty.”
Migelle smiled and winked at what he hoped was Con before going to pay.
"Did he just wink at me?"
Con sighed loudly.
When Migelle came back he put the wallet in the one of his pockets that had a zipper and lead Evie outside.
“Is that Con guy here?”
“Well can you ask him where the Hell he stole this wallet from? You can be jumped carrying money like this!”
“Not good, that’s what it is. Now ask him.”
Con cleared his throat. ”One, tell ’im I can HEAR him, and two, I stole it from ma’self. So it’s all good, baby."
“He says he can hear you and that it’s his wallet...baby.”
Migelle raised his eyebrow.
“Beer money.” Evie spoke for Con.
Migelle sighed loudly and ran his hand through his hair. “Beer money. Of course...”
There was silence for a bit, then Migelle looked up at the sky and spoke up again. “Listen, I think we should head for the city. If that friend of yours got a hitch, she could be there already.”
"Already? Well do you think we could get a ‘hitch’?”
Migelle kept looking at the sky. “I doubt it, at this time. It’s afternoon sometime and most trucks either don’t leave ’till tomorrow, or have already left.”
Evie frowned. “I guess we should walk then. How far is it to the city?”
“Walking? About a day.”
Evie sat on the ground and leaned against the store wall. “We’ll never be able to catch her like that! And then you’ll leave because it’s too long a walk and...”
Migelle put a finger to her lips. “I promised to help you, and so I will help you. If we have to walk, I’ll walk.”
“But your leg... Doesn’t it still hurt?”
“Well....yeah but... If it didn’t hurt it would be because I was dead so... Yeah. I can deal.”
A slight smile creeped across Evie’s lips. “Diana...”
“Oh, you just...remind me of someone. Someone who used to look out for me.”
Migelle blushed a bit; he wasn’t used to being thought of as a friend or brother; he liked the feeling, so he bowed his head again. “L-Let’s head out then! The further we walk before nightfall, the better.”