Chapter 53 - Tent Pens
We rode all day and rested in a shade tent by the side of the road. Somehow even when we lay down in the tent it felt like we were still on the road. My bones felt like they were still buzzing with the vibration of the wheels on the pavement. The Hell’s Angels left us alone, but Red had several buddies from his days in the Corps, so he would chat and laugh and tell stories. I noticed Red never paid for gas and never took off the mask or sunglasses anytime we stopped in town. The Angels kept him in the middle of the group and swirled around the edges, creating a buffer. He didn’t talk to anyone in town and they didn’t talk to him.
I tried to communicate with him at one of the first service stations, but he didn’t seem like he wanted to chat. He shushed me. And later that night when he came to his own tent he whispered to me while he fiddled with his helmet.
“Just trust me girl. I don’t want them to even know you’re here. If they see us talking, they might, I don’t know, let it slip. You and I have both seen enough to know that knowledge might get them all killed. And these are good Americans, many have served their country, they don’t deserve to be slaughtered or assassinated by who knows what kind of forces, for doing the right thing. I’m already in this up to my neck, but they may still live. I’m taking you to the only person that I think may get out far enough in front of this to really do something about it. So, rest up.” And louder he said “Good dogs, be good boys. Lay down Tank. Good Boy. You’re a good dog to have on a road trip.”
Tank preened. Apoc and I lay down side by side. His warmth and bulk comforting in the night, but I still could not sleep. I even tried burying my face in Apoc’s chest once he was asleep, but it didn’t feel safe there anymore. I stared up into a vent on the tent and out at the swath of brilliant stars overhead.
I wanted to go, now. I didn’t want to wait anymore. Whatever was going to happen, I just wanted it over with. I don’t remember sleeping.