So, given that the last two entries about
Dree RainCave had his new identity papers tucked in a compartment of his new cloth travel wallet which was belted around his waist. He also wore a pair of ill-fitting sandals, some scuffed up jeans which looked like Sally Boutique's rejects-- there were patches all over them plus a thumbnail size hole developing in the "wrong place"-- also; a large floppy washed out pine green tee shirt which proclaimed the word NATIVE in large block letters, and a sombrero which his girlfriend Honey insisted he wear. "You were born in Reynosa, Mexico" she reminded him. "You were attending your sister's wedding in Moscow." He growled at her. A knock came at the door. Three stone-faced guards stood stiffly. "You ready in there?" the senior guard demanded. "The bus is waiting. Hurry."
Dree RainCave and Honey, now Mr. and Mrs. Julius Guzman if you please, walked through the door which slammed shut behind them. The youngest guard indicated the way down the hallway to the winding staircase.
Not a word was spoken by any of them. The bus [which the guards all pronounced as buss with sort of an almost long u in spite of hours of English language laboratory practice] was empty save for the five of them and the driver. It delivered the two passengers directly to the plane. The three guards made a show of concern that the two suspicious Mexicans [all who stayed at the expensive transient hotel instead of hiding in the hallways and bathrooms were viewed with a collective air of suspicion] boarded the plane rather than eloping down the tarmac to nowhere. Mr. and Mrs. Julius Guzman were shown to their first class seats. The bus pulled away. The announcement on the plane was given for the passengers to fasten their seat-belts. The plane took off and our two adventurers promptly conked out until touchdown.
The International Airport was a hubbub of activity and pick-pockets on a calm day. Mr. and Mrs. Guzman deplaned. A bored-looking man named Stan separated himself from the shadows. He motioned to them in Ameslam, "This way." Dree and Honey followed his retreating back. Just then an alarm interrupted the swirl of conversations around them. Passengers scattered to the left and to the right. Stan, Dree, and Honey walked steadily onward toward an unused freight elevator. Stan withdrew a key from a pocket. The elevator's ancient doors creaked open and the three friends walked in.
The alarm continued its' high-pitched squeals as pandemonium reigned on the main floor. A lone voice instructed everyone via the P.A. system to "stay calm and await orders." Naturally, no one did.
The elevator bounced and rattled to a sudden stop. The doors open, revealing the burning sun against a backdrop of truck-lots and junkyards. Stan, Dree and Honey threw themselves into the back of an old pick-up truck. They barely had time to flatten themselves on the floor and throw some old smelly blankets over themselves. The truck took off. The driver expertly careened through lanes of traffic and out into the bowels of Down Neck.
The truck lurched to a sudden stop. Stan said, "Come on. Hurry." Dree and Honey jumped from the truck onto the street and looked around. Slums. Once again, they found themselves following Stan's back. This time, they cut through a small park shrewn with steel wool and matches and garbage and then past a fountain that looked like it too-- like the park-- had seen better days. Water gushed out. A few kids were using the fountain as a pool and one was using it as a urinal. Directly across the street from the park was a shack. Stan led the couple down an alley stinking with heavy smoke and dog shit to a back door. He worked the locks and with a final kick, the three gained entry.
Inside was an old mangy tomcat of an indeterminate color with one ear chewed off-- Dree regarded it with alarm-- and a few almost dead houseplants, a bed, a couch, an old television set, a kitchenette. A partially opened door in the corner revealed a dingy bathroom and the location of the litter box. "The cat's name is 'Majestic' although he doesn't answer to it. He will keep the local rats from taking over." Honey sighed. She thought longingly of her home in Hawaii. Maybe she could find a way to get away from here. "Your clothes are in the closet there. Burn what you have on in the backyard tonight. No one will notice. Try hard to blend in." Dree nodded. Stan gave both of them a thick wad of cash, mostly singles. "If you run into trouble, use the Obama phone to call in," Stan indicated a beat-up looking cellphone. "For crying out loud, don't call from in here and don't leave it turned on. Call from the fountain at the park." Dree nodded. He knew this. After all, he had insisted that everyone stow their cells in the freezer when they had come to visit him in Hong Kong. "Food's in the fridge. Welfare benefit card is by the phone. Later." Stan headed to the back door. "And for crying out loud, stay off the fecking Internet." Deftly, he scooped up the knapsack that Dree had stowed the four laptops in along with some toiletries and was out the door before Dree could protest.
The couple looked at each other. "Damn," Dree remarked, "Who would have ever figured that we'd be hiding in New Jersey?" Honey shrugged. She headed to the closet to examine the rags she would now be expected to wear.
Majestic uncurled himself slowly from his perch on the space heater and lurched across the room and into the bathroom. Scratching was heard then and soon the stinky evidence of his doings in there wafted out, curling itself around the two humans. Dammit, Dree thought. I'm allergic to cats.
~ to be continued, maybe ~