planets for expletives (Argentina)

Why… why is the ceiling so sterile? And why can’t I move? There’s no windows or lights in here, but it’s still dim instead of pitch-black. And- oh, hello there, Mr. Person In a White Coat. What’cha got there? A big nice syringe of drugs? Oh, that’s okay, sure- no, I’m being sarcastic, keep that needle away from me-

I probably should have expected to get a crappy day’s sleep when I agreed to save the money stash for tonight’s breakfast and just sleep in the back seat of the van. Waking up next to Samhain, the first thing I noticed was that she had thrown her arm over me during the night. Frost had developed over the windows overnight, and her eyelashes had little bits of frost clinging to them like she was a pine tree in winter.

“Good morning, I guess.” I slipped out of her hold slowly, heading to the driver’s seat and trying not to wake her up and make tonight’s drive worse than the one last night. Samhain hadn’t talked to me the rest of the night after my careless comment, and seeing as our days together were ending up to be coming to a close far closer than I expected when we first became friends and then lovers, I preferred to avoid those kind of nights as much as possible. And, you know, maybe I’d be able to make it to the cabin in my sleepless state and Samhain could wake up in somewhere with actual heating and maybe even some food that wasn’t shoddily put together from backroad grocery store delis or from McDonald’s. Thankfully, the thin scrap of yarn that I’d tied around my wrist still had the ignition key, so I untied it and started up the car.

Slowly turning the van around in the shallow grassy alcove that I’d parked the van in, I was about to leave when some person in a gray hoodie just casually walked up to the van like they weren’t flirting with death. Stopping and rolling down my window, I inquired with restraint, “Who are you and what do you want?”

They didn’t answer at first, just held out a bony hand with a couple of crumpled bills wedged in between their fingers, each one of them proudly boasting on the back that they were worth $100. “I know you have Samhain in the vehicle.”

“No, I don’t.” Should I go now? Just take the money and stomp on the accelerator?

“Don’t lie to me, Argentina. Your story is everywhere, although I don’t think you would have noticed, seeing as you’ve no doubt been on the run with no time for checking the news these past days.”

“Oh, so are you going to try to turn me in now? Bribing me with money to keep distracted until the police arrive?”

“No, this money is because I’m sympathetic to the cause.” They reached out their other hand, slipping it into mine and making me take the money. “That girl in the back is dangerous in the wrong hands. So continue your course up into Willow River and find your cabin, and then come find us waiting in the rented field. We’ll go over the rest of our plan then.”

“We have no plan past the cabin- what are you talking about? I don’t even know you-” but instead of answering, they just turned around and disappeared into the trees like a crappily-produced horror film. “Great.” I shifted out of park and got onto the main road, continuing the trek up north. “And I wouldn’t even be able to recognize them later, since they were wearing that dang hoodie and hiding their face. Clothes shouldn’t be that shadowy, after all…”

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