12 | Run

Never thought I would make it out of that situation, but eventually, I did.

Gonna need to go fix that part on my truck soon, I said.Give me your keys, CA Man replied

You do realize that to work on a vehicle, I need the keys, right? I quipped back, surprising myself a little.

Up here, you can’t get away from me, he sneered after a moment.

Never dreamt of it, I replied. Although, I was planning on it.

Gonna check on you soon, he conceded.

Let me work on my truck in peace, please? I asked.

You can’t be trusted, CA Man replied, cracking open a beer. Then he sunk down into a fluffy, green corduroy-looking couch, as if that settled the matter.

Down the hall, CA Man’s friend was exiting a room of some sort with a large bong and a massive jar of weed.

That’s when I realized that if I just stopped drinking, I could probably escape.
Fine, I’ll fix the truck later, I said.

First, the mountains on my can went silver and I tried my best to hide them, but every now and then, CA Man noticed and replaced my beer. Then, finally, the Hen Heckler passed out. It was only a matter of time before CA Man’s eyelids drooped enough for us to make a move, but the keys to the truck were clenched in his left fist, his beer in his right.

When he was solidly snoring, we tried to replace the keys with another beer, but CA Man growled and rolled over in his sleep, placing the key ring squarely below his gigantic torso. Nothing was going to make him let go. We had to make a run for it.

My breath was the only thing I could hear as I sprinted away from the cabin. Each heave in and out brought with it an onslaught of fear. CA Man murdered Mad Mike. I had to get away before he killed me, too.

I figured we would find a town, somewhere to regroup, but I never knew California had so much wilderness. I always thought California was all city and beach. If anything so far hadn’t convinced me I was wrong, this escapade would.

We stayed off the trail in case CA Man and his hen-disrespecting friend followed. A few hours later, I realized we were lost. Looking up at the tree line to navigate by star was useless, too. Tall, thick sequoias blotted out most of the night sky.

I guess we should make camp, I said.

With what, though?

I looked around at the thicket of wilderness where we had landed. There really wasn’t much to work with, at least not at that time of night. So, we settled for a dirt floor and waited for morning.

The sun shined into my eyes the next morning, and I thought that was what woke me up. Laying there, waiting for the feeling to come back into my body after a night on the hard ground, I heard footsteps, big footsteps.

My eyes shot open, expecting to find CA Man, but I was shockingly disappointed when it was not him. Instead, I was nearly nose-to-nose with a black bear. My backpack was in his claw, and he seemed almost as stunned to see me as I was him.

So, I took my chance. I punched that bear in the nose, grabbed my backpack and ran.

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