Fran woke before the sun to the distinctive creak of polyester bedding. She pried herself up onto an elbow… ugly curtains from the 80’s. Uglier bedding from the same.
She checked her arms for needle marks, her head for lumps. Nothing. She’d fallen asleep high in a tree twenty miles from Jackson, on her way to get reinforcements and make a report.
She slipped out of bed, nearly landing on her gear bag – exactly where she’d left it. She wouldn’t make that mistake twice. From the sounds of things, the town was already awake. She snuck out of the motel the back way.
She could hear people talking, just on the other side of the motel. “…gates can’t hold…”
How were the gates still holding? How had they lasted a day?
“…trade the Ranger…”
No, still not doing that. She moved quietly, sticking close to the building. She couldn’t get to the weak spot in the wall from here, and they’d probably protected it, but there was an overhanging tree on this side…
“Franciszka! Give us Franciszka the Denier!”
They were still shouting for her? She shimmied up the tree as the townspeople started to yell.
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