Drifter’s Escape by Jay S. Winston, all rights reserved
(introducing themselves, in order of appearance):
Jennifer “tulip” Armbruster
we were lost...but it was cool...i remember beauty...amazing beauty...like this poem i read...by like the native american people...about how everything was like ‘in beauty’...like beauty wasn’t just how you described it...it was what it was...in beauty she came on our bus...i don’t blame her for anything...she was my little sister...my sweet, hurt little sister...fuck anybody who says anything bad about her....
Percival “Frank” Grant
I was driving east with my girlfriend, at the time, “tulip”— lowercase ‘t.’ That says a lot about her, but whatever. So we pick up this hitch-hiker, “Sandi”—yeah, that’s what she said her name was. Like I’d even have let her near me if I knew who she really was! I don’t hang with people like that if I can help it.
Grace “Moon” Johnson
I like to watch people. See when dynamics shift, when there’s potential for change. That’s likely to happen any time another person enters. But it’s especially intriguing when that person has a “mystique” many levels beyond one’s own.
As you have surely learned from CNN, I was one of the ringleaders of ‘The Sapphic Order,’ the tiny yet ruthless cabal of rabidly militant lesbians dedicated to exterminating the patriarchy who harbored the infamous Trudi Sorenson. In truth, when it all came apart thanks to our caring law enforcement professionals, we were, much as we’d have hated to admit it, little more than a bunch of middle aged yuppies, engaged in little more radical than subscribing to Ms and Mother Jones. Still, I have no regrets, not regarding her.
William “Bill” McDaid
Of all the blessings our Lord has seen fit to bestow upon me, I can think of none sweeter than working with Reverend Sorenson. I don’t care what these left wing, drug-addled pagan deviant witches have to say about him. I knew the man. Good Lord, is there anything the Pharisees of the secular liberal media relish more than the opportunity to defile a decent man of God?
Siobhan “Corky” Corcoran
I was kinda angry then, sat there loathing her for maybe a couple days, possibly a week or two. It was healing in the way only a pure, irrational hatred can be. Thing was, I was running, too. And her being so near, but so inaccessible, made me feel lonely for the first time.
Phyllis Enid Tuttle
That day, when the Lord saw fit for me to encounter that girl again, was one of the most Blessed, and yet most difficult, of my life. And yet, Oh Lord in Thy Infinite Mercy, Forgive this poor sinner, I was found wanting again. I was not the wife of Lot gazing backward in disobedience, but blinding my Vision in fear.
Meghan Ann Feingold
I’ve known ‘tulip’ since eighth grade. Christ, I never should’ve lent her that e. e. cummings book, especially since she never gave it back. Guess it beats cigarette burns and poems about suicide. The way she looked at her, though...it was kinda like she did with Frank, at first—like mother Mary with baby fucking Jesus.
Bradley “Spud” Reznicki
Had my guts hangin’ out and major fuckin’ arteries severed in my arm and the fuckin’ dyke went and slashed at my back while I was tryin’ to get away from her. Bitch was lucky I didn’t have no piece on me. That’s all I got to say.
Herbert Raymond “Raven” Farkelson III
It’s so totally weird talkin’ about her. Even like thinkin’ about her—even tho I prob’ly do it like practically every day. Like she’s always kickin’ back somewhere in my head—might be hidin’ for a little while, but ya know she’s gonna be comin’ back sooner or later. There’s prob’ly like a whole lotta people wanderin’ in n’ outta my head. I’ve partied, like, a lot. It’s all good, tho....
Mitchell Victor “Mitch” Cummings
She had this full, chip-toothed smile that made it seem worthwhile to get up in the morning, no matter how hungover you were. You didn’t get to see it much, but that’s why bringing it out so easily took on the flavor of a holy quest—little more than a way to kill time until the apocalypse, but there are worse ones. Too bad Raven had to act like such an asshole.
Catherine “Katerina” O’Donnell
The two stooges, Raven and his friend Mickey—I think that was his name—were kind enough to share a joint. It was the beginning of a short yet remarkably irritating acquaintanceship. Once I realized she was there, with the idiots, my focus of course changed. What, exactly, am I being paid for this?
Woodward Charles “WoodChuck” Oppenfield
One could say I was trying to step away from conflict. Or toward it. Or both. Or any direction away from where I was. That’s not really what I’m talking about, though. I’m trying to tell you about her—I never knew, never would have guessed anything about her past then, nothing except that she wasn’t what she said she was, or anyone else around her thought she was, which meant at least some shred of possibility. Jesus, that was all I wanted.
Richard “Rick” O’Sullivan
Met Raven first time at this local bar—typical rich deadhead kid—no idea what life’s about or havin’ to work for nothin’s about, but tries to tell everybody how they oughta be mellow and stop worryin’ about money. Started talkin’ about ‘mother earth’ in a room full of people cut down trees for a living. Woulda got his ass kicked fast if I didn’t get him outta there.
Charles Oswald “Charlie” Burnett
I made a positivistic and definitive indemnification of the perpetrator first minute I saw her. First second. First millisecond. First microsecond. Was situationating like the world was all hers. Livin’ the good life instead of the electric chair where scum like her belongs. Bet she thought she had everything sewed up. Obviously didn’t count on me.
Robert “Bert” Young
I’ll tell you what I told them fine officers of the law questioned me. I’m a law abiding citizen, so they ask me if I seen some girl and I say I seen lotsa girls. There’s one thing I see every chance I get, it’s girls! They got no sense of humor. No surprise there.
People believe whatever they need to, so it doesn’t matter what I say or what anybody else says. [35 sec. pause] Maybe you can ask Jesus. He knows everything. He saved us, washed us clean with his blood, but we just got dirtier. It had to end some time, I guess.