I cannot be sure how many of you have ever attempted to climb over a cattle fence with your hands handcuffed behind you. I imagine it is not a few. Here’s a few basic tips to guide you along your way:
- Check to be sure a gate is nearby. If so, try to go through that. If you can’t go through it, climb over it rather than the fence itself.
- Check for a gap, either under or through the fence to climb through.
- Check for electricity. Not with your pee.
If all of the options above check out and your only option is to go over, here’s what you DO NOT DO:
- Attempt to jump over like a drunken grasshopper.
- Attempt to roll over, because razor wire hurts, kids.
- Lick it
- Worry about your clothes. You are handcuffed and climbing a cattle fence. You have bigger things to worry about.
After Parker and Barry took their leave of the parking lot, I climbed to my feet and began running in the direction of the twins house. Instead of taking the road, I took the most direct route I knew, across Judge Oldman’s field. This is where I met the fence.
I can bet Judge Ford Oldman witnessed some strange stuff in his day, but none as he ate watermelon on his porch on a pleasent September evening. First, the lights and the noise from Barry’s truck could have woken the dead. Second, the siren of the police car, while a normal occurrence at the Honky Tonk, should have raised his suspicions. Then, a figure looking a lot like the town librarian fell ass over tea kettle into his field and began running. That last one is what probably made him get his gun.
As I fell off the fence and into his expanse of land, I heard the first shot. My first thought was Parker had come back around and was intent on killing me for fleeing. When I heard Judge Oldman shouting, I knew the shots were warnings for now, so I climbed to my feet and took off running.
In the darkness, I did not have the liberty to check for gopher holes, so I prayed to the Flying Spaghetti Monster and did my damnedest to stay on my feet. Oldman let off a couple more shells from the shotgun off into the air and, honest to FSM, I felt the pelts rain down on me a moment later. Gopher holes be damned, I ran like hell.
I reached the other side of the property about ten minutes later. A treeline and low growth separated the twins and the judge. I hoped there was not fence in here and ran headlong through.
The twins trailer sat on cinder blocks, the blue light of a bug zapper lighting the makeshift porch. Garry was sitting in a swing reading when I crashed through the bushes and fell.
“Holy Hell,” he yelled and through his book at me.
The paperback biography of Andrew Jackson struck me on the forehead and I decided to stay where I was.
“Shit... Evan?” Garry said.
I groaned. I could feel a lump forming where the book had struck.
“What the hell has gotten into you?,” Garry said, “Surprising me like that. I mean, hell... What in the world?”
“Garry, I’m sorry to ask, but I may need your help,” I said.
“I sure as shit can see that. Can you stand?”
I rolled over and Garry helped me get to my feet. He walked me over to a picnic table laid out beside a grill and a fire pit. Then he looked me over.
“Cuts look okay. Deep, but nothing serious. The Judge’s razor wire?”
“Yeah, me and Barry got the same shit a year ago. Old bastard. Good thing he didn’t get you with that buckshot, too. You go over that fence in handcuffs?”
I nodded again.
“You are by far the most hardcore librarian I have ever heard of. Let me see if I still got that cutter somewhere.”
While he looked for his tool, I told him about what happened and about his brother driving off. He seemed more concerned with the fact that I had punched a cop than the fact that that same police officer was now chasing his brother over all hell and back.
“Seriously,” he said, pulling a giant pair of what looked like hedge clippers from his garage, “you got ole Parker? Shit, I shoulda stayed around. I’da paid to see that.”
“Yeah, I bet I’ll be paying for it later. Sorry about your brother, too.”
I leaned over as far as I could and strained the handcuffs as far apart as I could. He held the giant hedge clippers or bolt cutters or whatever behind me and I felt a tightness then a snapping sound. My hands flew apart, my shoulders screaming at the new freedom and cramps.
“Eh, shit happens. Either he’ll get away and they’ll come here and get him or he’ll get caught. Nothing that ain’t happened before. So you just got up and ran?”
“Very zen. Yeah, over the fence and through the hail of buckshot and here I am. Any way for me to get home?”
“Yeah, hold on, though... Let me take care of them bracelets.”
I put my left hand on the picnic table. He positioned the tool over me, clamping it tight on the metal.
“Just be careful you don’t-” I started, before the metal sheared through the steel of the cuff and the upper skin on my wrist. Blood pooled on the table.
Garry dropped the cutter to the ground and ran inside the trailer. He came back out a moment later with a dirty AC/DC shirt and wrapped it around my wrist.
“Dammit, I’m sorry, man,” he said, “They got away from me. That weren’t your shelving hand, was it?”
“Funny,” I said, “Now just do the other so I can get out of here.”
Garry clipped the right handcuff with little trouble. I ate a couple of aspirin for the pain and told him to take me to my apartment.
“Won’t they be looking for you there?” he said.
“Parker’s not going to do anything to me. At least not right away. Not how he works.”
“Then what was he out here for? Way you told it, he was looking to arrest you or at least get a rise out of you.”
“Honestly, I do not know,” I said, “I peed on him once.”
“Heh, I like that story. Tell me again about peeing on the officer, George.”
We laughed. When we got to my place, I offered him a beer, but he said he might as well be sober to bail out Barry.
As I lay on my bed, the sharp sting of cuts and the dull roar of bruises across my back and chest subsided. Burying my head in my pillow, I smelled the faint smell of lavender and dreamed of a beautiful woman with red curls flowing down her back.
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