On The Lam

Milo hunched on the floor of Grace's spare bedroom, knees pulled up under his chin and his back leaned against the wall, thinking hard and staring at the generator on the floor in front of him. Although he'd pulled the plug more than fifteen traumatic hours before, it was still fizzing and arcing once in awhile. He felt nervous about that.

On the bed beside him, similarly erratic splutters broke the fevered rhythm of Alphonse's shallow breathing. Sporadically, his fingers would do a sexy little St. Vitus' Tango with each other, as involuntary spasms shook through his shorted-out nervous system. Al's eyes were wide open and unblinking, staring at the ceiling.

Twelve hours earlier, Grace, one of Milo's casual amours, had cracked her door to the early dawn, taken in his charred clothes, Alphonse, and the sputtering breadbox full of tubes and lights under his arm, and merely figured Milo had finally gotten too deep into campus politics. Bless her fine-arts soul.

She had arched one dramatic, thin, pencilled eyebrow, blinked dark kohl lids once, slowly, over her startling green eyes, and opened the door wide. Then she had shouldered half of Alphonse's weight, helped Milo carry him down the hallway of her narrow shotgun apartment to a windowless back bedroom, and left for either classes or her job at a illegal 24-hour strip bar. Milo hadn't asked which, and she hadn't offered.

Her daddy ran a Fortune 500 company in New York, and thought his daughter was taking fine arts to polish herself up to nab a nice eligible husband next season, when she came out as an offical debutante. If he'd ever discovered her little hobby, he'd have taken her T-Bird away. Her tight-ass lacquer-haired bushwa mother would've shopped her out to the nearest nunnery. Grace had told Milo she found the element of danger... exciting. And it had certainly seemed to be.

Milo stopped reminiscing about past escapades, and noted thankfully that Al's spasms seemed to be becoming less frequent with time. He was worried about Al, but more worried about the generator. And, well, frankly, his own ass.

He'd slipped out once, early that morning, to try to grab clean clothes from his apartment. He had stopped short down the block from it when he'd seen the beefy men in black coats parked in two military-drab Ford station wagons at the front steps. He'd sidled inconspicously off and sauntered past the far end of his back alley. There he'd seen another two big guys in black, dawdling bored at the bottom of the iron fire escape and smoking Camels.

Milo wasn't sure how they'd found his place so damn fast, but knew it couldn't be for nice reasons. He'd hightailed it 18 blocks back to Grace's place to hide again and do some heavy thinking.

He had sat pondering for most of the ten hours since, unmoving, before he had finally snapped his fingers and looked up. He peered into Alphonse's unblinking eyes, and shook his head sadly. Then he began to speak to Al, patiently and quietly, yet vehemently, as to an idiot, cursing frequently and with color.