Running Into Trouble

Raphael Workman

Chapter 1

A woman sprinted up a narrow trail in the Superstition Mountains of central Arizona. She leaped over large rocks as she ascended the tan-colored goliaths. Her heavy breathing filled the early morning air as her sandals pushed desert gravel. A light brown lizard scurried from atop a rock and settled under a bush. She didn’t acknowledge the small creature; there was no time. The Arizona desert gets quite cold overnight—cold to reptiles. Cammi concentrated on the summit. It was out of site, but not out of mind. She had learned to focus on long runs, especially with a race coming up so soon. This was a speed workout, not a leisurely jog. She pushed herself harder, knowing that this was her last hillworkout before the 100-Mile race in Leadville, Colorado next week. The summit came into sight. She dug deep. She had been pushing herself hard the entire way, but she still had a little left. She sped up, practically sprinting the last 300 yards. Her heart pounded. Her lungs ached. She loved that feeling; and she embraced the fatigue. This is it, she thought. With one last surge she reached the top and began walking immediately. The mountaintop was flat and, apart from cacti every few feet, quite clear. True to its name, the top of Flat Iron Mountain looked like an upside down iron. The flat area, roughly the size of a football field, curved on both sides and came to a point. Each edge was a sheer drop hundreds of feet down. She was alone, the way she preferred it. She was always heading back down the mountain before others arrived. Arizona was relatively cooler before eight in the morning. She would rest a few more minutes before heading back down. From the summit she could see several miles in every direction. Houses were now only a few miles away; they seemed to grow out of the desert like weeds. Soon, they would creep right up to the edge of the mountain, but for now, Cammi simply enjoyed the view. Just as she was turning away from the edge a glimpse of motion caught her eye. A yellow convertible sped into the parking lot and skidded to a stop at the trailhead followed closely by a blue SUV. The blue SUV stopped directly behind the yellow convertible boxing it in. A large man in a red shirt jumped out

and began running up the trail with three men in pursuit. The fleeing man kept looking back at the pursuers and stumbling on the loose dirt. One of the menacing figures pointed an arm up the trail and the victim collapsed immediately. A second later she heard a thunder clap. They immediately began looking around to see if anyone on the mountain had heard the sound. Cammi ducked then crawled away from the cliff. She couldn’t believe what she’d just seen. Her mind was racing. What could she do? She couldn’t go back down the trail to her truck because the killers were there. One of them began walking up the trail while the other two dragged the body toward the parking lot. It would be more than an hour before anyone could hike up to the summit, but it would be much sooner when someone would be able to spot her, identify her clothing, and know which direction to follow her. Her best chance of survival would be to get down the other side of the mountain or to find a hiding place where she could stay long enough for them to give up and leave. Just then she realized. She left her purse under the seat of her car. It contained her driver’s license. They had access to her picture and home address. Even if she managed to get away, all the killers would have to do to find her was to break into her car and find all her personal information. Panic began to set in. What should she do now? She knew she had a few minutes before anyone would be close enough to see her. She tried to think of her options, but her mind would not focus.Think! What would the killers do next? The two heading back to the parking lot were disposing of the body. The one heading up the trail was undoubtedly searching for the owner of the white pickup truck. Since all of the houses were miles away, nobody would park a car in that lot and leave it. Someone—who could report their crime or identify them—was on the mountain. For now she had a few advantages. They did not know she was alone or that she was a 5’5” 110-pound unarmed woman with no self-defense training. They also didn’t know what color her clothes were. She could maybe hide off the trail long enough for them to get tired and leave. With a group, however, they could split up and find her. Then they could look at her driver’s license and find out her home address. Her house! Her fiancé was at the house. Would they hurt him? Would they use him to find the witness on the

mountain? Oh God!

* * * “Rick,” Bill called out in a gruff voice, “What does Lou want us to do?” “I dunno,” Rick replied. “He ain’t told me nothin’ yet. He just ran up the hill.” “Did you try his cell?” “Of course I tried his cell, stupid! He ain’t answerin’.” “F*** you,” Bill responded without bothering to look at Rick. “No, f*** you…” Rick was saying when his cell alerting him to a text message. The killer retrieved his phone and glanced at it before shoving it back into his pocket. “He’s goin’ to the top to find whoever owns the white truck. He wants us to use the mat in the back of the suburban to wrap the body in, just in case anyone shows up.” “Does he want us to wait here for him after we get the body loaded up?” asked Bill. “I dunno. Let’s just get the fat fuck in the suburban and then we’ll ask Lou what to do next. Too bad we can’t just leave him up there. He must weigh 300 pounds. ” “Too bad,” Bill said. “Wait,” Rick interjected, “Grab the jug of water in the back seat. We need it to clean up a little.” “Alright, whatever,” Bill grumbled, but he obeyed. It was already 80 degrees at 8:00 in the morning. Both men were perspiring. It was only 150 yards from the parking lot, but the body would be difficult to move. As they drew near they were thankful that the body had rolled off the trail between two bushes before the blood began to pool. The water would wash away most of the blood and it would be difficult to spot in an hour after the sun dried the sand. The two men struggled to lift the body, but managed to get it back to the suburban relatively quickly after they figured out they could just grab the four corners of the

carpet like a stretcher. “Now let’s call Lou an’ see what he wants us to do,” said Bill. The other man called the leader. “What do ya want us to do now? We got the body in the back of the suburban an’ dumped a bunch of water on the bloodstain in the sand. When the water dries…” Rick stopped talking and held the phone away from his ear. After the yelling stopped, he said, “Alright, I’ll tell him.” As he was putting his phone in his pocket, Rick explained the plans to Bill. “We’re gonna just leave the car here with a dead body in plain view?” “That’s what he said. He wants us to go walkin’ up and down the mountain helpin’ him look for anyone off the trail. Let’s move these cars.” Rick reparked the suburban so it would look less conspicuous. Bill re-parked the yellow convertible. When they were sure nothing looked out of place, they headed back up the trail. Now that he knew they were going to have to stay for a while, Bill wished he hadn’t dumped all the water in the sand. Hopefully it wouldn’t take long and he could go home and have a cold beer. It was Sunday after all. What in the hell was he doing on a mountain?

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Cammi slid on some loose dirt as she made her way down the opposite side of the mountain. Nobody ever went this way, but she would have to. She had no other choice. Well, no safe choice. Her only chance was to make it down the East side and around the South end of the mountain. If she could get around the curve in the next forty minutes, nobody could see her in the distance. She didn’t know how fast they were climbing, so she had to make it in thirty minutes just to be safe. No, twenty minutes, she couldn’t take any chances. They would not suspect she went down around the back and they would keep searching along the trail and in the caves and bushes near the trail. It could take them over an hour, which would give her enough time to escape. She only hoped the killers didn’t send any accomplices around the other side of the same curve to cut her

off before she could get back to the parking lot. She wasn’t sure if she could drive her car to safety. She could walk—or run—to the nearest housing development three miles away and rely on a Good Samaritan to help her. After all, she was born to run. She was Tarahumara. Her people could run down a deer until it passed out of exhaustion. And not only was she a local champion—faster than all Tarahumara, except one man—but she was the premier woman runner in the world. She had four gold medals from the two Olympics she had participated in and dozens of other ribbons and trophies. She dominated the Marathon, the halfmarathon, and ultra-marathon distances. Still, she had just finished a thousand foot incline in less than an hour. She was tired, but always had energy left for more running, but was it enough? It had to be. Her life depended on it. She slipped again, this time almost falling into a cactus. She was only wearing her running shorts, a sports bra, andHuaraches sandals. Her exposed skin would scrape easily on rocks and absorb the full impact of all cactus spines. She looked behind her and, luckily, saw nobody. If she could see somebody, she could be seen. She was still okay, for now. What would she do after making it around the mountain? How would she ensure she would not be seen? She would keep an eye out for the two cars she saw in the small parking lot. She would watch the parking lot from wherever she was at all times as soon as it came back into site. A big boulder blocked her path. Thick brush barricaded the lower side while the upper side was a shear cliff. She had to backtrack twenty yards to get around. She had only two minutes according to her watch until the killers could spot her. Her heart rate was 155 beats per minute. Her watch was the only thing she had on her besides clothing. She did not carry a cell phone or water because the bulky items threw off her rhythm. She would need water soon, but there was no time now. A hundred yards more, maybe a hundred and fifty, and she was around the corner and out of side. She looked back again. Still nobody. There is no time for resting. I must keep going, she thought. Her heart pounded and her lungs ached, but not from the pace. She had run faster than this many times before. Her physical reactions were linked to her emotional stress. The situation was grave. She rounded the corner and crouched behind a

boulder. She peeked around the edge, but could no longer see the trail she had just left behind less than ten minutes ago. She brushed off a flat rock with her hand. It was about eight inches above the ground. She kept an eye out for rattlesnakes. That was all she needed, to escape being shot by the killers and be bitten by a rattlesnake instead. They were all over the desert this time of the year and it was nearly nine in the morning. They would be searching for a rock in the sun to warm their scaly bodies. She was in the shade so they probably wouldn’t want to stay there, but they might pass through her area on their way to their favorite rocks. I must keep going, she thought. Then she rationalized, I should rest in the shade for a few more minutes. I can get going in five minutes. She knew she had to be very careful from now on. Too much movement would attract the attention of her pursuers. Luckily she did not wear her red shorts today. Her outfit was sky blue, which blended into the tan and light green of the desert better than bright red shorts. As long as she moved slowly around the corner and did not double back, she could make it unseen.

Chapter 2

Lou heard footsteps and paused for a moment. He tried to discern whether they came from up or down the trail. Down, they definitely came from down the trail. It was undoubtedly his dim-witted, but strong, accomplice. “Bill, is that you?” called out Lou. He was just about to call Bill’s cell phone when he came into view. “Get up here,” commanded Lou in a harsh whisper. “Did you see anyone?” “No, but I was mostly lookin’ down tryin’ not to fall.” “There probably isn’t more than four of them, most likely only one or two. Let’s find them and take care of this.” “We should just leave before someone else parks in the lot and can ID our cars. Nobody up on the trail could have seen our faces and…”

“We can’t afford to take any chances,” interrupted Lou. “We need to tie this off clean.” The two men ascended the mountain. Bill looked at Lou’s feet and followed his lead. It took forty more minutes at a fast walk and all three men were breathing heavily when they reached the top. No man was happy. “F***!” yelled the leader. A string of profanities came from the others. “Bill go to the edge over to the left and look for any signs of hikers or a trail they might have used or a place they could be hiding. Rick, get down to the parking lot as fast as your f***ing legs will take you. We can’t have anyone leaving who could cause us problems. Got it?” “Yeah, boss,” Rick called barely looking over his shoulder. He was already twenty steps down the trail, slipping and sliding, trying to keep his balance. The two men at the top became more discouraged when they reached the sheer drop on all sides. There was no way down but the way they came. There had to be another way down. “Bill, come here,” Lou called. The man obeyed and was soon standing in front of Lou, his hands on his knees and his eyes were staring at his shoes. “If they somehow got back to the trail and started back down while we were coming up, Rick is our only hope of catching them. They might be hiding in the bushes so we hafta find them…” his voice trailed off as he thought of the many ways they could be thwarted by the hikers. “Keep your eyes on the trail for a minute. If you see anyone going back down, shoot them. I’m going to look for trails on the back of the mountain.” Lou looked out over the East side of the mountain. He couldn’t see any trails or any sight of hikers. Forty minutes was not enough time to hike all the way around the mountain to the right or left and everywhere else the view was clear for miles. No cars, no roads, no houses, no buildings, for miles. There was nowhere to go. They must be hiding, he thought. Either that or they hid long enough to wait for their pursuers to pass them and then headed back down hoping to reach the parking lot and escape before anyone could make it back. He smiled. They would be easy to pick off with his Beretta. There was a long stretch of trail—hundreds of yards—just before they could get to the parking lot. If they made a run for it, he could shoot them. Rick was on his way down with instructions to shoot anybody on sight. Lou came back

to Bill and asked, “Did you spot anyone?” “Nah, there ain’t nothing to see. Where d’ya think they went?” Bill asked, clearly not much of a thinker. “They are either still hiding or they were hiding and decided to try to make it back to their car before we could catch them,” he explained. “Rick is heading back down as fast as possible and keeping an eye out for them. If they are still hiding he won’t be able to find them right now. He’s going to make sure they don’t get to their car before we do.” “I wish we had some water,” Bill complained. “There was a jug in the car…” Lou began, glaring at Bill quickly looked down at the ground. “We only thought…” Bill tried to rationalize. “Forget it. Let’s keep looking and pray to God they don’t get out of here. We can’t afford any more trouble. You look in the bushes and make your way back down to the parking lot. I’ll go down the back side and see if I can find anyone.” Bill slipped and jogged his way back down the trail wandering off on one side or the other to go around a boulder or search behind a Palo Verde tree. He looked up periodically to see further down the trail and to monitor the parking lot. So far no new cars were in the lot. The road was clear, too, and it needed to stay that way. Rick hadn’t made it all the way down yet, but the white pickup truck was still there. That was a little comforting, but his throat didn’t feel that way. His tongue felt like he had slept with his mouth open all night. When Rick was halfway down, he began wondering. Was there anyone even on the mountain? Did Lou actually see anyone? Isn’t that why he went up the mountain in the first place?

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Cammi made her way down the back of the mountain and had worked her way around the South side. She scrambled around a boulder and saw what she expected: the parking lot. It was about three-quarters of a mile away, but there

was no trail between her and her car—between her and safety. She would have to scramble through sharp, unforgiving plants and avoid rattlesnakes. There was no sign of activity in the parking lot. Unless someone was hiding in one of the vehicles, they had all climbed up the trail to find her. She had to make it back to her truck before they did, that is, if she could. She needed to get to her car so she could get home before her fiancé came looking for her. He would expect her back in less than an hour. After that, her fiancé would begin to wonder. He might even come looking. The note on the fridge would tell him where to go, but if he showed up, he would walk right into a trap…Oh God! She couldn’t bear to think about it. Oh please God, don’t let him come here. She needed to make a break for it before the killers gave up and came back down. It was already close to a hundred degrees out, not much cooler in the shade. With no water, she had more than just killers to worry about. She could suffer from heat stroke if she wasn’t careful.

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“How close are you to the parking lot?” Lou spoke into his phone. After a pause he continued, “when you get back to the parking lot, check the white pickup truck for a registration or insurance card with names on it. We can copy down the address. That will give us a backup plan if we hafta leave without tying this off clean.” He paused again, then put away his phone. He slipped on some loose sand, but caught himself. He had scraped his left hand, but was not bleeding. He continued jogging down the trail with the parking lot in sight.

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She silently debated whether she should attempt to sneak over to her car or just sprint and try to get there before anyone else. All seemed quiet. Maybe they were still on the mountain. This might be her only chance. She had to make

a break for it, now! She ran quickly, finding her rhythm, two short strides and one long as she jumped over a bush or cactus. She was so focused on the terrain that she almost missed the figure of a man running down the trail to the parking lot. She tried to stop moving before she attracted attention, but it was too late. The running figure stopped suddenly. She paused, then turned around. It was time to do what she did best.

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The witness had turned around and was running as fast as she could back the way she came. He fired four shots at her, each missing its mark. Dust rose from the desert sand as the woman disappeared around the mountain. Rick jogged in the direction of the witness, knowing she could be far away by now. She was very fast. He thought for a moment about whether he should be wary of an ambush. Would she hide and try to hit him with a rock? He decided to go about ten or fifteen feet wider around boulders allowing time to react if something should come flying at him. He doubted it though. He was going to have to catch her—no, not catch her, she was much too fast—but get close enough to get a clean shot. If he caught her quickly, he could leave her body where it fell, somewhere on the far side of the mountain. There would be no physical evidence linking him to the death, and it would be days before anyone found the body. He didn’t want to take a chance of letting her get away. He would call the others and get some help. “Lou,” Rick breathed heavily into the phone. “I found her, but she ran away… fast. She’s going around the back of the mountain. Maybe you could…” “I’m already halfway down the back side of the mountain.” Lou interrupted Rick because he knew where the conversation was going and he also knew that there was no time to wait for Rick to finish. “How long ago was it that you lost sight of her? Did you see anyone else with her? What was she wearing?” Lou paused for each answer, then finished the call abruptly. “Okay I got it. You keep coming around and I’ll take care of her if she gets this far. If you get to her first, you know

what to do. We can’t afford to have any loose ends.” Lou snapped his phone shut and stopped moving for an entire minute. He just listened. When he didn’t hear anything he moved quietly behind a boulder to be able to see without being seen. If he was lucky, she would come into view and he could shoot her before she had a chance to duck behind something or turn around and run the other way.

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Cammi tripped over a rock, her hands flying out in front of her to break her fall. Her left hand found soft desert sand, but her right hand and forearm sliced into a barrel cactus. The pain in her arm was greater than the pain in her dry throat, but not by much. She had to keep going. She couldn’t think about her cold Gatorade waiting in the car. She had to get away from these maniacs with guns that murdered indiscriminately. She pushed herself to her feet and glanced back. One of the killers was there. He was wearing a green baseball cap with a yellow letter A on it. He spotted her and leveled his gun. She turned and began running as fast as she could, dodging bushes and running around small rock. Why weren’t the rocks bigger, big enough to hide behind? There was one up ahead! It was large enough to hide behind, at least for a second. As she got closer, she saw a flash of light come from behind the boulder. Then, she heard three gunshots. A cactus blew apart to her left, then pieces of a rock exploded up into her face. Suddenly she was falling forward, her shirt feeling unexpectedly wet. Had she tripped again, or had one of the bullets hit its mark? As she drew closer to the tan earth, she saw the reason for the odd sensation: the front of her shirt was covered in blood. She crashed to the ground and immediately got up. She began crawling, but was too late. A figure came out from around the bolder and began walking toward her. The footsteps grew louder behind her. As she turned around she saw a gun pointed at her head. Everything went white.

Chapter 3

Blinding light was everywhere. She realized she was looking at the sun, and instinctively turned away. When she did, she couldn’t believe what she was seeing. She was twenty feet above three people, and was looking down on them. Two men with guns were standing over a woman—her. One of them shot her in the head and spoke to the other. Then they turned around and walked away. They hurried to get off the mountain. Cammi floated there looking back and forth between her body and the rapidly disappearing men. She tried to follow them, but she just floated there above her body. She closed her eyes and concentrated hard on floating back down to the earth. Her eyes opened when she felt her feet touch the ground. Her feet touched the ground… and she felt it. She reached for her right arm that had been cut by a cactus, she could see her arm, but it was not hurt; it was fine. She walked over to her lifeless body and tried to touch the wounded head. Her hand went right through it. She tried again. She couldn’t touch anything with her hands, not rock, not sand, not bushes. She could feel the ground with her feet. That was the only contact she had with the physical world. She began walking toward the murderer. Then she sped up. She was jogging, then running, faster, and faster. She slowed down for a moment to gather her thoughts. She was capable of such speed that she had made it almost back around the mountain in a matter of seconds. She realized she could catch up to the killer in a few more seconds. She tried to imagine what she could do when she reached them. She couldn’t touch them…but she could follow them. She broke into a run. For a moment she forgot about the situation. She just closed her eyes and ran. The dirt under her feet was a comforting feeling. She felt light and fast, just like when she was a girl running through the Copper Canyons of Mexico in the heart of Tarahumara country. Suddenly, she opened her eyes and was a few feet away from the parking lot. She ran faster, charging toward the despicable men. There were two kinds of people in the world: those who cause trouble and those who run from it. They were troublemakers. She reached him and ran right through him and his car. She couldn’t touch either one. As they

pulled away, she followed them. Keeping up with the car was easy. She would follow them wherever they went. She had to find a way to bring them to justice. She had to know where they lived, where they could be found. Her mind was occupied with trying to bring justice, but her feet were running, still following the men in the car. They would not get away with this. “We need to dump this gun,” said the man who shot her. His muscular accomplice was sitting in the driver seat. He continued, “Head west on US-60 and I’ll tell you when to get off.” Cammi ran behind the car, still amazed at how easily she kept up with it. When Tarahumara die they have four days to collect all the physical evidence of their existence they have ever left anywhere. Only then can they move on to the next life. This must be how they do it. She thought she could run faster than a summer breeze. She felt the rubber of her sandals meeting with paved road. It was strange to feel so normal. How can I make contact with the ground when I can’t touch anything else? she thought. How can I collect all of my things if I can’t touch anything? “Get off on this next exit,” ordered Lou. “Mesa Drive?” asked the driver, verifying the correct street to turn on. “Yes,” responded the passenger, and then he followed with instructions on how to get to a large park off of a smaller street. It was one of many parks that lined the US-60 freeway because a canal followed the freeway for miles. Every mile there is an overflow set up in case of a flood in the canal. Water will go over a part of the canal that is two feet shorter than the rest of the bank made of cement. The park was approximately half a mile long and more than a football field wide. It was twenty-five feet deep and resembled a large bathtub. It rarely had water in it and even then only a foot or two deep. The canal almost never overflowed either. Most of the time the canal was dry or had a trickle so small that it wouldn’t even get somebody’s feet wet when crossing the canal in shoes. “Pull into here,” directed Lou. The sign read, “Sherwood Park.” The passenger got out and walked across the park to the overflow area where the park connected to the canal. The chain-link fence didn’t go all the way to the ground. It had a two-foot gap between the bottom of the fence and the cement beneath it.

The fence stayed level, but the cement dropped two feet lower. The gap was ten feet wide, plenty of room for the man to crawl under. He took the murder weapon apart removing the handle and putting the rest into his pocket. He walked down to the steep canal bank and headed for the three concrete tunnels that went under the road. He had to duck as he walked into the center tunnel. The ones on either side had only an inch of water, but this one had some mud and debris. He hid part of the gun in the mud. This place doesn’t seem to get a lot of traffic, she thought. Without her help nobody would find the evidence for months, even years, if they found it at all. By then the water would have washed away any fingerprints. He headed back out and walked toward the chain-link fence. He looked around for any observers who might report a suspicious man crawling under the fence by the canal. There were no people and only one car. That must be why he chose this spot, she thought. He could see hundreds of yards in three directions and behind him, was a hill next to a freeway. Nobody could be watching him. The evidence was hidden. He left, heading back across the grass to the idling car. As the killer headed across the park, Cammi went to investigate the evidence burial site. She found a clump of mud that looked disturbed. She tried unsuccessfully to move the mud enough to see what was underneath, to remove what was underneath. She moved the mud a little bit by stepping on it, but could not get the gun handle out. When she realized it would not work, she ran to the parking lot to follow the car with the murderers in it. She could not lose them. The car weaved through residential neighborhoods to another park that looked just like the other one except that on one side was railroad tracks. She kept close to the man as he hid the second item so she could see what it was. It was some piece of metal that looked like a part of the murder weapon. It was about three inches long and one inch wide. He hid a shiny silver piece in a similar manner as he had at the first park, and she stubbornly attempted to remove it. She knew she could pick anything up, but she had to try. She couldn’t let these bad men hurt anyone else.

They drove away again. She followed him to a third park, similar to the first two with the addition of a large pond on the side near the parking lot. The pond was full of ducks and measured about twenty yards across. An old couple was sitting near the water’s edge tossing breadcrumbs at the birds. The murderer and his accomplice didn’t even park their car. They just turned around at the end of the small parking lot and began to leave. As they paused to pull onto the street, she heard them arguing. They were debating whether they should try to find another hiding place, go back to one of the first two parks and risk being seen, or if they should risk holding on to the final piece of the murder weapon. They didn’t want it in their possession should they be pulled over by the police, yet they didn’t want to put it somewhere it would be easily discovered. They decided to go find the witness’s house. They were going to find her fiancé. The car sped off. She couldn’t wait for them. She knew she could make it there first. She raced home finding Thomas in the bedroom. He was putting on his swim trunks so he could get into the Jacuzzi. She tried to warn him. Violent men were on their way to kill him, but no matter how loud she screamed, he couldn’t hear her. She knelt down and began crying. She stopped herself, collected herself. She had to think of a way to get him out of the house… out of danger.

Chapter 4

The killers drove several miles and entered a nice upper-middle class neighborhood. They pulled cautiously around the corner and crept past lawn after manicured lawn as eyes searched for house numbers. There it was—5280. They were at her house. The men argued in loud whispers as the blue suburban pulled quietly into the driveway. “I don’t see why we hafta knock off this guy,” Rick said breaking the silence. “Can’t we just ditch the last piece of the gun and…” Lou interrupted him because he didn’t want to explain it now. “Just trust me, okay? Follow my lead.” Lou wanted to tie up all the loose ends.

His comrade was tough and willing to get his hands dirty, but sometimes he asked too many questions. Usually Lou explained things to Rick, but there was no time. They had to get this done now. Lou tucked his .45 in the back of his belt and opened the car door. He stepped outside and straightened his shirt to conceal his weapon. “Let’s go!” he whispered. His companion followed, though not as quickly as Lou would have liked.

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*

Cammi recognized the car in her driveway. She had attempted to warn her fiancé, but was unsuccessful. She ran out to the car hoping to discover their plan, but by the time she got there, all she heard was, “Let’s go.” As the two men approached the front door, Cammi ran inside. She didn’t use the door, but went straight through the wall. She raced out back to the Jacuzzi to warn her fiancé. He was taking a sip of Coors Light. “Call 911!” she screamed. “Two guys with guns are at…” The doorbell rang. “Don’t answer it! For God’s sake, Thomas, don’t answer the door!” He couldn’t hear her. He couldn’t even see her. He grabbed the towel at the edge of the hot tub and headed into the house. She tried to stop him, but he walked right through her. She had to think of something; she had to do something. In seconds her love would open the door and face the men who killed her. The doorbell rang again. “Just a second,” Thomas called out as he closed the distance to the door. He looked through the peephole. He must not have felt threatened by the two men because he opened the door. “Can I help y…?” Thomas tried to say, but his mouth was met by a quick jab thrown by the man closest to him. His head jerked back as the killer’s fist met with Thomas’s face. The two men quickly stepped into the living room. As her fiancé reeled backward, the killers pushed him down onto the couch. Two against one was not a fair fight. They easily overpowered him and the stronger of the two attackers hit her fiancé on the head with the butt of his gun. Thomas’s body went limp. The other man disappeared into the kitchen. Cammi followed him. What

was he doing? The man opened and closed drawers and stopped suddenly. She could hear that he was looking in the area of the kitchen next to the toaster where they kept the knives. “No!” Cammi screamed. She knew nobody could hear her, but she was instinctively trying to help. “Please don’t! Please don’t. Please don’t,” she was pleading as the man walked through her and back into the front room. She would never get used to that feeling, she thought, the feeling of someone walking through her. The other man had already stretched Tom out on the couch with his body as close to the back cushions as it could go. The man with the knife moved deliberately to the couch and slashed her fiancé’s throat. The accomplice quickly put a pillow over the gushing, squirting source and held it for a few seconds. She was kicking and screaming, but her actions had no effect on the physical world. She fell to her knees on the floor sobbing. After a few minutes she looked up again because there was movement. What were they doing now? The lead killer left the bloody knife on the couch next to her love, and then the two men headed for the door. They did not speak. They moved with purpose. This seemed to Cammi to be something they had done many times before. Those bastards! How could they kill him? One of the two men locked the doorknob from the inside so that when they left nobody could enter unless they had a key, or a battering ram. They got in their car and pulled into the street. Cammi followed the car to the freeway. She seemed strangely comforted from feeling the ground beneath her feet as she ran behind the car down westbound US60. Well, not so much comfort as familiarity, but the familiarity was somehow comforting. She closed her eyes for a moment and just felt her feet kiss the pavement, just as they had in countless marathons. She opened her eyes again and followed the car to a townhouse in Phoenix. The killers went into the house. She did not follow them. Instead, she memorized the address so she could come back later. She had better things to do. She felt a longing to take care of her Raramuri duties. The Taruhumara tribe (or Raramuri as they call themselves) had been the best North American runners for hundreds, perhaps thousands, of years. In fact, their name means "the running people." They define themselves

from their ability to run long distances at great speeds over many days without getting tired. She wanted to visit the land of her grandparents in the Copper Canyons of Mexico. She felt like she had something to do. Perhaps it was to collect all of her physical things and move on to the next life, but she couldn’t move on. Not yet. She had to bring these killers to justice. Hopefully her grandparents and other ancestors had some advice on how to complete this task before her four days ran out.