Friday, July 9, 2021


BY THE TIME I found him, Jake Finn was unconscious.

He’d been bound by his wrists, his arms pulled tight around the trunk of a tree that was almost to big to believe. The tree stood alone in over a hundred acres of grassland just east of Topeka, Kansas. It was an ancient tree, a transplant from the old world that now rose in proud dominance over what felt like the middle of nowhere.

Highway 24 was a few miles off to the south, and I could see the lights of a farm house to the north over half a mile away. But at near Two in the morning, Jake and I might as well have been out on the open prairie of the Old West.

I approached the boy with little in the way of stealth. I wasn’t good at it, so I didn’t bother trying. Besides, they’d been watching me since I’d crossed the barrier, so there weren't no point in trying to hide.

Using the light from the full moon over head, I approached Jake at a run, a pistol in each hand. The way I figured it, inside the barrier the way we were, a swift resolution to Jake’s predicament would be best, and nothing expedites a solution like a couple of Colt Peacemakers.

To be continued ...

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