On the Lam (Wistful Beast and Vermiciro)

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  • Two bastards in blue left to bloat under the Nebraska summer sun, four felons scattered to the surrounding wilderness, and the only regret Judith carried with her through the humid woods was that those cunts ran off with the guns while she was strangling that fucking pig who wouldn’t stop checking his cellphone.

    “Try updating your status now asshole.” Judith quipped snidely as she tore the leg of her jumpsuit free from a bramble. She wished she was still wearing her civilian clothes. The neon orange transit garb they clad them in was bullshit. It reminded her of what hunters wore so they wouldn’t get shot. If anything, it was about to earn her the opposite.

    Clothes weren’t the only thing Judith would need. She assembled a mental grocery list of necessities as she slogged through the undergrowth. Jeans, a gun, cash, a stiff drink, but most of all Judith needed a car. Even with the favorable wet weather they had been experiencing, the dogs would eventually catch her scent. She couldn’t travel on foot.

    The occasional drone of passing cars grew louder as Judith advanced towards the adjacent road. She could just barely make out their fleeting shapes through the forest line when the rustling behind her sent a spike of electric adrenaline up her spine. She snapped around mid-stride, the garish orange garb catching her eye.

    Another felon, but not the one who shot the driver or the other who stole his gun. It was the redhead, the one who did abso-fucking-lutely nothing during the escape. Judith groaned lowly.

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Callie was utterly terrified. Everything had happened so fast. Only a few hours ago, Callie had been at the shop fixing the gears on an old red pick up truck, when the police had shown up. They claimed that she had murdered someone. Callie had gone pale, dropping her tools and backing away as she stammered out that she wasn't a killer. They didn't find her feeble attempts of refusal to be a decent enough argument and had her down on the ground and cuffed in no time. Then Callie was carted to the police station where she would be held until she was transported to prison. Callie didn't want to go to prison and obviously knew she didn't belong in that concrete walled hell to rot with dangerous criminals while she awaited her trial.

Trembling, she had been shoved into the back of a truck along with a few other prisoners who were all clad in ridiculous orange jumpsuits. With them was an officer who wasn't really watching them. Instead he was typing away at his cell phone and wouldn't respond to Callie's questions.As Callie sat, she wondered what these other people had done to get into this position. The thought had made her shudder. She had tried to talk to one guy, a middle aged man with a shaved head and a nasty looking scar on his cheek. She had received a snarled curse word, which had only made her apologize quickly many times before she was silenced with an odd hiss of sorts from the peculiar fellow. Callie had been sitting quietly then, trying to hold her tongue, when the transport truck suddenly skidded to a screeching halt. Then there was silence that was broken on occasion with angered sounds of the police officers driving the truck. The road had seemed bumpy a few minutes before hand, suggesting that they were passing through some forest. Callie wondered if the truck had reached an obstacle.

Next, the scarred face man had somehow finished undoing his hand cuffs. When asked by Callie how he was able to do that, he just spit and said that he learned it from past experience. Then he pushed aside the man with the cellphone, freed the others, and kicked open the door. That's when hell broke loose. Callie had watched the other felons take the officers by surprise as fighting broke out. The officers were sent running away. Callie had run out as well, not wanting to be stuck with the truck when the officers would return with back up. Callie heard a gunshot and watched as the driver fell out from his seat, dead. That's when Callie turned tail and sprinted into the forest, looking around wildly and cursing under her breath. Callie didn't know how all of the events escalated into this madness. She flinched when she spotted movement, but realized it was only another felon. It was the one who had choked out the one officer who had been on his phone. Callie tried to ignore the woman for now, fearful of the other felons. They probably weren't very happy with her, considering she had done virtually nothing to aid in their escape.
The woman hardly acknowledged Judith, wouldn’t hold her gaze even across the verdant forest floor. It was flattering, like respect earned from fear. Judith grinned incredulously as she watched the red haired woman’s furtive movements. She had already proven she wouldn’t fight, that she was loquacious to the point of ennui, and she wasn’t even dressed in prison attire. Where the fuck had the state bagged her? Judith could only speculate how such a milquetoast ended up in the back of that transport vehicle as she kept moving.

And then she remembered; clothes.

Judith stopped haltingly. The redhead had civilian clothes. It was like an epiphany. Judith looked once again to the other woman some ways off. She was definitely taller than Judith, though who wasn’t? She was also thicker, voluptuous, and damn callipygian if one may say so. Judith wasn’t going to fit the woman’s clothes as nicely. But she didn’t have to. Judith just needed her to get a car to stop, something she couldn’t do dressed up like a damn glowstick.

Careful to avoid roots and uneven ground, Judith took the distance between them in stride, advancing quickly.

“Hey!” She called to her, waving her hand. “Hold up would you.”
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Callie took a glance over at the other felon. Callie observed that this woman had an almost feral manner to her. Callie noted that this other woman wasn't very tall, but Callie was no idiot. There was no way that this woman was harmlesd, especially when knowing what she had done to that police officer. This woman had keen looking, shiftier eyes and a more hard appearance. Callie certainly didn't want to mess with her.

Callie couldn't seem to pass up this rogue looking broad though, not quite fast enough. Callie almost ran smack dab into a tree, so she swerved to dodge the oncoming obstacle, shoes sliding along the leaves underfoot. She looked over again when she heard the woman addresd her, seeing the hand wave. Oh no...I'm about to get jumped, aren't I?she thought, but oddly enough Callie felt herself slow down.

Callie's eyes were wide, flaming red hair a tad bit dishelved as she she met the more intense gaze of the felon. "Hey, hi, hello, um..."Callie stuttered awkwardly, hands at her sides. Her fingers were toying with a loose thread at the bottom of her shirt. "W..what would you like?"she asked, wondering why this woman had halted their escape. Callie was still a bit jittery, panting quietly as her muscles trembled.
Judith took a moment to catch her breath, her lungs castigating her for all the years of smoking during her youth. She chuckled as it took long enough for a stiflingly awkward air to settle between the two women. “Damn.” She coughed. If crushing a man’s windpipe wasn’t the better of first impressions Judith was certainly not making up for it now.

“Sorry about that.” She apologized, tucking her hands in her pockets and assuming a more casual stance. “Had a bit of a tickle in my throat.” Judith smiled, though it looked simulated, like an animal attempting to mimic the human gesture. It lacked warmth.

“Wish we could be meetin’ under better circumstances, but fate don’t always cross with fortune.” Judith chuckled to herself. “Seein’ as were in the same jam, how about you do us a little favor? Worth your while, I guarantee it.” Judith asked, though she had no intention of being denied. There was only so much circumlocution and cajoling that could be done before the police realized their prisoners weren’t at the drop-off or that their escorts weren’t responding.
Callie's posture was ridgid, eyes betraying her wariness. In every aspect she seemed to mimic the mannerisms of prey in the eyes of a hunter. Her mouth was parted ever so slightly to admit heavier breaths as she began to recover from the burst of activity. One could liken her to a deer in the headlights as her gaze was fixated on the strange woman who just about seemed to be hacking up a lung.

Callie didn't like the looks of the woman one bit. She had a dangerous aura about her and Callie was certainly no friend of danger. She was slightly relieved when she watched the other woman rest her hands in her pockets though, as if the woman had been unarming herself for the time being. Callie's own hands were still fidgeting, fingers clenching into a fist and then unclenching methodically.

Callie felt the tiny hairs on the back of her neck tingle at the sight of what she believed was a smile on the other woman. The smile didn't portray the usual emotion associated with the gesture. "A f..favor? Oh, yes, a favor. Like, helping you out..G..got it. Yes. What can I do?"she replied, obviously nervous. At this point she was just obeying to save her skin, since she feared the consequences that may result from dissent.
Too easy. It was almost endearing to have such a willing accomplice. Judith wasn’t going to complain about it obviating the use of force. She’d save the skin on her knuckles for another day. She worried the woman’s trepidation may militate against them though. Stuttering and sidelong glances never sold a lie and sure as hell weren’t auspicious when it came to tricking someone out of their car.

So, maybe not that easy.

Judith rubbed a hand over her face. “Relax, you want a ticket to the next state over before they set up road blocks, yeah?” it was a rhetorical question, the answer obviously being yes. The woman might be new to the system and nervous as fuck, but Judith didn’t think her dumb enough to waltz back home or to the cops.

“Here’s the deal. You see that road.” Judith gestured lazily before returning her hand to her pocket. “You just need to go sit in it looking like you’ve been through hell. When they stop ‘cause they don’t wanna hit you, you run up to them screaming and sobbing that you need them to come immediately to help your sister. No 911. Immediately. Make up some bullshit. Say she’s stuck in a bear trap or needs a tourniquet. Something. All you have to do is get them into the woods a bit.”

Judith reclined against a tree, calm as could be, hoping her own equanimity would rub off on the other woman. “Just get them into the shade. I’ll do the rest. We clear?”
Callie listened intently to what the woman was saying, finding that it was her only option. She couldn't steal a car on her own and she'd be discovered and caught by the police if she didn't get out of here and fast. So Callie weighed her options quickly. It was do, or rot in prison for decades for a crime she wouldn't even dream of committing. Callie may be a coward, but she was an intelligent coward.

She nodded a few times, lip quivering. "O..okay..Hold on.."she replied to the scary looking felon woman. Callie took a few cautious strides towards the direction of the road. Still hidden from the sight of any passing drivers, she watched the road carefully. Her mind hummed with activity, muscles also quaking and causing her teeth to click together. Her heart was hammering within her chest and her knees felt like jello. Callie was ready to spring, but she'd be damned if she got stuck with a lousy car so she was waiting to find a good one.

A black Honda CRV began to amble down the cracked, black asphalt. Callie decided this car would fair well enough since it wouldn't raise suspicion, wasn't as old as a dinosaur, and couldn't be tracked easily since there were thousands like it. Also, its engine sounded undamaged. Callie was prepared to act, butterflies fluttering around in her gut. Panicking would come easy to her.

Callie suddenly darted out onto the road in front of the car. The vehicle screeched to a hasty halt and the engine died down to a low rumble. Callie reached a hand up and poked herself in the eye, causing it to water and feign tears. Callie picked up her breathing, half on purpose and half because she was actually terrified.

The car door opened and the driver made an appearance. It was a middle aged man with a receding hairline and a pig like nose. He was rather short and scrawny looking and donned a simple white button up shirt with black slacks, marking him as a working man. Callie make her trembling more evident and released a small choking sound. Then she screamed, "You've gotta help me," and grabbed the man's wrist.

The man looked perplexed to say the least, trying to pull his wrist free from the hysterical woman's vice grip. "What is it, lady?"he asked, tone nasally and grating.

"My sister! She..she's hurt! We were taking a hike and she..she got her leg caught in a bear trap! Come quick!"Callie cried, pulling the man towards the trees.

The man resisted a little, digging the heels of his black dress shoes into the crumbling road. "Do I look like a doctor to you?"he asked bitterly.

Callie released a choked sob, but it was actually real since she was pretty damn scared that this man wouldn't comply and would leave her with the creepy female criminal in the woods. "Please, sir! Just..just see what you can do!"Callie urged, tears running down her face.

The man sighed and wreched his wrist free of her grip, rubbing the spot where she had squeezed. Callie looked hopeful. "Fine, damn it. I'll see her and then call an ambulance if it makes you happy. "He grumbled, stalking off towards where Judith was waiting.

"Oh, thank you so much, sir."Callie said, dropping to her knees for dramatic effect. She cast a look back at the car, more than ready to get out of here.
From the chiaroscuro tree line, Judith watched as the woman made her way to the road. Judith was too busy to linger and critique the performance soon to commence. The redhead didn’t need to be a consummate actress, just lucky enough not to flag down a family or pair. Besides, Judith needed to gain a better advantage, and an equalizer.

A tree, fractured by lightning into imperfect halves, was farther off to Judith’s right. The exposed wood was still wet and white as the meat of a coconut, freshly exposed during one of the week’s previous storms. She hastily searched the fallen half for a sizable branch. Those ideal Judith couldn’t break from their adjoining nexus.

“Fuck.” She huffed angrily under her breath. She was running out of time. Desperate, Judith settle on one thinner than she’d have liked. It was more flexible than the others, but solid. She had to twist it and jerk to free it. The wood tore, peeling more than snapping. But her efforts paid off. In Judith’s hands was almost three feet of Nebraska nature sure to fuck up one good samaritan.

All she needed now was cover, something hard to come by in neon orange. As Judith snapped the thin swatches and leaves protruding from her weapon she came to a decision. Fuck the jumpsuit. She just wasn’t going to wear it.

Discarding her branch momentarily, Judith shed her prison attire. Killing in your undergarments wasn’t half as stupid as it likely looked. She reasoned any blood that would spatter on her could be easily cleansed and now she had a distraction, the jumpsuit.

Judith slung the orange article over a low hanging branch in line of the other woman’s sight and then crouched low beside the trunk of a nearby tree in wait.

She never heard the car stop, too busy at the time, but Judith could hear voices. She listened with bated breathe. Her body became still, a coil wound tight and awaiting release. She heard them approach. Their feet shuffled the undergrowth.

“What’s that?” A small man crossed Judith’s flank, only the tree between them as he stared up into the branches.

One fluid motion, rising from her haunches, a single step, pivot, and Judith swung.

The branch whistled, slicing through the air before connecting with the man’s occipital. It made a dull heavy sound, like a whump to a cantaloupe. The man staggered forward, his vision likely exploding into white. And Judith was working to turn it black.

She cranked the branch back and struck him again. He stumbled forward and then fell at the base of the tree. Judith didn’t relent. The third strike bore blood. It speckled the man’s collar and the branch. But it wasn’t enough. Judith struck him again and then again. A total of five times.

Judith dropped the branch. Her breath came in heavy pants. The man below her breathed shallowly, still alive, but by what margin Judith couldn’t say.

She looked to the other woman. “Not bad, eh?” she chuckled before rolling their generous benefactor over and beginning to strip him. Fuck the jumpsuit.
Callie waited, kneeling a few feet away from the idle car. Her eyes were brimming with apprehension as she watched the man approach the area that the mysterious felon was concealed within. Callie's breath began shallow, drawn in and out in smaller and sharper inhales and exhales. Her muscles were tense as her eyes trained on the short, irritable man that waddled closer to the trees and noted a misplaced orange jumpsuit. He had asked Callie a question, but she didn't answer.

Callie then flinched as she saw a flash of motion followed by a thudding sound. As Callie's vision focused again, she saw the felon in her undergarments slugging the confused business man with a sizable branch. Callie brought her hands up to her mouth to trap the alarmed scream that was bound to escape her throat if she didn't do anything about it. She squeezed her eyes shut tight to avoid witnessing a murder. Callie tried her hardest to block out the sound that she knew was the man getting his brains beaten in with the repetitive thwack of the wood. Soon the disturbing sound ceased and Callie opened her eyes again to see the half naked felon begin to strip the unconscious pedestrian of his work attire. "Oh..oh my god...What the...oh.."Callie muttered quietly as she removed her hands from her mouth, face contorted in what appeared to be dismay. Callie didn't want to imagine how easily that branch could find her own head if this felon decided not to share the getaway car. Her fearful musings were quickly interrupted by the sudden comment from the other woman.

"Y..yeah...Not..Not too shabby...I'm going to go check out the car now..."Callie responded, voice practically quaking with apprehension. She turned and approached the awaiting car with careful strides, mindful of any sudden noise behind her. The last thing she wanted was to end up face down and bleeding instead of safely within the car. Callie opened the door to the driver's side and climbed in. Fortunately, the keys were still there to restart the car without having to return to the man's limp body. Callie was no stranger to cars, so she would drive. That is, unless the other woman told her not too since then she'd have no choice. After seeing what the other felon was capable of, Callie wasn't set on being disobedient. She rested her trembling hands upon the steering wheel, fingers trailing over the false leather covering nervously. She looked back into the rest of the car, finding it to be surprisingly tidy and empty. There was a brief case though as well as a wallet. Money would certainly come in handy. Callie removed a twenty dollar bill from the leather wallet and pocketed it on the sly. That way if the other woman took the wallet for herself, Callie would still have a couple of bucks to spend. Callie anxiously awaited the other felon, finding it too risky to drive off in fear that the woman or any criminal accomplices could locate her and possibly brutally murder her.
The buttons were a pain in the ass and Judith cursed every one of them that she undid with her bark-chapped hands. The redhead couldn’t flag down some deadbeat, impecunious John. Fuck no. Had to get middle-class Dick who everyone would miss. Mr. Porcine-Accountant-Man with his classy-ass button down shirt and pearlescent fucking buttons. Fuck-

She accidentally popped the bottom button off. It fell uselessly into the folds up the shirt, winking up at her, antagonizing. Judith snapped the fabric of the shirt, sending the button into the grass. Fuck ‘em. She rolled the man back and peeled off his shirt. It didn’t fit her well. The pits were damp with sweat and something in the heat of the fabric made her stomach lurch.

Judith choked down her nausea and quickly stripped the man of his trousers, which fit her even worse despite a belt. The crotch sagged low enough that they could have been harem pants on Judith and the legs were long enough to swaddle her feet in cloth. Fuck men’s pants and their weird-ass non-childbearing pelvis. Judith rolled the legs and sprinted for the car. She didn’t care that she found herself riding shotgun.

“Thanks for waitin’.” Judith greeted sardonically. Though, she was honestly surprised the woman hadn’t driven off without her. “So let’s get this straight. I hate driving, only do so when I need to. So we’re peachy keen right now. Second, if the cops pull us over ‘cause you were speeding, you don’t have to worry about prison. I will kill you. And lastly,” Judith grinned, wide and wicked as a shark, “Punch it, Pollyanna!” and she whooped, slapping the dash. “Fuckin’ drive bitch.”
Callie examined the new attire of the female felon, finding that it fit awkwardly and didn't look clean and professional at all. Callie wouldn't be caught dead in those off brand slacks either...Callie shook her head, rousing her from her off topic thoughts. She was supposed to be fleeing the scene, not mulling over the poor fashion sense of a man who had just been jumped by some hardcore criminal lunatic. Callie noted with a sense of dread as the woman entered the car and sat in the front seat beside her. Couldn't she have just chilled in the back? Callie was certainly having a copious amount of risky events thrown at her today.

Callie took one last look at the now nearly naked man laying unmoving with his pig like face buried in some undergrowth. Looking over to the female felon, Callie blew a stray strand of red hair from her face and tried not to whimper as she met the eyes of this psychopath. "Mhm...no problem..."she responded to the greeting with a higher than usual pitch in her voice as she nodded vigorously. Callie's heart was threatening to leap out of her throat, but she managed to steal a deep breath and look at the road. The felon seated beside her proceeded to explain that Callie was to drive, which was totally fine on her part and was her original plan. However, Callie was taken aback when the woman said that she would kill her if they were caught.

Callie swallowed hard, mouth growing dry. She looked over to the woman, opening her mouth to speak and then quickly closing it again and just offering another bout of frightened quiet consent. Besides, it wasn't like Callie had much of a choice in the matter. The very intimidating shark like grin was enough to boost Callie's adrenaline and the whooping that followed was the icing on the cake. Callie pushed the gas pedal and the car began to accelerate as the crazy convict called her a bitch and told her to drive. Callie tried to ignore that comment for the time being, though she did sigh ever so slightly and then pray that the woman had not heard her reaction. Callie noted the speed limit, sticking close to it to avoid being noticed by officers and then promptly executed by the chick beside her. Callie dared to wonder how the deed would be done. A snap of the neck? The woman didn't look strong enough, but she could have learned of a good method. A knife across her throat? Hm, she probably didn't have that, but there was room for improvising. Callie put the thoughts aside and focused on the road.
Despite her warning, Judith wasn’t deeply concerned with the police, or even drawing attention. As the SUV gathered speed she leaned out the window. The wind caught Judith’s hair and stung her eyes, but it couldn’t dampen her elation.

“If I stay here with you girl, Things just couldn't be the same, 'Cause I'm as free as a bird now, And this bird you cannot change.” She screamed liltingly to the world rushing past before flopping heavily back into her seat. Maybe it was the adrenaline from the bludgeoning still hammering through her veins, or maybe it was the thrill of the inexorable chase soon to commence, but Judith was flying high.

“Ah, damn.” She sighed, smiling in a sated way. She opened the glove box, noting napkins and a flashlight before absently flipping through the driver’s manual. Judith tossed it back inside and closed the compartment. She gave the wallet a once over, a bit of cash and family photos of zit-faced teens with toothy grins. She carelessly threw it on the dash.

“So,” Judith began, turning in her seat to face the other woman. “Seein’ as we’re in this together, you got a name?”
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Meanwhile, Callie yearned to curl up into a tight ball and bawl her eyes out. Now certainly wasn't the time though, considering her current predicament. If you would have asked Callie a few hours ago where she'd be later, her last guess would be driving a stolen car away from a soon to be corpse with a giddy criminal as her accomplice. Callie dug her nails into the steering wheel. You can do this, Callie. You'll live...somehow...she thought to herself as she glanced over at the trees surrounding the roaf that seemed to flash by as they drove.

Callie was startled to hear the woman yell something out of the windows, still high strung. She paid little heed to what the elated seeming crook was crowing about, determined on trying to calm down. Listening to the exciting hollering of some nutcase wouldn't help Callie's cause here.

Callie couldn't ignore the woman ehen directly addressed though. She stole quick glances over at the felon, trying to also pay attention to the road, though there were no real pressing obstacles to dodge. "M..my name? Y..yes. Of course I have one. I'm Callie. A...and yours is?"she replied, voice soft and a tad bit high pitched now. Well, in general her voice was rather feminine, but her fear only exxagerated this attribute.
“Callie.” Judith repeated at length, testing the name’s shape on her tongue, feeling its body. She’d never met a Callie, or one that she remembered any way. Maybe it was short for something; Calhoun, Caliban, Caligula, Cal- Judith gave up. If it was a nickname of some kind then it was probably better suiting than her birth name.

“Callie ain’t a bad name.” Judith reasoned nonchalantly. “It’s been a pleasure working with you.” She flashed Callie a cutting smile in recollection of their iniquity only moments earlier. “I’m Judith, and just Judith. None of that Judy shit, capeesh? We ain’t the Jetsons.”

The road ahead curved and Judith listened to the comforting burr of tires on macadam. She hadn’t seen any road signs yet, but knew they’d be heading were they needed soon enough. She toed off her prison issued slip-ons and propped her feet on the dash. Hair was visible on her shins. Judith added razor to her mental grocery list.

She glanced again to her partner in crime. If the stutter and shrill in her voice weren’t evidence enough, Callie’s white knuckled death-grip on the steering wheel certainly caught Judith attention, elucidating the other woman’s trepidation.

“You can loosen up a little.” Judith suggested. “The cops won’t be on us for 30 minutes or so.”
Callie listened as her name slipped off of the other woman's tongue. It seemed foreign to her, not to be uttered by who she believed was mentally deranged or at least dangerous. The woman had more than proved herself to be deadly and Callie was no warrior or hardened felon so she could be dispatched in a moment's notice. This is the reason why Callie was complying with whatever the woman had said, fearing for the sake of her life. How could one act so casually after nearly bludgeoning an innocent man to death?

"J..judith? That's...that's a..a nice name."Callie replied. Callie had never really met anyone with that name, but now she knew she'd be a bit more apprehensive of someone with that name thanks to her fresh memories. Well, that was if Callie managed to somehow live a normal life again. How could she do that after what had happened? Now she would be hunted for and if located, imprisoned for a false crime where she'd suffer in jail among all sorts of sketchy people. Callie looked around, noting her current condition. She was in a getaway car with a strange criminal who was apprehended for god knows what. Callie had little option but to try to get away from the cops now, but she knew it wasn't that easy since she'd have to relocate to avoid being seized. Looking over, Callie realized that unfortunately she'd have to trust Judith for now. Judith probably had a scrap of an idea of what to do...but the woman would probably try to ditch her. Then again, if Judith did stick around, Callie would have some protection at least to turn the woman's force and aggression at someone else.

"L..loosen up? Like, c..calm down? How can I d..do that! I just witnessed you beating a man and n..now..now you're here and...and you said that..that you'd kill me."Callie sputtered, casting a wary look at Judith.
Judith chuckled to herself, low and dark, like a dog’s laugh. It was cute how obsequious Callie was, but the consternation was getting stale and Judith didn’t know if her nerves could handle that vexation when heat was on them. She didn’t even know if she should bother tolerating it at all. Could fly solo and it wouldn’t make a bit of difference, right?

“Look,” Judith said, rolling her window down for a bit of air. “If the cops catch us, I likely won’t have the time to snuff you. They’ll probably be shooting, thinkin’ we’re armed and dangerous. Otherwise, if you piss me off, I’ll just drop you. I’m not some serial killer. Christ.”

Judith sighed. She was considering telling Callie her plan to go north, thought it might calm her down some, but a nagging question came to mind. “You’ve been in a fight before, right?”
Callie kept her eyes on the road now, trying her damnedest to avoid taking that almost sinister laugh to heart. Her well trimmed fingernails prodded into the steering wheel, posture now more rigid than just proper. She shifted uncomfortably. No amount of reassuring from Judith could ever console Callie at this point. Callie's thoughts were just a mess right now, all overlapping, in a tangle, and overwhelming to her. To try to negate the suffocating sensation creeping up on her, Callie also rolled her window down a few inches to let some fresh air into the car.

Callie thought over how to answer Judith's question, but for now all that came out of her mouth was, "Ummmm....." Callie knew she probably sounded like and looking like an imbecile considering her balking and obvious hesitation to respond. "Well....verbally, yes. A..a fist fight or something? N..no. Haven't yet...I..I've taken basic self defense classes though..."Callie finally answered. Admittedly, Callie had never been a real brawl before. She wasn't lying about the self defense training though, knowing a few basic maneuvers for emergencies though she'd never really used them yet.
The answer received was an expected one. Judith didn't consider the other woman much of a pugilist, and if she were honest with herself, neither was Judith. Her small statue wasn't auspicious in fights. She had to take advantage of every opportunity, no hesitation. It was the first to land a hit that usually won in reality.

"Techniques are nice and all, but if you choke and can't use 'em in a real fight, you're fucked." Judith spoke distantly. "So don't think about it. If you're gonna swing, then swing for the fucking fences. Don't hold back."

She looked at the small scratches on her palms that the branch had left. The skin between her index and thumb was still tender, sore to the touch. Judith flexed the stiffness from her fingers and put the incident from her mind. "Pull into the next gas station you see. There's some shit we need to get. The smaller the establishment, the better."
Callie knew very well that it was act or lose most times. Especially in her case. Though she had never been in a fight, she knew she was far from combat material. She was easily frightened and didn't pack much strength. What muscle she had she had received from working in the shop, but throwing a punch wasn't like fixing cars. Callie was bent on avoiding harmful physical confrontations, but at this point she knew well that avoiding dangerous situations would be a rather lofty goal.

Having heard Judith make a suggestion, Callie replied with, "Oh...alright...W..will do." She was not opposed to making a quick stop for a few supplies, as they would be needed. The concern here was that Callie would have to make sure that Judith wouldn't get what she needed and leave without her, though it helped to know that Judith seemed to have a distaste for driving. Callie wondered if that would be enough to keep her around a while longer.

Callie kept an eye out for any gas stations along the road, and soon enough one came into view. A short sign with faded lettering jutted from sun bleached concrete, marking the gas station as, "Gas and Go," along with a few different prices. There were only a few old gas pumps, but it was the small, run-down convenience store behind them that interested her more. Callie noted that the car had enough fuel for now, so she parked the vehicle in one of the three spaces near the side of the store.
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