Upside Down 4

Milly scratched her chin with the gun in her hand. She had to come up with a way to get in touch with Giuseppe. And she had to get a nice little ransom for Josh. But how? Milly wasn’t a seasoned kidnapper. She didn’t have a criminal mind, no criminal energy. She had slid in with the wrong crowd, and now she was in a right mess. And her side hurt. She didn’t want to let on that a bullet had hit her, but she felt the blood flowing out of the wound. It was soaking her shirt.

“We need to stop for supplies,” Milly announced. She put her gun in her bag and winced again.

“You okay?” Josh asked. His kidnapper grew paler by the minute. It would have been easy to stop and get rid of her. But he was concerned about Milly. And intrigued as well. He wanted to hear her story. She seemed kind enough, even while she was pointing a gun at him. And so he decided to stay and help her as best as he could.

“Pull over there,” Milly ordered Josh to pull up to a parking lot of a grocery store. “We need some food and other things.”

Josh parked and got around to open Milly’s door. She blinked, ready for an attack, but it didn’t come. Josh held out his hand, and Milly blinked again.

“We should split? I am sure Henry called the cops. Or a neighbor did. After all, there was a shot.” Josh took Milly’s bag. She didn’t say anything, just held her side with one hand. She didn’t dare to look down. She didn’t want to see how bad it was. “Or we go together, and you tell me what to get?” That option was more to Milly’s liking, and she nodded.

“Let’s do that,” she croaked. “And after that, we will find us a motel or something.” She wanted to sound in charge, but her injury made it hard to think about anything else than the hole in her.

“You could also wait here? I promise to be back,” Josh offered, but Milly shook her head. “I am okay, let’s go.” At the store, they stocked up on convenience food and snacks. Josh sneaked medical supplies into the cart, and he insisted they buy a set of clothes to change into for them both. Milly agreed, and she didn’t bicker when Josh stood in the beauty aisle and chose deo and shampoo. Their shopping trip only took them twenty minutes, powering from isle to isle, always checking if no one was looking at them funnily. People were watching them, of course. They were an odd couple, and even a blind person could have seen that Milly was not well.

At the checkout, Josh put an arm around her. She tried to shake him off, but he didn’t let go. “Are you okay, Miss?” the cashier asked. Milly merely nodded. “Cramps,” she replied with a tortured smile. “Nothing a hot bath and lots of chocolate can’t cure.” The cashier smiled emphatically while Josh paid her. Milly had not reacted to the things he had added to their shopping. He took the bags and guided Milly back to the car.

“You’ve been shot,” he finally said.

“I am okay,” she replied through clenched teeth, getting into the car.

“Let me take a look!” Josh didn’t wait for her affirmation, and already he was pulling at her shirt. Milly didn’t like it at all, and with a mighty punch, she let Josh know it too. “Let’s get this straight, don’t you ever touch me again,” she threatened.

“I don’t need to be here. I could have run a while ago and left you.” Josh shot back.

“Why didn’t you?” Milly groaned and hid her face behind her hands. “I am the world’s worst kidnapper.”

“I don’t know. Maybe I want to get back at my father too.” Josh finally admitted. He pulled out of the parking lot, and both stayed silent for a long time. The silence was comforting, as was the sound of the car. Before long, pain and exhaustion got the best of Milly, and she fell asleep.

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