The Humvee drove through a guard station at the front of a security area. It looked like an eight or nine foot high brick and stucco wall, but there were security cameras all along it. Inside were several mansions surrounded by about 400 acres of land, a six hole golf course and riding stables. . Heidi was deposited in front of an over-sized ultra-modern villa.
Veronica a sexy thirty two year old with an attitude answered the door. “Oh, the milkmaid's here.” she announced cheerily. “Leave your sheep and goats outside and come in Fraulein. J. W.'s expecting you, except that he's fallen asleep.”
Veronica disappeared and reappeared with a ninety year old in casual lounge clothes. J.W. Posey introduced himself as he walked into the entry room. He seemed to be a friendly type and within five minutes he said in a high crackly voice , “Well lets try you out.” J. W. led her into the lounge and settled into an oversize sofa.
“Show me your equipment, sweetie.” His eyes twinkled as a seven year old might when he realizes that there is a new b-b gun under the Christmas Tree.
Heidi pulled off her top and took off a nipple clip. J. W. took out his dentures, grabbed the tit and started sucking. As he sucked he made small squeally noises and wiggled his feet back and forth. When he finished one side he got up and poured himself two shots of bourbon in a highball glass, brought it back to the couch and had Heidi fill it up the rest of the way with milk from her other breast.
J. W. put his dentures back in and decided to give Heidi the mini tour. There were some sports trophies in the den, a pool table and a framed picture of the first well he had drilled, since J. W. was an independent oilman. After the party room and his bedroom he waved down the hall, “Jenny's room's down there. Uh, my wife. Your room and the other girls rooms are down that way.” he waved with the other hand. Then they passed through the solarium, the dining room and finally arrived in the living room where Veronica was hanging out. J. W. had skipped showing Heidi most of the mansion.
J.W. Stopped in front of a huge painting on the wall, “Sixty two years ago, I met T. Boone Pickens,” he paused, a wistful look in his eyes. Half a minute later he started to narrate in his high raspy West Texas voice, while unseen,Veronica mouthed the words behind his back, “On the wall behind his desk was a big painting by G. Harvey. It had an old town, cowboys and twenty nine oil wells in it. I know. I counted 'em. I wanted that painting but he'd never sell it, so I went to the artist and had him make me a bigger one with fifty oil wells. Now, this year I will have drilled more wells than Pickens.”
“I'm the number one independent oilman.” He thought and grinned a wistful grin.
As J. W. turned around and set his highball glass down Heidi whispered to Veronica, “What's J. W. stand for?”
“John Wayne,” she whispered back.
J. W. turned around, grabbed Veronica by the waist and said, “Let's go to the rumpus room an' make a rumpus. They disappeared and the tour was over.
J. W. was easy to satisfy, even though having a ninety year old sucking on your tits is creepy. His wife, Jenny was 46 years old and hadn't slept with him for four years, instead she had her live in lover, Carlos, a young Julio Igliasias look alike, keep her sexually satisfied. Even though Veronica and Rita kept J. W. more than amused, Jenny developed an instant dislike of Heidi.
One day a few weeks after Heidi arrived Jenny told Heidi to wait in the den. Soon Carlos came in, looked at her and said, “I want you to get up on the pool table.”
Heidi looked at him quizzically.
Carlos grabbed a pool cue slapped it on the side of the table and said, “On the table now!” He slapped the pool cue across Heidi's thighs.
In the background Jenny appeared just outside the den with a drink in her hand and a smile on her face, as a frightened Heidi crawled up on the green felt. Carlos continued, “ let me see your backside.” Heidi, on all fours turned her backside to him.
Carlos entangled the cue tip in Heidi's panties and lowered them to her knees. “What have we here? Take them off, spread your legs.” He put the cue tip on the remains of Heidi's boi parts. “Whatever that is eet's pathetic.” He flipped the parts back and forth with the tip. “What ees it?” He flipped them back and forth harder.
“It's my, my . . . aaagh!” cried Heidi.
Jenny took a sip of her drink and softly giggled.
“From now on eet's your baby pinky pee-pee part. Say it.” Carlos jammed the cue into the baby pinky pee-pee.
“It's my baby pinky pee-pee part” cried a red faced Heidi.
“Now play with it.”
Heidi tried but nothing happened.
“I knew it. Let's see if this makes them work.” Carlos pulled off his pants and entered Heidi's backside. Heidi was totally humiliated, but it soon felt good inside her and she rocked back and forth to get more of it in her, Her boi part got stiff, the whole inch and a half of it, and she moaned when Carlos's load coated her insides.
Carlos pulled out and pulled on his pants and said, “ Lick it up and don't drip it anywhere,” over his shoulder as he left.
A minute later Jenny Posey entered the room. “What on earth are you doing, you filthy disgusting creature!” she said in mock surprise as Heidi leaned on the edge of the pool table collecting the cum that oozed from her ass and eating it. The total humiliation was complete. Heidi picked up her panties and ran from the room.
From that day forward Heidi could never look Ms. Posey in the face again.
Two weeks later the Posey's put on a party. Heidi was in her usual Fraulein outfit. There were a few new guests and of course J.W. maneuvered them over to the picture and began, “Sixty two years ago, I met T. Boone Pickens. On the wall behind his desk . . .” Then, when the soliloquy was over, J. W. grabbed Heidi, pulled the skirt up over her ass to show off her tattoo and announced, “Here's my newest piece of art.”
J. W. told Heidi to wait in the den. Eventually he came in he was with three other men. “So business is good,” he mused to the others, “Even though the population of what used to be United States has dwindled to about 80 million, They still need lots of oil and gas for the power plants that run the air conditioners.”
“I guess I'm invested in the wrong thing,” said one of the others, “I thought wheat futures would go sky high because of the heat and drought, but there was none at all this year. You can't make money on nothing.”
“It's all over, no more wheat, no more corn,” retorted J.W., “That's another thing I'm making a killing in, synthetic food. It's all made from oil. Hey, let's have a drink. If you want some milk in your bourbon I'll show you how to use Heidi.” He pulled down her top, took off her nipple clip put it in his pocket, grabbed her tit and squirted some milk in his bourbon.
About three minutes later one of his guests asked, “J. W. could I have a little milk in my bourbon too?”
“Sure thing.” J. W. said as he pulled down Heidi's top again, uncorked the other tit and put its clip in his pocket.
Jenny Posey came by and told Heidi to get behind the bar and make some drinks. After making several, Heidi left to find J. W. and her missing clips. Jenny found her before she could find J. W. “I told you to make drinks. Are you missing half a brain?”
Heidi went back and made more drinks. When Mrs. Posey came back to check on her, her jaw dropped. “You disgusting excuse for a girl, Come and look at yourself.” Jenny Posey pulled her over to a mirror. Heidi had two wet milk stains down the front of her blouse. “Can't you take care of yourself? Useless twit. It's lucky this isn't our San Jacinto Day party, all our friends would be here. You are done here for this party. You embarrassed us enough today.”
Heidi grabbed a spare top from her room and went to the laundry room to rinse out the milk stains. Over the running water she heard a familiar voice, “So you been a dirty leetle girl, oops no a see-see with a baby pinky pee-pee.” Carlos put a hand on her neck, “Pull your panties off! Pull up your skirt! Tell me about your baby pinky pee-pee. What does it do?”
“What else? What else? . . .Nothing. Tell me that.”
“It . . .”
“No name it.” Carlos snapped it hard with his finger. “Do I have to remind you with a pool cue?”
“ My baby pinky pee-pee pees. My baby pinky pee-pee does nothing else. It doesn't get hard and it doesn't cum.”
“Better, now lean over the folding table”
Carlos slid out his stiff member and plunged it into Heidi's ass. At first it hurt, but then she started to get hot and moved her ass forward and back.
“Like that huh? You scummy little slut, here it comes.”
Carlos deposited his load and walked off. Heidi held a washcloth under her crotch took her panties and top, ran to her room, locked the door, flopped on the bed and cried. Crying made her feel better and eventually she played with her breasts and her boi parts, worked a dildo inside her and came. Then she fell asleep.
Six parties and seventeen months later J. W. passed away in his sleep. Ms. Posey was anxious to get rid of Veronica, Rita and Heidi as fast as possible. She sold Heidi's contract to someone in Sunrise City Domes for practically nothing and had the Posey's private pilot fly all three to Tulsa.
As They flew over Tulsa on the way to the airport Heidi saw a serious plume of smoke rising from Broken Arrow off to the southeast of Tulsa. What used to be three homes and their landscaping were reduced to an acrid cloud, charred wood and ashes. The pilot pointed out the larger survival domes below in Tulsa to Veronica and Rita since they were to be unceremoniously dumped off. “ . . . and below us is the Oral Roberts University Tribulation Dome and up there off our right wing is the Philbrook Twin Domes and further out the Gilcrease Dome. I'd forget ORU if I were you girls.” He skimmed low over the Arkansas River turned back toward the airport and landed.
The airport's had only one functioning terminal section, and the air conditioning had to run full blast to keep it at a tolerable 85 degrees. As Heidi sat in the airport she thought she felt everything jiggle. She was well and couldn't figure out what it was. Two hours later an Eagle Security Delivery Humvee picked Heidi up and deposited her at the Sunrise City Domes near Sequoya about twenty miles northeast of Tulsa. It was one of the largest dome complexes: 5 domes interlocked containing about 1,200 very rich people, their servants, and of course the Sunrise City Dome Outer Guards, just over 2,200 souls in all.
Ambigua asked the doctor to have the restraining order against Spike removed. He did it the next day. The doctor had some political clout and Spike was off probation anyway.
When Ambigua finally saw Spike again she looked different. She was growing out her hair. It now was dark with a streak of blue, and she was dressed in a pinstripe suit over a steam-punk top. “I've got a job, “ she announced. “I'm an assistant dispatcher and procurement clerk with the dome maintenance department. Had to sell out a bit to get it. Want to go ecstatic with some Erotique? No one's home in my folk's house.”
Ambigua agreed and on the way to Spike's home, Spike told her how busy her job was, “They have to keep repairing the dome constantly from all the tremor damage. This year it got so hot they had to add a lot more air conditioning.”
Ambigua told Spike about the ritual.
“That's wild. Maybe I can pull the chips. I heard the mind police put more in you . . . back to freedom, ya' know,” Spike suggested.
“Oh no, Kyle and Heidi only get me in trouble. The last time without my chips was scary.”
Dr. Magus asked Ambigua how she felt about “Galactic Lactator” tattooed over her butt.
“I don't like it. I get embarrassed”
Dr. Magnus took Ambigua back to Sergei.
“I remove it for $120, we do it now.” was Sergei's admonition.
In less than an hour Sergei had it off. Sergei looked at the two, “I show you something, come.” He led them to a back room that was his living quarters which also was a small art studio. On one side was a sculpture with a sheet over it. “I keep it clean.” he explained as he removed the sheet.
Underneath was a ¾ sized acrylic statue of a woman with complex ivy foliage that stood out in bold relief and ran down one side of her body. Sergei pointed, “Relax and look closely.” He ran his finger down through the foliage.
Both Everett and Ambigua looked at the statue and each other. Both had their mouths open.
I saw, “ Do what thou wilt shall be the whole of the law.” said the doctor.
I saw, “You are loved,” said Ambigua, “written right between the leaves.”
“This, my masterpiece. I look for someone to tattoo this on, a masterpiece alive.”
The doctor and Ambigua looked at each other, then at Sergei. They had smiles on their faces.
As time went on the tattoo grew; up and down the right side of her body, around the outer sides of her breast, growing, creeping, reaching the side of her neck, then descending down the thigh, down, down the right calf, finally deciding to grow down the right arm to the wrist.
When Ambigua showed Spike her tattoo, she told her how there were words hidden in it.
Spike told her, “It's your mind and the doctor's minds playing tricks on you.”
“No it isn't, I see it. Right here, 'You are Loved'.”
Spike found a mirror, and told Ambigua to look at it in the mirror. “Now find the backwards writing.” She said.
Ambigua looked and saw none, Then she said, “It says, 'You will take a long trip', right here in he mirror. Wow! It works backwards too!”
“It proves it's all mind games.”
“No it isn't.”
In the end Spike didn't convince her at all. Eventually Ambigua left in a huff.
Months went on, fall turned to winter and that to spring. Dr. Magnus's lodge celebrated the Feast of Lupercalia in February, everyone flogged everyone and they all did Ambigua, and read her tattoos. It had become part of the ritual.
From her ankles to her ear everyone everywhere could read everything in Ambigua's tattoos, that is everyone except Spike who was sure they imagined it all. Spike got some respect in her job, so she decided she liked it.
Then the rains and flooding came, worse than last year followed by malaria and cholera and dengue fever, worse than last year. The flooding undermined the Tribulation Dome and the next set of tremors set it all to falling apart.
About six or seven years ago the Reverend Billy Joe Dalyrimple was on his way to growing his church into a mega-church, but the Lord seemed to have intervened. All the horrible weather diminished his flock, and he reinterpreted Revelations to see if the end times had indeed started in earnest. What he decided it all meant furnished him with sermons for a month. After that he packed up and moved to Tribulation Dome, but Tribulation Dome was becoming his nemesis. Reverend Billy had plenty of competition, and his nest egg steadily decreased. In the spring of 2035 that all ended. The dome had become uninhabitable, so he packed up again and moved to Sunrise City Dome. There he started a small congregation.
One Sunday in late November Ambigua decided to drop in to The Church of Eternal Hope. Services had already started and the congregation was singing. Ambigua slipped into the last pew.
After the hymn there was a quiet pause, then Reverend Billy Joe took to the pulpit and began to preach. “Everyone wants abundance. The rancher wants baby calves; the farmer wants a big harvest. But how will the farmer have a harvest if he doesn't plant.” Reverend Billy quoted several Bible verses and then got to the point, “Just like the farmer if you want abundance you must plant first. One kernel of corn turns into one ear of corn. Think how many kernels are on an ear.” he paused to let the congregation think about this.
“If one kernel turns into one ear then one hundred kernels turns into one hundred. That's how abundance works, “ he continued. “We don't have corn to plant but we can plant money, and where does the Lord want us to plant it? In the church to support the ministry. The more you plant, the more abundance you will have.”
The reverend ended the sermon with another Bible verse and ushers passed the plate. Ambigua had five dollars, so she put it in the plate.
Tuesday after another magical meeting at the lodge in May Everett closed up the clinic early. The last two patients had canceled. When he got home he noticed Ambigua hadn't finished her cleaning. Things escalated and became an issue. The doctor told Ambigua he would have to punish Ambigua for that. Lately he had been punishing her a lot. Ambigua had to put on a spider patterned leather body harness and heavy makeup. Then there were strokes with a riding crop on her behind inter spaced with touching near her va-gi-gi. Ambigua was getting aroused. Finally she was told, “No sex for you tonight, and you may not touch yourself.”
The following evening Ambigua finished all she was told to do, but when the doctor came home he decided to punish her anyway because she hadn't anticipated his unspoken needs. Ambigua again had to put on a spider patterned leather body harness and heavy makeup. This time she had to tighten the spider harness a little so it pulled her lower lady lips apart. Then there were more strokes with a riding crop on her behind inter spaced with the touching. Ambigua got very aroused. Finally she was told, “No sex for you tonight, and you may not touch yourself.”
Ambigua had to fight with herself not to touch her private parts that night, but she did it. She woke up the next morning still horny and frazzled.
That evening the doctor came home again early Once more Ambigua had to put on the spider patterned leather body harness and heavy makeup. Then she had to tighten the straps so that her lady lips were pulled wide apart. Next the doctor suspended her by furry handcuffs, ankle cuffs and a body strap. Next was a big decision, belt, flail, scourge or riding crop. He started out with the belt. After a few strokes he switched to the riding crop, as it was much more accurate and precise. Ambigua's bum started turning red and she started breathing heavily. “What do you want naughty girl?” he asked.
Ambigua wanted to be coy, but she couldn't. She was already too hot for that, “Ooh, something special for my cunt.”
“Describe what's so special.” he said as he continued the spanking.
“It's big and hard and long and thick and . . . I want it”
“Greedy little thing, more blows for your lust and greed.”
“Oh I want it now! I need it now! Cure me doctor!”
“Here is your prescription,” and he rammed it in her backside.
“Ooh-aah, doctor, doctor, oh it feels so hot in there. I need to take three doses!”
All at once Ambigua felt that she was swinging this way and that and back and forth as well. “Ooh fuck me, ooh fuck me good,” she cried.
The doctor's eyes widened, it wasn't the sex, it was a quake. A big one. As he grabbed onto the frames around Ambigua to steady himself, she exploded in an earth shattering orgasm, making him explode as well.
The doctor released her from the frame as she scooped up the cum dribbling down her leg to eat it. “Never mind that,” he said, “Get over there to safety.
When Friday dawned a rattled populace looked out on extensive damage. Three of the interlocking domes were fixable, but the other two were hopeless. The doctor would be working twenty hour days for the next week and a half attending to the injured.
It wasn't long before the corporate owners of Sunrise City Dome announced that they couldn't keep everyone there, 500 people would have to leave and they would determine who they would be. Immediately there was a political battle with city hall. Then the real battle began.
The Outer Guard faithful to the owners started evicting people. The city police faithful to city hall tried to stop them and evicted different people. The riots started, then the shootings began. Spike kept going to work right through the melees with a look of disdain on her face. Four days into the chaos she was shot. Ambigua hid out in the doctor's house.
When it was all over the Outer Guard prevailed. Any city police were dismissed. The mayor and a city counselor had been fatally shot and Don Pennyman and the doctor were jailed on conspiracy charges and inciting to riot.
Ambigua went to Spike's funeral and afterward stopped by the church again. Reverend Billy consoled her, although what he said would have made Spike turn over in her grave.
Eventually Reverend Billy noticed the tattoo that wound up the side of Ambigua's face.
“You can read things in it.” Ambigua said. “See, it goes all down my side.”
Reverend Billy looked and started following something down the side of her face, then her side. He followed it again open-mouthed. “All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” he read. “That's Romans 3:23.” He got very excited and managed to read two more Bible verses.
From that moment on Reverend Billy was totally interested in Ambigua.
The situation only got worse for the doctor. The owners gave Captain Varner of the Outer Guards carte blanche to run the city. Varner brought in a few more militia friends of his and gave himself a promotion to Colonel. The guards harassed people they didn't like and treated prisoners worse. Some prisoners disappeared.
Soon Varner found out about the lodge and put out the word that: it was full of crooked politicians, it had dark rituals and perhaps human sacrifices and it proved the conspiracy theories.
The doctor got word to Ambigua to hide somewhere besides his house, or better to leave if she could and avoid the Outer Guards. The next day she was at Reverend Billy's church with all her belongings plus a few things the doctor had told her to take.
Ambigua parked her backpack and a laundry bag behind an open door in the church, sat and tried to think what to do next. She was still sitting there twenty minutes later when Reverend Billy walked by.
“Oh you're the lady with the Bible quote in your tattoo. Ambrosia?”
“No Ambigua. Everyone gets it wrong the first time, and I have more quotes.” She crossed her fingers behind her back.
Billy looked down her side. At first he saw nothing. Then he gasped, “ 'May your breasts be like clusters of grapes on the vine.' That's from Song of Solomon 7:8-9!” The Reverend stood with his mouth open.
“Since you mentioned breasts, mine are full of milk. Want some?”
Indeed Reverend Billy did, and more. After twenty happy more minutes in his office, door shut of course, Ambigua had found a home in the church.
Ambigua didn't go out much. With the doctor in jail she was afraid she could be next.
Out of boredom Ambigua went to services and bible study, almost any other group that met there, and to hallelujah trysts with Reverend Billy. On the second Sunday she spotted two men sitting in the pews she thought were Outer Guards and slipped out into the kitchen to avoid being seen. She heard that some of the political prisoners had disappeared and hoped the doctor was not among them. She also found out that Reverend Billy was worried, he had lost almost half his flock when the riots and expulsions happened, and his flock was small to begin with.
“What should my next sermon be, priming the pump, should I do another series on Revelations or Ezekiel?” He mused.
“Why don't you read my body, maybe it will tell you what to do.”
Reverend Billy smiled. Then he scanned the tattoo on the side of Ambrosia's body. Again, at first nothing happened, then he read, “Go thou to the great city and gather a congregation. Hmm that's not in the Bible, but it tells me what to do. Great city, there are no great cities anymore. No great cities, they're all falling apart. No cities, just . . .just . . . The Excelsior Domes, built near Kalispell, Montana. Almost seven thousand people. Yes!”
The Excelsior Domes were built as a last resort for the super rich and all the servants and tradespeople they needed. Reverend Billy thought how they might prime the pump for his new church and of course a prosperous church needed a prosperous preacher at the helm. He could start on his mega-church.
Reverend Billy soon announced that God had told him to leave to found another church and anyone who wanted to follow was welcome. A deacon would take care of the flock that was left.
It was mid May when Reverend Billy pulled out of what was left of the domed city in his big white Lincoln with gold and white leather interior and a sound system second to none. As they left Ambigua sighed in relief. The trunk was full of books and pamphlets and the back seat was full of clothes and other things, almost all of them Billy's. That left the front seats for the reverend and Ambigua. A few of his flock said that they would follow in a day or two.
Soon the powerful Lincoln turned onto U.S. 60 to Bartlesville, The road hadn't been repaired for a long time. The rains had not come this year and it was hot and dusty. Reverend Billy had to go slow and by the time he hit Ponca City he had wasted a lot of time. Soon after he turned north on a much better road to Whitcha. When he got three miles into Kansas there was a toll booth ahead. “Hmm,” he thought. I don't ever remember a toll booth here.” But there it was, painted blue with a sunflower on it and “South-central Kansas Toll” written across the top.
Reverend Billy pulled up behind another car. Two uniformed toll-takers were pulling the driver out of the car and a third watched with his hand on his pistol. The man was struggling and the two knocked him to the ground and kicked him a few times.
After five minutes more of confusion one of the toll takers got something out of the car and let him through. The toll takers approached the Lincoln.
“The toll is $100.” said the man in blue.
“What, that's absurd. I'm turning around.”
The third toll-taker put his hand on his pistol again.
“The toll for passenger cars is $100, unless you are delivering with an invoice. You just drove through three miles of Kansas. If you turn around it's still $50 and then you have to pay an Oklahoma toll of $30. If you can't pay we take merchandise.”
“I'm a Reverend.”
“Well in that case it's $50.”
A grumbling Reverend Billy paid the $50 and drove through.
By the time they got to Wichita it was getting late, so they pulled into a motel. When they entered, the young man behind the counter told them the motel was recently retrofitted with extra insulation and a huge cooling system to deal with the new climate so they should be comfortable.
Ambigua told him, “I hope so. Reverend Billy is upset with the toll he had to pay. And they beat up the poor man in the car in front of us too.”
“ That's what the trolls do. Which way are you going?”
“Um, hate to tell you this, but there are two more troll booths on that road. If you start with a full tank of gas you could go by Dodge City. No booths that way.”
The white Lincoln had turned tan, before unloading they went to a nearby car wash to restore it's pristine color. When they were settled in the room, as Ambigua dug in her pack for her moisturizing cream, instead she found a very small gift wrapped package. “I wonder what this is,” she mumbled. There was a tag on it that said, “Sorry you lost your freedom, but here's something for an evening's fun – Spike.” She tore off the wrapping. Inside was a tiny jar with 'Erotique' written on it with indelible marker. “Oh,”she chirped, “Just like Spike.”
“What's that?” asked Billy.
Ambigua put on her spider patterned body harness and climbed in bed with Billy. “Say your prayers,” she whispered, putting a dab on each of his nipples and his penis. As 'Erotique' started to do it's work she put some on all of her favorite places, then finished putting what was left on Billy's earlobes and butt.
Within about three minutes Billy was hard as a rock and Ambigua started sucking him off while working his nipples. Her lips started to tingle as he pulled out to mount her, “Backside.” she moaned, and he did. As he plunged deeper and deeper her butt tingled inside of her, tingled her tits, tingled where Billy was rubbing them. Ambigua was going torrid fast; a scorching oven, a rocket launch. Liftoff, Ambigua bucked and exploded in ecstasy, slipping away from his cock just in time to get it into her mouth for the juicy finale.
The next day the reverend and Ambigua headed toward Dodge City. The road seemed deserted so eventually Reverend Billy let Ambigua drive. He dropped his seat, put his boots on the dashboard and took a nap. Ambigua drove past Ford, which looked derelict, Dodge City, which didn't and Cimmaron and Ingalls which did.
“What's that? Reverend Billy what's that?” Ambigua put her hand on Billy's shoulder and shook it.
“Wazz, uh. Uh what?”
“What's that?” Ambigua pointed ahead.
Reverend Billy awoke and stared at a huge black cloud heading toward them at ground level uttering, “Haboob!”
“No, a haboob, we have to find cover fast. Did you see anything?”
“A couple of miles back was an old grain elevator.”
“Stop! Turn around! Drive like hell!”
By the time they approached the grain elevator the haboob had gotten much closer. It swirled to great heights and stretched out across most of the western horizon. Lightning shot across the blackness.
The grain elevator was deserted, and there was a garage there too. Billy got out quickly and swung one of the doors open. After they drove in they were only able to get the door mostly shut. They got back into the car and everything went black.
Hours later it was gone. The sky slowly cleared to a late afternoon and there was now a sand pile around the door. Fortunately there was an old shovel in the back of the garage and Reverend Billy and Ambigua took turns shoveling the sand away from the door. Night fell and they slept in the car.
The next morning they started shoveling again. At about 9:30 they saw a pickup heading east on the road, an hour later a sedan headed west. By one they had shoveled themselves free. The rested and ate whatever food was left in the car and headed west.
After the storm the arid land looked more like a desert than ever before. In about twenty minutes the road was diagonally striped with streamers of sand. They thought about backtracking, but soon saw a red arrow pointing left. Taking it as a detour sign they turned left. Eventually there was another red arrow. Now they turned onto a side road that passed two abandoned farms. When they passed a third farm the road made a right angle turn around the farmhouse and dead ended.
Reverend Billy started to turn the car around when three men came out from behind the barn. Two had rifles pointing right at Billy and Ambigua. The third man bellowed, “Stop or your dead!” Trembling, Billy stopped the car and the two raised their hands. Then they had to get down on their knees behind the house, and Billy had to toss his wallet on the ground. Two of the men got in the car and left with car, money and credit cards. The third man got in another car hidden behind the house and followed behind the white Lincoln.
Reverend Billy and Ambigua did the only thing they could do, start walking back the way they came. The afternoon sun was hot and they had no water. After awhile they stopped and sat in the shade of an abandoned car, then on for awhile until they reached another abandoned farmhouse. They rested here till after sundown.
Reverend Billy shook Ambigua awake an hour before midnight. “We better walk now. I saw this old movie about Laurence of Arabia and that's how they traveled in the desert, at night.”
A few hours on they came to a bridge over the Arkansas River. It was bone dry. What little might have been there was all hoarded in dams upstream. Then they came to the turnoff and headed for Dodge. The first three hours after dawn it was comfortable, but by noon heat waves shimmered just off the ground. They had stopped and rested a few times but Reverend Billy was not looking good. Ambigua put her hand on his forehead. Billy was burning up and his face was red. They sat down.
“I think I hear a car.” Ambigua said, “. . . I hear a car!' The little dark speck on the eastern horizon got bigger and bigger. Ambigua stood in it's lane and waved her hands frantically. The car did not stop. It swerved into the other lane around her, the driver cursing as he passed and it got smaller and smaller. All was quiet again.
“Let's find some shade.” Ambigua said to her ailing companion. A mile further was a dune alongside the road and nearby a piece of corrugated steel roof. Ambigua angled the thin metal plate into the dune so they could have some shade.
Reverend Billy was ailing bad now, breathing heavy and muttering, “A great congregation. . . church on the hill. . . will make it . . .can see it now. Need to read your body.” Ambigua obliged. Billy looked at the tattoo and started reading verse after verse in an agitated slurred incoherent voice.
Ambigua finally had to tell him to rest a bit and then he could read some more.
Two hours later she thought she heard a car. Looking both ways she saw a pickup coming toward them from the west. As it got closer she could see it was a forty year old Ford pickup with red paint peeling off and primer in between. She waived her hands, more feebly than before; she was feeling weak and dizzy.
The pickup slowed and stopped. A weather beaten man of sixty got out and told her, “You look in bad shape. Get in.”
“There's the Reverend too. Over there. He needs help bad.”
The man walked over to the shady area and looked. Then he knelt down and looked closer. “He don't need help anymore.”
The man gave Ambigua some water and then a can of pop from his cooler. He backed up the pickup to the body and somehow got it in the pickup bed, helped Ambigua into the passenger seat and drove toward Dodge.
Five more miles down the road Ambigua asked the driver to stop. There by the side of the road was her backpack and laundry bag and a pile of the reverend's books and pamphlets. Quite a few of the pamphlets had blown off in a stream to the east. Ambigua collected her stuff and the man collected an armload of books and drove on.
The reverend was buried two days later in Dodge. Before he passed away on the sand dune he told her he had a money belt on, and Ambigua used some of it to bury him and kept the rest.
After the funeral Ambigua went back and sat on the porch outside the room she rented at the western edge of town. The sun was low in the late afternoon sky. It was still and silent. The sparse clouds in the west were starting to take on yellow and orange tinges. Ambigua looked at her tattoos. There was no writing, no cosmic messages. She slipped off her clothes and looked again. Just a foliage tattoo, that's all. After several minutes of searching she slipped her clothes back on and immersed herself again in the silence, a silence in the landscape of nothing, an innerscape of nothing inside her within a landscape of nothing. The sun dropped lower.
Evening the following day was the same. The desert beyond her was barren interspersed with the flotsam and jetsam of a few collapsed houses and the rusted metal of abandoned cars. The desolation inside Ambigua was just a continuation of that in front of her.
There was a soft scurrying just beyond the fence, half of which was gone. Part of a small face with big eyes appeared at the fence edge. Ambigua beckoned it to come, and warily a small child, thin and malnourished, moved two steps forward, then two more peeked around the fence edge. They were “mads” or nomads, probably orphans, no parents anymore, living on scraps from a dying civilization. Ambigua spoke softly to them and the three children finally came to her. She bared her breasts and fed and caressed them until she was dry, then told them to come back in the morning for more.
The children scurried away. Ambigua did not know how long any of this would last. She would stay here and turn a trick or two, or wash dishes to survive. She thought about being a milkmaid. For the first time she felt very good about it. Being a milkmaid was an honorable profession.