Whittemore's keen eye peered over the tow hitch of his RV as he was preparing to mount his jeep on it. He pursed his lips let out a piercing whistle that sustained a shrill tone and echoed and seemed to almost rattle in the canyons which stood miles from the suburbia. He nonchalantly tossed some sort of heavy leather bag over his shoulder and stood to open the door to the RV for Brutus.
Brutus was Mr. Whittemore's dog. He was a very built hound, being bred in a long line of former hounds also named Brutus, which I could only assume have been in the Whittemore family for many generations. The dog's feet tumbled down the sidewalk excitedly as he obeyed the whistle that summoned him from his nap, probably anticipating that he will be able to go hunting in the woods early this year.
Jason seemed to be talking in slow motion, uttering words I couldn't understand nor focus on over the distant metallic clatter of the tags on the dog's collar.
"Ry!" Jason set his hand on my face - which made me jump - and directed me to focus on him.
"Pay attention. Put that away before someone sees it. I'll show you how to use it later." he gave out a sigh of frustration, being unsure if I had just comprehended what was said or not. And molded my hands with his, using me like a puppet to secure the gun in my holster which felt loose and irritated my hip.
My eyes wandered to far down the street. Over the distortion of the searing heat coming off the road I saw a vague form of a large white vehicle which cast a harsh reflection of the sun as it turned slightly, then parking in front of a house. I winced in pain slightly but then squinted to see two figures also in white emerge from the vehicle. Then four more...taller figures. Which stood back on the sidewalk as the first two approached the house.
I forced my eyes to take in more detail but was suddenly taken by the crash of Whittemore's door. I quickly turned to discover that Whittemore had parked his RV two houses down and fled to his house. I turned back to face Jason. His face seemed unsure but serious. He put his hand on my shoulder and guided me back into the house.
Jason and I sat beside each other at the table in the kitchen, listening somewhat intently to the TV in the other room.
"What's going to happen?" I said dryly. I didn't expect a response. I looked face-down at the wooden table. Pushing a few crumbs around and slowly crushing them in half with my thumbnail.
Jason had his arms crossed on the table with a neglected glass of water beside him, which despite sitting upon a coaster, managed to soak the face of the table with the condensation of the melted ice.
"Just listen to what they say, Ry, everything will be over with soon. Don't worry."
Despite the confidence in voice and the blank expression in his eyes, I could tell that Jason was scared. Not for his life but that there might be something he couldn't protect me from. Something that could only be controlled by government and authority and power. I sat pondering if Whittemore knows about the inspections, as I was fairly certain that he did not own a television. He was an old fashioned man, although living on the outer suburbs, he seemed to always be working in his garage or taking Brutus out to the mountains, often staying out for days at a time.
Jason rested his forehead in his upturned palms, pushing the weight of his head into his elbows against the table then pushing the sweat around his temples through his hair and interlocking his fingers behind his neck.
I can tell thoughts were racing and whirling around in his mind. His eyes dodged around as if his mind was falling and looking for something to grab. He maintained his trance of processing thoughts with a relaxed face and casually scratching his shoulder. It wasn't much later until there was a sudden knock on the door.