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NO ONE IS SAFE
by Susan Tepper

At the police station, surrounded by cops and detectives I said, "The gold link bracelet. The newspaper said it belonged to the woman. The man in the park had on a gold link bracelet."

One of the policemen made a phone call, telling someone on the other end to bring it. All the while they were staring at me like I'd just risen from the dead. A female officer came into the room placing a clear Baggie on the table in front of me. Inside were two pieces of gold link chain. I didn't even have to pick it up.

When I got back home I told Ronald, "It was me that he meant to kill."

~~~

I have moved far away - many unspecified miles - to a large city. I've changed my name, not by any traceable legal means, but simply by assuming a different one. Not that it matters what I'm called; not really. As long as my old name never surfaces.

I've got no phone. To me, even the throw-away phones are suspect. When absolutely necessary, I will use various pay phones outside the immediate area of where I'm living. These days they're getting harder and harder to locate. Since I don't travel to any foreign cities I have no need of a passport. I hold no drivers license, credit cards or checking account, paying my few bills using money orders purchased with cash. How I get my cash and where I keep it is nobody's business.

My new home base can fold-up, disassemble, disappear at a moment's notice - should I sense the old fear creeping up behind me, putting its hand on my shoulder; however innocent. Nothing is innocent in purpose. No one, no one is safe in this country.

 

Copyright 2007 by Susan Tepper


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