Montana Tailor Shop

 

“Are you the father of the boy with wings?”

Mark snapped his arms back in surprise and toppled the cup of pens by the register. An old Indian stood inside the creaky front door of Mark’s run-down tailor and dry-cleaning shop. The unfamiliar Indian caught him off guard, he didn’t recognize him from the reservation. He looked over his visitor while picking up the pens and putting them back. The Indian’s weathered clothing had seen many days, the style was difficult to place in time and smelled like they came from a museum. He had no watch, no obvious phone. White braided hair as thick as rope hung behind him past his belt. Skin beaten by the sun to a golden brown was pulled taut over high cheekbones. Mark scanned outside for other suspicious men. “I don’t know what you’re talking about, sir. A boy with wings? Around here? I don’t recall any angels stopping by needing a shirt cleaned.”

The Indian man said nothing in return, and stepped over to a dull chrome rack next to the worn Formica counter. The rack was mostly empty with just a few pressed shirts hanging in plastic bags. He scooted the metal clothes hangers forward, they screeched against the rack. He reached into the darkness behind them and pulled out a lone shirt. Turning it around, the Indian showed him the hemmed slits in the back with Velcro at the bottom.

Mark drew a deep breath and stared at the man. He dropped his hands below the counter top. “I think you need to go talk to the local priest, he can probably tell you all about angels. There aren’t any around here. I don’t recognize you from the local tribe, who are you?” His fingers wrapped around the handle of the bat hanging under the counter.

The old man shook his head and held his hands up, “True, I’m not from here, but I need to talk with you about your son. I am Awehhelleu, a guide for the Anasazi. We were warned by the local tribe that someone from the Magnates was spotted nearby and we needed to take Austin and Piper to safety.”

Mark’s shoulders tensed. He raised the bat and pointed it to Awehhelleu, knocking the cup of pens off the counter with his elbow and spilling them across the floor. “Then it’s your fault they ran! You can’t protect them any better than you did Elizabeth! Her death is all over the Network. We’re leaving as soon as they come back so you people can’t find us again!” Mark glared at Awehhelleu and pointed the bat toward the door. “Austin and Piper ran away yesterday and are not here, so leave.”

Awehhelleu sighed, “Yes, of course. I am sorry. If Austin comes home and you need help, we have a gate nearby we can safely teleport them. Please reconsider, the Magnates are using the government’s antiterrorism network and they are getting very difficult to avoid.”

Mark slammed the counter with the bat then waved it at the door. Awehhelleu shuffled out with pens crunching under his feet and closed the door. Mark’s arms dropped to the counter, the bat rolled out of his hands and banged on the floor. He shook and could barely stand. Tears fell onto the stained counter as he hoped and prayed the Magnates didn’t catch his son and Piper.