Skin Deep II: The Dance
by Mark McDonald
©2002 Mark McDonald -- all rights reserved
The girl was perhaps ten years old. Her face was beautiful, with rich full lips, large brown eyes and high cheekbones. Her black hair cascaded off her head in long curly locks, her skin was soft and smooth, well taken care of, especially for a girl her age. She stood with her hand on her hips and she had a look of fierce anger in her eyes. The man she was speaking to was perhaps 37. He had a brutish good look to him. His frame was strong and muscular and his face and head angular. They both shared the same rich chocolate brown complexion. Recently as the days had worn on, he was often amused at how cute she looked pouting the way she did when she didn't get what she wanted. Now however, he was losing his patience with her. It had gone on long enough.
"I thought I told you that I'd made up my mind and this was exactly what we would be doing for the foreseeable future?" he said in response.
"No way! You can't keep me from..." the girl protested.
"I can do anything I believe is in your best interest young lady."
"Oh my God! This is not happening to me!" she cried pacing back and forth in wild desperation. Hers was the attitude of an animal caged with no hope of release. The man looked about the walls of the hotel were thin. He did not want to the hotel guest raising an alarm. "Please! Where did you put it?"
"Sarah, it has to be like this. I think you know that." Said the man.
"No! You tricked me."
"It's out of reach. This is the way things are going to be Sarah." He repeated.
"STOP CALLING ME THAT!" Screamed the little girl. "Six days is enough. Enough!"
The man advanced angrily on her and she shrank away from him quickly crying softly, "No, no, no, no, no."
"You will not take that tone of voice with me young lady." The little girl was helpless. She had been made small and young and weak compared to him and it occurred to her that had been part of the plan all along but not like this.
"Get your bag, we're leaving." He said
"Mexico!" The man said.
"WHAT? Mexico? Why Mexico?"
"Because... Because I want to," said the man. There was just a hint of petulance in his voice.
"Well, I'm not going!" insisted the little girl. "I'm not going until you give me that transmitter."
Silently, the man grabbed the young girls case, his own and the small locked box of cash chips they had taken with them when they left Rouston. He left the room and placed the bags in the boot of the new HOV they had purchased on their way out to Arizona.
"We'll see how you make out on your own here then. A pretty young girl on the fringe," said the man. He grabbed his ignition signature out of his pants pocket and made for the door.
"You're bluffing," cried the girl. Without looking back he slammed the door on the way out, leaving the girl defiantly standing in the middle of the small hotel room. Outside there was the sound of a HOV lifting off but she was not worried. He would not leave without her. He couldn't! He wouldn't dare!
Now it was a waiting game to see who would give in first. She would not lose. He would give in. He had to. No one came through the door in five minuets or in ten and she began to worry. The world had gotten much larger in the last 24 hours and she needed him, if only to reverse what he had done to her.
The girl thought back to what had happened just a few short days ago and how terribly wrong everything had gone.
Not long out of Rouston they had been recognized, she felt certain of it. They had packed the SKINs for just such an emergency so the plodded on ward out toward the desert where they could activate the SKINs abandon their HOV some place, purchase one from someone else for cash, lots of it and no questions and get the hell out of the country, South America maybe. It would be the same was throwing off your scent from the following bloodhounds.
They had found a small abandon roadside rest area that had once been used by road traffic. The place was ramshackle and scary to both but what choice did they have. There had been an old DOT equipment shed behind the place with just enough room to land the HOV between two old bulldozers. She had laid the SKINs out on the equipment console of the HOV and then had to go back to for the transmitter that had fallen out as she transferred the SKINs and the box of cash chips from the boot of the HOV.
She had been hasty, paranoid; she understood that now. She had also been careless. When she recovered from unconsciousness, she found something was horribly wrong. She was now a child. Worse, she was now in the company of a total stranger. He was a large man, scary and stern. He had taken the transmitter and hidden it while she had been unconscious. Until she found that transmitter she was stuck. Her heart had gone out to William briefly but only briefly. She needed now to find a way out of this thing and back to who she really was.
He had explained that once he realized what had happened, that she would make a grab for the transmitter to reverse what had happened, thereby ruining the SKINs and any hope of escape they might have that were now dependent on using them. They had needed a HOV, and it was he that had pointed out that if they deactivated the SKINs now, they would be exposed. Like it or not, the two of them would have to stay as they were until they at least go a new HOV. Then they could change back to their true live persona and get out of Dodge.
As much as she hated the body she was in, she had agreed and bore it for the next two days with reluctant grace.
Now they were both engaged in a childish game of pouting and petulance over who was really in control, the HOV long since acquired, she wanted out. Each one acting like a child, pouting and angry over a situation that neither one could change. They were on the run, now he had decided to turn it into a punishment. She had no choice but to comply until she found that transmitter.
So here she waited, twenty minutes after he had packed her things and slammed the door threatening to leave her behind. She went to the window and peeked out the edge of the drapes. Surprised, she thrust them open all the way. The HOV was gone; He had left her! Panic flowed through here like wild fire. She ran to the door threw it open and raced out into the night. Her feet crunched on something broken on the ground as she did, but she paid no attention to it. That spoiled brat left her here after all. What was she supposed to do now?
She started to pace back and forth but the crunching under her shoes was a distraction from thinking. She looked down to see what it was that had broken in front of their door and when she did her breath caught in her chest. There was the screen of a Patchcode Transmitter lying on the ground at her feet.
"No!" she whispered and dropped to her knees. "Oh God no... Please no!" The broken pieces of the transmitter sliced into her soft dark skin of her knees with small cuts. She didn't feel it. Her mind had blocked out everything, nearly everything anyway. She picked up the finely smashed pieces of the only thing that could ever free her from this child's body and tried in vain to reassemble the device. She began to weep desperately trying to put the thing together. It failed of course each time. At last she sat and cried into her hands. She did not see or hear Carry drop the HOV back into the spot she had lifted off from almost thirty-five minutes before.
He opened the drivers side and stepped out. "Have you changed your mind?" The girl was silent for a moment. "If I leave this time, then I'll just keep going."
Finally the girl asked. "Why?"
The man didn't answer. He began to approach the sidewalk when a woman exited her room and looked around. She saw the child and on the sidewalk in front of an open hotel room and a man, presumably the child's father walking toward her. The man glanced over at the woman and smiled a sad smile. He then bent and picked up the girl. "There there, we'll just get a new one."
"You know we can't do that!" cried the girl.
"Sure we can sweetie, it's only a VIDgame pack." Said the man comfortingly. "Here, give daddy a hug."
"You're not my father," screamed the girl. "I'm YOUR father! I'm YOUR father God damn it! You can't just do this sort of thing to people! Why did you do this to me?"
"You're upset." He said to her. He picked up the child and moved toward the HOV. The woman returned to her room seeing only a spoiled and confused child talking nonsensically and rudely to her father.
The child allowed her self to be strapped to the passenger side of the HOV. "Why Carry? Why?"
The man did not answer at first. He simply got in his seat behind the flight controls and buckled in. At last he said "Before I answer any questions buttercup, you're going to have to learn to start calling me daddy. Get used to it little girl. You have a lot to atone for."
The girl covered her face with her hands and moaned "Oh my God!" The HOV lifted off into the Arizona night and then streaked toward the south.
Although they were the subject of an intense search that covered three countries for over thirty years, the Fenton's were never found.