ADMIX: Episode V
By: Connor Pohlman, Creative Corner & Opinion Editor
Last time in ADMIX: After encountering a lowly stranger alongside the road named Cobb, a recent prisoner, our pair of unlikely partners, Moose & Buffalo make hay back for the deserted New Mexico road. Buffalo, being the sly thief that he is, makes out with Cobb’s possessions, notably leaving the open Bible that Cobb possessed, opened to Luke 10:25-37, behind. We pick up with our pair as they continue their ever-hopeless pursuit.
Both men plopped their bags onto the ground, still on the side of the road. The clothes they had been wearing were dirty and ragged, and each had a new pair of their own now.
“Look, clean as a whistle” Buffalo said, holding up a brightly colored teal t-shirt with an assortment of graphic logos and designs scattered across it.
“Ol’ Cobb there must’ve been fresh meat out here. We probably came ‘cross him his first night out” Buffalo teased.
Moose could do nothing more except shake his head and ignore the jest, focusing only on kicking his legs through each hole of the magenta shorts he held. He then threw on a faded yellow shirt, which was much larger on him than he had hoped, swallowing him in its cotton. Moose held his arms stiffly by his sides, cautious to place them back where they normally fall. The clothes he draped over himself felt like trophies of war – cursed and heavy, like it was fundamentally disgraceful to rest them on his skin. He deliberated on why Cobb would have these types of clothes in the first place. If Buffalo was right, and Cobb was a recent escapee, then it would make sense for him to scramble together these clothes.
“He was a prisoner… he might be prone to stealing himself… these clothes might not even be his” Moose thought to himself. He then shook his head, as if to wrangle the notions out of his mind. He couldn’t let Buffalo get to him, he thought.
Moose looked back up to Buffalo, who especially looked out of place with his new vibrant colored clothing, yet also seemed comfortable after shedding his previous skin. They each carried a bag over their shoulder as they continued down the road. They still had a job to do, and it appeared as if Moose was more concerned about that fact than Buffalo was.
“Any idea of how we can find them from here?” Moose reluctantly asked, finally breaking his shunning of his partner.
“We’re right where we need to be,” Buffalo answered, not answering the question at all.
Moose had realized he was now at a point that he couldn’t turn back, even if he wanted to. As much as he had grown disdainful over Buffalo, he needed him more than anything else now. They marched forward, and forward, and then forward some more. The road more traveled was endless. As soon as they reached the horizon, another was already upon them. Moose’s only sense of time was how tired he felt, and it must’ve been correct, since he noticed the sun starting to set already. Already falling behind Buffalo, he slung his bag onto the ground, dry dust flying up from it, letting his legs give out from beneath him so that he could rest on his back. He took the canteen of water and welcomed it onto his crusted lips, providing them some much needed hydration. Even with his eyes closed temporarily, he felt Buffalo’s shadow loom over him. Without hesitation, Moose felt himself be tossed upwards, Buffalo’s arms moving in a swift motion. Barely keeping himself upright, Moose’s face turned grim, even more so than it already was.
“I already gave you your chance, little calf. I ain’t gonna leave any loose ends behind,” Buffalo told him bluntly. “Now, cmon. Git.”
Moose turned forward again, feeling Buffalo’s piercing glare behind him. He noticed Buffalo’s presence behind him had become like a hawk’s. Moose began to wonder how much ground their targets had gained since they had lost them. They were probably relaxing in a different state by now. And based on how his journey had gone so far, he wasn’t so sure that they were the only ones being hunted. Buffalo made a quick little whistle behind him, alerting Moose. He glanced at him and saw the man point ahead at a small creature running away just ahead.
“Hurry, go watch him. Make sure he don’t get away”, Buffalo told him in a whisper.
Moose nodded and creeped quietly on his feet, approaching the animal. Their food supply was running low, and Moose was beginning to refuse to eat what they had taken from Cobb – they both needed the extra fuel. As he approached the small critter, he was able to decipher that it was a cottontail, one that had adapted, or perhaps was native to the desert. Moose looked into its little pair of beady eyes, which stared back at him, terrified. Somehow, someway, he saw a part of himself in them. He now stood still, just above a little formation of light brown rocks, and crept down to one knee. He watched with careful intent. Careful… and curious. The cottontail quickly bolted away, using its little legs to spring itself off the ground faster. Moose’s eyes followed it every hop of the way.
“Where’d it go?” Buffalo pressed, coming up from behind him in a hurry.
Moose stayed in the exact position he had been, continuing to look off into the distance.
“I don’t know. I think I lost him” Moose said softly.
Buffalo exhaled, following with an audible scoff. “Can’t trust you with anything, can I?"
Moose stood up and turned around, seeing Buffalo had one hand in his bag, holding a holster of some sort, but slowly placed it back inside.
“For your sake, let’s hope we come across something soon,” Buffalo told him.