The pilot wrapped the stained and fraying Ace bandage around Violet’s ribcage once more, flattening her breasts into believably masculine pectoral muscles. “You batten down them hatches any tighter, my eyes gonna pop clean out,” she chirped, her blue eyes bulging.
“Lower your voice,” the pilot growled, wiping the blood from his sideburns with the back of his hand. He shot a furtive glance over his shoulder and held his mangled index finger to his lips. Violet had no problem holding her breath; it was breathing normally that was proving to be a challenge. She heard a twig snap, and then the sound of dry leaves rustling. Her heart slammed against its Ace bandage cage while the pilot slid his right hand towards his brand new Sig Sauer the bureau had sprung for when they assigned him this mission.
A young white-tailed deer picked its way through the plane’s wreckage, each step preceded by a careful sniff. It came upon the survivors huddled under the huge spruce, torn clothing and first aid supplies strewn about on the pine-scented duff. It stamped once and its dark eyes locked on Violet’s as the pilot drew his sidearm. Violet backhanded his the gun away from him and the deer turned and bounded away, downhill, towards the road and Violet’s destination.
“What the fuck, dipshit? Have you tasted what they call rations? You could have had fresh venison for your first meal on assignment. Everyone says does taste better.” The pilot grumbled.
“How y’all know that was a doe?”
“No antlers, genius.”
“Why, bless your heart, you greenhorn. All deer are antlerless right now. Y’all cain’t tell a doe from a young buck in June without a good look at their south side.” Violet rolled her protruding eyes.
“You understand what you need to do?” The pilot changed the subject, irritated. Violet’s slack jaw offered a vote of no confidence. The pilot shook his head. “We’re fucked,” he mumbled, and began bandaging the gash on his arm.
Violet, seated with her back against the tree, tried to take deep breaths to quell her anxiety about the subterfuge. The bandage made that impossible, so she began to hum a song she heard on the radio that morning before she left Virginia.
“I Shot The Sherriff? Really?” The pilot raised his voice. “You need to get your shit together, ya dig? You have a job to do. Sorry this mission isn’t all peaches and cream, little lady, but you need to pull yourself together, go infiltrate that drug ring, get The Duke to implicate himself while you’re wearing your wire, and then get the fuck out of there, so we can make the bust and go home. Is that so all-fired complicated?”
“I cain’t breathe,” Violet squeaked again. “You pulled them bandages too tight.” She stood up, stumbled over an exposed root, and then crash landed for a second time that afternoon.