Hidden on Grass Hill
I am pretty sure I'm the only one left on this planet who uses a gasoline powered grass cutter. Grandma said once that her father owned one, but it was lost with the first house during the bombing. She doesn't see much sense in my owning one now or using it for that matter. "Ginia," she said "there is no practical use in a lawn. The sun is too powerful to sit under for more than a few minutes, and besides, the price of gasoline is too expensive." But what she doesn't know is that I illegally make my own gasoline. She's right about the rest of it.
I didn't like the idea of fussing with a ground cover plant that was bound to die on me either, but there was a purpose in it. I was to make the grass grow any way I could so that the big companies who are trying to kill everything off and buy up all the land would take notice and come running to shut me down. Mean while, Cav and his crew used the distraction to go under their noses and make plans to take out the more dangerous leader-heads. Some of which had already poisoned crops in order to buy the land, saying all the time that they were trying to help the poor farm families who lost everything. It's complicated and I don't really care to know much about it. Honestly, I don't care about any of it. I don't understand it or how it all works, I'm just one small part who keeps her head low. What do they call that; deniable plausibility?
Cav rewards me with things I need; food, clothes, medicine for Gram etc. Over time I would sometimes forget that I'm part of something bigger. I found that working my great grand dad's land was fairly rewarding and when the companies did finally come to shut me down, I held on with two fists and wouldn't let go. I have five acres of grass; tall soft golden grass. I don't give a hoot about it especially, but no one is going to take what's mine. Actually, it's all a bit laughable. Who would think that some lady's damn grass would serve a purpose in taking down corrupt business men who want to rule the world? I only mow a small part of it. It's sort of my way of keeping a part of the old world around. Have a lawn, sit in it, and drink lemon aid. The rest grows wild with the sole purpose of making grizzly bears out of old cranky business men. It worked.
Along the way I had a few scary close calls. A man named Johns came knocking on my door. He was sweet and shy. So it seemed. He was unsure of himself and so, of course, I let him in. Not just in my front door. I didn't have any intention of liking the guy, but he made it easy. Cav was suspicious right away, but as his face was known and he needed to keep out of the spot light. There was nothing he could do.
Johns was a computer analyst, like most men are these days, he had family money and only months after meeting him, he invited me to live with him. He had a place in the city where he would help me find a real job. I felt he was only trying to be nice since I didn't have much money. He said he loved me and came to see me every single day. I liked his persistence and I nearly told him I loved him back, but I wasn't going to give up my land. I had grown attached to it and all who it protected.
One night, he came by drunk, which surprised me. He told me he never consumed alcohol now that it was all homemade. He didn't trust what was actually in it. I didn't blame him. There were several news bits on people dying because the alcohol was laced with a powerful tasteless drug. Knowing that, I was worried strait away and tried to get him to leave with me to the hospital. He yelled and kicked at me; pulled my hair and called me names. I could only understand half of what he was saying. "They paid me, I have a family, you were supposed to leave, they killed them..." It was all shocking and horrible. I couldn't decide whether to hate him or feel sorry for him. After he calmed down he uncapped his flask, poured it out on my carpet, then flicked his lighter out and lit it in one quick motion. I only had time to get out. I couldn't save anything; not even him.
Cav didn't speak to me when he first found me in the shed sleeping under dirty rags. I thought he was mad at me and would say 'I told you so', but now I think he was more angry with himself. He knew something was up and did nothing. He set up a large tent for me, but told me I could quit if I wanted to. He could take me to a safe house he knew of, but I refused it. His sisters, Liz and Beau, stayed with me for a week, but I kicked them out soon after. I'm not good at living with people. I'd need a bigger home than a tent.
I suppose the Corp of assholes who hired Johns to get close to me thought I'd choose to leave. Especially after the house was a black pile of ash, but determination is a bitch I guess. All that time I was sitting in my green mowed grass; making illegal gasoline because I couldn't afford to buy it anymore; getting all my supplies for free...well, I had saved a bit of money for a rainy day.
I decided to build a new house. Oh, I was laughed at plenty. I didn't have a clue how to build a house, and after a few wall frames fell at my feet in ruins, Cav finally sent a few friends in to help. In the end I had a better house than before and...I planted a tree. I found it in a pot on my new porch soon after it was built. It had note in Cav's script that read, "plant me."
I can only imagine how furious the corporation heads are about that. Some civil rights group managed to pass a rule... mind you, it's not a law yet, but a rule, that says any land with a tree is automatically protected. There aren't many left. I'm sure there will be a fight to get that removed, or at least another rule added on saying that the tree has to be over 20 feet in height or 5 years old. But just in case, I planted that tree, and now each mid-day I go out and sit in my three by three feet of shade; with my shot gun.
There is just one problem with the way I've been living; I am so sick of sitting here. I have no one to relieve me and watch the place so I can go out. Even for a walk. Hell, I could really use a walk. I'm afraid if I leave someone will come and burn everything down again. I act tough, but that last fire freaked me out a bit. I wonder what might happen while I sleep at night. Who might come with a gun and just shoot me dead, or worse. I don't want Beau or Liz to do it because I'd worry to much about them alone here, but there isn't anyone to ask; so I don't.
I don't know how he does it, but Cav takes much better care of me that I could ever do for myself. Each Sunday morning I wake up with large boxes of supplies sitting just to the right of the tunnel entrance in my shed. Long ago when I first started living on my grand dad's land I found this old shed that barley stands, hidden behind a very over grown thorn bush. It's the only plant that grows well in the scouring sun. It took some doing but after a few days and a few blisters, I put my cutting sheers down and slipped inside. It was larger than I thought it would be. Someone had built it into the side of the hill that the house sits on. A steep unusable section of the hill that rises just out the back door, it was perfect for digging into I guess. Right away I found the tunnel. It was cool and smelled like skunk. I lifted a toppled shelf that might have once hidden the opening and covered the large gaping hole. After that I just used the shed for developing photos.
Three weeks later Cav knocked on my door, I didn't know him them, and when I opened the door he walked right it and didn't waste a second with introductions. He said, "Ma'am, don't panic, I have important things to discuss with you about your tunnel." He cleared my table as he talked, taking great care not to break my dishes in his rush, and began laying out his map of tunnels. I stood silent from my spot by the door, half in shock half dazzled by the fact that I was completely at ease. He kept talking as if he knew I'd take interest and listen. Sure enough I found my way over to the table without so much as a word. I could see it in his eyes, he knew he had me; that I would say yes to his need. He didn't need me to say it; which is why I stubbornly told him to shove off.
He wasn't surprised when I that I told him he was stupid for blurting his truths out to a complete stranger. The fact was he didn't know why he did that. He knew it was a risk, but was desperate after his last location had been discovered. He said I had a trustworthy face; which is a hoot since my Gram always said I looked like I was up to something.
So that's how it started. He knew about the tunnel from old papers he found in his mothers trunk. They were tied up in an old shoe box that had her fathers name on it. There were lists of names, a map of a tunnel network, and plans for some serious terrorist style actions. He believes that his grand dad was involved in the bombings years ago and that this tunnel was part of the network that helped them move about the city. I didn't want to believe it at first because that would mean that my family was involved as well. This land has been in the family for hundreds of years. But I never knew my great grand's family or what part they played. All I knew was that my grandma was sick and I didn't have money to help her.