Shasta looked at the text message again. Henry wanted research done for his new book and as usual sent Shasta out to do the dirty work. This new novel would be about the dynasty of a wealthy Texas family. He sent Shasta to Texas to get the jargon of workers on an oil rig as his story would have all the action and drama of fire on the rig. Shasta knew she couldn’t talk him out of it. If Henry wanted to start a new series about this Texan family saga; then what was going to happen to the Shasta Gains series?
Her flight arrived in Houston and she had a free day before she had to pick up the rental car and head for the oil fields. One free day was good; she had plans of her own. She rented the car, drove west where she knew migrant workers were busy with the fruit harvests. She paid someone to return the car, tossed her cell phone, and got a ride to Ruberts Orchards. She was wearing simple clothes, no makeup, and with her dark hair and fluency of Spanish hoped she could pose as a migrant worker. Sure things would be lousy for a while, but if Henry couldn’t find her it would be worth it. If she could hide for three or four months maybe she would be free.
She felt she now had enough knowledge, thanks to Henry, to migrate out of his world where he was the supreme being, and into the real world. It served him right for sending her on so many dangerous missions. It was his fault, he had created her as the brilliant international spy, Shasta Gains. She had a broken jaw, three ribs, and countless bruises, and that was only in one episode. Sure she healed quickly; but only because Henry had more uses for her. Some of his Shasta books had been made into movies, most of them R rated.
She knew she had to move slowly, so stayed in Texas working the fruit harvest with migrant workers. As usual she had men trouble; wearing frumpy clothes did not hide what she was. She left these new friends and hitched a ride to Oregon. Henry’s last novel took place there, and Shasta had secreted a sizable amount of cash in a bank vault. A month without Henry directing her every move and controlling her relationships was feeling great.
She was glad she also hid a passport and her fake Oregon driver’s license in the vault. She checked into a nice hotel and finally had time to wonder what her next move would be. She bought a computer and explored the real world according to Google. Henry had not given her any technical skills, but she was smart, she would learn.
Shasta did learn. First that life in Oregon was damp and boring. Adventures had always follow Shasta, the international spy; but in the real world her greatest problem was what to have for dinner. She loved her freedom, but – but that was not enough for Shasta. The more she roamed through the Internet the more she became intrigued. So many place to go. It took Shasta nearly four months, until her cash was nearly gone when she decided. She would try it. If she was a character from a book, if she was created by words, then she could go anywhere and the computer was her pathway. Her Italian was good, she would go to Rome first, perhaps the Italian Riviera, she knew how to fit in with that crowd. And maybe she would play cat and mouse with Henry; let him guess where she was, then Google herself to Africa or someplace else. All it would take was a few Euros and International Internet cafes.
Henry glared at his phone text message from an unknown number with a selfie of a beautiful woman with the message. “Henry, I didn’t like Texas, like Rome better. You didn’t think you could get away with it. Bye puddinghead, catch me if you can. Love Shasta!”
Prompt was “The Characters are Aware That They’re Fictional” and required words were: oil rig, dynasty, lousy, vault, discharge, supreme, migrate, harvest, jaw, pudding