Love and Thunder in the Jailhouse (Part 1)

My name is Sally Dibbs and I think I’m in love with a murder suspect.

I have a little house with a yard of stones in Feldspar, California. I live with my husband Royal Joe Dibbs and a mysterious cat named Poo. Royal Joe works in land management for the federal government and when he’s not working, he likes to spend his time at The Variety Lounge instead of with me. He’s more interested in drinking and carrying on with other women. I don’t think he loves me anymore and I don’t think I love him either. That’s why I ran off with the inmate that I think I’m in love with. Isn’t that the craziest thing ever?

You’re probably wondering about the history and logistics related to something such as that. Well, it kind of goes like this. I work as a detention officer over at the jail out in the desert and one day they brought in this new man, and I was suddenly thunderstruck in my heart and my loins. He was like a marble statue – perfectly carved in every way imaginable. I did everything I possibly could to get close to him. I worked the shifts that allowed me to interact with him more. We started passing secret notes. The first one he ever gave me simply said: Even though you’re a jail guard and I may have accidentally killed someone; I think I’m falling in love with you. I secretly fed the small piece of paper into my mouth, chewed it slowly and swallowed it. I wanted those words to be stuck to my bones and soul forever.

As time went on, we secretly devised a plan that would lead him to freedom and my own loving arms. And when it came to be that I was assigned to transport him to a court hearing on the Feldspar square, we leapt off the edge of consequences and never turned back.

The first time I felt his bristled face against me in a frantic kiss I gushed like Niagara. The initial moments together were all like that. It was as if a bolt of electricity spawned by a Tesla coil had sewn our bodies, hearts, and souls together. I never wanted to leave his side.

After we dumped the official cruiser in a deep desert crevasse, we got into the getaway car I arranged and drove east toward Phoenix. As we motored on, we heard about ourselves on the radio. Yeah, we were in trouble. Big trouble. My life would never be the same again, but I didn’t care. That killer’s love was the best thing I had ever experienced. But was he guilty?

I looked over at him sitting there in the passenger seat and staring out the window and I asked him straight up, “Did you really kill somebody?”

He turned to look at me and grinned. “Does it matter?”

“Hell no.”

“You sure you’re okay with throwing your life away like this?”

I looked at him and smiled. “I sure am.”

He smiled back and reached out a strong hand to touch my leg. “Why don’t you find a place to pull over so we can do it,” he said.

We did it in the car in the desert and nearly broke a window in the process. When we were done, we sat on the hood of the car and watched shimmering mirages while smoking cigarettes.

“Damn, I need a beer,” Roy said. That was his name. Roy. Roy Essence. Roy Essence the murder suspect.

“We can stop in the next town. Maybe we can get ourselves a motel room to get out of this heat and go to sleep,” I suggested.

He chewed on that a bit. “We’ve got to be careful, Sally. You heard the talk on the radio. And our pictures are out all over the place. They’re coming for us. And with a fury.”

“We’ll be careful. I packed hair dye and scissors and extra sunglasses and different clothes. I’ve got the money. The cash. And damn it baby, I just need a shower and some rest.”

He thought about that for a while before tossing his cigarette butt and sliding off the hood of the car. “All right then. Let’s find some out-of-the-way place that may not be so connected to the rest of the world and have a go at it.”

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