Week 22.3 – Hiding Out

Previously: The mysterious Yi Fan smuggled Twain to a safe place in a crate. And now…

He was in some kind of workshop or gardener’s shed, cinderblock walls hung with tools. Dust tickled his nose and danced in the late afternoon sunlight slanting in through a high window. The men helping him out of the box were old and shriveled, with the deferent air of servants.

Yi Fan dismissed the servants in Russian,  then spoke to Twain in Mandarin. “You’ll be safe here.”

“Where’s here?” Twain asked.

“My home,” she answered.

And now everything started to make sense to Twain: the rebellious attitude, the servants, the shed. She was a child of privilege, rebelling against her rich parents and the society circles they moved in. She had brought him home, but obviously couldn’t have him in her parents’ house, so had hidden him out in a shed on the grounds. She looked a little old to be still living with her parents, but things worked differently over here. What did her father do, Twain wondered, that he had packed up his family and left China to come live under the most tyrannical dictator on Earth?

“I appreciate the help,” Twain said, “but how long do you intend to hide me out? There are things I came here to do.”

“Like what?” she asked.

“Better if you don’t know,” Twain said. “Safer for you.”

[blockquote type=”blockquote_quotes” align=”right”]“K-Killing?” Twain stammered. “I didn’t kill anyone.” “Nevertheless, they are dead.”[/blockquote]“Well, whatever you plan to do will have to wait,” she said. “There’s a manhunt going on right now. We’re no longer in the same village, but it might expand this far.”

“It’s that serious?” Twain asked.

“Killing the Czar’s men carries a heavy penalty,” Yi Fan said.

“K-Killing?” Twain stammered. “I didn’t kill anyone.”

“Nevertheless, they are dead.”

Twain stepped back from her. “Did you kill them?”

“It doesn’t matter who killed them,” Yi Fan said. “Enough people saw you fleeing them that they believe it was you, and trust me, they will not believe you when you say you are innocent.”

Twain leaned back against a workbench. “What have you done to me?”

“Made you safe,” Yi Fan answered. She stepped closer and held her arms out as if to embrace him, but stopped when he flinched back. “No one can connect you to me, and no one will search for you here. They won’t search for more than a couple of days. It’s a small country, and everyone will believe you have fled. It’s what any sane person would do.”

Twain nodded. She made sense, although the talk of murder made it harder to trust her. “Why are you helping me?”

Yi Fan sighed. “Two reasons. Number one, I’m curious about that kung fu you used on those men.”


“Because I’ve seen it before, a long time ago, and I want to know more about it.”

Twain was startled by that. That form was only known to a select few men and women around the globe. She shouldn’t even have recognized it.

“And what’s the second reason?” he asked.

She smiled sadly. “Because you told me you loved me.”

How could this be? I think we all know the answer, but just in case, be here tomorrow to find out if I’m right in our next episode!

To read from the beginning, click here

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