The following scene happens after Max and his motley crew catch up with Lila and her best friend, Cynthia. They’re in a secluded swampy-pond area in the Florida backwoods.
Cockroach flipped out a Butterfly knife. “I’m going to use my favorite knife on you.” He drew air pictures with it, his lips pressing down on his tongue.
“I’m going to the truck now.” Coon muttered from behind.
Max shoved me forward. “All you had to do was act like you loved me. That’s all. You took a vow for better or worse, woman.” He pushed me again. I tripped over something sticking out of the mud and fell to my knees.
The black birds and the Cardinal chattered in a frenzy.
“Why’d you have to run from me? Why’d you spray that shit in my eyes? Why’d you steal my car?” His voice got louder and angrier with each question. “Why, woman?” He grabbed the hair at my nape where he butted me with the gun, pulling me up to my feet. “Why are you going to make me kill you, baby doll.”
The birds in the tree went silent again, their wings resting at their sides. A million bird eyes watched us all. Waiting.
Hair raised on the back of my arms and the scent of rosewater filled my nose.