It was just over the border on the U.S. side. A little town that yawned out onto a stretch of desert that looked the same on both sides of the fence. The brush low and harsh with spikes and in early summer, large purple flowers. As he walked he plucked a single bloom for her hair.
She waited until the romance of midnight, watching the moonlight paint long cactus shadows on the ground. Her first wall was the easiest. She leaned out the window and landed in a somersault in the back yard. She stepped quietly around the cans and boxes scattered like sentinels. She ducked behind the shell of an old Chevy, once her playhouse, now sitting like a crab with open door pincers reaching out to catch her, eat her up.
He went up to the fencing and squatted, shifted his gun to his side. He pulled at the wires, his fingers finding the patch and lifting it free.
She felt so unglamorous, glad he couldn’t see her for she ran like a spider, this way and that, hopping in places where dark shapes warned. Something snapped in the night to her left.
In the morning the sun rose on both sides of the border. A young woman lay just out of its reach. As the sun burned her skin and the sand grains blew in to caress her, a purple flower wilted in the hole of a fence three hundred yards away.