Danni California: Part 6

Continued from Part 5, here.
Start the story here.

* * *

The next Monday, Danni wasn’t at the construction site.
Most of the workers didn’t even notice the absence of the young, slim girl who had counted herself among their number.  The foreman noticed, but only in the vaguely annoyed sense that he would have to go round up another worker to replace her.  It wouldn’t be hard to find someone else desperate for money, but it still took effort, and it still annoyed the foreman.
James noticed, however…
He bobbed up and down through the breakfast line, trying to see if he had somehow missed her, had passed her.  After a few passes, however, he concluded that she was nowhere to be found.  There was no way that he could miss her big shock of flame-red hair.
Should he hope that she would turn up, or should he go looking for her?  James decided that the paycheck was more important than why his friend had decided to play hookey, but he kept his eyes peeled all day.  
Yet still, there was no sign of Danni.
As soon as the day was over, he dashed back down to the makeshift barracks that the workers called home.  Where in the world could she be?
When he entered, however, he spotted movement over by her bunk.  Someone was digging through her things, someone wearing a cloak and cowl to conceal their identity!  
“Hey!” James shouted, running over towards the hooded figure even as he was uncomfortably aware of the fact that he didn’t have a weapon of any sort.  “What the hell do you think you’re doing?  Get away from that stuff!”
“James?” came the voice from under the hood – and as the figure stood up and turned to face him, he saw Danni’s face staring back at him in surprise!
He skidded to a stop, barely keeping from colliding with the girl.  “Danni!  Where’ve you been?  You missed work!  You’re gonna get fired!”
“Let them!” the girl shot back, reaching down for a small canvas bag at her feet.  She pulled it up, undid the latch holding it closed, and flipped it around so that James could see the contents.
He stared.
The bag was stuffed with cash, more cash than he had ever seen in his life!  There were stacks upon stacks of bills, wrinkled but bound together with paper bands.  The denominations printed on the faces of the bills varied, but there were ones, fives, tens, and James was fairly certain that he saw at least one stack of hundreds!
Hundred dollar bills!  The young man couldn’t even imagine a hundred dollars.
“Wh-wha?” he managed, trying to find the words to express his incredulity.
Danni grinned at him, the cheeky, irrepressible grin that he recognized.  She reached down into the bag, carelessly shoving some of the bills aside as her fingers quested for something heavier, something towards the bottom.
She pulled out the piece of heavy metal, the muscles in her slim arms tensing as they held it up.  “Remember how you said that all the money’s tied up in banks?” she asked, as James stared at the object in her hands with a mixture of awe and horror.  “Well, I robbed one!”
James couldn’t even speak.  He just shook his head back and forth, staring at the huge, glinting metal weapon in Danni’s hands.
“Like it?  I stole it off the foreman,” she commented, taking his silence as admiration.  “A forty five, I think.  It’s huge!  I just waved it at the bankers, and they all shut up and did what I told them!”
After another moment, the young man licked his dry lips.  “Danni, you’re gonna get killed,” he whispered.
But the girl shook her head fiercely, errant strands of her red hair escaping from beneath the hood.  “No!  Come on, you and me – we can finally get out of here, can go actually do real things, live real lives!” she insisted.  She shoved the gun back into the bag amid the stacks of cash, and reached out to put her hand on James’s shoulder.  
“And I want you to come with me,” she finished.  “But we gotta go now!  Come on!”
Even if he had wanted to resist, the young man never stood a chance against Danni’s reckless, youthful determination.  But he did manage to ask a question as he was tugged out the door.
“Where are we goin’?” he managed to ask, before all his breath had to be devoted to running to keep up with the girl.
“North,” came the answer.  “That’s where all them folks with money are, right?  Well, we’re gonna go change that!”
An hour later, the local constabulary came bursting into the barracks, guns drawn.  But by that point, Danni and her friend were long gone.
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