Cap the Knife entered the doorway of his private hut, blocking Mary Ann's escape. For a moment she stood bewildered, parrot-feather featherduster in hand. Then she retreated carefully into a corner, keeping the bed between them.
Cap was one of the Old Ex-President's life-long friends. An ancient man of middle height, he wore his died black hair swept back in a World War Two brillcream cut. Years of dissipation from drugs and alcohol and sadomasochistic sex had creased his fallen face until it looked like a map of Mars etched in decadent brown cowhide. His hard Germanic eyes were like shitstains. In happier times he would have been an SS-Oberstgruppenfuhrer, spreading rapine and death through the East. Born American, he had to settle for Secretary of Defense.
He took a leather riding crop from a peg on the wall. "Well, girly-girl," he said. "Time we got acquainted."
Mary Ann braced herself. As Cap leapt across the bed she broke for the door. He was faster and stronger than he looked. He grabbed her from behind, slapping his crop down on her thigh, licking her face with his dead cold tongue while his wrinkled hands went roving.
With a surge of cold anger she drove her strong heel hard into his brittle ankle. Gripping her duster like a bat she spun around hard, landing her full momentum across his sagging jaw. With a farmgirl's practiced aim she delivered a full-force right-hand uppercut to his sunken nose. For a moment time froze, a stream of Cap's nose-blood suspended curving in mid-air, reflecting the afternoonlight. She ran out the door screaming bloody murder.