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CHAPTER 2 SHORT

CHAPTER TWO
Rouffe and his escort rode back to his father’s walls. They were granite and marred by previous assaults. Smaller stones set within the larger boulders were patches from hurled missiles from catapults. They looked like scabs. Rouffe had been a baby when the last war occurred. They crossed a bridge and entered the gate flanked by two rearing dragons.
Rouffe worried about what his father wanted. He was fourteen and the age when he might be required to make a formidable adventure. One of which many young men had not survived.
They passed under a round vaulted portal. Torches blazed on the walls. Rouffe always felt humbled by this place. This would become his if he lived long enough.
They approached two men who sat on the ground with swords across their knees. “Ha, you got the boy, good work.”
Rouffe and his escort stopped at a wooden door held together by iron bands. Gouges pitted the door. It was more evidence of an assault by an invading force. The door opened with a groan. Armed guards nodded as they entered.
The great hall was lit at the far end by a huge fireplace. Along the walls leading to the flames were captured battle banners, swords of their vanquished enemies and battered pieces of armor.
Roffe saw his father sitting on one side of the burning fire pit. He sat slumped over as if mourning a loss. The baron was not a tall man but he was thick and muscular. His beard was gray was gray and matched his hair in color. His leather shirt was worn and patched. It reminded Rouffe of the man who wore it.
Without looking up he raised his arm. “Sit next to me, we must talk.”
Rouffe bowed slightly and sat. “How are you father?”
“I am well.” He nodded, sighed and grabbed his elbow as if feeling some invisible pain. “This has been a wonderful. No wars and now we have had a wonderful harvest.”
“I watched the fire,” Rouffe said. He rocked his shoulders and smiled at his father. “Everyone was dancing and laughing. They were happy.”
“No more Loup Garoux. But still people are cautious.”
“I have heard he had a son.”
“That is possible.” Choud nodded. “If there is a son he will be hell bent on vengeance.”
“He would be after us.” Rouffe shook his head.
“That’s why I hesitate to ask this.” Choud bowed his head and looked away from Rouffe. “I want you to go to the Outer Mountains and find a All Hallows log.” Choud looked into Rouffe’s eyes and frowned. “People are afraid to go to that haunted area.”
Rouffe nodded, “I will go.”
“It will be good for the people to see and hear the voices when it burns.”
“The voices of the dead.”
“Yes those warriors who were killed around the tree.”
“When it burns the voices will come out?”
“Yes.” Choud gave a slight shudder. “I have heard the voice of your grandfather coming from an All Hallows log.”
“It must have a strong spirit in it.”
“Yes voices of ther dead killed in combat.”
“It sounds scary.”
“Yes and there are still All Hallows logs out there.” Choud leaned back and sighed. “I would like to hear the voices again.”
“This is a task for a true warrior.”
“Yes it is Rouffe, and this is something you must do for me.”

Voices From the Fire.

 

CHAPTER TWO

 

Rouffe followed his friend’s look and turned to look over his shoulder.

 

A solemn man in chain mail who wore a sword stood and studied the young crowd.

Rouffe jerked upright at the solemn countenance of the man.

“Gladsdon, what brings you here?”

“Young master, your father wishes to see you.”

Rouffe knew him as one of the men at arms his father maintained. “I have a horse for you.”

Rouffe nodded and adjusted his cap and followed his father’s man. He nodded to his friends who took on a quiet demeanor.

 

“Oh Rouffe, what have you done now?” One grinned. He could only shrug and shake his head.

 

A Halloween Short

Voices From the Fire

By Wally Runnels




It had been a good burning.

The flames had climbed to the sky in writhing tongues of light. The wooden effigy of Loup Garoux was as tall as a castle tower. It came to life and writhed in the burning inferno. Its torso wobbled in a two-legged dance. The wooden shoulders that supported a wolf’s face and jaws twisted and the head-like structure rose as if it howled. Flames poured outward and flared from the body like a cloak on a windy day.
It had been a year since Chaud Houd, a local baron who lived on a hill surrounded by walls, had killed the creature. The fire was a celebration of the creature’s death. Burning him in effigy was a way to warn his spirit and hopefully keep others away.
Chaud Houd’s son Rouffe had danced around the burning creature with his friends. They reveled in the joy of a good harvest and hoped the valley would have a plentiful year to come. Everyone had clapped and yelled curses at the burning macabre figure. It had been a whole year without the monster killing anyone.
The air was cold crisp and gray smoke filled the air with a sappy pungent odor.
Rouffe danced with merry kicks and laughed with joy. All reveled in thought of the All Hallows celebration that was to come. Flashes and beams of light from the burning effigy fell over Rouffe and his friends.
A man in chain mail who wore a sword stood respectively in front of Rouffe. He jerked upright at the solemn countenance of the man.
“Young master, your father wishes to see you.”
Rouffe knew him as one of the men at arms his father maintained. “I have a horse for you.”
Rouffe nodded and adjusted his cap and followed his father’s man. He nodded to his friends. His friends took on a quiet demeanor. “Oh Rouffe, what have you done now?” He could only shrug and shake his head.
Rouffe and his escort rode back to his father’s walls. They were granite and marred by previous assaults. Smaller stones set within the larger boulders were patches from hurled missiles from catapults. They looked like scabs. Rouffe had been a baby when the last war occurred. They crossed a bridge and entered the gate flanked by two rearing dragons.
Rouffe worried about what his father wanted. He was fourteen and the age when he might be required to make a formidable adventure. One of which many young men had not survived.

Open up the anthology called, The Forsaken. That’s where you’ll find, Mother’s Nature. It’s a shocking tale of discovery and horror.

Hope you get a good nights sleep.

So you want to be a drug smuggler?

So you wonder how drugs are being run across the border into the U.S.? There’s a lot of ways it can happen. Some are delivered by eighteen-wheelers, which open up like a puzzle. Hidden chambers hide various forms of packaging.  Drugs can by carried by people. These carriers are called mules. Drugs are tapped to their body or hidden in private areas of their body.

     Some drugs are hidden in cars that are driven to the port of entry (POE)at the border.

The places of entry can vary. Attempts can be made at a desolate place or a busy port of entry. Some smugglers walk, some drive, some fly over and land on the American side at private airports and try not to be caught. Rarely does anyone drive a radical machine loaded with goods, making noise and dust. The Border Patrol would love to see something like that out of Mad Max.

Most illegal entries are attempted at the port of entry in cars. This is the most common smuggling technique. Their vehicle pulls up to the entry and they are scanned by the guards and sniffed out by drug smelling dogs.

Border Agents are allowed to search without a warrant of probable cause. The attitudes of the vehicle occupants are observed. Are they nervous, offensive, give strange answers or maybe no answers? The border guards have about forty five seconds to determine whether or not the passengers should be detained. If drugs are found then the passengers of the vehicle are detained and the car is taken to an area where it can be thoroughly searched. Sometimes it can be dismantled in a deep search when hidden compartments carrying illegal materials are located.

There’s got to be an easier way to make a living.

My name’s Wally Runnels and I write Border Pulp.

They’re out there. Just don’t be surprised when you see one.

The native Indians in Southern California warned the newly arriving Spaniards of a hairy devil they called Takwis. They had battled with these creatures and eventually ran them into the mountains and the desert.

So now we have the Sasquatch in the mountains and then the Sand Man and the Yucca Man in the desert. Recently there have been sightings in the desert along with run-ins in the mountains.

Edwards Air Force Base in Lancaster, California, has many encounters on the grounds and under the ground in their secret storage chambers. According to a 2009 report a creature with bright blue eyes has been at night on important landing sites. Videos have been made, but are classified and are not approved for public viewing.

The Mexican/American border cuts through vast desert regions. And this is where things start to get strange. This area is hot in the summer and cold in the winter. It’s sandy and in general isolated and home to many strange creatures.

So you’re a Mexican Coyote leading ten to fifteen people to sneak across the border into the United States. It’s night the moon is weak, and there is a slight chill in the air. Out of the black you hear heavy breaths and growling grunts and can faintly see a great hairy creature. You flash your light and you see a massive figure with glowing eyes that are looking at you. 

What do you do? 

Improved deliveries.

These cartel guys are thinking out of the box. Like how do you improve the delivery system? You know, surprise DEA and get your goods in the right hands so you’ll be paid.

Here’s an interesting idea. It’s an air cannon. But how big a load does it shoot? What’s the range, probably just a few feet? Maybe just shoots something over the border wall? How much noise does it make? It’s not very discrete.

How about a catapult? It’s fairly quiet and it can be moved. The English King Edward the First had one. He called his War Wolf, Loupe de Guerre. Disassembled, it took thirty wagons to move. Edward used it one time to destroy a castle. 

Maybe a tunnel is better? Some are almost a mile long. All you got to do is hang some lights, you may need an elevator for the heavy stuff, hook up the air conditioning, and maybe put in a rail track for the carts. Make sure it goes under the border and opens up in some nondescript place. Some tunnels end under some ones bathroom sink.

     The guys can come out of the tunnel and then wash their hands. Those plastic wrapped packages can get pretty dirty. Maybe wear gloves so you don’t leave fingerprints.

Here come these guys pushing carts full of meth, weed, cocaine and some fentanyl. Oh be careful with that stuff there was almost thirty two thousand deaths due to overdosing in 2018.

     These are just some thoughts. Instead of working for a drug cartel, go back to school, get your degree and get a nine to five. That seems to work for a lot of people. 

     Hiding tons of dirt from a tunnel and dragging around a catapult can be a real pain. 

TL REVIEW 8.28.19

Meet Hector Rosales.

 

Rocky was getting nervous.  He wanted to get off the street, so he knocked again. A pretty face appeared in the round window of half-inch glass.  Smiling, she let him in.  The blaring music hit him in the face.  He looked for Captain Roberto Cruz, the entrepreneurial Federale who ran the local drug cartel.

“Thanks, Araceli. The Captain around?”

“No, but there’s Hector.”  She nodded to a table where three men sat.  Groups of rough-looking men sat around other tables.  The place was busy, filled with the aroma of stale beer and tobacco smoke, but quiet — no arguments or fights.

“Thanks, I see him.”  redude

Hector got up to meet Rocky.  He was not short, but stocky with an ample stomach that made him look low to the ground.  He wore spotted khaki pants and a gray Tuna Club T-shirt with a picture of a lady tuna wearing red lipstick.  She had large breasts and stood on her tail; motion lines around her body indicated she jiggled. Hector usually wore a ponytail, but today his unbraided hair hung down his back like fringe.  He maneuvered around shards of broken glass on squeaky huaraches.  Looking down at the floor, he jerked his head toward an old man who danced with a broom.

“Hey Abraham, get your ass over here.  Sweep this mess up, you worthless shit.”

Abraham hustled to the wreckage and swept with a tule-grass broom.

“Hey, que pasa, Rocky.”

“Bueno, Hector, how ’bout you.”

Hector Rosales was owner of the Tuna Club.  He pointed to a bloody spot, ringed in broken glass.  “Abraham, can’t you see that?”

“It went good,” said Rocky, just above a whisper.  “Calles had a printing accident.”

“Cruz’ll be happy to hear that.”

Speaking in a low tone, Hector looked back at a pair of men sitting at the table he’d just left. The younger man Rocky knew as Gabriel, but he didn’t know the fat man in a tan safari suit who was sitting with him.

Hector said, “C’mon. You know Gabriel. I’ll introduce you to his asshole friend.”

Rocky followed and found an empty chair next to Hector.  Rocky had always been wary of Gabriel, a wiseass kid with a temper and a big mouth.

Hector sat back with a sigh.  “And here’s Gabriel,” said Hector with a hint of sarcasm, pointing to a young Mexican in a black Elvis jump suit, hair pulled back in a braid.  “Our intrepid moon-lighting hunting guide.” Hector acted annoyed with Gabriel.

Habitually, Rocky always looked behind him to check his back.  As he did so now, his gaze locked on a young blond. He guessed she stood over six feet – large breasts, late teens and trim.  Must be Hector’s new find.  Rocky had never seen her before.

With a nonchalant twist of her head, she shook her hair, which cascaded in a halo of blond ringlets.  A leather headband lay below her hairline and disappeared back into curls. Light seemed to follow her, inviting attention.  She appeared larger than life.  Rocky guessed she had a spirit that subdued men and made her impossible to forget.  Unaware of being watched, she stared beyond the walls and drank tequila from the bottle.

Rocky nudged Hector and looked at the girl.

To get the rest, look up The In-Ko-Pah Spirit on Amazon Kindle.

The In-Ko-Pah Spirit Cover

TWISTED LOVE first pages.

 TWISTED LOVE

1.

SHE DIGS ARCHAEOLOGY

       2013.  The pervasive wood smoke of Mexico City created an orange midday glow.  Death.  Its challenging presence rode hot thermal wavelets, making the ground quiver.

In the chorizo-flavored heat, Julietta Aguilar hurried along the west foundation of the El Templo Major, dark chestnut hair pulled back into a loose knot that kept time with her stride. Although native to Mexico like many in the dig crews, Julietta Aguilar was U.S. educated. That fact alone had built a wall separating her from locally educated archaeologists  – and from various regional perceptions and sensibilities. But she took these tensions in stride; her mind was focused on the unraveling of the secrets she now walked upon. twisted2

The majesty and scale of the temple where she stood absorbed her every waking moment.  If it meant digging seven days a week to become published, she would.  The Templo Mayor was her muse.

The structure sat on a plaza of flat irregular limestone pavers once tread by Cortez and Montezuma, now a pit fifty feet below the surface of modern Mexico City, eagerly occupied by her and others digging for knowledge and fame.  Around these excavated acres an aggregate of five centuries of civilization rose above her, framing the great hole with colonial and modern structures.

Excited by the prospect of a new discovery, Julietta clambered down eight wooden steps, under an awning and into a cavity littered with exposed bones. Sacrificial victims, the estimate was four hundred.  The scale of death she and her crews discovered continued to awe her.

Looking over the paved mall, its depths not yet explored, she wondered how many more bodies rested under the broad stone mosaic.  Often she envisioned the irregular stony slabs moving, and bony hands reaching through the dirt to pull their skeletal remains free to walk away.  Sometimes their primeval pain seemed to rise from the earth and travel up her body, numbing her senses.

Questions tumbled inside her:  Who were you?  Why did you end like this?