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Xenophon…#atozchallenge

X2020

“Xenophon,” Evan gestured with his cape, “could not have done better, Rocky.”

“Yes, the Anabasis,” Rocky waved his hand in recognition of Evan’s gesture. “The story of the ten thousand.”

Evan gestured to Homer and Beatrice who now had a new family member. “A gift to you two from Rocky.”

“Oh thank you Rocky.” Bernice cooed and petted the bony canine. “Homer and I are getting married.”

“That’s great, congratulations to both of you.”

“Yes thanks, we’ll call him Bony Mutt.” It was a happy for the couple.

“So Where’s Arango, Rocky?”

“Had to leave him behind. He was attached to the wall.”

“Oh yes, our friends in the bone towers won’t stand for any abuse.”

“The same ting happened to Bone Breaker.”

“Well, Rocky, it seems your work is complete. I think you should go to Mexicali and check on your friend, Hector.”

“Okay, that sounds really good.”

“Then I will see you one last time before I get back to La Rumorosa.”

Why wait? PART 2 #atozchallenge

1badge“Why wait, Arango? Come on.”

Rocky was in the middle between Arango and Bone Breaker. He pulled out his Taurus revolver. It was loaded with forty-five long. Bone Breaker was getting close. Rocky could tell he was just around the corner in the long hall.

“Come and get it amigo,” Arango yelled the challenge at Rocky.

“I can shoot you shoot you just as well from here,” Rocky growled at his quarry.

“Sure, but I got more than this knife,” Arango pulled a small semiautomatic handgun.

“That’s a toy, Arango.” Rocky aimed his pistol at Arango. “You gonna shoot, go ahead.”

Arango backed to the wall behind him. The wall began to scream and howl. Rocky guessed it was one of the walls he had been stabbing. Bony hands and fingers reached out. Rocky saw their intent was not to touch and caress, but to rip and tear.

Arango screamed and fired his weapon into the wall creating a frenzy of deadly clawing wall people. The hands, stripped of flesh began pulling at a screaming Arango. He stabbed with his knife. It was a futile attempt to disengage from the wall of many people. He sat upright held by bony hands and arms. Bones around Arango were covered in his blood. He emptied his pistol and stabbed with his knife again, screaming obscenities and threats. Finally he could no longer move his body or his arms. His eyes widened into round spheres of shock. He was slowly being pulled into the wall, his body cracking, as his bones were broken to fit the tiny aperture he was making. His last sound was a muffled scream.

A hammer hit the wall behind Rocky. Bone Breaker was behind Rocky and close. The malevolent tool was raised in mid stroke. Rocky grabbed it and forced Bone Breaker against wall. Happy murmurs forced the creature’s mouth into s silent scream. Clamping shut as if in pain, teeth flew out at the abrupt closure. Now the skeletal creature was being torn apart by happy bony hands. Bone Breaker’s anatomy was being shattered and by a happy crowd of his tormented companions. A happy mum carried through the tight space. Bone Breaker no longer existed. The only evidence of his being was the rusty hammer that lay on the bone covered passage.

Rocky looked back at Arango, or what was once Arango. Only a smear of torn clothing, shards of meat and blood were the only evidence of his existence. Rocky sat and leaned against the wall and happy hands massaged his weary muscles. “Thank you, my friends,” he said and smiled. His job was done.

Roberto Cruz asked for the job to be nasty. And it was. Rocky wouldn’t go into details but Cruz would gladly pay the price.

Rocky began the laborious move to the entrance. Sighs and laughter and caressing hands followed his progress. “Woof, woof,” came out of the wall to his right. He carefully looked up and down the skeletal fragments. Where is it, he wondered? Then, saw a line of cartilage and hair that wagged. Rocky searched for the collarbone and cautiously pulled at it. Guiding the muzzle through some ribs he carefully got it out.

The bony creature jumped and rattled around Rocky. He rubbed his hand over the bony, hairy back. “Good boy, he said, guessing at the gender.

He followed the bony canine to the opening anticipating the feeling of sunlight on his chilled body.

Now he had to get Hector.

Where’s Arango? PART 1 #atozchallenge

W2020

     “Where’s Arango,” Rocky asked.

“Not here.” And then the thing went back to its work.

“You must be Bone Breaker. You’re not very popular around here.” The moans and groans of the broken bones of his brothers and sisters were too heart rending for Rocky.

It didn’t seem to bother Bone Breaker. “After all, a man has to take care of himself.”

“But not at the hurt of others.” While Rocky was no saint he was shocked at the uncaring destruction of others. Although dead they were a kind of life form.

“You better get out of my house, or I’ll break your bones.”

Rocky pulled his pistol. “Don’t try to deal with me.” Rocky lost interest in the creature, Bone Breaker was not why he was here. He wanted Arango. Rocky moved away and passed Bone Breaker and headed for the end of the tunnel he was in.

“Hey Arango, you got some body coming for you.”

Rocky ignored the call and kept moving. Hands still reached out and touched him. Fingers ran through his hair. The happy murmurs began to rise. Then, there were moans, they seemed like warnings. Arango may have made some friends. Were they warning Rocky or Arango? His quarry may have made some friends.

Here was another corner in the passage. This one turned left and the passage Rocky was in continued on.

Rocky stopped and carefully leaned over, not to expose too much of his head.

There was Arango, illuminated by a flickering candle. Unshaven, his hair was a mess and his clothes were in tatters. His body trembled, he was wild eyed and he held a crucifix. He saw Rocky and made the sign of the cross. “What do you want?”

In his other hand he held a knife and was jabbing and breaking bones that were within his reach. Cries of anguish and hate came out of the walls around Arango. He sat away from the surrounding walls out of range of hands and arms.

Rocky sat in the passage with Arango. He could hear a rattling noise and the pounding thump of the hammer behind him. It had to be Bone Breaker coming to help Arango. Rocky knew he would be in for a two-far.

Oh well.

Visit the Tuna Club (A Momentary Break In the Action) #AtoZChallenge

V2020

 

Modesta

Under a bright hot sun…#atozchallenge

U2020

     Under a bright hot sun they walked two rows over between high piles of bony people. Bone Hump pointed to a dark opening in a large pile they stood in front of.

“That’s sssan ugly hole,” Bone Hag murmured.

“Looks like a tunnel,” Rocky said.

“Made out of crushed dead people,” growled Bone Hump.

“When I go in, will hands reach out and try to grab me?” Rocky asked.

“Yes, I certain,” Bone Hump nodded. “They’ll want you to pull them out.”

“Damn, I guess I got no choice.”

“We’ll be here waiting for you,” Bone Hump nodded his head.

“Yeah, thanks,” Rocky chuckled. He studied the opening. It looked to be about four feet high and three feet wide. Rocky was six feet. He’d have to stoop or go on his hands and knees, which would make his silhouette lower.

He didn’t know how Arango was armed. Rocky assumed he was. Rocky wore Armani sport coat and shirt and black Levis. He dropped to his knees and began the slow journey through the tunnel.

Once inside he cold hear a chorus of murmurs. High and low, some were male and some were female. Somewhere that was a woof, woof greeting from a dog.

Evan had everything down here. The dog melted his   heart. He thought about his pet pack rat, Dewey back at Bankhead Springs.

Bone Hump was right. Hands reached out for him. Bony fingers ran over his clothes and hair. It was as if they wanted to touch something living and warm blooded. Hisses greeted him. Somewhere he heard Armani hissed. A trail of moans followed his progress.

Woof, woof had become a whine and it saddened Rocky. He kept moving moved to a corner and he saw the tunnel continued on. He picked up crunching and cracking sounds from around the corner. He could hear cries of anguish and frightened whispers followed by sobs. He stuck his head around the corner to see the origins of these sounds.

There was a skeleton in bib overalls wearing a hard hat with a light. It broke bones with a small sledge. The light jerked and skittered with its movements. It hovered over freshly broken bones picking them up dropping them like dust. It seemed proud of it endeavors.

It stopped and turned to Rocky. “What are you doing in my houssse,” it hissed.

These just aren’t…#atozchallenge

T2020

“These just aren’t piles of bones?”

“Noss they are actually piles of dead people.”

“And they all want out.”

“Yepsss. Now maybe I can go find my mother.”

“What’s your name?”

“They call me Bone Hump. What’s your woman’s name.”

“This is Bernice.” Rocky said with a gesture.

“No Rocky, Lucille and Evan gave me another name.”

“What is it,” Rocky asked.

“Lucille started it. They call me Bone Hag.

“Lucille is just getting back at you.”

“These names are just to put us down,” said Bone Hump. “My name was Homer Gibson, but now I’m Bone Hump.

“Well Bone Hump, do you know where I might find Arango Mota. He’s hiding in here somewhere.”

“I’ve heard that name,” answered Bone Hump. “Everyone knows what you say around here. All the bones are complete bodies and they want out of the pile. And here I am.” He did a funny little bone man dance.

“Can you help out this man?” asked Bone Hag. “He’s a killer, but he’s very nice.”

“Thanks Bone Hag,” murmured Rocky.

“I hope I didn’t say something wrong.”

“Not as farss as I’m concerned,” hissed Bone Hump.

Rocky had a feeling something was happening between Bone Hag and Bone Hump.

“The body you’ll want to talk to is Bone Breaker.”

“Where is he?”

“Everyone hates him. He made a cave by breaking up skeleton remains. He just tore them apart. Once bones are broken and torn away you can never be whole again.”

“Okay lets go,” Bone Hag urged her new friend. “Rocky needs to find Arango.”

“Bone Hag, can I walk with you?”

“Oh certainly,” she put her arm under his and they walked away side by side.

There’s something for everyone, Rocky thought. He rubbed his Buddha and his pistol and began to feel really good.

Shoot Me Dead…#atozchallenge

S2020

     “Shoot me dead, Bernice,” Rocky laughed in surprise. ”You snuck up on me.”

“I’m quieter now, because I’m dead.”

“That makes sense.”

“Even told me to help you and give your support if you needed it.”

“Evan is an interesting guy.”

“He likes you. You give him a lot of work.”

Like old friends they walked down a lane between piles of bones. Some lay in their path, fallen from the higher mounds. They were careful not to step on these wayward fragments.

Occasionally they would see a walking skeleton. It’s clothes hanging in scraps. “You see that?” asked Rocky.

“Even told mess we would seess such things,” Bernice hissed a little. Her change was near completion. “They don’t want to be dead and they don’t want to be alive. Even said sometimes it takes centuries to decide.”

“Are they dangerous?”

“Yesss, because they’re angriesss.”

“Then they were never happy,” Rocky commented.

“Who’s Julius Caesar?”

“A great general and emperor of Rome, very long ago.”

“Evan told messs he still walksss in the streets of Bone.”

“I think you mean Rome.”

“Whatever,” Bernice shrugged her shoulders and rattled.

“You seem happy.”

“I’m okay. I just wish I were alive.”

“Where do you think Arango is?”

“Where he can hide and if possible put up a fight.”

They turned into a corridor that headed north. His eyes darted back and forth looking for possibilities. Arango might be dug inside one of these bone piles.

Something touched his shoulder. He had bumped into a pile and a bony hand had his shoulder. He spun and pulled out a complete skeleton.

“I’m free, I’m free at last I’m free,” it screamed.

Rocky thought he had even seen a possible smile.

Pulling out his gun he was about to fire.

“Hey pal, you can’t kill me, I’m already dead. Ha, ha, ha.”

“Just keep back,” Rocky said.

“No problem, I owe you.”

Rocky…#atozchallenge

Rocky R2020

     “Rocky, don’t disappoint me.” The man in black with the cape held Ricky’s arm and smiled.

“Who are you,” Rocky asked.

“Evangels, I’m an avenging angel from below. I deal with the nefarious humans you send to us.”

“If this is true those guys needed to be sent to you.”

“That’s true. We are actually old friends and you have kept me pretty busy.”

“I’m sorry then.”

“No, no it’s been a good busy.”

“It’s not really in my nature to do what I do.”

“I understand. Your consideration of others is very commendable. But in your work you cannot have a considering option.”

“No, that’s true.”

“So go now and give me Arrange. And please, you may just call me Evan.” He gestured with his hands, signaling Rocky to leave.

Rocky turned and looked over the area. Dirt lanes bordered high piles of bones. Human rubble was everywhere. Past lives were piled in high white monuments. Even though Rocky was used to death it was disheartening. He heard a quiet rustle and rattle behind him.

 

Quirky…#atozchallenge

Q2020

     Quirky as Bernice was she apparently had a plan. She was as entertaining to Rocky as she was dangerous. She danced around holding the shotgun as if it were a human partner. Her dress was speckled with her drool.

Rocky leaned back on the fence and wondered what was happening on the other side.

It had gotten quiet. Suddenly a gunshot broke the quiet. “Ohhh yeah,” a male voice yelled.

“I’m going in there Lucille might have shot Arango and I want to do that.” Bernice bristled with frustration. She raised her gun and blew away the clasping hands that held the gate shut.

Rocky still leaned against the wall rubbing his Buddha to maintain in spite of Bernice’s insanity. “Go ahead, Bernice and make a mess of things.”

“How would I do that?”

“You haven’t see Lucille lately, have you?”

“That’s okay when I see her I got this.”

“But she’s already dead. How is that going to improve your situation?”

“I’ll find that out when I find her, screamed Bernice.”

Bernice ran through the gate yelling and shooting. The shotgun was a double barrel rig. That was her last shot. Rocky hope she didn’t bring any extra rounds.

Rocky felt he better get in there. He ran through the gate. He could see no one. A semi stood at the entrance. It carried a carried a big horn skull and horns in the grill. Hair was still on the skull. Not a very good tanning job. Still running he turned around the end of the rig’s trailer and saw Bernice trying to load her weapon She had the barrel broken open but was fumbling with the loads. She dropped one and Lucille had her by the hair and was spinning Bernice around.

“You killed me once, but not again, you bitch.”

Bernice screamed and dropped her weapon, shocked at what she saw Lucille had become.

“I was beautiful and look what you’ve made become.”

“I’m gonna do the same to you, sweetheart.”

Rocky ran and was going to help Lucille.

“Stay away Rocky, she’s mine. I’ll deal with her.”

They fell to the ground kicking and scratching. Bernice’s face was molded in shock. She squirmed and rolled with Lucille in a futile frenzy. “Go find Arango and kill him. That will bring him to me.”

A figure in black appeared behind the couple. It looked like a priest, but wore a black cape. Was this the devil Hector was talking about? He moved around the women like a dancer in a ballet.

Lucille jabbed her clawed hand inside Bernice’s chest.

Bernice squealed and arched back in pain. “Die, my lovely, die.” Lucille seemed to purr out the words. “I welcome you to your new world.”

The black figure glided to the prone ladies and laid his cape over them, quickly lifting it away.

“Rocky, my friend, because you have provided many recruitment opportunities, would you like to join them?”

“Not really. Not sure who you are? One of his angels?”

“No, I am the one you serve. I am the master of your seeking and finding, killing profession.”

“Thank you, but no”

“Then find Arango for me and I will owe you a future favor.”

“I’ll find him.”

“Good because he’s the only one I will trade for Hector.”

Please… #atozchallenge

P2020

“Please listen to me, Arongo,” the female voice pleaded.

Rocky sat back and listened to the conversation on the other side of the wall. The lady was in love.

“I will, you know I will,” the male voice argued.

“When.”

“Maybe sooner than you think, I have a feeling.”

“Rocky?”

“Not sure.”

Rocky looked in the distance toward town. A flash of pink disappeared behind a building. Was that Bernice? His eyes moved back and forth trying to get a complete picture.

The pink appeared again and Rocky knew it was Bernice. He never locked his truck. Maybe he should start doing that.

Because of his reputation in Mexicali people were afraid to steal from him. The saying was: don’t fuck with the man in black or he’ll eat ya like a snack. It held an underlying meaning that Rocky didn’t want to think about.

Bernice carried the shotgun. Rocky wondered if it was for Arango or himself. He didn’t want to kill her, but for Hector, he would if he had too. Saving Hector from the Dead Truckers was top of mind for Rocky.

Bernice was getting close and she was a mess. Her pink dress was soiled and spotted; the fabric was ripped and hung off her like dead skin. Every thing about her looked decayed. Her hair hung everywhere. She had been crying. Her eyes were black rings of mascara. Blotched skin smeared her face. Her hands looked like claws. She reminded Rocky a little of Lucille.

She moved at a rapid pace and she swung the weapon to the cadence of her gait.

She held Rocky in a state of awe. “You make me think I should lock my truck.”

“Wouldn’t have mattered, I’d just broke a window.”

“Glad you didn’t.”

“I know where Arango is, for sure. Just let me kill him and you and I will be fine.”

“Can’t let you do that. That’s my job.”

“I’ll save you the trouble.’

“Right now he’s working something out with some woman. You may know her.”

“That’s why I’m gonna kill him and her.”

“I think you already have.”

“What.”

“Killed her.”

“Who.”

“Lucille. At least that’s what I’m picking up.”

“She’s here?” A look of fear covered Bernice’s face.

“Is that you, Lucille?” Rocky yelled.

“Yes, Rocky.”

“How’s my pal, Hector?”

“He’s fine, he offered one of my girls a job.”

“You know what he’d want her to do?”

“Yes. She didn’t like it and that’s what got her killed.”

“That you, Lucille,” screamed Bernice. “I’m sorry I did you.”

“I doubt that, Bernice.”

“You took my Arango from me.”

“You never had him, sweetheart,” Lucille chucked.

“I’ll kill you both for that.”

“You can’t do that Bernice. I need Arango to trade for my friend.”

“Know all that, but I want Arango.”

“You kill him I’ll have no one to trade but you.”

“So what do you want me to do?”

“Put down the gun.”

“No I won’t do that. I can see I may have to kill you.”