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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Zen was in…#atozchallenge

Z2020

Zen was in the top of Rocky’s mind. Lately he hadn’t had enough time to meditate. He was slightly anxious and a little apprehensive.

He stood at the door and wondered if he should knock. He did and gave it three raps.

“Come in Rocky,” crooned an enticing voice.

He opened the door and stared at the naked beauty of Lucille. There could be no mistake even though she stood as a fleshed out woman. “You’re more gorgeous than I ever imagined.”

“And you’re more man that I could ever hope to have.”

“How much time do we have?”

“I’ll be dead at sunrise.”

“Jesus, then your back to La Rumorosa?”

“But Evan gave us this moment to be together. He can be nice when he wants to be.”

“He’s an interesting guy. Even though he works for

the …”

“Don’t say it. We always refer to him as the boos of the master.”

“We don’t have a lot of time, Lucille.”

“It’s sad, because I have so much love for you.”

“I want to know more about you.”

“Let me undress you.” She moved closer to Rocky. Their bodies touched, and she began to remove his clothes. “Evan says you read. I don’t know how.”

“He threw Xenophon at me, an ancient Greek mercenary and writer.”

“Most of the guys I slept with couldn’t read.”

“If we had more time I could teach you.”

“We must make time for other things.” Lucille pulled Rocky to her and they became one.

**

     Rocky rolled over crazy angry he had fallen asleep. Light was coming through the window and Lucille was gone. He horridly dressed and ran down stairs. The Tuna Club was empty. Tables and chairs were overturned and shattered glass lay around the floor.

With a quick glance he ran to the front door and saw three eighteen wheeler semis parked out front. On the center truck was a coffin secured with tie downs. Idling the exhaust stacks filled the air with a hellish Diesel smell.

The smell of brimstone turned Rocky around to face Evan. “Well Rocky you have had a busy night.” He made the comment with a straight face.

“It was wonderful, thank you. Among other things, we talked.”

“You could leave your world.”

“I don’t think I ready yet.”

“People always say that.”

“Is she in the coffin?” Rocky gestured to the middle truck.

“Yes, it’s a nice escort for a lovely woman.”

“I agree.”

“I understand you drink coffee.”

“It’s my favorite drink.”

“Let me make you a cup of my master’s coffee.”

“He drinks coffee?”

“As long as it’s scalding hot.”

“That figures.”

“You drink your coffee Cowboy style.”

“Yes.”

Evan produced a white metal battered pot that had burn marks and a smoke colored bottom. It looked familiar to Rocky.

“Yes that’s your pot, I’m just borrowing it.” Even produced a crystal skull and from the left eye poured coffee into the pot. From the right eye he poured water. He set Rocky’s pot on stones that were gathered around a small fire filled with red coals. The water boiled immediately.

“What you must understand is that drinking this coffee is like committing a sin. ”Evan poured a black arc into a cup and handed it to Rocky. He held the cup in his bare hands and it was painfully hot.

“Drink it, Rocky. It’s hot but you can handle it.”

Rocky pressed the cup rim to his lips and drank. It was hot but not terrible. He drank more. Wonderful pictures of victories he had had, women, Lucille and great devilish experiences with Hector ran through his mind. It was euphoric. He closed his eyes to savor the sinful moment.

Then terrible pain came as the brew ran down his insides. Pain and more pain ran through his body. He fell to his knees and moaned at the jarring anguish he felt.

“Ha, ha, ha. At first you felt the joy of your sins. It was wonderful and fulfilling. But then comes the retribution of your waywardness, which, by the way, we love you for.”

“That was hell,” moaned Rocky.

“We’ll be in touch,” cackled Evan.

Yikes! #atozchallenge

Y2020

Yikes, Rocky was excited to be getting back to Mexicali. He’d be that much closer to Bankhead Springs.

He had the truck at ninety when a police car came up and flashed his lights. He pulled up next to Rocky and a look of recognition lit his face. He waved and passed Rocky the lights still going. Rocky had forgotten the guy’s name. He was likeable and easy going. His sister was going into a nunnery.

Finally he made Mexicali. It was changing. Dirt streets were getting scarce. It was becoming a technical center for water and power. The buildings were getting taller and there were more suits and Mercedes downtown.

The Tuna club was still on the outskirts of Mexicali and the street was still dirt. Rocky pulled up to the front of the club and got out of the pickup. The club was still shabby and raucous, but Rocky rather liked it.

He walked through the front door and saw Hector sitting with the girls. Araceli saw him first and jumped up and gave Rocky a hug. “Rocky we were worried about you.”

“It was a close one, Ari.”

“You saved Hector’s ass. Cruz came in screaming where’s that asshole Hector Rosales.”

“He would.”

“We all gave him shit for talking that way.”

“He can be a real jerk sometimes,” said Rocky.

“He just laughed and turned away and walked out. He’s got two new Indians now.”

“They got names?”

“Yeah, Mauser and Ka-Bar.”

“Marked up?”

“Yeah scars and tats. One got his tongue tatted up.”

“Rocky, Rocky, amigo, your got me out man.” Hector screamed. “Heard you went through hell.”

“Evan may take me there himself.”

“He’s a sinister fucker, he runs La Rumorosa.”

“He runs most everything.”

“By the way he’s got a surprise for you.”

“Wonder what that would be?”

“Go upstairs. It’s the room at the end of the hall.”

“Rocky had a concerned look on his face.”

Hector grinned and winked.

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.”

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.

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.”

Outcomes…#atozchallenge

O2020

 

Outcomes like this were not unusual for Rocky. He had just killed a man, but he was more concerned about getting something to eat. The air was fresh and clear. There were no food smells. No tortillas, eggs bacon, no carne asada, beans, nothing. His stomach growled. He hadn’t eaten since he left Hector and this was day two. The only scent was the dry acid odor of sage. He was walking out of buildings and looking at grassy, bushy, boulder strewn open hills.

He reached a high wall compound that did not appear to be a building, but consisted only of thick wooden walls. He reached an opening wide enough for a truck to pass through. The door opened in two halves, which were held together by two bony arms in a clinch-fisted grasp. It was a dead man’s grip that reminded Rocky of the Dead Truckers in the La Rumorosa Mountains.

On each side every wall appeared to be about fifty yards long. The ground around the structure was clean. There were no rocks, grass, brush and it looked cultivated by a furrow. It was flat clean earth.

Rocky spent time inspecting the structure, he pushed pulled and found nothing that would provide a way in. It appeared solid. He looked and listened.

Finally he sat down and leaned back against the rough timbers. What was inside was still a mystery. He thought he heard arguing voices between a man and a woman. At first the conversation was distant, but now was getting louder. They were walking inside the walls and approaching where he was sitting.

“Can’t talk about Lalo,” he killed Lalo. “He was the door for my recruits,” The womans voice was filled with frustration. Rocky dropped him in the grinding stones.”

“What about his people, what did they do?”

“Nothing, they were stupefied with the bone syrup.”

“I hear Rocky is good,” said the male voice. “He’s after me. I’m a little nervous.”

“If he got you, then you could come to me.”

“You know I will, but I’m not ready now.”

“You don’t say that when we’re making love.”

“That’s because I’m only thinking of you.”

There was a feminine sigh.

“What about Beatrice? Have you any thoughts of revenge?”

“Yes, but that may take some time.”

“Did Lalo say where I was?” The male voice sounded nervous.

On the other side of the wall Rocky was guessing who they were. But where was Beatrice? Arongo was just a job. But Beatrice had an insane edge of sinister. And Rocky knew she was dangerous.

“Not that I know of,” said the feminine voice. But that doesn’t mean he doesn’t know.”