Out of Ideas, Out of Time: Chapter 12
A collaborative story
Light. Hurt. Ow. Where? Who? How?
I’ve got my eyes open but I can’t see anything. Pitch black, and a loud, high sound fills my ears. I think I’m in the trunk of a moving car.
I do a quick inventory and find that I got all my limbs, my wallet, and a lump the size of a goose egg on the back of my head. I’ve also got a burble in my stomach that is starting to feel like an old friend. Damn street tacos, I should have known better.
Where the hell am I and what the hell happened to me?
I need to get out of here. I need to find that Fayeth chick. Seems I’m always chasing after this broad.
I need to make a plan.
In a minute. Just need a couple…zzzzz
“Ay, gringo, wake up. Time to vamos!”
I find it takes a whole lot of work to open my eyes. A white heat is beating my eyelids while a big Hispanic guy is smacking my left arm.
“Get out, chancho, you smell terrible. My whole ride reeks like a baño. Now I gotta get one of them piñon smelling chingaderas to hang from my rearview.”
I sit up and try to get my bearings but white reflected light is blinding me and my lids slam shut.
“Are we in the mountains, amigo? Is that snow?”
“Nah, brother, you at White Sands.”
“White Sands. Like, where they touched off that nuclear bomb?”
“I mean, like, a thousand years ago or something but yeah. Get the hell out of my car, end of the ride for you.”
“Wait, where is Karen Fayeth? Where is Edward? Where is George RR?”
“So like, Karen is mi prima, comprende?”
I shook my head no.
“Ay, cabron. My cousin. My first cousin. We’re like brother and sister and I owe her a favor. You found something gold and shiny that belongs to her so she dropped you, son.” He made a punching gesture and the memory was starting to come into focus.
The taco locket. I remember now. I’d brushed off the refried beans and was about to open the locket when it all went dark. The goose egg on back of my head pulsed at the memory. I winced and said, “So she dropped me like a sack of potatoes, but that still doesn’t explain where we are.”
“You was out cold, homie. She asked me to get you out of the way for a minute while she took care of some business. So here you are, way out of the way. Now get out.”
My eyes were starting to adjust and I scanned the horizon. There was nothing but white gypsum sand as far as I could see. Just me and this guy and this car and a whole lot of nothing.
“Oh hell no, I’m not getting out.”
“Get out or I throw you out.”
Well that was suitably convincing. Sitting up again and wrenching my eyes open, I slide both legs out and test my feet. Now standing outside the trunk of this beat-up old Chevy Malibu, my legs are shaking and my head is throbbing to the beat of my heart.
“Hey man, don’t leave me here, I could die.”
“They don’t call it the Jornada del Muerto for nothing, buddy. Here, take this backpack. It’s got some snacks, some water, and some reading material that mi Karrita put in there for you.”
“Karrita? You mean that Fayeth chick?”
“Yeah, man. Look, go for a walk. Take a sit. Meditate or some stuff and think about things. Then read what’s in that bag. You’ll know what to do.”
“What if I die?”
“Pssh, c’mon man, have a little faith. You know? Fayeth?” The big man started laughing, a big braying donkey sound, and punched me so hard in the shoulder I took three steps backward.
Then he got into his cherry-red Malibu, turned over the engine and drove away. He slammed down the accelerator so hard the backend of that hunk of junk fishtailed, leaving a rooster spray of white sand raining down on me.
This case just took another real weird turn…………