Friday, May 25, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga Part V

The morning cracked slowly over Holden. There were no people mulling over the farmer’s market and no one minding it. A dusty, tired man was creaking his bones in a slow walking motion that was supposed to take him to this town but he didn’t know that yet. When he came to the abandoned farmer’s market he did a quick look up and down the street, he tried picking the lock with no luck.

He walked around the building and found a concrete block, he carried it back to the locked door. He hoisted the block above his head with both hands and swung down. The lock scratched but didn’t break, he repeatedly hit the lock until it broke, about seven swings. He tossed the block aside and opened the door.

When he walked in the market he was happily surprised to find it air-conditioned. Many markets just killed the air at night and hoped that the desert air would keep the place cold enough to keep the fruits and vegetables from dry-rotting. He breathed deep and took in all of the intoxicating scents that intermingled ’til they all conglomerated into one long memory. There are few things that will put your mind in a tilt-a-whirl like the scents of the past.

He walked toward the Piñon nuts and ate a handful, then he stuffed a couple of handfuls into his pockets, he walked toward the red potatoes and grabbed a red apple on the way, he stuffed a potato into his left pocket.

***

A dusty pickup truck rolled toward the farmer’s market.

Behind the wheel sat a clean-shaven man in his mid-fifties, in the passenger seat sat his wife, her silver hair pulled back into a pony-tail, you could tell she had been beautiful in her youth.

She looked over at her husband and smiled exactly how you’d imagine her to smile. Knowingly, lovingly, the most trusting eyes that crinkled around the ends. They’d been through everything you’d never know.

The truck bustled into its usual spot and they both got out of the truck, he saw the busted lock first.

“Get back in the truck.” he said. She obeyed.

He grabbed a shotgun from under the truck seat and walked back to the door. She watched the precarious situation. Then he disappeared into the door.

***

“Stop right there.” the man said loudly in no uncertain terms as he cocked the gun. Gomez dropped the homemade salsa from his hands. It shattered and salsa splashed onto his shoes and jeans.

The potato in his pocket suddenly became heavier than god. He turned slowly and in the curious darkness he was staring a ten-gauge shotgun down the barrel. There was no god here.

“Put your damn hands up.”


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