Friday, June 1, 2007

The Hold Up: A Border Saga Part VIII

Gomez heard the door open through his teeth. He flicked off the flashlight and held it like a club. In the temporary sunlight he hid behind a crate full of 1 lb. sealed bags of white powder. Two crates of cocaine, another crate of heroin.

Gomez did not dare to look outward at the unwelcome visitor with his purging sunlight. The shadow cast was lifted off the soil of the earthen floor when the form made headway down the steps leaving only the visage on the far wall and legs on the crates. He knew the arms would reach out for the flashlight and tentacles swabbed the columns seeming to hold the church above from coming down. I say seeming because they were wooden with three sprouts at the top and held in place by concrete ‘neath the addled dirt.

***

Father Thompson had no way to go but down and a narrow down it would be. The flashlight was missing, presumably still in the hands of the trespasser.

He began to speak aloud, enunciated to Homeresque proportions.

Our father which art in heaven. he took the first two steps.

Hallowed be thy name. more steps.

Thy Kingdom Come! His cadence rising in a sun-flare.

Thy will be done in earth. And his masked feet clapped the earth.

As it is in heaven. He walked to the heroin.

Give us this day our daily bread. A finger put into the top package with its slight cut, he tipped the finger to his tongue.

***

Gomez waned in bravado at the offering of the lord’s prayer, he crouched in form and demeanor at the proximity of which the robed man stood.

“And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors.” a sound of melancholy Macbeth in the man’s metronome ticking splashily against the sound of Gomez’s own hammering heart.

“And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.” the man’s footsteps had demured against his voice, a most potent voice.

“For thine is the kingdom. . . And the power. . . And the glory. . . For ever. . . Amen. He pronounced it ‘Ay-men’ Gomez considered this for but a moment, as the berobed figure pounced from the side of the crate at the shocked Gomez.

***

A scrap of meat is not so fiercely fought for between savage, hungry dogs.

Father Thompson tried to pistol whip his unknown invader so as to not have to alert anyone with a gunshot, Gomez swung the flashlight and connected with the attacker on his left eyebrow. A grunt but not a whimper.

Father Thompson brought the butt of the gun down on the man’s head but he ducked and the priest tore a hole in the packages of Cocaine and the fine dust floated in the air, the men unwittingly breathed it in.

Gomez slithered out from under the man and slammed his head into what looked like the hardest part of the crate. All that happened was more powder escaping into the air like a fierce asbestos. Gomez furthered this by punching the man’s ear and into the crate for a second blow.

Father Thompson crashed his formidable elbow into the man’s chest and delivered a second blow into his chin and neck. The man gasped and faltered for a second. It was long enough, Father Thompson reached for his gun in the dirt, somehow it had flown from his hands. At an inch from it, he was able to tap it with his finger when the man began punching him ferociously in the back of the head.

Gomez had the man in a headlock and hammered his large knuckles into the soft spot of his victim’s head.

These men were soundless ‘cepting a grunt of pain every four or five seconds.

Father Thompson reached again and he had the gun by the barrel, he was seeing spots, he felt as though he were about to pass out. He leaned his own head forward and then swung the gun backward into the assailant’s face, he heard the nose bone splinter and felt the man’s grip loosen.

A gush of blood escaped from Gomez’s face, he yelped, spewing more blood. The gun came back again and smashed into his forehead. Gomez unwillingly fell forward on the man’s back, spots of cocaine had gathered in the blood that was now bubbling with Gomez’s wheezes out his nose. Gomez put his shoulder into the back of the man’s head and pushed him into the dirt. His head dipped and bobbed aimlessly.

Father Thompson knew he had weakened the man but when your mouth is full of dirt and your face is threatening to make a fossil record, every victory doesn’t seem as fruitful. He was frantically trying to elbow the man’s ribs. When he felt the man’s head dip sideways into the crate he pushed upward with his body and the man slammed into the crate releasing more dust into the air. Father Thompson pushed again and felt the man’s chin digging into his spine. He jumped outward, spun around and tried to knee the man in the stomach, this didn’t do as much as he hoped.

Gomez reached into the dirt and threw it into the priest’s face. The priest tilted backward, then without warning the crate gave and toppled its contents on the floor and on them.

Father Thompson finally broke the sound barrier when a package hit him in the groin. He blindly felt around for his gun under the strewn packages. Instead he found the bloody man and they grew to their most animalistic. They kicked and punched, they bit, pulled hair, threw elbows as readily as knees, all the while rolling and ripping the cocaine bed.

Gomez put his hand down the priest’s throat and the man bit but went backwards. They punched each other trading wildly. Then the priest, in a adrenaline/cocaine fueled fury bit through Gomez‘s hand to the bone. Gomez lolled backward. He howled. After two seconds he was looking through the barrel of the gun. His wild red eyes had given up.

Breathing hard, they looked each other in the eyes.

***

Gomez went first out of the doors, the gun in his back. He checked to make sure no one was back there. When they cracked the door to the church the air-conditioning shocked them to the bone, the two bloodied men looked at every shut door and limped to the priest’s office as quickly and quietly as they could.

Father Thompson shut and lock the door all the while keeping the gun leveled at the bloody man. He sat Gomez down in the chair across from his desk and looked out the window. Then he turned around and picked up the phone. He dialed the sheriff.

“Robert?” He wheezed, then he snapped. “Put Robert on. (A pause). Robert, this is Father Thompson, just listen. I need you to get down to the church, bring a gun. I just caught a Mexican breaking into the church, he tried to kill me. No, no one else is here. Hurry.”

He hung up the phone, then he smiled a bloody, toothy smile.

“Now we wait.”


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