Jessica could smell the smoke as her mother’s body smoldered as Andrew and Ricky filled the hole with dirt. She was in Jeb’s lap as he stroked her hair and naked chest. He had done almost everything short of penetration, but Jessica knew that was coming. Her mother died not knowing she was screaming as the flames consumed her, but the sound rang in Jessica’s ears. Ricky walked in staring at Jessica asked, “well are you going to go or what…... I want to get my taste.” Jeb slowly lifted his head trying to look menacing. He said, “ain’t no way you’re getting any of this. This little peach is all mine.” Ricky looked at Jessica’s naked chest then back to the stern determined angry Jeb and asked, “what the fuck? What the fuck? Since when do we not share in the strange?” Jeb licked Jessica’s neck causing her to shiver. He said, “this here is my crew, and you do who and what I say. If you don’t like it, then we can talk outside.” Jeb leaned in and whispered to Jessica, “you are my little underripe peach, and I am going to eat you whole.”
Three days later after another surgery to rebuild her lower left leg, Ana sat in her hospital room half high on pain medication wondering if she could make her way through all that was to come. In the chair next to her bed was Owen who had not left her side since she was found in the desert. Between moments of clarity, Ana described her assailants and using footage from the store the police were able to set out an arrest warrant for the men. The sheriff told his men in person away from the feds and any reporters that, “I don’t want to see these guys walk into a courtroom as much as carried into the morgue.” Sheriff Harrold James wasn’t just the county sheriff he was Sam’s brother and Owen’s uncle. All the deputy sheriffs knew Owen and wanted to bring more than justice for Ana. While the sheriff’s department ran their search, Wendy and the others did their own.
The shop was closed with a good day in sales. Ana went out back to put some trash in a dumpster when something struck her from behind. The lights went dim as pain exploded in her head. She could see flashes of light and what could have been people. She could feel someone taping her hands behind her and carrying her over what hat to be a man’s shoulder. As the world came back into focus, she could see desert camo. The third man from that morning said, “hold on she’s starting to wake.” He struck her across the face putting her lights out. At first, all she could do was take in the scent of body odor, chewing tobacco, beer and some sort of rot. There was also an unbelievable pain. Her hands were taped to some sort of rail. Her face throbbed, and she felt cold as she was raped by the man called Jeb. He whispered into her ear, “who’s the asshole now spick.” His breath was worse than the foulest nastiest vomit covered bathrooms from when she was a maid in her father’s hotel. Jeb spasmed then came inside her. One of the others said, “we’ll need to bury her deep so no one will find her and all that DNA.” Ana’s vision slowly returned, and she saw she was naked and covered in something whitish and sticky. Off in the distance, she could hear someone digging in the sand and packed earth. The third man said, “my turn then we plant her.” Jeb asked her, “I wonder what will grow when we plant you?”
Sam spent the morning cleaning the shop and getting ready for both his reopening and the second of the month sale. He was a supporter of Every Second Matters movement that encourages people to open-carry on the second of every month to remind people that gun ownership is a right and not a privilege provided by the government. Sam had a stainless-steel Wilson Combat 1911 on his hip. The gun had Every 2nd Matters engraved along the slide with burled maple grips. Like everything else in the store, the gun was for sale. As he polished the glass counter, there was a knock at the door, “sorry folks but we don’t open for another hour.” The person knocked again. Sam wanted to say fuck off, but a sale is a sale. He opened the door to find his nephew Owen and a beautiful young girl. Owen asked, “we saw you were reopening and wondered if you could use some help?” Sam hugged Owen then he said, “I can use family more than help.” After a second of thinking about what he said, Sam said, “wait that doesn’t sound right.”
A truck slowly backs up to the back of a warehouse. The doors open, and four men start to unload some small boxes from the back. The men load the boxes into specially built crates with hooks built into the sides and wheels on the bottom. Two more men push the wheeled boxes to the hole where they are hooked into an overhead crane which picks up the box and puts it over a large hole. The box slowly goes down the hole passing by a ladder and manual elevator. Forty feet down the box came to rest on the ground. Four men unhook the box and push it to a table where they opened it and unloaded the boxes. Inside some of the boxes were vacuum-sealed bricks of white powder and the other boxes had the small automatic Mac-10s. The guns were inspected, and the bags were packed into specialty made vests and small duffle bags. Both were then loaded onto a wheeled cart and pushed to the mouth of a tunnel.
Cathy walked into the dark common room with the only light coming from the television which was shining a dim light onto someone on the couch. Jill looked over while trying to stay low on the couch and covered with a blanket. The back of the couch faces out, and Jill was turned around facing Cathy and the kitchen. Trying not to raise her shoulders above the back of the couch she asked, “wow that was a short night. I thought the four of you were going to be out for a while?” Cathy cocked her head at Jill. She said, “Ruth doesn’t drink much, and Alice is still breastfeeding so going out all night doesn’t seem like a good idea.” Cathy took a step closer as Jill ducked down a little. Cathy asked, “are you wearing a shirt?...... are you naked?” Cathy’s eyes went a little wide and asked, “Jeff?” A hand came up from the other side of the couch underneath Jill. Cathy put her hands up and said, “Jill what the fuck?” Jill started to get up stopping and going back down. She said, “it just happened. He was teaching me how to sign, and I was teaching him.” Cathy put up her hand interrupting her saying, “yeah I can see that you're teaching him.” Jill started bouncing up and down as Jeff laughed. As she bounced, she started to laugh. Cathy looked to the door then back to the couch and said, “alright, I guess I don’t have any place to judge but unless you want Ruth to kick your ass you two should take this into your room.” Jill got up off the couch holding their clothing in front of her. She turned to Jeff and said, “come in me if you want to live.”
One month ago,
Luis striped and cleaned an AK47 at a table in what was the local police station. As he worked, he inspected the parts making sure it would work when needed. When he was finished, he moved on to the next one. As he worked on the guns, Jorge taught basic stratagem to the men assigned to guard duty. Both Luis and Jorge join the cartel using their experience with the military and as private security to gain access. Their final payment would be an entrance into America guarding a shipment using their training to cross the desert. A large man with tattoos running up his arms and a thirteen tattooed on his face walked into the room. Tony always looked like he was about to either kill or fall asleep. In most cases, he never had to say a word his presence intimidated people into doing what he wanted. Unlike the others, Tony was neither Mexican or a part of the cartel. He was born in Spain and moved to America where he joined a gang at the age of fourteen. He was there to buy guns and drugs.
The Adobe Motel and Spa was a two-story U-shaped motel built around a courtyard and a place for a pool that was never added. The Motel was built just after NAFTA was signed into law with the idea that a motel would service the trucking community going back and forth between the US and Mexico. When the main route never materialized the motel was rebuilt into what was going to be a spa in the desert. A price friendly option for people that wanted to get away from it all, but the new owner never finished the renovation, and the motel was eventually left abandoned and sold along with a gas station and warehouse complex. Wendy didn’t even know she owned the Motel until she was asked if she would ever reopen it. The motel was a physical landmark as well as a reminder of a policy most people would have liked to forget. The Motel had thirty single rooms and ten staterooms with more than one bedroom. The remodel was to add a spa complex with a restaurant and rooms for saunas and massage treatments, but only the shell was ever finished on the spa with most of the work left to rot. The fire destroyed most of the center of the U taking with it most of the value in the motel.
Three years ago,
Samuel Fernandez sat at his kitchen table staring at an egg white omelet with gluten-free toast wondering if it was worth eating. The cancer was spreading from his lungs, and the doctors wanted him to go north to see a specialist, but Sami made it clear he would never go into that country. He told his son Jorge that the American’s war on drugs was fought to let the white men kill the brown men and keep them in their place. He was proud when his son Jorge joined the army to defend the country from the outsiders even if it meant having to work with the Americans. But right there and then he had this egg-white glob staring at him and an appetite that didn’t want anything to do with it. He could feel the angry and sad stare of his wife Maria as she cooked for their fifteen-year-old daughter Maria and their nine-year-old son Titus. Samuel thought about his children and started to eat wanting to be there for them. He even thought about going to America and seeing those doctors.
Luis parked the truck behind the building so it wouldn’t draw any unwanted attention. The old motel was long abandoned and just far enough away from the road to give them some privacy so they can plan and work. Most of all the old Adobe Motel and Spa offered them a place to sleep. Jorge wanted to knock a wall down in the back so they could pull the truck inside away from view. Luis could see running a place like this back home then he remembered their home was gone and everyone that mattered was dead. They planned on staying in this place for as long as they could or until they were finished. Jorge had two MRE meals ready to eat opened and ready to eat. The American combat rations were made to eat without any kind of cooking source with special packs that heat when water is added. They took as much of this food as they could so they could stay in the field without any unnecessary human contact. Luis pulled Jorge’s head back and kissed him while he slipped the pizza MRE away from Jorge leaving him the chicken and rice. Jorge said, “ass hole.”