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Saturday, November 30, 2013

Safe House


An Important Notice to Readers...


     Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience.  Please be advised.


Thank You,


   The Author



Safe house

   
     With a full belly, and the exhaustion of the day settling in, it wasn't difficult to doze off in the quiet of the car, and the blandness of the scenery.  So when the movement of the vehicle came to a sudden halt, and Maureen opened her eyes, she was shocked to find herself surrounded on all sides by inky darkness, and without a single clue as to where they were.

       Next to her, Ted's face was reflected in the light from his smart phone, as he checked their destination against the coordinates on the screen.  Satisfied, he closed the app, and slid the phone back in his pocket.  "Glad you're awake, Sleeping Beauty.  We're here."

       "Here?  Where's here?  I can't see a single thing."  She peered through the window, squinting her eyes to adjust to the blackness.  "Except for that building over there.  The mud one."

         Without answering, Beckett left the car to come around, and open the door on her side.  Taking his offered hand, she slipped out of the seat, and joined him.  The night air was several degrees lower in temperature, and she shuddered, both from the cool air, and growing apprehension.  She wasn't a fan of the dark.  Never had been.  And this was, without question, the darkest dark she'd been exposed to in a very long time.

        As a kid, her friends had all been Girl Scouts.  It was the thing to do, and so, not wanting to be left out, or thought weird, she too had joined.  The early days were fine, existing mainly of weekly meetings, crafty projects, and the yearly cookie selling.  All things she heartily excelled at.  But then she had turned 11, and the "club" like atmosphere moved to the outdoors.  The first planned camping trip had filled her with absolute dread, and though she begged to be allowed to skip it, her parents had insisted the experience would be good for her.  She could garnish no sympathy from her siblings, except for Kevin, who knew very well that she slept every evening with a Miss Kitty night light securely plugged into the outlet next to her bed.

       In his compassion, he had purchased for her a sturdy flashlight, and several D batteries, from the local hardware store in the neighborhood, with the suggestion that she leave it on all night in her sleeping bag.  The first evening out, his idea worked like a charm, much to the annoyance of her tent mates, who complained that they could see the light pouring from the top of the bag.  She had tried all types of ways to dim the brightness, but her fear over rode the complaints of her friends, and the beacon stayed glowing the entire eight hours.  It was no surprise, therefore, when the fore mentioned flashlight went missing from her knapsack the following day.  Despite a stern lecture from the Troop leader, the  safety net remained gone, with not a soul admitting to filching it.

        She had spent that night lying in her sleeping bag, eyes wide open, teeth clamped in sheer mortal terror, listening to the breathing of her mates, and a myriad of strange noises outside the tent.  The following morning, she had phoned home, crying and pleading for someone to come pick her up, promising everlasting gratitude and a laundry list of additional chores.  Eventually, her tears moved her father, as they often did.  He made the four round-trip to bring her home, and her tenure as a Girl Scout was officially over.  But not her fear of the dark, which she carried all through high school, and into college, choosing room mates who didn't mind leaving a light, or the television, running 24/7.  Even with Ted, she'd leave on the tiny bulb over the stove, and if he had noticed, he had never mentioned it.  Now, standing here wrapped in layers of nothingness, it was an issue.

        Grabbing for her hand, Ted moved toward the building, but stopped when she stayed firmly rooted in place.  Arching an eyebrow, he let go of her hand.  "What's wrong, baby?  I know things have been kinda crazy, but I'll make it up to you.  You'll see.  It'll be like our own romantic get away. Promise."  He reached out and wrapped an arm around her, and noticed her chattering teeth.  "Are you cold?  I can get the beach jacket from the back seat."

       She shook her head, too embarrassed to look him in the eye.  "It's not the cold.  It's...I'm...it's the dark.  I don't...like when it's pitch dark.  Kinda freaks me out."

        There was a grunt, and without commenting, he slid the cell phone out of his pocket, and tapping the screen, brought up an app that produced a beam of bright light.  "See. No problem.  We have a flashlight.  Would you like to hold it?"

        She nodded, and handing her the phone, they walked the few feet to the low porch of the building.  The house was made of clay adobe, the walls rough stucco with timber trim.  The door was strangely unlocked, and slightly opened, but it gave Beckett no pause, and when his wife hesitated, he lifted her up and drew her over the threshold, then placed her upright in the center of a large room.  Using the phone, she swung the beam of light over the area around her, getting some sense of the room's layout.
                     
A look inside
        To the left was a round stone fire place, called a kiva, if she remembered correctly from Spanish class.  Adjacent to the kiva, there stood a large, wooden four post bed, charmingly rustic, and currently stripped of its bedding.  She pointed the phone across the room, noticing a small sink area, set with cabinets and a large cupboard, and surrounded by woven furniture set with brightly patterned cushions.  To the back of the building there was a steep set of stairs leading upward, and to its left, an arched, curtained doorway she desperately hoped was a bathroom.

          Even in the dark, the room seemed comfortably cozy, and Maureen felt along the walls for a light switch.  When she could feel no such thing, she turned to her husband.  "Please tell me this place has electricity."

          Shaking his head, he replied, "Nope.  No electricity.  Running water and a propane stove, but no electricity.  Not a problem.  I believe that's what those lamps are for on the table."  Before he could reach the table to light one, there was a sound from behind them, and voice filtered out from the dark behind the threshold.

           "Hands up, my friends.  Nice and high where I can see them."

            Standing next to him, Maureen could feel Ted stiffen, but watched as he raised his hands, and urged her to do the same.

            "Now turn around.  Slowly.  And keep those hands just as they are."  The portly man held a pistol in one hand, and shone a flashlight into their faces with the other.  Once satisfied, he slid the gun into his waistband, and put the flashlight down on the table next to the door.  Sticking out a hand, he replied, "It is you, amigo.  Sorry.  I needed to be sure."

            Maureen watched as her husband grasped the man's hand, and then patted him roughly on the back.

            "Baby, this is an old friend of mine...Alberto Arroyo. "

            The man took Maureen's hand, and pumped it vigorously.  "Buenas noches, Senora.  Congratulations on your marriage.  I don't think I'd live long enough to see my amigo here take a bride. But I can see why he was moved to do so."  The man smiled widely, showing off a prominent gap where one's front teeth should be.

             Confused as to why she was exchanging greetings with a man who only seconds ago held a gun to their backs, Maureen could only muster a quiet "thank you".  Then the man was scurrying about the room, dusting things off as he went, and chattering amicably.

            "I am sorry for the state of your lodgings, Colonel.  There was not much advance notice. I brought what I could for tonight, but I will be back tomorrow with additional supplies.  The message didn't say how long you were staying.  Do you have an extraction date as of yet?"

             Stretching out across the padded sofa, Beckett shook his head.  "No, not yet.  I expect I'll hear something within the next 48 hours or so.  Until then, I'm afraid we burden your hospitality, Alberto."

         "Is no burden, Colonel.  None at all.  I owe you a debt I can not repay in this lifetime.  Anything I can do for you, my friend, I will do gladly.  I have a few things in the truck...some groceries, some bedding, extra candles.  But I will be back first thing in the morning."  He turned toward Maureen, who still stood dumbfounded in the center of the room.  "I will do my best to make this a sweet place for love, Senora"  He gave her a wink, and for first time in her life, Maureen was glad for the lack of lighting, if only to hide the embarrassment and anger spreading across her face. "Now... if you'll excuse me for a moment, I will bring in the supplies from my truck."

       Maureen waited for the man to be out of hearing range, and then tore into her husband, who didn't seem in the least bit upset over the situation they found themselves in.  "Just what the hell is going on here, Ted?  You don't actually expect me to stay in this...this place, do you?  Why can't we just check into another resort.  Better yet...why don't we just forget this whole friggn' nightmare you call a honeymoon, and go home?  I've had just about enough of your idea of 'romantic'."

      Opening one eye, Beckett sighed, and sat upright.  "I understand your anger, baby.  And I'm sorry. This wasn't the way it was supposed to be.  Shit happens.  We'll have to make the best of it.  In a few days, someone we'll come get us, and we'll be on our way home.  I promise."

      "A few days?  No frickn' way!  I'm not staying here a single night, do you understand me?  Not one solitary, stinkin' day.  And if you won't come...then I'll...I'll go myself.  I'm not kidding.  I'll take that car, and drive to the nearest airport, and fly home.  All by myself. "

       Ted made a face, and then cheerfully asked, "And just how do you propose to board any such plane without a passport?"

        Stumped for a second, Moe narrowed her eyes, then explained, "I'll find the US Consulate.  Explain everything.  They'll help me."

        "Hmmm...just how will you explain entering the country illegally under a false name?  They arrest people for that.  And don't forget...you're a wanted fugitive in Tulum.  That Sheriff didn't strike me as all that understanding."

         "I don't care.  I'll handle it myself.  I'm perfectly capable, you know.  I don't need a thing from you.  Besides, this all your fault.  Every bit of it.  If you had come to the beach with me, none of this would have happened.  You would have explained to the man with the silver that he can't cheat us just because we're Americans.  Instead, you had to be a lazy ass, and lie in bed all day.  Now we're stuck in the middle of Buck Fuck Egypt, with no electricity...in some...some Mexican hovel.  I've had enough, Ted Beckett.  Just hand me the keys to the car.  Right this instance."

        With a long sigh, he pulled the car keys out of his pocket, and dangled them in front of her.  "Okay, baby.  If that's what you want.  I'll trade you the keys for my cell phone."

        She hesitated for a second, and then thrust the phone at him.  "Fine.  Whatever.  Take your stupid cell phone.  Wouldn't want you to miss any important calls, or anything, you big jerk."  Grabbing the keys, she marched toward the door.  Then turning around, she flung one more sentence at him.  "And by the way, when you get home, don't even bother looking me up.  We're done, Mr. Beckett."

       Still on the sofa, Beckett threw an arm up in a mock salute.  "As you wish, Mrs. Beckett.  Safe trip home."  And then flashing an evil grin, added, "Oh...and be careful out there.  It's awfully dark."

Copyright Victoria T. Rocus 2013
All Rights Reserved

   

     





Saturday, November 23, 2013

Running on Empty

         

An Important Notice to Readers...

     Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience.  Please be advised.

Thank You,

   The Author



A stop along the get away route
       The beach cover up had fallen completely over her head, and all Maureen could do was hang on to the front of her husband's body, and swear like a shipyard sailor.  "You put me down now, you asshole!  I mean it!  All the blood's rushing to my head.  Do you hear me, Ted?  What the fuck is going on?"  There was a tinny ping as one the bullets hit a nearby light pole, garnishing her attention.  "What was that noise?  That metal sound? Was that a bullet?  Jesus H Christ, Ted, are people shooting at us?"
There was no time to answer, as she found herself unceremoniously dumped with shriek into the front seat of a strange car.

            "Stay low, baby.  Keep your head down."  In shock she watched him take aim, and fire off several shots of his own before sliding into the seat next to her.  Before she could utter a single word, the back windshield exploded into a million tiny pieces, and she clutched the seat as the car lurched into motion.  She felt Ted's hand on the back of her head, holding it firmly down, as the car seemed to spin 180 degrees, and then accelerate.  Hot air and dust blew in from the shattered back window, and she felt queasy and disoriented in the small space under the dashboard.  Through it all, her husband of three days remained silent, running his hand over her head and back, knocking away fragments of glass,  shushing away any questions, and keeping the car out of a ditch at 80 mph.

           This went on for nearly thirty terror- filled minutes, until the vehicle came to a slow stop, and she felt the pressure of his touch loosen up.  "I think we've lost them.  You can come sit up on the seat now if you'd like."

           It wasn't the words that shocked her.  It was the manner in which they were delivered.  Maureen lifted her sweaty face off the vinyl upholstery, and looked at her husband.  His face was was a mask of absolute calm, a bland topography showing none of the stress or strain of the past events.  It was totally unnatural, and more than a bit freaky, and not for the first time she wondered who the hell this man was that she had so firmly tied her life to.  She swatted away his offer to pull her up, and carefully worked at maneuvering herself out of the tight space, and into the seat next to him.

          Gathering as much dignity as one could wearing next to nothing, she folded her arms across her chest, and glared at him.  For a second, she thought she might have seen the corner of his mouth twitch,  but if he showed any sign of normal human angst, it was gone in a flash.  "I want to know what the hell is going on, Ted.  Right now.  This very instant.  Why were those men shooting at us?  Just what the shit is happening here."

         His answer was to motion to her to use the seat belt, which, all things considered, seemed utterly ridiculous.  Seeing he didn't intend to say a single thing until she was buckled in, she grabbed at the belt with an exaggerated sigh, and clicked it into place.  "Satisfied?"  When he nodded, and pulled the car back onto the road, Maureen returned to the conversation at hand.  "I deserve to know what's going on here, Ted.  You leave me sitting in that filthy jail cell for over five hours.  In a foreign country.  Alone." When her statements earned no response, she pushed harder.  "Then, when you finally decide to get off your lazy ass and come get me, we end up in some crazy made for TV gun battle.  People were shooting at us, Ted!  Real bullets!  I want to know why."

     "I'm sorry, baby.  Really I am.  After you left. I fell back to sleep.  Next thing I know, housekeeping is looking to clean the room, and it's after 3:00 PM."  His words were measured and slow, as if he were talking to a five year old, or possibly the village idiot.  "Then I couldn't find you anywhere.  Luckily, one the kids selling shit on the beach saw what happened, and told me the story.  I had to round up some transportation, and then I came to get to get you."  Satisfied with his story, and looking to change the subject, he smiled.  "Can you dig around in the glove box, and pull out the cell phone I left there?"

      His little explanation revealed nothing, but she complied with his request, and located the needed item.  He reached out to take it, but she pulled it away, and hid it behind her back.  "No so fast there, dear husband.  You still haven't explained why those men were trying to kill us."

      He frowned, and put his hand out again for the phone.  "It isn't important.  I'll take care of what needs to be done.  Just hand over that cell.  I need to make contact with someone."

     She pushed her hands further behind her, and scrunched as far away from him as she could.  "I beg to differ, Mr. Beckett.  When someone is trying to put a bullet into me, I consider it very important.  Explain.  Right now."

      He narrowed his eyes into two sky blue slits, and she knew that if they didn't end up dead along some deserted road in Mexico, he wouldn't forget her little attempt at dominance.  "It's best that you remain in the dark, but I can see that you are unwilling to let me handle this as I see fit."  He raised an eyebrow, and for a brief second, she considered handing over the item, and closing her mouth.  But her need to have all the facts over rode her better judgment, and she held her ground.  Beckett sensed her stubbornness, and continued.  "This all has to do with my other...profession.  The one I discussed with you on the day of our wedding."

       "The government thing?  The spy stuff?"

       He simply nodded, adding no explanation, and the craziness of it all pushed her over the top.  "You're telling me that you were doing spy business?  Here in Mexico?  On our honeymoon?" She waited for him to say something in his defense, but his eyes remained focused straight ahead on the road, and he offered no additional information.  Angry and confused, she tossed the cell phone into his lap, then stared out the passenger window at the bucolic Mexican scenery along their route.  She listened as he spoke softly to someone, picking out words like "mule", "safe house", and "extraction".  They drove on in silence for several miles, until he pulled in front of a small gas station, complete with a broken down building, and a few rusted pumps.

      Shutting off the engine, he turned and spoke.  "I'm stopping here for some gas.  Do you need to use the bathroom?  Are you hungry?  Should I get you something to eat or drink?"  When she didn't answer, he continued.  "I think it better that you stay here in the car, dressed as you are.  I'll see if I can't remedy that situation.  Be right back."

      Maureen watched as he disappeared into the small building.  She looked around at the scene painted around her, and tears welled in her eyes.  They were in the middle of God knows where.  The place was deserted except for an old man sitting on a bench near the store's entrance, and a young woman, very pregnant, feeding a handful of squawking chickens.  At the sight of the woman's round belly, Maureen's hand moved protectively to her own.  She figured to be about 12 weeks along now, her stomach still flat and toned, with just the beginning of fuller boobs.  She wondered how it would be, when she was ripe and round like the woman here in Mexico.  Wondered what their baby...she and Ted's... would look like.  And then the enormity of the entire situation hit, and the tears began in earnest.  Seeing her husband make his way back to the car, she wiped at them with the back of her hand, embarrassed at the thought he'd come back find her weak and crying.

       He deposited a large bag on the hood of the trunk, and then turned to the pumps to fill the car, checking his cell phone several times during the process.  When he finished, he retrieved the bag, and returned to the car, frowning at her red, swollen eyes.  From the bag, he pulled a white cotton dress, elastic at the collar, and embroidered with flowers in brilliant shades of red gold and green.  Where and how he had procured such a thing in this remote location was a mystery, but she'd be damned if she was going to give him the satisfaction of asking.

      He laid the dress in her lap, and continued foraging in the bag, until he came up with two bottles of Mexican Coca-Cola, wet with condensation, and a covered tin, smelling fragrant and delicious.  Her resolve to ignore him was severely tested, as her stomach rumbled with hunger.  Sensing he had a little red headed fish on the line, Beckett opened the lid on the tin, releasing the delicious aromas into the car.

       "Fresh tortillas, roast chicken and avocados.  Plus some sliced papaya for dessert.  I hope that's satisfactory?"

       She wanted the will power to tell him to take his meal, and shove it up his ass.  Prayed she'd be able to turn away and ignore his smug, arrogant face.  But in truth, she was tired, scared and starving, and right this very minute, that meal looked like the greatest feast ever created.  She reached out for the container, but he pulled it back, much as she had done earlier with the cell phone.  For a second, she figured it was pay back time, but instead, he placed the meal on the dashboard, and took the dress from her lap.

      "First, let me help make you more...presentable."  He fiddled with the seat belt, untied the beach jacket, then tossed the dress over her head, pulling her arms through the sleeves, and spending more time than was necessary adjusting her boobs into the elasticized bodice.  When he finished, he spread the empty bag on her lap, placed the container on it, and opened the bottle of Coke using a enormous knife that some how appeared from under the seat.  "Bon appetite, baby.  I expect you to finish the entire thing, including the fruit."

      "Aren't you going to have any?"

      "No.  I'm fine.  That's all for you.  Go ahead.  Eat."

       Giving into her hunger, she began to stack the meat and the avocado onto the steaming tortillas, as Beckett turned the key in the ignition, and pulled back on to the deserted road.  They had gone only a few feet, when he suddenly pulled to the side, and hopped out of the car, leaving the driver's side open.  Alarmed, Maureen looked up from her food, only to see her husband fuss at the plants growing wild along side the road.  She watched in amazement as he made his way back to the car, a large white plumeria blossom in his hand.  Once inside the car, he leaned over and tucked the perfumed bloom behind her ear, kissing her long and hard as he did so.

     
Copyright Victoria T. Rocus  2013
All Rights Reserved
     

     






       

         

Saturday, November 16, 2013

Trouble Knocks Twice



An Important Notice to Readers...

     Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience.  Please be advised.

Thank You,

   The Author


Making a run for it

     Voice lowered, Beckett forced a smile, and pushed the words through his teeth.  "I understand your anger...dear.  But we need to leave.  Now."  He reached out to take hold of her arm, but she wriggled out of his grasp.  Then with a turn and a flounce, marched back into the cell, and loudly sighing, plopped herself on the same bench she had occupied for the last five hours.

     "You know what?  I have no intention of going anywhere with you  You just run along, you...you jerk.  I'm gonna stay right here until one of my brothers can come get me."  Pulling the beach jacket tightly around herself, she folded her hands primly in her lap, and stuck her chin in the air.

    In any other situation, at any other time, Beckett would have enjoyed the challenge her show of will invited.  But with the mule's arrival at any given minute, there was no opportunity to play the game.  Without a word of warning, he marched into the cell, picked his wife off the bench, and threw her over his shoulder as if she were a large duffel bag.  Caught off guard, upside down, with the beach coat falling over her head, there was little the red head could do except shriek and flail, her hands reaching out to try and grab something to hang onto.

    It was to this scene that the mule returned, his good arm full of covered dishes.  He took in the sight of his prisoner thrown over the shoulder of some man in a Panama hat, who he presumed was her late arriving spouse.  But it wasn't the husband he was interested in.  His eyes were drawn to the struggling woman who was desperately trying to hang on to her bikini top, and to her rounded ass barely covered by the tiny piece of green bathing suit.  It was therefore several seconds before he bothered to actual look at the man that was doing the transporting, allowing Beckett the smallest opportunity to pass by him, head for the front door, before he was recognized.

     Behind him, he could hear the clatter of broken glass, as the dishes the mule was holding fell to the floor.  Rounding through the front door of the police station, Maureen bouncing against his back, he worked his free hand to his waistband of pants, and pulled the Smith and Wesson loose, as the first barrage of bullets whizzed by his head.

___________________________________
                 
Fr. Kevin and Samuel Belkins
      According to Fr. Kevin's experience, when the week started out bad, it usually stayed that way for the entire miserable duration, with a brand new Sunday necessary to break the cycle.  And if the past few days were any indication, the rest of the this week would be a true character builder.  There was still the worry about Maureen lodged in the back of his head, despite insistence from the rest of the family that Ted was perfectly capable of taking care of their sister.  He envied their blissful ignorance.  They didn't know a thing about the crazy nut job stalking their new brother-in-law.  Or about Beckett's strange ways.  His secrecy and disappearing acts.  His connections to all kinds of shadowy people.  Nope.  They explained Maureen and Ted's abrupt departure as a pair of lovers who wanted their privacy.  But try as he could, Kevin couldn't shake his feelings of apprehension about his sister's safety.

        Then, of course, there was the sudden, shocking appearance of Tessa Peppers at his door, and the whole fiasco regarding the death of her dog.  She had promised to "rain hell" on him, and although the logical part of his brain told him she was a harmless old woman, racked with mental illness, and safely locked in a mental institution, his imagination ran crazy with all types of horrible scenarios involving his demise.  So when a knock came at the front door of the rectory on a rainy Wednesday morning, he should have known his visitor was not from Publisher's Clearing House with a million dollar prize.

       The gentleman stood on the porch with an air of stifled pompousness, the type that his brother Brendan would say was born with a stick up his ass.  Despite the uncomfortable humidity, the man was dressed in full business array, and carried a worn portfolio bulging with its load.  Mustering up his best Pastor personae, Kevin opened the door.
     
         "Fr. Kevin O'Kenney?"

         "Yes.  I'm he."

          The man stuck out a stiff, sweaty hand, which Kevin felt obliged to shake.  "I'm Samuel Belkins.
From the diocese.  I'm here to handle your audit."

           "Audit?"

           "Yes, Father.  All parishes are audited every seven years.  Diocese policy.  I'm sure you were notified."

           Kevin racked his brain, trying desperately to remember ever receiving such notification.  The last month had been a blur with the arrangements for the wedding, but he was sure if he had received something as important as this, he would have remembered.  "I'm sorry, Mr...uh..uh.."

          "Belkins.  Samuel Belkins."

          "I don't seem to recall knowing anything about this, Mr. Belkins."

          "None the less, Fr. O'Kenney, as I am already here, I might as well take care of business.  Holy Family is a small parish.  This shouldn't take very long if your accounts are in order.  They are in order, are they not, Father?


Copyright 2013 Victoria T. Rocus
All Rights Reserved

       





 

 

 

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Someday My Prince Will Come


An Important Notice to Readers...

     Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience.  Please be advised.

Thank You,

   The Author

                               
Beckett listens in at the police station window in downtown Tulum

       It was the grand daddy of worst case scenarios.  A major cluster fuck surely bestowed on him from the will of angry Mayan gods.  Beckett leaned against the wall, and struggled to clear his racing mind.  Any chance of him retrieving Maureen with a minimum of fuss was over.  There was little doubt the mule would instantly recognize him.  He hadn't bothered at all to hide his identity during last night's mission.  In his defense, it was supposed to be a simple drop...pre-arranged and pre-packaged with very little hint of threat.  And it was certainly now obvious that the mule and his people hadn't expected the US agent to leave the fort breathing, so no protocol was taken to hide anything on their side.  All of which led to the glaring fact that he and his wife were in a heap of shit.

       Any acknowledgement of Maureen on his part would now simply put her at greater risk.  As it stood, the asshole just thought he had the wife of a wealthy tourista.  She was currently an opportunity to make a few easy bucks, and nothing more.  But once Beckett became involved, and it was made clear that she was of any importance to him, the stakes grew to an alarming level.  He considered calling for back-up, then quickly dismissed the idea.  It would take hours to get a team down here, as well as require more explaining than he was willing to do.  In addition, there was always the slight risk that his wife would be caught in the crossfire of any exchange of gun fire, and that was a risk he was unwilling to take.   Maureen needed to be extracted in the safest mode possible, and his brain filed through a million possibilities.  The Mayan gods who first cursed him with this situation must have been fickle, because it was in that instant, he heard the man inside give him the slimmest slice of opportunity.

      "Little chica...it gots to be around five o'clock.  You must be mucho hungry by now.  How 'bout I get you somthin' to eat, eh?  You like some carnitas, huh?  Maybe some fish?"

        At first there was no response, and then Beckett heard a muffled response from the furthest corner of the cell.  "No thank you.  I don't want anything from you.  My husband should be here any minute now."

        "Chica...you been here nearly five hours...and no sign of your Mister.  Maybe he forgot about you?  Havn' too much of a good time to come look.  He mus' be some kinda fool...leavn' a beautiful lady like you all alone.  Ifs you were mine, chica...I'd never let ya out of my sight."

         Pressed against the hard surface of the bricks, Beckett let the fury wash over him.  He wanted nothing more than to burst into that station, and rip the man's face right off of his skull.  Put his thumbs into the mule's eye sockets, and watch his eyes slide out with a satisfying pop.  It was only the image of Maureen, tiny and scared, huddled in the corner of that cell, that brought him back to the problem at hand.  Come on, baby.  Ask for something to eat.  Anything that will get him out of this building. 

        "No sense you sittn' here hungry, senora.  If your Mister comes, I don't want him thinkn' we didn't treat you first rate, huh?  I'm gonna get something for myself.  Some nice carne asada.  Maybe I should bring you some?"

         "Come on, baby,  Just this once... cooperate."

         There was no answer from Maureen, and Beckett cursed her stubbornness.  She could be ornery as hell when she wanted to be, and it was unlikely she'd let the lecherous bastard do anything at all for her.  To his surprise, and great relief, she relented.

         "Well, maybe I could have something to drink?  A Pepsi?  Something like that?"

         "For sure, senora.  I bring you a Pepsi.  Anything else?  Don't be shy, chica.  You need to keep up your strength."

          The leer in his voice went through Beckett like a heated blade, and his hands curled around the weapon stuck in his waistband.  Ask for something, baby!  Something he has to go out for.

           "I guess I am sort of hungry.  Whatever you're having is fine.  But...I'm not going to be here very long.  My husband will be coming shortly.  I'm...sure of it."

           It was the hesitation in her voice.  The little wiggle of doubt in her words that cut into what was left of his soul.  For a second he hated himself.  Loathed who he was, and how he lived.  But the self-pity would have to wait.  He'd have only the smallest window of time to go in and free his wife before the mule returned.  Beckett prayed to whatever god was still bothering to listen to him that the other deputy was as corrupt as he thought, and willing to cheat his partner out of an equal cut.

           A few minutes later, he heard the swoosh of the front glass door, and the sound of a car pulling out of a gravel parking lot.  He slid around the corner of the building, and pulling the hat lower over his face, entered the station.  As predicted, the second lone officer sat behind a wooden desk, rapt attention given to the screen of his cell phone.

           "Excuse me, Sir.  I was told my wife was arrested, and taken here.  Here name is Margaret Baker."

           The man didn't raise his eyes, and instead held up a finger to signal that he should wait.  Beckett watched as the guy manipulated his screen with his fingers, stopping only as the minutes clicked by, and then slamming the phone down with a string of obscenities.

            "Damn Candy Crush!  Been on the same level for a fuckn' week!  Never should have started with that thing."  He picked up a stack of papers, and shuffled through them.  "You are here for the lady, senor? "

             "Si.  There must be some type of misunderstanding.  My wife and I are not the kind of people who get...arrested.  May I ask what the charges are?"

             The deputy picked up a sheet of paper off the stack in front of him.  "She was arrested for theft, disorderly conduct, and resisting an officer.  It seems she stole a silver bracelet from a beach vendor...a Mr. Sam Vargas.  Then, when my superior came, she raised a fuss, and took a swing at the arresting officer.  Some very serious charges, Senor Baker."

            Polishing the appearance of anxiety and shock, Beckett stuttered.  "My wife did that?  I...I can't believe it.  That's not like her at all.  I can't imagine why she'd do such a thing."

            The man behind the desk nodded in sympathy.  "It happens, Senor.  The ladies... they come down for vacation.  Have too much of a good time."  He mimicked the motions of drinking several glasses.  "Then they forget to behave themselves.  We see it quite often, Senor."

            "But...what should I do.  Should I call the US Consulate?  My attorney?  I've never handled anything like this before."  He wrung his hands, and fidgeted, waiting for the deputy to make the first move.

         As expected, the man smiled, and looked up at him, replacing the paper on top of the stack, and shoving it to the side.  "You can do all of those things, Senor.  But in the mean time, your pretty lady stays locked up here.  Not a very good vacation, eh?  You can just pay the fine, and be on your way.  Back to the beaches, and your happy time.  So much simpler, is it not?"  He folded his hands and waited patiently.

         "A fine?  Well, that does sound like the easier way to go.  And much more discreet.  How much is the amount?"

        The man help up two fingers.  "Dos, Senor."

        Playing along, Beckett asked, "Two hundred?"

        The man laughed and patted his immense belly.  "You are a funny man, Senor.  The fine is for
$2000.00"

        Beckett could feel his pulse return to normal.  Things were going as planned.  "$2000.00?  That does seem a bit...excessive.  Are you sure that's the right amount?"

       The deputy continued to hold the same bland smile.  "Si, Senor.  Of course, you have other...alternatives.  But your lovely lady spends the night here. Alone."  He held the word "alone" a second longer for added emphasis.

       He was almost home free.  "Of course.  You're right.  The sooner we take care of this, the better."
The man watched as Beckett pulled a roll of hundreds out of his pocket, and counted out $2000.00.  "There you go, Sir.  $2000.00.  If I could please see my wife now?"

      A hand swept out and brushed the money into a drawer.  "I'm glad you have thought this out so wisely, Senor.  I will be happy to bring you your lady...as soon as my boss returns from his errand.  We will need his signature on these papers before we can let her go.  He should be back very soon.  Just ran out for a bite to eat."

      Beckett shuffled his feet.  This wrinkle was not unexpected.  He'd just have to hope the fat officer was as greedy as he believed.  And if he turned out not to be right, taking down one man was still a hell of a lot easier than taking down two.  "Damn!  Do you know long he'll be?  I'd just like to take my wife, and get the hell out of here. Put this behind us."

      The man shook his head.  " I'm sorry, Senor.  I can't release her.  Only my superior can."

      Sliding his hand into his pocket, Beckett produced the wad of money.  "Look, my friend.  I'm not sure this is allowed...and I mean no disrespect...but how about I pay you for the extra trouble?"  He peeled off another ten hundred dollar bills, and laid them on the desk.  "Maybe you and your superior could split this...additional gratuity?"

       For a second, the man eyed the money, calculating the possibilities.  Then, he shook his head no, and slid the money back toward Beckett.  "I'm sorry, Senor.  I don't think my partner would agree."

       With an exaggerated sigh, Beckett counted out the remaining money from the roll, placing an additional two grand on top of the other cash.  "That's all of it.  All the cash I have.  That's $5000.00.
I'm sure the two of you can figure out an amicable way of sharing it, yes?"

       With a grin, the deputy shuffled up the bills, and tucked them into his shirt pocket.  "I think maybe I can make an exception...just this one time."  He rose from the chair, and motioned for Beckett to follow him.  The two men headed toward the lock-up at the back of the building.  "I am sure your lady will be most happy to see you, Senor.  She's been here quite some time."  He let out a giggle that sounded oddly silly from a man his size.

        He saw her before she saw him.  Maureen was still tucked in the tight corner of the bench, eyes closed, feet tucked under her, and the beach cover up pulled down as far as possible.  Hearing the click of the electric locks, her eyes fluttered open, catching the first sight of her husband.  Her pupils went round with happy relief, and he was never more grateful to see anything in his life.  Then just as quickly, those green cat eyes narrowed into tiny slits, and with hands on hips she growled, "About time, asshole."

     Next to him, the deputy let out another giggle.  Though truthfully deserved, it wasn't the reunion he wanted to have right at this very minute.  He reached out to take her hand, only to have her slap it away. "Don't you dare touch, me...you thoughtless sonofabitch."

   
Copyright 2013 Victoria T. Rocus
All Rights Reserved

To all my wonderful, loyal readers...

      I apologize for being unable to respond to your very kind comments.  The RL day job has been crazy difficult this year, leaving very little free time.  Know that I appreciate everyone of you who read this storyline faithfully.  I am working hard to keep a post going up each week, and hope you are enjoying Maureen and Ted's crazy adventures.  I will try to get back to each of you this week.

Best wishes to you all,

Vicki






         

     
   



     


     


   

Saturday, November 2, 2013

A Turn of Events

An Important Notice to Readers...

     Although this fiction blog is illustrated with photos of dolls, and dollhouse miniatures, the language and content of the storyline is intended for an adult audience.  Please be advised.

Thank You,

   The Author



The police station...Tulum, Mexico
               
            The Tulum police station was easy enough to locate.  The town's business district was a sparse four blocks long, and the white stucco building was one of its largest, wedged between the Mayor's office and a tiny branch of HSBC bank.  Beckett was no stranger to how things of this sort were handled in the small boroughs of Mexico.  His wife was picked up at one of the area's priciest resorts, thus giving reason for  greedy, corrupt law enforcement to believe that she, or hers, had the necessary cash to pay  the "fine".  There would be the usual posturing and blustering by the desk sergeant on duty, a stack of bogus paperwork to sign, and the handing over of a huge chunk of change to procure her freedom.   He assumed Maureen was booked on a disorderly charge, and figured a grand or two would guarantee a quick release, but only if she had been smart enough to keep her mouth shut.   Knowing his new wife as he did, a Plan B was surely a distinct possibility.


          He debated over the question of whether or not he should risk carrying a weapon along with the large role of hundreds in his pocket.  In most situations, he would have gone with a small snub revolver  in an ankle holster.  But in the sweltering 90 degree heat, wearing long pants as a tourist would make him immediately suspicious, so he settled on a Smith and Wesson Model 60 stuck low in the back waistband of his  short cargo pants.  With a white linen shirt, and straw Panama hat pulled low over his eyes, Beckett looked like any other vacation clone, the bland obscurity offering him a measure of  anonymous safety. 


           Procuring some mode of transportation from the outlying resort to the downtown district had been a time consuming hassle.  The employee who manned the rental car desk in the hotel lobby had not returned from lunch, leaving that plan a lost cause.  It was with much haggling, and  generous compensation, that he was able to borrow a small motor bike from the clerk at the reservation desk who took both pity, and full advantage, of Beckett's bad situation.  This negotiation required more time than expected, and it was nearly 4PM before Beckett made his way in to town, parking the beat up cycle a block from the station.  

         Years of training had taught him to take time scoping out locations before attempting any action, and so he made his way carefully past the white building, eyeing exits, windows and easy access for quick escapes.  The single story height meant that the holding cells for prisoners were probably near the back of the building.  He turned off the street, and inched his way toward the rear of the facility, searching for a set a windows that would allow for a visual confirmation of Maureen's whereabouts.  As expected, there were two sets of double windows that looked into the prisoner area.  Leaning in, he saw her sitting on a hard bench in a tiny cell furthest from the exit door.  She was naturally petite in stature, but curled up in the corner, barefoot and wearing only her swim suit and cover-up, she looked like a lost child, and his heart gave a squeeze. 

         It was his fault that she was in this situation.  He knew he had no business letting her out of his sight.  Her propensity for attracting trouble was an established fact, and he should have forced her to wait with him in the suite, or dragged his sorry ass out of bed, and gone with her in the morning.  Once free of this complication, he'd work on making the rest of this nightmare trip the romantic interlude she desired.  But before he could contemplate the benefits of such a plan, there was a slamming of a door within.  Beckett flattened himself against the wall, using the surrounding scrub as cover, and listened to the conversation.
             
         "Well, chica...still no one has come to claim you.  Maybe your husband had a change of heart, Mrs. Baker.  Decide you too much trouble, heh?"   He pressed his face into the bars, and leered.  "If he don't come for you, maybe you come home with me?  Whatcha think, eh?"

           Listening outside, Beckett's hands unconsciously flexed.   Something about the voice nagged at him, as if he had heard it before.  He racked his brain trying to place the low timber and inflection, but needed a visual to trigger the memory.  Carefully, he peered around the window sill, and looked in.  For a second, his mind froze as he stared at the police officer harassing his wife, the man's left arm bandaged, and in a sling. There was shock, and then concern.   It was the mule from the night before. The major fucking asshole who had tried to screw him on the arranged deal.  Obviously not dead...and now...the only thing standing between he and his wife's safe retrieval.

________________________________

      It wasn't as if he didn't have his own problems to think about.  The rectory roof was leaking in three different places, and the church's AC had started making weird groaning noises.  He wasn't looking forward to his meeting with the parish's volatile advisory board, and was still having daily nightmares about his run-in with the crazy Tessa Peppers.   The lack of communication from his sister should have been the least of his concerns.  After all, she was a married woman.  That made her Ted's concern...not his anymore.  And there had been one curt text message from his brother-in-law stating that he and Maureen were off on their honeymoon, and that he shouldn't worry.  But none of that helped to shake the nagging feeling that something was terribly wrong.

         It was unlike Maureen not to contact him.  From the time they were young, the two of them held a bond that was closer than that of their other six siblings.  It was totally against her character not to even send him a single text message, and he wondered if her husband had taken control of her phone.  Why he'd do that was unclear.  But he knew Beckett well enough to know that he was a bossy sonofabitch, and apt to do something of that controlling nature.   Fr. Kevin had even broke down, and phoned his older brother Patrick to see if he had heard anything, then was forced to listen to a half hour lecture on the necessity of minding his own business.

      Maybe his brother was right.  He did have a tendency to poke his nose in things that weren't his concern.  That's how he had gotten involved with that crazy Peppers woman in the first place.  If he would have just let Beckett handle his own murder investigation, he would have never ended up shot, nor would he had made an enemy of a woman who was certifiably crazy.  He thought about his meeting with her a few days ago, and shuddered.

       It wasn't like he could have refused her request for the Sacrament of Reconciliation.  Saying no would have been wrong on just too many levels.  But he should have realized that once in the private confines of the confessional, the crazy old coot would go out of her way to scare the shit out of him.

          "You mark my words, O'Kenney.   I know the truth about you.  You hide behind that damn collar of yours, but the truth is...you are not what you seem.  I know you had something to do with my missing
money.  You and that thief McCreedy.  Now I find out that you killed my dog.  Do you think for a minute I believe all that bullshit about a freak gas explosion?  No!  Not for a single damn minute!  My poor, poor Basil.  He was the light of my life... and now he's gone.  All because of you! You are an evil man, O'Kenney.  And I need to rid this town of you once and for all!"

          He had ended up calling for help, embarrassed by his lack of courage in front of not only the staff from the mental hospital, but also Roxie, who had stayed around out of curiosity, and was witness to his looking like a chicken shit fool.  Thinking about the whole mess made him queasy, and for a few minutes, Maureen, and her lack of communication were pushed to the back of his mind.

     
Copyright 2013 Victoria T. Rocus
All Rights Reserved