Fiction Saturday – “And Pull The Hole… Chapter 37 Continued
Chapter 37 Continued
As they passed it, they both looked over into the alcove. The dead man seemed so very small. Davis walked over and pulled the pistol from Lizard Boy’s waistband and started to stick it in his belt. Laura stopped him and held out her hand. He passed it to her. They left the bundle of cash locked in the dead man’s hand.
It was only another fifty feet before they saw a set of steps rising toward a carpet-covered door.
They slowly climbed the steps and listened. They couldn’t hear anything coming from the other side.
“Well, if nothing else, we have the element of surprise,” whispered Davis. He reached for the knob.
“We hope,” said Laura and pulled his hand back from the door. She would go first. The Mexican’s pistol pointed up.
“Let’s go, my dear,” she said. They both took a deep breath of the warm and stale air.
She slowly pushed on the door. It opened silently onto a small room with a table, four chairs and a Mr. Coffee with a half-full pot. They were alone. On the opposite side of the room was a green-painted wooden door. They could hear someone speaking in rapid fire Spanish on the other side.
Before they could decide what to do next, the green door opened and a man in a Hawaiian shirt entered, a surprised look on his face. He didn’t see Laura’s gun. She had quickly hidden it behind her back.
“Who are you two? Damn it! They’re supposed to call us before they send anything through,” said the surprised man. “I wasn’t expecting any merchandise until tomorrow.”
He came all the way into the room and closed the door behind him. He seemed annoyed, but not suspicious. He made no threatening moves.
“Well, come on, sit down and let’s do a count.” He had a pistol tucked in his waistband.
He pulled out a chair and sat down, bored with the idea of yet another bookkeeping chore. A small notebook poked out of his shirt pocket.
Laura and Davis hesitantly moved over to the table, but remained standing.
“Sit down, will you, so we can get this done? I want to go home.” He paused and a darkness crossed his face. “Where is Bonifacio?”
“Who?” asked Laura, holding her hands behind her. She was partially blocked behind Davis. Her finger was on the trigger.
“Bonifacio, little guy, bad skin,” said the man as he pulled a pen from his shirt pocket. “He never sends anybody through alone.”
“Oh, he went back for some more coffee,” said Davis.
The man stood up. His eyes looked through Davis like an X-ray machine.
“Where is Bonifacio?” His hand started to move toward the semi-automatic tucked in his pants. Laura stepped from behind Davis and brought Lizard Boy’s 9mm from the shelter of her back. She pointed it at the man’s chest. He recognized the gun as Bonifacio’s.
“Lie down on the floor.” ordered Laura.
The man smiled. “You coming with me, chica? Don’t make me laugh.”
Laura ripped out a left jab to his smart mouth. It snapped his head back and split his lip. His smile disappeared and he obediently got down on all fours. Laura put her foot on his neck and pushed hard, slamming him to the floor. Then she plucked the pistol from his belt and handed it to Davis. As she leaned over the man’s prone body, she spoke quietly into his ear.
“Listen, you fool. You say you want to go home? Then do as you’re told or, so help me, you’ll find out where Bonifacio is. You understand me?”
He grunted his agreement as best he could with Laura’s shoe digging into the back of his neck.
“Now, get up. Slowly,” she ordered.
The man stood up carefully and looked at his two captors with unfiltered loathing in his eyes. He weighed his chances of going on the offensive and overpowering them both. He thought he could disarm the woman, but when he looked at the man he saw his own pistol pointed at the bridge of his nose. He decided to live.
“Molina ain’t going to like this,” he sneered at them.
Laura glared back at him. “Molina is dead. I killed him. Just like Bonifacio is dead, down in the tunnel. So, unless you want to die, right here, right now, I suggest you shut up and listen.”
He looked at the coldness in her eyes and knew that she was the real thing.
“Now, you’re going to go down into the tunnel and be a good boy.”
Davis opened the door and motioned for him to get moving.
“Now.”she added with a wave of the gun barrel.
The man looked at the pistol aimed at his chest and realized that it was in his best interest to obey these two heavily-armed Americans. He slowly walked across the room and started down the steps into the darkness.
As Davis began to close the door, the man reached out and pushed it back open. He looked up at the two of them and held up his empty hand, mimicking a gun. “Bang, bang, you two are dead.”
Davis’ foot lashed out and kicked him in the face. They watched the man fall. There was a dull thud as he hit the dirt floor at the foot of the ladder.
Davis pushed the door shut and Laura jammed one of the chairs under the doorknob.
“We’ve only got a couple of minutes. He’s probably going to run as fast as he can back into Mexico for some help.” said Davis. “I don’t want to have to go up against our barista.”
“I agree,” Laura said. “I’d bet that the only way out of here is through the front door. We might as well do it now.”
There was no sound on the other side of the door. They exchanged a here-goes-nothing look and Davis turned the knob. The handguns were aimed ahead of them.
The outer office was brightly lit. There were three desks and, at the front of the office, a cashier’s station with a thick Lexan plastic window where the moneychangers sold dollars and pesos to tourists, coming and going—each time squeezing out a small margin of profit.
They were alone in the room. At least it seemed so, until a voice came out from behind a door in the corner.
“Hang on, Pablo. I’ll be out in a second.”
A few moments later a toilet flushed and a man emerged from the tiny restroom, still buckling his belt. He was smiling as he pulled himself together. His smile faded when he saw the pistols aimed at his belly.
“What’s this, a robbery? Are you nuts? Where’s Pablo?”
“He’s halfway back to Tijuana by now, unless he stopped to look at Bonifacio’s corpse,” said Laura in a flat, unemotional voice. “We’re not here to rob you.”
“We’re just passing through,” added Davis.
Davis walked over to the cashier’s window and lowered the venetian blind. There was no need for an audience.
“Molina is going to kill me,” said the man, who was beginning to sweat profusely.
“Molina is dead,” said Laura
The man relaxed a bit and smiled. “Good, I hated that puto. What can I do for you? You need some cash?”
“Car keys. Give me your car keys,” said Laura.
“My car is over in Tijuana. I walk to work, through the tunnel. Sorry,” he said, shrugging his shoulders.
Davis sighed. “Public transit it is then, I guess.”
“Okay, my friend, back into the toilet.” She waved her gun toward the corner.
“You aren’t going to kill me, too, are you?” His easy smile disappeared, replaced with fear.
“Not unless you decide to get real stupid on me,” said Laura.
The man stepped into the small closet lavatory and sat down on the toilet. Before she closed the door, Laura gave him one last bit of advice.
“Keep your mouth shut, no yelling. Let your friends rescue you. They’ll probably be here in a few minutes.”
“Whatever you say, lady. I’ll be quiet as a mouse. If you capped Molina, you’re okay by me.”
She closed the door and, like they did in the other room, wedged a chair under the doorknob to keep it jammed shut.
“All right,” said Laura. “Let’s get out of here and back to the motel before we’re overrun with a bunch of very heavily armed coffee drinkers.”
Davis peeked out of the Cambio’s front door. He could see that things were starting to get back to normal. There were still a few uniformed police walking around and several men in jump suits crawling on the ground, looking for any stray bit of evidence. A red Tijuana Trolley was pulling into the plaza.
“A train is just coming in. Let’s try to get on,” whispered Davis.
“Walk slowly, like we do this every day, and dear…?”
“Put the gun away.”