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Baby It Was Divine-Fiction by P. K. Augustyn
Reservation Beer Run-Fiction by Daniel G. Snethen
Dark Streets-Fiction by Harry David Moss
Breathless-Fiction by Mick Rose
The "Birthday Blues"-Fiction by Cindy Rosmus
Redhead Reba-Fiction by Kenneth James Crist
Thor's Anvil-Fiction by J Brooke
You Never Know-Fiction by Jim Harrington
Something About the Devil's Pickup-Fiction by Walter Giersbach by
Do I Know You?-Fiction by Roy Dorman
The One and Only Alexa Kalekar-Fiction by KJ Hannah Greenberg
Guillotines Cause Permanent Disability-Fiction by M. A. De Neve
Biology is Destiny-Flash Fiction by David Powell
Knucksie-Flash Fiction by Paul Beckman
Cell-Flash Fiction by Doug Hawley
Urban Renewal-Flash Fiction by Gerald E. Sheagren
Pearl-Poem by Meg Baird
Conundrum Street-Poem by Dr. Mel Waldman
The Hope of It-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Endings #2-Poem by Judith Partin-Nielsen
Immense Hot-Air Balloons-Poem by Alan Catlin
Red Fires Up the Bike-Poem bt Alan Catlin
Jazz Standards-Poem by Kevin Rabas
The Evening Air-Poem by Kevin Rabas
For K-Poem by Mark Young
The/Secret Life/ of Wilhelm Reich-Poem by Mark Young
A Line from the Leningrad Cowboys-Poem by Mark Young
Delta Leo Remembers Her Nephew-Poem by David Spicer
Rosa and the Creep-Poem by David Spicer
Tribe of Two-Poem by David Spicer
Cartoons by Cartwright
Hail, Tiger!
Angel of Manslaughter
The Gazing Ball
Strange Gardens
Gutter Balls
Calpurnia's Window
No Place Like Home
Dark Tales from Gent's Pens

Art by L. A. Barlow 2018


J Brooke

Strap a man naked to a chair, cinch a copper cable around his dick and balls, run that copper to a Sears Die Hard, fire it up, watch the fire erupt, strike like roaring, fucking flames from the Hammer of Thor, blasting the anvil, ignore the screams, ignore the teeth cracking, that man will claw the truth out of the bricks with his bloody finger nails.

That is Most Men.

Not one Man.

Not Mal.

Mal endorsed the pain, reveled in it, for laying in a stifling ditch with the only woman he had ever loved outside of Rio, a young Costa Rican girl, her hands and feet severed from her body, by the cops, to get the gold, rotting, bloating in the Sun, well that changes a man.

Three years earlier he had not yet become Mal, for his first step into Mexico, then the drive to Rio, 3 years, so many deaths behind him had changed him. A pimp in a Panama casino had adopted him, thought the Crazy American Gringo was a radical dude, and after the dead man in the trunk, he had renamed Jamie Brooke, Mal.

The three cops had then recaptured him when they found out he was still alive, had taken him to a warehouse and had tortured him in a prison cell, for they wanted the money, from the Golden VW van, but of course a dead man tells no tales.

The cops fucked up, didn’t murder him, they set him free, forgetting that some men have dangerous, fucking ogres for friends, lethal, gabacho loyal maniacs, killer amigos that have a sense of loco honor, and don’t take it lightly when fucking cops hurt one of their friends.

Thus, the Panamanian gangster, Bobby Caton, and his enforcer, the 6 ft 8 enforcer the black Mako shark Lewis, had flown into Rio, kidnapped the cops, took them to a warehouse, and watched as the new Mal put bullets into their heads.

That was 25 years earlier, and Mal had killed more than his share of evil men and women and now settled in Vegas, where an Artist of unimaginable talent with a lethal past, could dissolve and he had thought all of that had been behind him. A lifetime diamond thief, hashish smuggler out of Ketama, Morocco, arms smuggler, killer, well that was behind him he supposed, but if it was, then he wondered what was he was doing in Tijuana, sitting in a armored ‘89 Caprice, with five pounds of C-4 in the trunk, Ak-47’s, shotguns and Ar-15’s, not to mention loads of automatic hand guns all owned by the most stunning and dangerous teak-skinned ex-CIA Contract Killer ever aborted out of The Agency, named Pilar.

     Like the women Mal loved in Vegas, Mandal, the gorgeous blond ex-whore, hit woman for the New Jersey mob, Pilar was a stunning teak-skinned waif ex- contract killer for the CIA.

The hookup in Tijuana had been clinical.

Mal’s woman, Mandal’s Hispanic housekeeper’s 18-year-old American daughter, had been abducted in TJ, by Zeta cartel human traffickers.

Help had been asked for.

Help had been given.

Mal called his ex-Panama gangster friend, now retired on a beach in La Paz Mexico and called in a favor.

All Bobby Caton had said to Mal was: “What the fuck bro, I thought you was done with the gabacho fucking shit life, you sure you want this?”

Mal has simply said. “Yes.”

Bobby told him to hang tight, he’s call back in ten.

The call came, Mal took down the info, fired up his dual prop King Air, loaded it with weapons, passports, a ton of cash and flew into Tijuana International airport.

Once there, he connected to one of Bobby’s friend, the head Mexican Immigration official, all smiles, waiting for him.

20 grand layered into his hand, he passed right through, weapons, cash, false Id’s and had, as instructed, hooked up with Pilar, the stunning, teak-skinned, assassin for the CIA, at a local club, whore house, highly stylized club, Live Lula.

Since they both spoke Arabic, they presented themselves as an Arab couple, looking for their lost friend. Mal flashed the photo of the abducted Maria to the bartender, gave him a grand, his motel room number across the street, then with Pilar in tow, vanished, knowing they had just set the gears in play to a world of death and homicide, perhaps their own.

Unique, lone wolf killers, Mal and Pilar fit that bill to a tee, had bonded together instantly. Great whites are solo hunters, but in each other, they saw valor, truth and above honor.

That honor told a story.

Sometimes a bullet in the head, or the threat of one, wakes a dude up, gets the truth out faster than all the courts on the planet.

First thing first.

Pilar had tapped into the Live Lula phones, found the two corrupt TJ cops’ home address. They had arrived, Pilar holding a Pizza, Mal a shotgun, a Walther PPK, silenced, down the door went, both Cops surprised, for Pizza delivery girls usually didn’t hold Berettas, and didn’t have an amigo that looked like a six-foot- two slice of granite, 16-gauge nestled in his arm.

Pilar and Mal were no-nonsense kinda killers. They went to work, got the info on Maria, where she had gone, on the food chain, they then shot the cops dead, shared a slice, and moved on.

Great Whites don’t linger after the kill, they cruise, going for the next meal and they had done their work, and now were sitting in Pilar’s armor-plated sedan, in an alley, next step, well, more death, maybe their own.

     Ten minutes earlier, they had cruised the condo, saw the armed cartel guards, Pilar had done some snooping, chatted them up, got what she needed. Mal and her were ready to roll.

     “Okay…Time now”

     She reached back, found her shoulder holsters and guns, slipped them on, secured them along her black body shirt. Finding her black, double-breasted, leather coat, she threw the blanket into the back seat, struggled into the coat. Back to normal, she looked down at the closed laptop that was lying on the console between them. Opening the laptop, she began to type as she whispered and pointed.

     “Alley in back of building. Quiet, good. Pilar talk to guards. Men, typico, Mexicano. Rooster chests, macho…Like Pilar, much. Brag they important men. Guard important jefe. Second floor. They talk tough, big ego…want to fuck me…I tell them meet me at Mexico Linda, later…Maybe yes, maybe no. Maybe they problem…I not worry…Here…we go in here.”

     Turning the laptop so Mal could look at the information glowing back from the web page on the screen that she just had called up, she pointed at the diagram of the Maccas Condominium as she whispered.

     “See…Tijuana Planning Commission…All building, blue prints must go through here. Mal, understand technical drawings?”

     Nodding, Mal slightly shook his head back and forth at her expertise, then said through a half smile, “Yes.”

     “Good. We go in, from rooftop. Down this.” She pointed to a ladder leading down a chute from the roof. “Open door, go down hall, very quiet…Enter Maccas place, have conversation, maybe find girl, if she not gone yet. But first we recon. See what inside Condo. Maybe more men, do not know. You ready Mal?”

     “Once again. Your work amazes me. Yes, I’m ready.”

     Smiling from his compliment, she extended her finger, punched the numbers into the key pad, then twisted the key.

     The engine rumbled to life as she placed the car in first and edged down the street. At the end of the avenida, she hung a left, moved down a half block, swung left into the alley. Once along-side the back of the condominium, she killed the engine, peeked up and down the alley, turned to her back seat.

     Digging around in her girl stuff, she retrieved a black cylinder canvas bag about a meter long. Handing it to Mal, she returned to the back seat, found a black backpack, and then turning, she glanced at the monitor of the laptop, printed the diagram in her head, closed it and then turned to Mal as she pulled her pack out of the back seat.

     “Bring Mossberg and Sig Sauer.”

      Nodding, Mal watched as she opened the door, and with her black backpack in hand, moved out of the car. Mal, opening the passenger door and carrying the cylinder bag, exited the car, and then moved along side of her. It was cold and Mal could see his breath fogging as well as Pilar’s. The alley stretched two blocks before them and had many plastic trash bags as well as dumpsters aligned along the asphalt. Mal could smell rotting garbage and it did nothing more than to intensify his senses.

     Like a cat, Pilar bent to her knees, and then extended her hand for Mal to give the cylindrical bag. Handing her the bag, she then unzipped it, pulled something out of it. Immediately, Mal saw that it was a very high-tech bow and arrow set up, which was folded in half at a hinge bolted in the middle of the black affair.

     Assembling it, she stood, showed it to Mal, smiled proudly. The carbon fiber bow, one used by Olympians, had high tensile wire and thin cables running across it to give it the proper tension, which was considerable. Bending, she retrieved an arrow ensemble, except where the arrow point was, there was a collapsible, four- pronged grappling hook attached to the tip and a black, knotted line attached to a hinge at the back of the arrow’s shaft.

     Turning to Mal, she again smiled, as she opened the small grappling hook, pointed with a gloved finger at one of the four-point ends on it. “Carbon fiber, rubber tip, with stainless steel point. Very quiet, strong, you see.”

     Before Mal could tell her that he loved her, at least in his own eclectic way, she peeled off her heavy, black leather coat, allowed it to fall to the asphalt. Adjusting both Berettas that were hanging under her arms by the shoulder holsters, she took Mal’s black backpack and then bent, unzipped it and shoved her coat into the pack.

     Rising, she turned to Mal and with a mischievous twinkle in her eyes, she raised the bow, slotted the black arrow into the slot, reared back, raised the bow into the sky, and then aimed it.

     Mal’s eyes went wide, for her bare arms were cut with muscles and he could see her collarbones as they seemed to almost pop out of her body, and then he stared at her forearms popping as they melted into her powerful wrists and then her black leather gloves. Then, as if she were a female Robin Hood, she released the arrow and it went. “Swoooosh.”

     From the bow’s bag the black line smoked out of the case as loop after loop straightened as the arrow whizzed up and over the roof. Handing the bow to Mal, she then gripped the line in her black leather gloves and then began to retrieve the black, knotted rope. The grappling hooks seemed to catch on something on the roof, and feeling it, she gave the rope one last tug.

     Looking at Mal, she glanced at the shotgun in his hand, thought for a moment, then bent, unassembled the bow set, re-stashed it into its proper bag, then reached down, picked up the black backpack, shouldered it, winked at Mal, and whispered. “Mal wait for Pilar sign. Bring arrow bag, Mossberg, be right back.”

     He was about to say okay, but she was gone before he could do so.

     Like some kind of efficacious human Gibbon, she took the rope in her gloved hands, and straddling it, she monkey-walked up the side of the condominium like one of her Darwinian cousins, reached the top, and then disappeared from Mal’s sight.

     Once up there, Mal watched as the rope began to unspool out of a hole of the arrow bag he was holding in his hands. From nowhere, there appeared a black, exotic rope-like substance, attached to a rope ladder began to unravel higher towards the roof.

     Once the black rope ladder was set over the building’s lip, Mal smiled as Pilar’s face beamed over the edge, and as she smiled, her hand waved at him to begin climbing. Mal grinned to himself, for he had done a lot of dangerous and illegal stuff most of his life, including murder. He had been a drug and arms smuggler, he had even lived as a jewel fence once, but never had he enjoyed himself this much. In every thieve’s mind, cat burglar stuff is at the top of the list, and he had to admit he was having a blast.

     Shouldering the Mossberg and the arrow kit over the same shoulder, he shoved his handgun a little deeper into the belt of his jeans, grabbed the rungs of the ladder in his gloved fingers, and powered himself easily up the ladder and onto the roof.

     Instantly, Pilar, heavy double-breasted Leather jacket back on to shun the cold, leaned in and pulled the rope ladder back onto the roof. Taking the Arrow kit bag from Mal, she bent to a knee, unzipped it, and the placed the rope and the rope ladder back into it.

     As she did her thing, Mal turned his eyes to the horizon, where the bright city lights of Tijuana glistened like neon jewels everywhere. Finishing stowing her stuff, she straightened and turning to Mal, she giggled. “Fun, yes, Mal?”

     Chuckling, Mal said. “You’re like James Bond.”

     Reaching forward and allowing her wonderful sense of humor to be exposed for the first time, she pinched his cheek between her forefinger and thumb and said. “Bond, he not real. Pilar, she real.”

     They shared the fun moment together, then she released his face, and said. “Now, watch. We find out what going on inside.”

     Bending to her black backpack, she unzipped it and then began to pull stuff out of it. From the bag, she took what to Mal’s eyes seemed to be some kind of carbon fiber trapeze setup, which was attached to a black, electric motor and had a heavy clamp assembly attached to it. After she had the complete thingamajig laid out on the roof, she lifted the clamp and two-meter bar in her gloved hand, stood and then scrutinized it.

     Without hesitation, she extended the black bar, so it shot out over the open space of the building’s wall. Adjusting the stout clamps, she slotted them onto the building’s edge, and then tightened the two clamps to it. Attached to the two-meter bar was another bar and a phalange of black rope and again Mal thought it looked like something a trapeze artist might use within their high-flying act, at some odd circus somewhere in the world.

     Bending, she then withdrew a heavy black canvass harness assembly. Once again, she peeled off her double-breasted coat and her shoulder holsters, allowing them to fall to the rooftop. Mal saw tiny goose bumps appear on her bare arms and neck, and he hoped that she wasn’t going to catch a cold, or for that matter, a bullet before all was said and done. Placing the harness around her shoulders, she then stitched the heavy belt along her narrow waist, gave them both a tug, then to Mal’s amazement, she put one of her soft soled feet on the edge of the building, and then leapt off of the building edge.

     Once airborne, she fell a meter, caught the carbon fiber bar with both hands that were welded against her waist. Completely blown away, Mal gasped as she then did a spin on the bar, straightened, released the bar and landed softly onto the roof, flexing her knees as she did.

     Perhaps she was showing off for the only friend she had ever had in the world, perhaps not, but as she straightened, she smiled gaily at Mal, as she whispered. “Perfect. Pilar, once a gymnast, sometime use that talent.”

     Shaking his head back and forth, Mal grinned as he said in awe. “I guess so.”

     Giggling, Pilar said again through a mischievous smile. “You want to try, Mal?”

     “No…No, I think I’ll leave the hard stuff to you.”

     Giggling, she punched him in the arm, turned and bent to the pack again. As Mal watched, she withdrew a small remote control with two long black cables attached to it. On one of the shoulder straps of her harness was a Velcro patch, which she then connected the remote control to. Turning to the small, black motor connected to the winch ensemble, she plugged it in, spooled out some cable, then took the free cable and connected it by Velcro to her other shoulder harness strap.

     Looking like some half-human half-cyborg creature from the movie Matrix Reloaded, she bent back to the case, and then withdrew a small Digital Cam- Corder, which appeared to Mal’s eyes to have several tiny little tentacles, octopus suction cones attached to it. Handing it to Mal, she moved to the edge of the building, and then turned to him. “Give slack, as Pilar descend…Please.”

     Mal nodded, and then watched as she attached the Digital camera to more Velcro on her shoulder harness. Almost unable to believe his own eyes, he then watched as she extended her hand to the bar, unspooled the trapeze bar, and then allowed it to dangle in the night air, as she, in a crouch, leaped onto the building’s edge into a crouch. Her eyes swept up and down the alley, and then seeing all was well, she jumped forward, and as she had done before, she came to rest with her fists holding the bar, just at her waist.

     As she lowered her hands to the lower bar, and as she attached it by heavy rings to her waist harness, Mal ran his hand over his head, wondering if what he was seeing, was a reality. He had done a lot of nifty thieving in his life, but nothing remotely as cool as what the girl was doing.

He had seen all the movies, where guys unrealistically hung on ropes in museums and such, but this was not a movie, and as he scratched his unshaven jaw, he had to remind himself that the amazing girl was actually doing what she was doing.

     He then gasped, for instantly she released the bar, went vertical, and now hanging upside down, feet pressed directly into the night sky, he watched as her gloved finger came to the remote on her shoulder harness, and pressed a button. The electric motor began to whir on the roof edge as she descended down and down along the buildings wall.

     Moving to the precipice, Mal, almost laughing, watched as the girl moved down the wall like some kind of spider, the two cables trailing behind her. Then, once at the edge of a huge bay window, she stalled, her eyes just below the window’s edge. Looking down at her, he watched as she took the tiny camera, and then pressed it against the massive window, lens pointing, he assumed, at whatever or whomever was in the condo. The motor began to whir again, and he shook his head as he watched the winch spool the line and Pilar back to the roof.

     Once there, she grabbed the extended bar above her, unhinged her waist fasteners, pulled up, did a spin just for the heck of it, and with her upward momentum pushing her, she then landed silently on her boot soles back to the roof. Neither talking, nor looking at Mal, she bent, withdrew what looked like a small Blackberry from the pack, coupled it to the free cable, and then flicked it on.

     The screen went to life. She motioned Mal to look and as she pointed at it, she took a small joystick on the monitor, moved it around, then whispered. “There he is. He with woman, we watch for minute, see if other there.”

     Then she shuddered as her teeth began to chatter again and she gave the video monitor to Mal to hold. Bending, she grabbed her shoulder holster, re- shouldered it and then placed her heavy leather coat on, zipped it up, re-buttoned the double breasts, then turned and peeked at the monitor, as she whispered. “What you see, Mal?”

     “Yes, he’s partying. I see a girl, naked. They’re dancing…there you go, they like coke too. ” Then he giggled. “His outfit is a little suspect.”

     Looking at the video image, Pilar groaned. Maccas was about five-foot seven, brown skinned, about two hundred pounds, and seemed in a gregarious mood. He had a beach ball for a belly, which flopped over a red G-string, fashion disaster, mostly seen on the beaches of Colombia, Venezuela and other South American countries, where fat meant that a man was a man of importance and was a desirable thing, for he could feed himself.


No stranger to gluttonous men, for she had obliterated her fair share of them, Pilar then seethed, as she saw a most beautiful, white skinned, naked girl dancing to music, which obviously was sprinkling through the condo.  “Pilar no like this man. She see many just like him. Pilar angry, for if he hurt girl. He dead already, he just don’t know it.”

     Mal heard the growl in her voice, and once again he knew that perhaps her words were very bad news for Senor Maccas, who seemed to like dancing, for he was doing his share of it down in the garishly decorated condo below them. Growing silent, they watched for another few minutes, then Pilar switched off the video, and turned to Mal with a look he had not quite seen before within her brown eyes. “We go now, Mal. We talk to this, pig. No kill, talk first, okay?”

     “Yes, of course.”

     Bending to the bag, she dug around it, and then withdrew a fifty-thousand- volt Taser gun from it, showed it to Mal, then laced it into her jacket pocket.

     “We Taser him, then chat.”

     “I like it.”

     “Okay, leave bags on roof, maybe we get later, maybe not. Bring Mossberg and Sig Sauer, you ready, friend?”

     Nodding at her, Mal ground his jaw, bringing him back to the hard work at hand. Staring at his gun, he ejected the clip, found a full one in the pocket of his sweatshirt, and rammed it into the gun’s grip, chambered a bullet, and then whispered. “Ready, beauty.”

     Smiling at his words, she bent to the bag one last time, pulled something out of it, shoved it into her heavy coat, stood, turned and then crept along the roof top. Mal followed close behind her as she did.

     Moving across the roof, she then bent at a stout hatch door that was hinged to the roof, and was secured with a rusted padlock. As Mal crouched along side of her, she then whispered. “Just as I think.”

      Reaching into the pocket of her leather coat, she pulled out a small torch. Attached to the handle was a flint device, which she then took, and after adjusting the flow of gas, she clicked it. The flint sparked, the torch pooled out a small yellow/blue flame from its brass nozzle. Taking no more than thirty seconds, she easily cut through the lock, took her gloved fingers and after gingerly removing the lock from its clasp, quietly laid it on the rooftop.

      From another pocket, she took a small can of gear oil, applied it to the rusted hinges. She lifted the hatch, heard a small squeak, applied a little more gear oil, then repeated the procedure. Hearing no squeaks, she lifted the hatch, and again, careful not to make a peep, she laid it along the roof. From the bottom of the hatch, Mal could see lights and the rungs of an iron ladder leading down to the fourth floor. Turning, Pilar pressed her gloved forefinger to her lips, telling Mal to remain silent.

     In semi-awe, Mal watched as she then dug into her other pocket, and once there she retrieved a pair of stout goggles, that had a fiber optic cable plugged into the side of them. Hanging from them in a spool was about four meters of thin, black fiber optic cable. Pressing a button on the side of the goggles, Mal saw a tiny green light begin to strobe.

     Within a moment, she had the spool of flexible cable straightened into a line. Ever so carefully she spooled the fiber optic cable down past the iron ladder rungs, so the small optic lens at the tip of the cable was poking, just barely into the hallway.

    “Ahh, good. No surveillance camera, okay, we go.

     Pulling the cable out of the chute, she laid it, as well as the goggles onto the roof, turned to Mal and whispered. “Stuff, easy to replace. Life, not so easy. Okay, follow Pilar.”

     Feeling his adrenaline pumping and having basically a surreal experience, Mal watched as she climbed down the ladder. Once she was down, he slung the Mossberg along his shoulder, and followed her down the iron rungs to the hallway of the fourth floor.

     The fourth floor hallway was lightly lit, and Pilar had not hesitated after seeing that it was secure. Turning left, Mal followed her to a stairwell and after they had quietly moved down two sets of stairs they came to a heavy fire door, that was closed on the second floor, but was not locked.

     Opening the door, Pilar peeked her head out, stared down the light green carpeted hallway, turned to Mal, and as she pulled out her Taser in one gloved hand, she dug in her pocket and withdrew her silenced 9-milllimeter in the other. Looking at Mal, she whispered. “Okay, you ready, Mal?”

     Nodding, Mal slowly and quietly chambered a shotgun shell into the breech of the Mossberg. He then pulled his Sig Sauer out of his waistband, gripped it in his black gloved hands, and whispered. “Never more.”

     Pilar nodded at him, slipped through the door and with Mal following her they tiptoed down the hallway, until they were facing the door of Maccas’s condominium. Standing there, they could hear music and a woman laughing filtering through the door.

     Ever so slowly, Pilar tucked the Taser under her arm, wrapped her gloved hand around the doorknob, gave it a little twist, and then seeing that the door was not locked, she returned it to its original position “Good, not locked. He get lazy.”

     Mal, feeling his heart pumping and actually enjoying the moment, nodded to her words.

     “Okay…Three, we go…One, two three.”

     Pilar twisted the doorknob and quietly opened the door, and then slid through the door as Mal followed her inside.

     OUTSIDE IN front of the Condominium, the two burly guards, smoking and flapping their arms tying to stay warm in their heavy leather jackets, suddenly blinked their heavy-lidded eyes.

On their thick waists, just along the holsters that were carrying their handguns, two small cell phones began to buzz. Both Mexican men turned, stared at each other a little confused, and then in unison whispered. “Maccas.” Instantly they withdrew their military-issued .45-caliber handguns, turned and rushed through the door, banked hard at a stairwell and began to run towards their benefactor’s condominium, thus proving that sometimes even the most best-laid plans are just not planned well enough.

     Tito Maccas was a demi-God within himself. He was a bit cranky, for the Lear jet had been delayed, which would be delivering the trafficked girl to Mexico City, including the prize, the young American girl Maria, was late. Then he smiled, as the call came and the Jet was in flight, to land in TJ International within the moment, so his mind turned to fucking.

He thought about it further.

After the girls were delivered, Manuel Mata, who ran the Human Trafficking Division of the Orta’s diverse empire, would, mostly through his well-organized underlings, get the girls to Doctor Trinidad, a conjurer with a scalpel. Maccas assumed that the girls had already been sold and were on their way to the Middle East, most likely Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, or Qatar. Once there they would live the rest of their lives out as human sex slaves for men that appreciated such things.

      Feeling better, Maccas turned and, standing in his G-string, he glanced at his bedroom to his left, wondered what was keeping his whore, and then he stared out the massive window at the lights of Tijuana on the horizon. He felt the buzz from the cocaine and the tequila he had been sipping for the last two hours, and remembering the blow job he had gotten as a bonus from the terrified American girl, he felt almost giddy from those thoughts. Placing his hand on his huge belly, he felt it jiggle as he began to giggle, for he felt omnipotent, sexual and within his black beady eyes, he saw a bright future, one in which life was just getting better all the time.

     Moving a step, he bent to a smoked glass table, where a mirror and about an ounce of coke and a small straw was set.

     Of course, all that changed for him when suddenly his front door opened and some kind of phantom thing entered, crouched, sweeping her black, gloved hands that held pistols in them around the room. Everything had been happening so fast, he then looked confused as his heavy eyebrows furrowed, for right behind her was a tall, brown man with a shaved head, who to his thinking did not have a friendly expression on his face. In the guy’s gloved hand was a man-eating looking shotgun and in his other hand was what appeared to him to be an automatic handgun.

     Maccas was about to say something, when the girl, he now saw that she was a girl, and probably the most beautiful girl he had ever seen, extended her left arm, and pulled the trigger on her odd-looking handgun.


Instantly, sparks blistered out of the guns tip and almost as if in slow motion he saw the darts spitting at him and the tiny wires, attached from the gun’s barrel un-spooling behind them directly towards him.

     One moment a God, the next second a lit-up Christmas tree, the important man watched as the darts impacted into his sternum, just above his massive belly. His eyes exploded, as did his body as the powerful current pulsed though his fat torso. Instantly, body vibrating and out of control, his heavy knees buckled, and he, like a Jell-O mold, in undulating sections fell to his back, where once on the floor he simply laid there twitching.

     Watching, Mal, shotgun extended, Sig Sauer tensed in his hand and his eyes acting like a sonar pinging everywhere, he looked at her now standing body as she turned her head, looked at him, smiled, then playfully winked at him.

     Mal was about to smile, when both he and Pilar’s world fell into slow motion. Almost as if their lives were now film clips of some D W Griffith hand- cranked celluloid movie, everything began to unfold so slow, it was as if they were caught within suspended animation.

     Moving from the open bedroom door was a naked girl, and along her side was a black twelve-gauge shotgun.

     Pilar was facing the girl with the now-rising shotgun. She still had her silenced Beretta in her gloved right hand along her right side, and as she glanced at the girl, the front door opened and the two heavyset men in their black leather jackets entered.

     Now, things fell to silence and every clip of film seemed to crawl past them. Pilar’s eyes locked with Mal’s, and a micro-second passed, as Mal looked at the girl, who film-clip by film-clip was raising the twelve gauge.

     It then ground even slower as Mal and Pilar’s black eyes remained locked for another micro second, as Mal, hearing the door, turned in slow motion, and saw the men raising their own guns, in his direction. Pilar’s eyes jerked back and forth from the girl, who almost had the shotgun level at her chest now. Back to Mal, then the men, as she watched as Mal fell to a crouch, swung his arm around on the Mexican on his right. She heard the “Pssst” as Mal then squeezed off two rounds, which caught the man in the chest, sending him slashing into the wall behind him, and then to the floor.

     And now, as in any war, when two friends, comrades, soldiers are faced with the decision whether to save a buddy, or seek their own safety, Pilar choose the first. Seeing that the other man had his pistol barrel just an inch from being focused on her friend, she ignored the naked girl with the shotgun aimed directly at her chest. Mal thought he saw her eyes dart at him, but then Pilar, still facing the girl, simply raised her arm from her right side, pointing the Beretta at the man who was going to murder her friend.

     One more micro second passed, and Mal, knowing that he was dead now, watched to his astonishment as Pilar, ignoring the fire that now was exploding out of the shotgun barrel, squeezed off one round from her Beretta.

     Mal gasped, as the bullet caught the man in the forehead, sending him down. And then before he could turn, the lead pellets from the twelve-gauge blasted into Pilar’s chest, ripping her backwards across the room, where once against the wall, she fell to her rump, spread-eagled on the floor.

     With still a war to fight, Mal felt such fury in his chest, that within the moment of such pain, he could only hear the naked girl as she re-chambered another shell into the breech of the shotgun.

Instantly, Mal dropped his shotgun, went into a roll, and as he flew to his knees and began to focus his pistol barrel on the girl, another blast plumed from the barrel of the girl’s gun.

     Jerking right, Mal felt the left side of his shoulder, neck and face burn, as several of the lead pellets pierced his body, sending him to the floor, sprawled on his back. Blood began to seep into his eyes and he could smell the cordite and it was so silent in the room, he could hear every click as the girl pulled back the slide on the shotgun, and having reloaded, began to turn the shotgun in his direction.

     It was a race now, between him and the girl, life, death and a bullet, and of course, as in all matters of death, a pinpoint of time often determines who lives within such battles. Since handguns are just plain simpler to wield, Mal on his back, lifted both hands, tried to focus the gun on her, then because blood from a forehead wound was spilling into his eyes, he swiped his eyes with the back of his gloved hand.

     No time now, no time at all, and as he lifted to barrel of the Sig Sauer, the girl slipped, just little, and as she did, Mal fired, emptying his gun of his bullets as he did.

     The girl screamed as three bullets, like on a ladder’s rung hit her stomach, her sternum and then directly in her throat. The force of the bullets sent her flailing backwards, her arms thrown into the air. Back she went, until she hit the bed, where she flopped on her back, as her legs and feet vibrated over the edge of the bed and she died.

     Slowly Mal crawled to his knees, and because he was a soldier, he checked his wounds. His muscled shoulder had taken two pellets, yet though it hurt like hell, he knew he was all right there. Peeling off his gloves, he checked his throat and forehead, where three other pellets had grazed him. Looking at the blood on his hands, he swallowed his warlike nature, took a piece of his sweatshirt, and then wiped his face as best he could clean.

     Not wanting to do it, he turned to Pilar, who was slumped against the wall, her lovely chin bent against her chest. There was blood on the side of her cheek, as well as her neck, but not a lot of blood. The front of her black, double-breasted leather coat was shattered and ripped apart, and he could only guess what damage had been to her tiny torso under it.

     Hearing a moan, he glanced at Maccas who now was rolling around on the floor. Standing, he walked over to Pilar’s Taser, picked it up, squeezed the trigger, which sent another jolt of electricity along the wires. Maccas moaned in pain, his body twitched, jerked a couple of times and then he went silent.

     Turning back to Pilar, he moved to her, fell to his knees, and simply stared at her. She still clutched her Beretta in her right gloved hand, for combatants seldom go down without them. Ever so slowly, he extended his fingers, pushed some wayward hair from her face, and then he grew silent, as he pushed her face back off of her chest, and with so much sorrow, simply gazed at that cold, remarkable face. Blood was seeping from a pellet hole in her cheek and forehead, and it sickened him seeing her perfection marred so.

     Closing his eyes, he pushed the tears away, for he now knew that another friend had fallen in his life, and that friend was simply irreplaceable. As tears gathered in his eyes, he sat there hunched over for several moments, and then he felt something on his cheek foreign, and he thought it was more blood. His eyes opened, and there was Pilar’s fingers touching his face and she was smiling, as she whispered.

     “No sad, Mal. Pilar not dead…Look.”

      Grinning from ear to ear, he watched as she lifted the tip of the silencer, and almost comically opened the front of the tattered leather coat.

     “See…Special jacket…Kevlar, Second Chance. How I look.”

     Exhaling every ounce of grief he had, he looked at her minor wounds on her cheek and forehead, then reached forward, wrapped his arms around her, drew her in and hugged her furiously as he whispered in her ear.

“Beautiful…Just fucking beautiful.”

Smiling, and remembering the water that had been gathering in his eyes as she had stared at him crashing his soul just moments earlier, she felt his power and the hug and she could not remember being so happy.

”Thank you, Mal…” She whispered, as Mal released her and put her at arm’s length.

Gazing at her bloody and smiling face, Mal growled.

“You saved my life, Pilar. Why?”

Giggling and, then chuckling, she touched his wounds on his neck and face, glanced at the blood seeping from his shoulder through the sweatshirt, wiped a little blood from them with her gloved fingers, and said, “You only friend Pilar have. She love you, Mal.”

Within the moment and as another girl she had never met before once had, when that blond beauty had whispered those words to the most unusual man, she saw real pain sprawl across his rugged face.  Moments passed, and then as if two rare diamonds that now were set into bezels of fate, she watched as Mal found a smile somewhere in his huge spirit, and now, though she did not know it, her life, through him had changed, changed forever.

Touching her face, she saw his chipped teeth. He leaned in and kissed her gently on the lips. She felt her aching body shudder, for first times for girls being kissed by someone they truly respect and care for, can be so earth shaking, it can stun them to the tips of their handguns.

Breaking away from her, he pushed some more hair strands from her delicate face, and then Maccas groaned from over in the corner, and the moment was broken, as Mal said, “You honor me. Let’s finish this thing. There is a lot we need to talk, about…Okay?”

      Smiling, she nodded, glanced at the awakening Maccas, then said. “Yes, my friend. Let’s finish this.”

     Standing, Mal helped her to her feet, saw her weave once, then supporting her under her arm, he asked. “You okay? What’s the damage?”

     Allowing her heavy armored coat to fall to the floor, she touched her black body shirt, which was skintight against her small breasts.

“Ooooh.” She groaned.

Seeing that a stray lead pellet had grazed her bare, cut arm and that it was bleeding, Mal looked around, saw a T-shirt, moved to it, and bending, picked it up. From under the pants leg of his black jeans, he lifted his cuff, and withdrew his eight-inch hunting knife from the sheath stuck in his work boot. The knife was like a razor, and Pilar watched which much admiration, as Mal sliced the T-shirt into cotton bandages, moved to her, and wrapped her wound with the white cotton strip. Seeing blood seeping out of the sweatshirt along his shoulder, Pilar asked “You Mal…You are hurt…You okay?”

Nodding, he smiled. “I’m fine, you want to talk to this guy, now?”

“Yes, Mal…Now.”

Turning, she strolled over to Maccas, and as Mal picked up his Mossberg and reloaded the Sig Sauer with another clip, he stuffed it in his waistband, and moved along side of her.

Maccas looked like a beached whale, laying there in his party G-string, his enormous belly hanging over the skimpy underwear, which made Pilar even more edgy than before. Nudging him with her black boot toe, the man groaned once, and then his bulbous eyelids opened. Feeling a little blood seeping into her eyes, she wiped them with her bare forearm, glanced at the blood, and then sighed.

     Exposing his pellet eyes, Maccas gawked straight up at the obviously annoyed gorgeous girl. After a micro-moment, he recognized her and whispered.


     Pilar raised her eyebrows at him, coyly, winked at him. His eyes flicked at the tall man with the shotgun, who looked a little edgy himself and then back at the angel, who now was waving a Beretta in his face.

     “Get up, NOW.”

     The brown girl seethed and Maccas, still living out the delusion that he was impregnable, groaned in anger, as he struggled to his knees, facing her as he did.

     Nudging his heavy lips open, Pilar stuck the silencer barrel into his mouth, looked at Mal, then said. “Show picture, please, Mal.”

     As Mal began to dig into his pocket, Maccas began to mumble some kind of defiant nonsense, but quickly became silent, as Pilar, with her thumb, cocked the hammer back, and then having done so, simply turned her head, back and forth. His eyes darted from the girl’s ferret eyes to the gun in his mouth, back at her eyes, which told him it might behoove him to be obedient, for the beautiful ferret was looking at him like a King Snake. She wanted to eat.

     As Maccas gawked around his flat, which was littered with blood and his dead minions, he thought for a moment that perhaps, beyond his knowledge that the two killers were a part of the Castro Cartel. He had heard that the Castro’s and the Orta’s, much like at an Eli Lilly board meeting, had ironed out their differences, for how many hundreds of millions of dollars do fella’s need to be happy. But in his mind, one never knew, for violence was such an integral part of his business, well, one never really knew, did they?

     Mumbling something unintelligible, he then understood, as the tall guy with the scattergun pushed a color photograph in front of his face that these folks were not Castro’s people, but very different kind of animals indeed.

     “Where girl? Talk now.” Pilar said in Spanish, as she removed the silencer from his trembling lips.

     “How much do you want? How much? I don’t know any fucking girl. Do you know who I am?”

     Whacking him along side of his bean with her pistol barrel, she saw his head jerk, and with homicide in his eyes, he turned his face back to her as she seethed. “I know you dead man, if you no tell where girl is.”

     Looking back and forth from the photo to her eyes, he said. “I don’t know what the fuck you talking about.”

     Exhaling her annoyance, she thought for a moment, and tired of gun-play for the evening, she decided to be creative, for after all she was an artist of what she did so well.

     “Mal, put Mossberg on face.”

       Mal lifted the shotgun, nudged the tip against his heavy jowls.

      Placing her Beretta under her bare arm, and as Maccas’s eyes kept darting at the hard character the girl kept calling Mal, he watched as she dug into her front pocket, and from it she withdrew a small white, plastic vial. Opening the lid of the tiny vial, she withdrew a small glassine bag, which she laid on the palm of her gloved hand. Looking at Mal, she winked, got a wink in return, and ever so carefully, she opened the bag and tilting it, aimed the open lip to her palm. A small yellow pill fell into the center of her palm, as she smiled seeing it.

     Tilting her hand, she saw Maccas’s eyes leering at it, and then she glanced at Mal, who seemed mesmerized by the small yellow tablet, as Senor Maccas was terrified by it.

     “Senor Maccas, do you know what is this?”

      Not wanting to know, he shook his head back and forth.

      “Is Cyanide…Very bad for you.

      “Geeze, what a gal, is there no end to her magnificence.” Mal thought, as Maccas gulped and his eyes kept skipping over the yellow tablet in the horrible girl’s palm.

     “Now…Where is girl, I count to three. No tell. Very bad thing this…very bad. Tell.”

     “You…You don’t know who I am…Fuck you…I ain’t tellin’ you nothin’.”

     “Time up.” Pilar whispered, as she glanced at Mal.

     “Mal, please, grab back of head, pull back. Use Mossberg to open mouth.”

      Mal leaned forward, grabbed a tuft of the jefe’s thick black hair, ripped it back, dug the tip of the shotgun between Maccas’s sputtering lips, then pried it open.

      Maccas kept trying to tell her something, but it came out as stutters and disjointed babble-speak. Pilar moved her gloved hand over his open mouth and began to tilt the yellow pill. Maccas’s eyes bolted wide open, gawking at it.

     The pill took a small tumble and, then on the edge of her glove, it began to make one last roll, almost as if in slow motion. With sweat pouring down his obese brown face, Maccas began to stutter again. “Si…Si…Si…Yo Conosco…Yo Conosco.”

     The pill began to tumble off of the edge of her palm, and as it found air, she swept her other hand so fast, that Mal almost missed it. An inch from his bulbous lips, she caught it, brought her hand up and playfully looked at the pill in her glove, as she whispered, “Oooh, so close. No, it’s here…Now, where is girl?”

       Mal pulled the gun tip out of his mouth, released his grip on his hair and as he did he could see the man hyperventilating and his barrel chest heaving and a copious amount of perspiration raining down his face neck and chest.

     “Si…Girl at airport…no…Now…Jet just come…Han…Hangar 4…she go to Mexi….Mex…Mexico City…No kill…no…No kill me…por favor.”

     He bowed his head and began to weep as his breathing increased and his chest grew huge along his body and his face lifted and his eyes went stark.

     “Where…What kind of jet…Where she go…Who waiting for her…What they do to her…Talk.”

     Suddenly having problems breathing and talking, the panic-stricken man jutted out the words, as his eyeballs began to roll into the back of his head.

     “Ma…Mata…Man…Ma…Manuel. Mata…Clu…Cl…Club Mayan…All…I…I…Kn…Know…they cut…cut her…Doc…Doc…Doctoooor Trinidad…Le…Lear Jet…Ahhhh”

     Instantly, his entire body went rigid, as a massive gush of air exploded out of his chest. His eyes rolled back into the back of his head, as Pilar leaned forward, and grabbed the hair on the back of his head, and then whispered. “What name doctor?”

     With his last breath, and as he died of a massive heart attack, the obese man whispered…Do…Doctor…Tri…Trin…aaahhhhhh.”

      And then he was dead from a massive heart attack, and with no more breath in his body, and only being supported by Pilar’s muscled grip, she released him, thus allowing him to slump to the floor. Turning to Mal, they exchanged glances and then they heard police sirens not that far away, which brought Pilar back to the moment. She glanced out of the window at blue and red blinking lights flashing in their direction.

      “No time, Mal. We go airport. You have Bobby friend there, official, yes.”

       Glancing at his dive watch, which was splattered with blood, he whispered. “Yes, but it’s past 3 AM.”

      “No matter Mal, you have big money, yes. You call from car, he come, Pilar sure, help us get through airport, to hangar, maybe we not too late, okay.”

      “Yes, you’re right.”

       Turning her eyes to the front window again, she saw two blue and white Tijuana cop cars, lights blazing on their roofs, pull up in front of the Condo. As the police spilled out of the cars with their weapons drawn and began to run towards the front door, Pilar smiled.

      “Come, we go same way we come.”

     Just about to turn and flee, she then felt the yellow-pill in her hand. Looking at Mal, she winked at him, popped it into her beautiful mouth, swallowed it, looked at Mal, and smiled at his shocked expression.

      “Excedrin, for Pilar headache.”

       She giggled, as Mal shook his head back and forth in wonder.

       She then turned, walked over to her bullet proof vest coat, picked it up and then ran across the room, with Mal in tow.

     Now once again, they were moving into a war they thought once they would never know again and what they would find at the end of that move would be more carnage.

     More Bullets. More death, perhaps even their own.

     The war had begun again, and perhaps no one would get out alive.

j brooke is a writer with over 100 credits, and never lists them. It's simple for j, for it’s never what you have already written, but what you are going to write next. Contact info: jbrooke2001@yahoo.com

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