I have tried to post this story once before, but I never made it to the end of it. This time however I would like to utilize this new found enthusiasm for blogging and sharing and post it properly. I sincerely hope you enjoy it. It’s weird.
We’d walked for hours, watchin’ those old shadows of ours get smaller and fatter, then longer and thinner. As the sun became a moon, that hot turned to cold, but that wind in our face never stopped. It was sweepin’ the years off us and blowin’ them to whoever was walkin’ behind us.
“So?” said the old boy.
We both looked at each other, Sergio and me. Sergio looked a little scared. I think I probably did too. It was like he was sayin’ ‘fuck this’ with them eyes. What with what we’d done and where we’d been, you couldn’t blame either of us for havin’ a jitter or two.
“Eh,” I said, as I took off my hat and wiped my brow, “I don’t know exactly why we’re here. We were just told to come find you.”
“And who told you to do that?” said the old boy. His voice was like hot cracked asphalt.
We looked at each other again, Sergio and me. Sergio shook his head a little. He still looked scared. I could see those hands of his thinkin’ about that gun of mine. The old boy had his back turned. He was wearin’ an old denim jacket and sittin’ on a log. His long ponytail was flickin’ a little in the wind, like it was swottin’ flies or somethin’.
“Who told you to do that?” he said again.
“God” I said.
The old guy let out a little laugh.
“God told you did he? And what did God have to say exactly?”
“He said you would tell us where we need to get.” said Sergio. He’d puffed his chest out a bit and was standin’ tall. He didn’t look so scared no more.
“And that was it.”
The old boy pushed himself up from the log. I saw some bugs go scuttlin’ off into the sand. He stood pretty tall himself. His shadow cut a long line between us. His head covered up the orange sun, givin’ this beam of light around him. I stepped back a step. Sergio just stood.
He turned around and stepped over the log. What with the sun bein’ where it was, we couldn’t see his face real clear. His features were like vague descriptions. Much like the shadows we was all draggin’ along. As he walked closer he came into view. He was wearin’ sunglasses. His face had hundreds of deep wrinkles what looked like perfect scars, all goin’ where they was spose to.
He stopped about ten feet from us. The two of us straightened up a bit more. I imagined myself drawin’ my gun. I imagined him drawin’ his too. But I saw him doin’ it faster and me gettin’ blown away. Call me defeatist, but that’s what I saw. He was like one of them gun slingers you see in the movies. The sort of old boy that shot young boys on the way to a shoot out.
He smiled at us. Big old toothy thing. Teeth like smoker’s fingernails.
“Did you kill a man on your way here?” he said.
We looked at each other again. Sergio’s eye’s had gone a bit soft.
“Yeah,” I said, “as instructed.”
“Good” he said.
We all stood there, quiet as mice. Dead mice.
“Now tell me, what’d he look like this man you killed?”
I thought back. I didn’t really have a clear picture. There’s certain things you remember about killin’ someone. I remember how he’d smiled. I remember how the gun kicked. I remember smellin’ that burnt gunpowder. Things went by in a sorta blur. Like it weren’t really me doin’ it. Thinkin’ back on it, stood there like we all were, I felt like I was lookin’ at photographs of the whole thing, with spaces in between where somethin’ important happened. I guess a shrink would call that selective memory, cause there weren’t a drop of blood on those pictures.
“He was a Mexican,” said Sergio, all calm.
“Uh huh” said the old boy.
“He was wearin’ a suit. Funeral suit.”
“Uh huh. Anythin’ else?”
I went back through those photographs in my head, tryin’ to see if I’d missed one with somethin’ important on it. But they was all skimmin’ past me. I was tryin’ not to think about my hand shakin’ around where my gun was.
“He had a tattoo across his throat” said Sergio. “It said ‘Donde el viento sopla’.”
“Yup, that’s him alright,” said the old boy. “Donde el viento…what was it again?”
“Sopla. It means ‘Where the wind blows’.” I said, looking at my feet.
The old boy grinned and nodded slowly. He spat again. It was like the old baseball players used to, in a long line, like nasty coffee.
“Where the wind blows. I like that.”
Silence again. We just stood, eyin’ each other up.
“So where does the wind blow then?” he asked, raisin’ an eyebrow. His wrinkles all crushed up together, makin’ deep dark lines on his brow.
“Towards you” said Sergio.
The old boy laughed silently. He turned his head back to the sun. It was almost gone behind the mountains. His ponytail hung from under his hat, restin’ still on his back.
“Well,” he said, turnin’ back to us, “not for much longer, thankfully.”