WHERE THE WIND BLOWS – Part Two

You can find Part One here.

Image courtesy of Quint Magazine.

***

“So there’s only one more question then, isn’t there boys?” he said, smilin’. I watched myself in the lenses of those sunglasses he was wearin’, shufflin’ in my spot.

I saw us pullin’ and pointin’ and firin’ guns, puffs of smoke and blood sprayin’. I was tremblin’ hard now. Sergio looked spooked too, but his shoulders was still holdin’ up strong. The old boy stopped smilin’. He’d looped his thumbs into his belt and was rockin’ on his heels. He was sizin’ us up. I felt like my shadow had done run off and left me.

“Did you bring me what I need?” he said, calm.

Sergio slowly turned to me and nodded to the bag. I sat it down, all slow, never takin’ my eyes off the old boy. I opened the bag. I dug my hands in and felt the jar. I closed my eyes and pulled it out. I didn’t want to see those fuckin’ things again. I pushed the jar down into the sand and stood up.

“There. Now what?” I asked, steppin’ away from everythin’, tryin’ not to look at the jar.

“You gimme that jar over here quick boy” the old boy said, voice all cold and quiet.

I looked at him, and then at the eyeballs in the jar. One of them was starin’ up at me. The red stringy bit was hangin’ out the back and the whole thing was all blood shot, like someone had been pokin’ it with a pointy stick. I couldn’t move. I felt Sergio nudge at my arm. I couldn’t stop starin’ at them. I felt my vision sink into them. Like them eyes was my eyes. I could see the whole thing. All those blanks in my head became full color pictures. I started shakin’, hard. I could see maself holdin’ that gun, lookin’ away from the guy. I saw him lyin’ on the road, blood creepin’ out his back and bubblin’ out his front. I could see maself kneelin’ on his chest, pullin’ them eyes out and screwin’ the top on the jar. I was tremblin’ like a leaf, starin’ at maself just doin’ things, terrible things, like a robot all programmed up to kill and maim. I was locked on these fuckin’ eyes, watchin’ maself doin’ shit I’d sooner hang maself than do again.

“Bring me those God damn eyes now,” said the old boy through his old filthy teeth.

Sergio bent down and picked up the jar and handed it to the old boy. I suddenly snapped out of everything and came to again. I was breathing hard. I looked around and saw that we were still here. I watched the old boy smile as he shook the jar in his hands. The eyes thumped about inside like old rubber balls that’d long since lost they bounce.

He turned his back on us again. He walked back to the log. We watched his elbows as he unscrewed the jar. He took off his glasses and sat them on the log. He reached into the jar and picked up the eyeballs. He lifted them up to his face. I looked at Sergio. He was watchin’ the old boy with a fixed stare. I didn’t know where to look. All’s I knew was that I was scared as shit. This situation was fucked. I felt my hand unclip the button on my holster, but I didn’t want him to see me do it. Not with they new eyes he had. Them eyes knew how I drew.

*

“So I believe you have a long ways to go boys, if you’re only at me” said the old boy. He turned around and smiled. His eyes, rather, the Mexican’s eyes, were wide as hell. He looked weird, like he’d won a prize on a game show.

“How long?” asked Sergio.

The old man let out a little laugh. His eyes crossed each other, one lookin’ east, the other lookin’ west.

“Long way.” He looked up at the sky, and then down at his feet, blinkin’ hard.

Those eyes started flickin’ back forth between us. He was warmin’ them up, breakin’ them in.

“So where next?” asked Sergio.

“To the man who can’t speak.”

I looked around the dessert. It was the last drip of daytime and I could barely see anythin’ but the silhouette of the mountains against the deep blue sky. The wind had dropped to a sleepin’ breath.

“And which way is that?” I asked.

“Donde el…,” he said.

“Viento sopla” said Sergio.

“That’s it” said the old boy, aimin’ at us with that busted old smile. He tried winkin’, but it was slow and shaky. His eyelid sorta fluttered, like he was puttin’ in a contact lens for the first time.

I sighed and picked up the bag. Sergio dropped some sand and watched it fall straight down. There was barely any wind, just a nose breath, if anythin’ at all. We looked back to his eyes. My visions had dried up, but I felt Sergio jump next to me. He started breathin’ heavy and shakin’. The old man smiled at him. He widened his eyes. Sergio’s breathin’ got real heavy, his shoulders goin’ up and down like moons and suns. He pushed his face into his hands and shook his head. I guess he must’ve seen himself cuttin’ out some boy’s tongue.

Sergio kept up his tremblin’ as the old boy gave us a nod and walked between us, towards the dark.

“What if the wind stops?” I shouted.

He stopped. He turned around and smiled with those teeth again.

“If the wind stops, you stop.”

We watched him turn into a little shadow and fade into the black. Sergio was still breathin’ heavy, lookin’ straight ahead, into the wind. I nudged him and handed him the bag. He looked me in the eyes. He was real spooked man. I understood that. I took the bag and zipped it up. We stood starin’ at the log that the old boy sat on for a minute, not knowin’ where we should go or what we should do.

I heard a stick snap behind us. We both spun around. I nearly keeled over and fainted when I saw what I saw. I started blinkin’ like my eyes was new to my head. I started up shakin’ again. All’s I could do was pull my gun and point it back at the hole I’d already made.

The Mexican held up his hands, sorta surrenderin’ to us. I kept the gun pointed at the shiny coppery hole on his chest. I looked to where his eyes used to be. They was just two empty sockets, like scoops outta ice cream. The blood had streamed outta the scoops like tears, the wind pushin’ them and dryin’ them across his face. I followed the line down his jaw and onto his neck, either side of that tattoo.

“Jesus Christ! What in the hell’s goin’ on man?!?” I shouted at anyone.

“Hey,” said the Mexican, smilin’ a little. “You made it.”

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