SERVANT OF THE SCORPION – Chapter 9, The Guardian Angels

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SERVANT OF THE SCORPION – Chapter 9, The Guardian Angels

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          I heard soft commotion in Irma’s room.  I heard the door open and shut.  Then I heard quick steps toward where I huddled in the wood closet.  Both closet doors flew open in Irma’s hands.  She still wore the torn dress and so I was staring at her tattooed breasts.  She pulled her dress together.

          “Get out” she said with no shame.  Carlos was gone.

          I got up quickly and hit my head in the wood closet.  I hurried past Irma without looking at her again.  Stepping over the fallen religious objects I went straight to the door.  I opened it peeking both ways down the corridor and exited gratefully into the twilight.

          Afraid of what I had seen and heard I hurried to the cloister.  There Esmeralda and the other apprentice pastors were standing in a circle holding hands.  They faced each other with eyes wide open.  Alternately one or another would say something that I could not hear.

          “Amen” they all said in unison and disbanded.  They hadn’t noticed me.  Esmeralda and the apprentice Lucas strolled away together toward a fountain.  I didn’t like the looks of that.  I crept along the corridor toward the same fountain.

          Esmeralda and Lucas talked close together.  They seemed intent on each other’s words.  But Lucas saw me, “Hey, pervert…”

          Esmeralda turned, “Alonzo, stop spying and come over here.”

          She smiled but they had embarrassed me.  I could feel my face getting hot.  “Why do you all hold hands in a circle like that?”

          “That’s how we communicate.”

          “To God?”

          “To our Guardian Angels.”

          “Your Guardian Angels?” I derided, “Isn’t that for little kids?”

          Lucas snapped back, “I’m thinking you’ll be needing your own guardian angel real soon.”

          Esmeralda frowned at him.

          I thought “Alright!”

          Then she turned to me, “Alonzo, we need you to come with us back into La Antigua tomorrow.”

          “Who’s ‘us’?”

          “Lucas, Irma, you, and me.”

          “Why?”  I thought of Irma and I was afraid again.  “Is this about those tourists who got killed?”

          “Lucas and Irma are going to find out more about that.  But, La Paloma Blanca Ministries is participating in Semana Santa and we still need to make certain arrangements.  You will come with me.”

          “Why me?”

          Lucas interjected impatiently, “Would you rather dig out the toilets in the orphanage?”

          “I’d rather dig shit than listen to shit.”  I was losing control.

          “Alonzo!” Esmeralda admonished me like a child.  Then the way Esmeralda gently said, “Lucas” really pissed me off.

          Lucas grinned, “How cute, Esmeralda.  You have a jealous puppy.  Listen, tough guy.  Figure it out: Rita thinks you’re bad for morale.”

          “Lucas, please.  Alonzo, that is not true.  I asked Rita if you could join us.”

          I wanted to tell them all to fuck off.  I wanted to run away into the jungle.  But I wanted more than anything else to just be with Esmeralda tomorrow.

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