SERVANT OF THE SCORPION – Chapter 15, Asleep at the Feet of Jesus

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Asleep at the Feet of Jesus


            I was on my knees bowing before the dark-skinned Jesus, begging forgiveness.  He said to me, “Judas, even Evil bends to the Purpose of The Father.  You can atone but you cannot be forgiven.”

            I looked up into his black diamond eyes and I cried, “But the soldier who stabbed you with the Spear of Destiny is now a Saint!”

            My shoulder was grabbed from behind and a voice said, “You are alone, so…”

            “Alonzo!  Wake up.”

            I was being shaken.  I opened my eyes.  I was on my knees at the feet of Arturo’s statue of Jesus.

            I rolled onto my butt and I saw Lucas crouching beside me and Esmeralda standing behind him in front of the altar with Arturo.  I was completely disoriented.

            Lucas laughed, “Hey, ‘Dorothy’, next stop: Kansas.”

            “How do you feel?” asked Esmeralda.

            “OK, I guess, but… I remember Arturo…”

            Arturo interrupted, “The medicine I gave him was supposed to vent the pressure in the brain caused by the concussion, but sometimes it vents the mind.”

            “I remember…,” I couldn’t find rational words for what I had witnessed.

            Esmeralda smiled, “Arturo told us that you were sleep-walking ‘in a play’ all night.”

            Arturo’s face was impassive but in his eyes I saw something peeking out.  He said, “You ended up sleeping on the feet of my Jesus.”

            I was startled to see Garra, shuffling up to the altar stage supported by Irma.  I stood up.  Garra’s face and torso were covered in welts, black and blue and green.  But he didn’t look shattered and bloody like he did the night before and he wasn’t gasping for life.

            Lucas said, “I guess I didn’t mess him up like I thought I did.  He’s tough, I’ll give him that.  Arturo cleaned him up real nice.”

            Irma complained, “But he has amnesia.”

            Garra’s expression and demeanor were not those of the swaggering gangster that descended on us yesterday.  He was docile and quiet.

            Arturo said, “The medicine worked well enough.  I don’t know about the amnesia.”

            Irma and Garra shuffled away up to the entrance.  I was sure that Arturo knew all about the amnesia.  What I had witnessed last night wasn’t being dismissed from my memory the way a dream would have been.

            I asked Esmeralda, “Is everything OK at the orphanage?”

            She said, “Rosalinda is fine.  We’re being vigilant.”

            Lucas said, “We don’t know where your guard has gone but we’re sure not going to call the authorities to send us a replacement.”

            For some reason, it seemed like the right time for me to confess, “I didn’t tell you about my guard and those two tourists who died.”  I waited for a reaction.

            “Go on.”

            “My guard never actually told me his name.  When the tourist woman was being attacked I saw him trying to get to her through the mob.  He was calling out ‘Olivia’.  And she was calling out ‘Carlos’.”

            Esmeralda raised a finger, “Last night Garra said that ‘Carlos’ was the threat to Rosalinda, not him, remember?”

            Arturo asked, “What do you think it means?”

            Esmeralda said, “I don’t know, but at least we have the name of one of the tourists: ‘Olivia’.  That’s something.”

            Lucas then asked me, “Anything else you haven’t told us?”

            “Well, when we left the city after the killings, Irma said something strange.  She said that she was ‘glad the whore is dead’ and it sounded personal.  Even Itza noticed.”

            Esmeralda said uneasily, “Maybe she believed the crowd’s accusations?”

            “Before the killings Irma followed Carlos.  She saw Carlos with the two tourists.  The tourist woman seemed really attentive to Carlos.  Then Irma disappeared and showed up back at El Mercado just before the trouble started.”

            Lucas said, “For Christ’s sake, is there anything else?”

          “No.”  I didn’t tell them about the buried metal suitcase.  Or the violent sexual relationship between Carlos and Irma.

            Esmeralda shook her head slowly.

            Arturo spoke up, “Esmeralda, you need to talk to your sister.”

            Esmeralda pinched her lower lip, “This is starting to get weird.”

            She looked at Lucas and nodded toward the entrance.  Lucas clapped his hands once and said, “We need to get back, Arturo.  Rita is meeting Pastor Maximón at the airport this morning.”  Lucas hopped down from the altar and started up toward the entrance.  Esmeralda went up behind him.

            As I hopped down I looked at Arturo and nodded good-bye.  In return he made his eyes go rapidly cross-eyed then wall-eyed, cross-eyed then wall-eyed over and over again.  I didn’t laugh.  I thought “Why do you keep fucking with me, Arturo?”

            Then suddenly I “sprouted wood”: I got the biggest hard-on I’d ever had.  It could have been a steel pipe.  “No, The Spear of Destiny” said Arturo’s voice in my head.  Under the weight of that blasphemy I leaned forward and moaned.

            Esmeralda heard me and turned, “What happened?  Are you alright?”  She came back and took my arm the way she did in the little museum, so tenderly.  I had to stay bent forward to hide my predicament.  Esmeralda thought she had to support me so she pressed my arm tightly against the side of her breast.  My cojones began to throb and cramp.  I heard Arturo’s voice in my head again, saying it as if I should be thinking it: “Arturo, you magnificent bastard.”






<For previous chapters, search “scorpion” on my blog>

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