Hott Lixx: Fishing For Revenge

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Jitney DriverWell, Ranch Hands, my time as a guest blogger here at Steve's Word is nearing its end. But before I limp down East Colfax into the sweet, honey-gold Denver sunset, this week I'd like to share an excerpt from one of my novels, to show y'all that there's more to this ol' dog than boozin', courting loose women, and incorrigible lead guitar antics. And I'd like to remind everyone that copies of all of my novels are available at my mobile home in Arvada. Just go ahead and knock. I'm usually around.

So without further ado, here's the climactic seventh chapter of my 1988 three-part novel, PESCADITO! One Boy's Journey on a Colombian Fishing Jitney. Hope you like it.

 

PESCADITO! One Boy's Journey on a Colombian Fishing Jitney

Chapter Seven: Fishing for Revenge  

by

Jojo Timmins


ⓒ 1988, Marcus P. Timmins. All Rights Reserved.

 

The fishing jitney lurched as its engine rumbled back to life, the air brakes shrieking like a hot-to-trot Irish Banshee.

"Siéntate! Siéntate!" the driver cried, as Luis rushed to find a seat. His burlap knapsack, filled to the brim with fishing apparati, hung from his back like a fat dwarf, the straps digging into his shoulders like a pair of Flemish rotary tillers. The driver struggled with the jitney's rusted, antiquated gearshift, the gears grinding tortuously as Luis tred the aisle searching in vain for respite.

Face after swarthy, mustachioed face met Luis's gaze as he stepped through the aisle, each strange face, more forbidding than the last, denying the young man a seat. A feeling of loneliness, the loneliness of a man with nowhere to sit on a bus, filled Luis's slight body. The ancient jitney rattled and quavered as it ambled towards its final destination - the distant fishermen's oasis of Vaca Orina.

"Siéntate!" the driver screamed once more, as the jitney lurched into second gear, the engine sputtering violently like an Edwardian dandy unexpectedly finding himself at a redneck hootenanny. Luis made his way to the back of the bus. At long last, hidden behind one hombre's sombrero, Luis found a vacant bench. He hurriedly tossed his heavy fishing bolsa onto the floor and took his seat on the rickety jitney. His exercise-induced asthma began to flare up as he said a prayer to Dios for relief. Suddenly, at the front of the jitney, a tinny radio began to play. A bawdy Mexican ode comforted Luis's tender ears, soothing his aching cabeza, as his tortured thoughts drifted back to Maria, his faraway pajarita.

"Mi joto, O, Mi joto i quieres te apuñalan..."

Eyes closed, Luis was set adrift on memory bliss for a few brief, glorious seconds. His mind wandered back to his beloved ciudad natal, where papa would make tortillas and mamá would shoot chickens with a homemade shotgun. His flushed face rocked ever so slightly along with the song.

Suddenly, Luis was wrested from his euphoria by a sharp pinch on his left elbow. Shocked, Luis opened his eyes to see a man across the aisle staring at him with questionable intent, the stranger's bushy salt-and-pepper mustache undulating like a dynamic wheat field of cilium.

"Horaley, pinche, snap out of it." The man growled.

"¿Qué?" Luis squeaked.

JitneyThe stranger breathed heavily. He said nothing. Luis examined the man's face, red as a tomato, with the complexion of an ice cream scoop full of Crisco. The man was absolutely drenched in sweat. He sweat like a postcoital Russian with something to prove. He slowly, wordlessly, removed his ten-gallon hat and extracted a small handkerchief, embroidered in D.I.Y. script with the name "Marcos," from within the hat's inner brim. The stranger slowly, methodically wiped his face, the handkerchief becoming as paludal as an old man's adult diaper after a long springtime brunch. He placed the ten-gallon hat back on his head and cleared his throat.

The stranger said nothing, just sat staring at the floor of the jitney. Luis sat silently, unsure of what to say.

"Tell me, chico," the man finally spat out, "how does a pinche tween like you end up on a Colombian fishing jitney?"

Luis was silent. The man continued.

"Look around you, hijo, what do you see?"

Before Luis could answer, the man continued.

"Failure, hijo. Pinche failure. You might as well ir a casa a su mamá."

Luis's chest filled with fuego grande. His hands formed into tight, tiny fists, like two little brown balls of mēnis

"Maybe I ain't got no casa, mister. Maybe this is all I got left," Luis rasped, the fire in his thorax intensifying. His voice raised to a semi-holler. "Maybe my destiny is to fish. Who knows. Maybe this is my destiny!" Luis roared passionately.

Other men on the jitney turned around to gape at the loudening teenager. Marcos again wiped his face with the wet handkerchief. The oppressive heat and humidity of the fishing jitney seemed to rise by the second, as if manipulated by an invisible hand screwing around with an invisible thermostat. As Luis sat, angrily gasping for breath, Marcos started to chuckle mockingly. The song on the radio at the front of the bus continued, breaking the awkward silence as the bus shook violently upon the pock-marked Colombian highway.

"Destiny," Marcos hissed dismissively through clenched, nicotine-lacquared teeth. "Would you hitch your wagonship to a neutron star, baboso? Would you fill your saddlebags with nothing but pebbles and sueños?"

Luis glared at Marcos, whose speech impediment made his mouth contort and skew leftward as he spoke, causing wrinkles as deep as a morbidly obese gentleman's butt crack to form on his forehead. Marcos continued, as other men on the jitney stared on, rapt.

"Esto no es una dream bus, huey. This is a fishing jitney."

Whoops and laughter filled the jitney, which started to shake violently, both from the highway's barren disrepair and the roaring joviality of the fishing jitney's mustachioed clientele. One man, Norberto Vargas, slapped his pendulous abdomen and let out a sudden, manic grito. Others followed suit. The cacophany soon reached fever pitch. Luis stood up, his face reddening, rage pulsing and growing beneath his skin like a really pissed-off tree.

"ENOUGH!" Luis screamed, his voice cracking with the ravages of puberty. The bus went silent. "You don't know where I've been. YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT I'VE SEEN!"

The silence, broken only by the metallic rumbling of the jitney, went on. Marcos removed his ten-gallon hat and once again wiped his profusely-sweating face, the sopping handkerchief serving only to relocate his perspiration. Luis's chest rippled as he began to sob.

"¡Siéntate!" the driver shrieked, staccato, from the front of the jitney. Luis immediately acquiesced, collapsing in a heap upon the jitney bench and burying his face into his burlap fishing sack. The other hombres looked at each other, murmuring amongst themselves, each man searching for what to say to console the young man. After a few seconds, which seemed to pass like many eternities in a row, Marcos gestured to a man at the front of the bus.

"Octavio!" Marcos yelled, "Hit it!"

Octavio, holding a tiny AA-battery-powered ghetto blaster, nodded and slid the stereo's selector switch from "FM" to "Cassette," then pressed "play."

The ghetto blaster's capstan began to rotate, pulling a plastic cassette's ferromagnetic tape across the device's electromagnetic head, which caused the ensuing magnetic signals to be sent through an insulated copper wire and converted into electric sound, which was then amplified by an on-board pre-amp and issued through a pair of speakers. Soon, the soothing sounds of a familiar Mexican cabaletta filled the Colombian fishing jitney like aural food coloring into a very small bowl of water. Luis, still sobbing gently into his fishing sack, sat up, looking at Marcos with eyes as wet and red as a sleazy motel bathroom murder scene. He wiped his nose with the back of his hand.

"Is this...?" Luis implored. Marcos handed Luis his sodden handkerchief and squeezed the boy's shoulder. Marcos nodded, smirking with approval.

"Sí. 'The Whore of Guadalajara.' Sí."

Luis wiped his eyes with Marcos's handkerchief and looked to the front of the bus. His voice cracked as he searched for words.

"But...but...this is my favorite song!" Luis exclaimed with bewilderment.

Marcos shook his head again and chuckled. The other men on the jitney soon joined in, filling the jitney with rollicking laughter and drowning out the ribald chorus of "The Whore of Guadalajara." Luis sniffled and stared with confusion at the cachinnating, dusky Latin American fishermen who surrounded him. Finally, as the song's third verse began, their laughter began to die down. Luis sat silently as the penultimate guffaws resounded throughout the jitney. The jitney hit a pothole, causing one man, Wilverto Gomez, to fall abjectly to the floor like a bag of dumbbells. Wilverto struggled to right himself, then once again took his seat near the front of the bus.

"We know this is your favorite song, hijo," Marcos grunted. Luis's eyes widened like a redneck's belly after a rural Nebraskan Frito Pie-eating competition.

"But...how...how could you possibly know that?" Luis entreated, desperation splaying across his face like a drunken fratboy who's had one too many. Marcos began to laugh again.

"Oye, we know everything about you, Luis," Marcos chuckled. The final strains of "The Whore of Guadalajara" screeched through the jostling fishing jitney.

"...Ella me dio un regalo sucia, en mis pantalones yo tengo una salchicha frita con manchas..."

 "But...but..." Luis stuttered, "how do you know my name is Luis?"

Marcos once again laughed, slapping the outstretched hand of the man on the bench in front of him with glee.

"I told you, we know everything about you, Luis," Marcos groaned, deadpan, thrusting his index finger towards the boy,  "...Or should I say.....Gustavo Alvarez!"

Luis's jaw dropped like it was hot. The jitney driver yelped and hit the brakes, causing Wilverto to once again plunge hopelessly from his bench. Luis quickly jumped to his feet, struggling to grab hold of his fishing sack and escape from the curséd jitney. As he began to flee, herkey-jerkey through the aisle towards the exit, Luis was tripped by a fat man in bootleg overalls. The boy fell lifelessly to the floor, his heavy burlap sack falling upon his cuerpo minúsculo with a dull thud. Luis moaned with resignation. Marcos descended upon the boy, wresting the fishing sack away and holding it triumphantly in the air as the other men on the jitney cried out with joy.

"Let's just see what you've got here, Gustavo," Marcos muttered as he rummaged through the burlap fishing sack.

As the other men looked on, silent as titmice, Marcos slowly extracted a stick of dynamite from the young man's bag. Holding it at chest height, he looked down at the helpless post-adolescent lying facedown on the floor.

"Going fishing with this, Gustavo?" Marcos shrieked.

The boy struggled to turn onto his back, then looked up at Marcos, his chest heaving with rage.

"That's right," Luis/Gustavo shot back after a brief pause, his eyes narrowing into thin slits.

"Fishing for revenge."

Marcus “Jojo” Timmins is the lead guitarist of the Denver Metro Area metal band Hidden Valley Man Ranch 2, formerly known as Hidden Valley Man Ranch. “The Ranch” is available for birthday parties, cocktail parties, bat mitzvah’s, and high school dances. 

2 Comments

  • 1

    Este libro es muy emocionante. Espero un puño a los peces algún día! Yo llegará a Arvada a comprar una copia de este libro. Gracias Sr Timmons!

  • 2

    Subject of your article is interesting for me, i have bookmarked it for future referrence
    regards zmyrgiello

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