361 In the Jungle Again


I watched the night pass through my front window, just as I did most nights. I was a bit of a let down, but not heartbreaking by any means. I wasn’t sure if my heart could be broken. The strong black coffee helped me through the night. I tried not to think ahead.

I had breakfast at Helen’s then rode my bike out to the mall for my morning walk. It was just like any other day. I doubted that anyone even noticed me that morning. I certainly didn’t look any different from any other morning. I just felt a certain amount of anticipation.

After my walk I returned home immediately. I took a few calls about the housing development, otherwise it was uneventful. I had time for a quick tour of the project. I rode through it just to see how things were progressing. The second phase was almost half complete.

The crews moved from house to house finishing their trade, then turning the house over to another group of workers to do their thing. It was working in a nice flow. The painters were a couple of houses behind but that was okay. It gave all the other trades time to finish completely. Once the painters finished it was time to turn the house over to the owners.

It looked as though the project was going to be a bit heavily weighted with Middle aged grass widows. There were lots of government divorces moving down from Washington. The little houses were perfect retirement homes for them. They also had the required down payment. I was surprised how once word got out we stopped having a lot of lookers and got more buyers on the first visit.

I was back at my place by noon. I took a shower, then dressed in cotton panties that were green. I figured I might as well go with it. The very tight but short tee shirt I wore was also green, but it was a little different shade of green. The jeans were also green but not at all tight. I knew that I was going to be moving around in them and intended not to have them binding on me. I also wore a utility jacket from an army and navy store in Tryon. It was a little big only because they didn’t come in a size as small as me. At least it they did that store didn’t carry them.

Since my last trip into the field, I had bought six feet of 18“ wide green jersey cloth. I bought it to use as a head band and face cover. It was to be worn under the large utility cap I purchased at the same time I bought the jacket. I didn’t know if I would wear the disguise or not, but I knew I wanted to have it available since my face was pretty well known. I had one extra pair of panties folded and stored in a pocket. Otherwise I was at the farm’s mercy for equipment.

Sylvia showed up first. She should have known I was going on a road trip, but she acted as if she had no idea.

“Well Sylvia you are going to have to take care of things while I’m gone. I would prefer no one know I’m gone, but you might have to tell Jennifer. If you do, tell her to keep it as quiet as possible. You should probably just keep on doing what you are doing now. If you do that, you will stay plenty busy.” I suggested.

“So how long are you going to be gone?” she asked.

“I have no idea, but I hope no more than a couple of weeks at the absolute most. I would like to be back within one week. There is just no way to tell,” I admitted.

“Well please be careful,” she said simply.

“Trust me, I will be careful. I like my life the way it is. I’m not ready to give it up just yet,” I said.

“Good, we kind of like having you around.” She stated it flatly leaving no room to argue at all.

Within minutes Jerrod showed up at the front door. I had to direct him to the rear of the Drugstore Condo building to leave his car. The rusty old Toyota was a mess, but it seemed to get him around pretty well.

When he returned from the parking lot he asked, “So where do we go from here?”

“There is a small grass landing strip outside of town. There will be a small plane there for us at 2PM. Usually it is pretty close to being right on time,” I said.

“God I hate small planes. They seem so dangerous,” he said.

“Don’t worry this one is leased to some very important customers. I’m sure they take care of the plane just as well as PanAm does their planes.” I said it and I meant it. I was pretty sure there would be hell to pay if one of those planes went down with a high profile passenger on board.

It was a little after one when Jerrod and I climbed into my pickup truck for the trip down to the grass strip. I would be leaving my pickup in the parking lot down there. I had made arrangements with the operator of the grass strip to park there. I paid him a few bucks for the privilege, but it was worth it to me. I had no idea what kind of arrangements the farmers made with the owner of the strip, but he was always very friendly to me.

When we arrived it was a little windy on the field, so Jerrod and I waited inside the repair hanger. The mechanic had a small single plane inside the hanger with the engine cover removed. He was doing something to the engine, but I didn’t bother asking him what. I wouldn’t have understood it without research, and I just wasn’t in the mood to research anything. My mind was in a different place all together.

“Is that the plane?” Jerrod asked.

I checked my internal clock then said, “I expect so it is time for it.” I didn’t tell Jerrod that the plane was two minutes early. I thought that might be a little more information than he needed to know.

When the plane landed I got a good look. It was a twin engine eight passenger plane. I had flown on it, as well as a two passenger plane, previously. I had no idea why the larger plane was being used but it was fine with me. I would probably have room to stretch out some.

When I got into the plane, I found the Deacon seated in the first seat. “Hello Maxine, nice to see you again.”

“I’ve been expecting you,” I said.

“Yes we are overdue for out little talk about the last time,” he agreed.

“I don’t know that we need to talk about it. Things happened as they happened. I really just went with it.”

“We will talk about that later tonight right now lets concentrate on the job at hand.” Deacon smiled and I felt a little intimidated. He did have power over me how much I wasn’t sure but he surely had some.

“Byron Williams is a manufacturer of solar panels. He was in Bolivia to discuss putting solar panels in several remote villages. The idea was to give them enough power to stay in contract with the government.”

“So why would some religious zealots want to grab him?” I asked.

“Frankly we don’t have any idea. They may not be religious at all. They may be political from Peru. There have been no demands but he has only been gone a couple of days sometimes these people are gone for years,” the Deacon explained.

“Do we know where he is being held?” I asked.

“Yes we think we know. It is going to be up to you to infiltrate and find out for sure which of three hideouts they are using,” he suggested.

“You are sure as hell going to get us killed,” I said. “If we go barging into these people’s hideouts, I doubt seriously that they are going to serve us tea and cookies.”

“Then maybe you need to figure out a way to verify Byron’s residence without going inside. If not that then be careful,” the Deacon suggested.

“Sure, an American woman and a Frenchman go up to the door of a communist commune. Why does that sound like a dirty joke. We have zero chance of looking around inside.”

“Well you are going to have to think of something,” the older man said.

“Well we can tap their phones and bug their house that should do it without having to go in,” I suggested.

“How do we do that,” Jerrod asked.

“We can set the telephone tap at 2AM the first night. We can also plant the bugs in the middle of the night while we take a look around for Byron. That first night we are going to be busy. There are three possible hideouts and we have to do them all. That is unless we get lucky and see Byron in one of the first ones.”

After that decision was made we began to talk about other things. Mostly nothing even remotely concerned with the job at hand. The Deacon had spend several years working in France. He and Jerrod did the did you ever… for about an hour.

The plane landed in Texas a few hours later. I was hoping we would spend the night but we didn’t. Jerrod and I boarded a commercial airliner for Bolivia. It was eight and a half hours to Santa Cruz. He was pretty beat up by the time we got there. The trip didn’t effect me at all, except that I wanted to stretch my legs. I was all cramped up.

“See the sign?” Jerrod asked. He had seen the sign that said ‘Maxine Stone’ and nothing more. The man holding it was a cab driver type. I doubted that he was an operative of any kind.

“I’m Maxine Stone,” I said. I felt pretty good about identifying myself. The bad guys might be expecting someone to come looking for Bryon, but they couldn’t know who it would be. Odds were pretty good that we could get into the country unnoticed. At least that was the plan.

“Ms. Stone, I am Alex I am going to be your driver,” he said.

“Oh you are, do you have something for me?” I asked.

“Yes ma’am I have a lot of things for you. They are waiting at the small bungalow which has been reserved for you,” he said.

“Who reserved the the bungalow for us?” I asked.

“The same people who hired me, and I don’t know their names. They expected you to know,” he admitted.

“Okay, then let’s get moving. We have no luggage,” I confessed.

I had never seen a car like his before. My guess was that it was European or maybe Asian. I just knew for sure that it wasn’t American. We entered the car and he drove away wildly. The traffic in Santa Cruz was such that he had to drive wildly or be run over. In other words it was a mess.

When we pulled into the compound on the outskirts of town the sun was going down. We had been on the road, waiting in a terminal, or in the air all day. The driver handed me a key to the door, dropped us, then quickly left us to fend for ourselves. Since we had no luggage I could understand his unceremonious departure.

We opened the door to the bungalow then stepped inside. There were several boxes piled in the floor.

In the first box I opened I found two AK47 chopped down carbines. I also found a box filled with edged weapons. I felt much better when I was armed again. I could tell that Jerrod did as well.

About cindypress

sorry it is a mystery.
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13 Responses to 361 In the Jungle Again

  1. Wayne says:

    Story 1st rate….as normal

    Hope things going well with you…Wayne

  2. cindypress says:

    thanks and as for me i feel a little spooky but not so bad that I can’t function. So life goes on.

  3. bigguy323 says:

    “Jerrod and I boarded a commercial airliner for Bolivia.”

    How did Max go through TSA scans?

    • Walt says:

      If Max went through a scanner I could hear the bells and klaxons going off and just picture the panic with TSA Security, Cops and Swat teams, Homeland Security galore and evacuation of the terminal. Wheeeeeee!

      • cindypress says:

        and how would the guys on the farm explain that away so that it never got out. That was my concern not so much the head scratching that would go on

  4. cindypress says:

    Submit to pat down I think. Glad you caught that. I think I am going to keep her out of the scanner since her xrays will be shit.

    • bigguy323 says:

      The airport style scanners only penetrate your clothing. The Magnetometers detect metal. She might get through the “X-ray” but never a hand wand or a magnetometer.

      For all I know the airport scanners do both x-ray and magnetic field detection.

      • cindypress says:

        I am going with the structure is made from a polymer material so not magnetic. At first I think there was some metal but it was replaced with polymer during that first upgrade after the emmy trip. I think they didn’t tell Maxine just to keep her honest. Of course now she has like figured it out.

      • cindypress says:

        I never send pictures to readers. If you like what I write I’m pleased. It is about the story not about me. Sorry remember I didn’t ask for your pictures I didn’t need it/. Sorry.

  5. PoppaMike says:

    Having been unavailable this past week, I just finished catching up on Maxines adventures. When I read about you unfortunate episode and subsequent recovery I was first worried about you and your family and then Maxine. I am glad you are doing better now. You should be beating up your doctor to find a possible treatment for you. What was not possible just a few years ago is now being done routinely so there is hope you just have to persevere. If anything were to happen to you yes I would miss reading about Max’s adventures but I would also be sad that the world lost a daughter, a mother and a wonderful author. Every day that I see a new post I will smile and know you are still kicking ass and taking names. Hang in there!!!

    • cindypress says:

      thank you for your good wishes. I am feeling more like myself every day. That’s about the best I can hope for.

      As long as I can think straight I will write. I have no idea how much sense it all makes but I keep working on it and hope it sounds reasonable.

  6. Shooter says:

    We are still thinking of you out here in cyberspace. Keep up the good work and take care of yourself. Lots of advancements in the Medical field recently so don’t just give up on a possible solution to your issue. Maxine is as strong as ever and so are you.

  7. cindypress says:

    I’m glad you to get the good thoughts. I appreciate it. I might have to go in to be checked again but I was checked when I had the broken collar bone and they said then things looked about the same and everything else was the same as well. So I just keep keeping on. So far I am able to take care of my kids and should be able to until they are on their own so that is a good thing.

    Fortunately my dad retired and left me the wedding photo business so that I can make a decent living without having to jump through hoops or thread needles. No matter how shaky I get I can finish a shoot at least I have been able to so far. Just have to keep putting one foot in front of another. I never know what tomorrow will bring but then neither do any of you. We just keep doing the best we can.

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