On Saturday morning we went to a big box grocery store in Dobson. There we bought more peppermint oil and even some hot pepper oil. There was just enough of the later to test some of the original gallon of shine. We also purchased three cases, of twelve ounce bottles of fruit punch. We bought six cases of of eight ounce bottles of water.
We planned to do the mixing and repackaging of just one case of punch. It figured to use
as many of the eight ounce water bottle as we needed. Then there was the shine to consider. I planned to work the math out in the storage box lab on Monday morning. Since the shine was there, it wouldn’t matter that I didn’t know exactly how much I would need.
The plan was not to work at all on Sunday. All those plans came to a sudden halt after my bike ride early in the morning. Sure I noticed the strange car parked in front of my landlady’s house when I returned, but it didn’t appear sinister or anything. It was out of place a little, but the car was empty. It was not a surveillance car or an ambush car, so it registered, but didn’t appear to be a threat. It wasn’t a threat in the conventional sense.
I have to admit that he was really good. I parked the two wheeler and covered it before I sensed something was wrong in the apartment where I lived. It was a small thing, but there was a small bit of dirt on the bottom step from a shoe. I had come from a nice clean apartment to ride the bike. There should not be any dirt on the step at this time of the morning. I never doubt myself, so I took it seriously. I climbed the stairs carefully only after I removed the ,38 from the holster hanging under my two sizes too large sweatshirt. It was cool in the mountains so early in the morning. so the sweat shirt with the cut off sleeves didn’t appear out of place.
I knew that I was going to be a sitting duck, if it was a pro. How many pros would there be in County Seat? I asked myself. Most likely it was a moonshiner, who had come to try to convince me there wasn’t room for both of us in the business. There was likely to be bloodshed, if that was the case. My guess was that I had a 50/50 chance, that it wouldn’t be my blood.
I opened the door quietly just in case he hadn’t heard me coming, which was very unlikely. The man was in jeans and a desert camo tee shirt. He didn’t appear to be armed at all.
“Sylvia Porter I presume,” he said.
“Yes, are you the Benny the burglar?” I asked.
“It’s as good a name as any,” he said. Probably Bob the Briefer would be better though. I bear a message from the Swamp.”
“Oh and what would that be?” I asked.
“We have a contract to rescue a child,” he said. “The Colonel thought you might want in on it.”
“How could you spare time to come here and try to recruit me, if it’s a rescue. I always thought a rescue was a situation that was time sensitive,” I commented.
“We have time but not all the time in the world. The person to be rescued is a seven year old girl She was kidnapped by her drug dealing dad,” He said. “You do know most kidnapping are by the non custodial parent.”
“Yeah, I do know that. Did he remarry, and decide he wanted the child to make his family complete?” I asked.
“Nothing so noble, he kidnapped his daughter to be sure his wife wouldn’t testify in a probe the DEA is organizing. It could also be he wants her with him, but I doubt it. It is confirmed the he has been responsible for hundreds of deaths. Including his own brother.”
“So what’s the big plan?” I asked.
“Oh it’s very elegant. We go to Mexico, where he has his base of operations. Then you and I go in and get her,” he said.
“I guess what his staff lacks in training, they make up for in numbers,” I said.
“Probably a hundred hangers on. Some will be good some awful and everywhere in between. The all have on thing in common though. They will all be armed,” he said.
“I would expect no less from a drug lord.” I said. “So how do we get in and out of the country.”
“The same way they get the drugs in and out of the country these days. We slip into Mexico on a boat. The boat waits for us and takes us home.”
“Why isn’t the government doing this?” I asked.
“They are leaking information like a sieve, besides they don’t have our unaccountability.” He said.
“You have the tools?” I asked.
“ They will be waiting for us with the boat in the Florida keys,” He said.
“How long will I be gone?” I asked.
“You should be home in time for church next Sunday at the latest,” he said.
“And the pay?” I asked.
“Twenty grand each and all we can steal,” He said with a laugh. “Of course we don’t get paid, if we fail.”
“My guess is we won’t care about that,” I said.
“That’s what I figure,” he said.
“You are going to have to change your name to Karl the killer,” I said.
“You can call me anything you like,” he said.
“There is a lot of that at the Swamp Thing headquarters,” I said.
“Well I am, who I am,” he said.
“Sorry Karl, you are not God,” I said.
“Wait till this is over before you judge,” he said. At just before noon we took off in a very small plane from the local grass runway. We light heartedly called it County Seat International Airport. It might have been the last grass strop airport in the country, though I doubted it.
When we were in the air I said, “One good thing is, if we fail he probably won’t kill the child.”
“No, most likely he will just kill you and me, a couple of times each,” He said.
I didn’t expect that it mattered that the pilot might have heard us. Karl was sitting beside him and I was in a jump seat behind Karl.
Even I realized the team was too small, there had to be more to it than just us too. This wasn’t a quick kill the bad guys and run. No this was going into their fortress and steal something they valued with just two people. It would only work with a bigger team and just smash into the place. I was never meant to operate outside the country according to the boss.
I left home after a quick shower in only a pair of cargo pants and a clean tee shirt. On and order form Karl the killer, I carried no ID and no money. I wasn’t even allowed the .38. I had a slightly more sturdy plastic knife than a McDonald eating utensil, and I had a box opener. I had the plastic knife hidden in my sock. I had the box opener in one of the big pockets of my cargo pants. Other than those I was at Karl’s mercy. I didn’t like the feeling at all. so I started to look for more tools. Just in case the plane was just a nice place from which to dump a body, mine.
Shoe lace Garrot was an option. But then I had to take the lace out very quietly and carefully. What the hell, it was a long flight and I had nothing else to do. I almost needed to be a gymnast and two good hands for the Garrot, but I managed to the get one of the laces out and even get loops in both end. It was not going to be pretty. It was going to be a blood bath leading to sudden death, when he plane hit the ground. If they tried to kill me in the plane. But as my daddy had written to me once when I was in the sand box, We are born bloody, and we with a little luck, we will die bloody. In other words die fighting for our lives. Or maybe he meant die doing something, rather than laying in bed. A man with terminal cancer rides his bicycle head on into a bus on a beautiful spring morning. He dies covered in blood, but with a smile on his face. Who knows what the old bastard meant, I thought.
The plane refueled at a real airport. We got out and walked to the bathrooms in the general aviation lounge, “Change in plans. The target is on the move. You can put your shoelace back into the shoe.” He was smiling. I sat in the lounge on a plastic chair and re-laced my shoe.
“Are we flying commercial,” I asked.
“Yes,” he said. I went to ladies room again and dumbed to box opener.”
“Are you clean?” he asked.
“Of course,” I replied.
“I called home. We are still going to meet our friend. It may be later this week though. They decided to fly back in our private plane,”
“I may not be home but call me. I will try to meet you somewhere for the trip,” I replied. I considered going back for the box opener but they sold them in the dollar store so I didn’t bother.
“You really want me to tell our uncle, you will try to make the meeting,” he asked.
“Call me and I’ll drop what I’m doing and meet you It just may not be in County Seat is what I meant.” I had absolutely no plans to change everything else in my life, waiting on a call that might not come.
He handed me two one hundred dollar bills. “Whats that for,” I asked.
“Your Sunday we ruined. Don’t worry the customer wont mind,” He said. I’ll fly you back to the grass strip and then drive you back to your door step. It was well after midnight and I was scared to death, when he attempted to landed on that grass strip with no lights. But he pulled it off . Karl turned to me and said, “You worry too much.”
“Right,” I said as Karl and I climbed down from the cabin.
“He has special instruments that make that possible. And he left a marker on the strip when he came in this morning to pick us up.” he explained.
Give me sharp and shiny things or thing that go boom. I don’t like computer and ghost lights. Those things just ain’t right.”
“Yeah, I feel the same way,” Karl said, He got into the SUV with me right behind him. It was early Monday morning when I feel into bed, so I slept till 8AM. There would be traffic on the road, so I broke out the trike. It was more stable and harder for the cagers to ignore.
I rode out to the plaza and found State Troopers at a table across the dinning room when I entered. Since I was back home, and riding the Trike, I was tooled up. Even so I said hey as I passed them. I was on the way to my table with a tray of food anyway. I didn’t recognize them and I expected they didn’t recognize me either.
“You are the lady who runs around town on the motor trike aren’t you?” one of them asked. having seen me arrive.
“Guilty, is it in violation of some law I don’t know about?” I asked.
“None that we know of,” they agreed.
“Cool,” I responded.
“You mind, if we look it over on the way out,” the trooper asked.
“Not at all,” I said. The motor was bigger than the moped law allowed but I was told by the builder not to worry it would pass an inspection. Unless they were marked, cops couldn’t tell shit about the motor, without sending it to a lab, he promised. Since they didn’t make any notes and got back in their car, I figured I was good to go.
I still was a little nervous while I ate. In my future line of work, it would be best not to draw attention to myself, I thought.