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Blood Brothers - Part 2

Blood Brothers - Part 2

By: Jared Ford

If you haven't already read Part 1, click here

"Shh... listen? Do you hear that?" Mikey leaned forward and flicked off the lantern, plunging us into total darkness.  

"What?" I said.

"I heard voices. Far off. Unintelligible, but definitely voices" he whispered. My brother's typically bombastic voice rarely reduces to a whisper, so I knew he was sincere. This was not good.

How could they have found this mine? Even the locals on this island hardly knew of its location. I had only found it by accident when one of my more eccentric buddies insisted we hike and hunt for gold placer deposits along remote streams in the canyons.  Even then, the entrance was so covered in growth and hanging vines that we could've walked right by and never noticed. They must have followed our tire tracks. I led them right to us. I was in such a rush before, that thought had never occurred to me until now.

Holding my breath, I listened intently. 

For a while, nothing, and then I heard them. Their voices ricocheted, wall to wall along the mine, until they reached us. Their Spanish accent was easily discernible. The reverberating voices made it difficult to distinguish words, nor determine how many there might be, but I was nearly certain I heard one voice shout "Si se puede!"

Luckily, I was well-versed in Spanish and recognized the command for "keep going!"

"Fuck" Mikey said, "They've found us." 

"Not just yet. Judging by the echo, I'd guess they're still a mile back. Turn on that light for a minute. We don't have long but maybe we can make something happen. The Sanguis brothers are no sitting ducks, we improvise." 

He turned on the light, I squinted in pain while my eyes adjusted. What do we have? A machete, a thermal tarp, some matches, flashlights, and bug spray. Of course I still had my .45 Glock and we had one dune buggy. Hmm... As hard as I tried, no genius plan entered my mind. What do I do? A cavalry charge, Rambo style, with my one pistol? There was no way of knowing how many mercenaries might be coming in after them and I only had 13 bullets in the magazine.  

"Any bright ideas Mikey?" 

"Well..." he gazed around our cavern, thinking, "How far does this mine really go? Can we go further in, maybe they'll give up before they could find us?" 

I thought about it for a moment. The island was only so many miles wide, we were likely close to the end as it is. No, we had to do something bigger, more dramatic...

"You feel like you could drive?" I asked

"Does that really matter right now?" He was right. We weren't exactly inundated with options. I looked over our supplies again. I need a plan... another distraction perhaps? No, that couldn't work in a narrow tunnel. Could it? What if — No, that's crazy... crazy enough to work? 

"I think— I think I have a plan" I said.

"Lets hear it Einstein"

I told him my plan, and upon hearing it, he released a howling burst of loud, belly laughter. 

"SHHH!!! C'mon dick! What the hell are you thinking? They surely heard that!" 

"I'm sorry!" he pleaded, returning his voice to a whisper, "Its good! It's really good! but I didn't expect it to be hilarious. You caught me off guard!" 

"I'm so happy you're enjoying yourself, but that laugh just cost us precious time. Get in that buggy now Mike, take your shirt off and start preparing, wait for my signal" he nodded his approval, shakily rising up to his feet.

"I'm heading out" I whispered, grabbing my .45 pistol, a flashlight, and all alone, I stealthily sauntered off into the murky darkness of the mine. 

A frustratingly slow 15 minutes passed as I walked in the dark, remaining careful not to use my flashlight too often, lest they be around the next bend, when I heard the voices. I quickly shut off the light.

It wasn't easy to navigate the rocky tunnel and even though I was feeling my way across the wall, I tripped and stumbled to the ground. Loudly. Fuck! How could I screw up so massively, at such a pivotal moment?

"Que fue eso?" one of the mysterious mercenaries shouted, his voice ricocheting off the mine wall. I had found them alright, they were just around the next bend. I guess that means it's show time. Any minute now. 

"Fuck this amigo, I'm done! I'm telling you I heard a laugh! This place is haunted!" one of the Spanish voices said. 

"Suck it up. You want to go back there and tell Señor Cortez you're scared? He'll remove your balls and seal you up in this place. There's no spirits, demons, or monsters coming after you muchacho"

Oh man, this was getting good. As much as I had believed Mikeys laugh, or my stumble were fatal mistakes, they were only proving to make this maniac escape plan work all the better! This was going to be beautiful. 

I stepped into the center of the mine, turned back towards my brother, took a deep inhale of air, and screamed. Screamed like I've never screamed before. A thunderous roar filled the mine shaft as my brother fired up the buggys engine in the distance. The sound of loose rocks and sediment flying from spinning tires echoed everywhere, creating a truly horrifying, amplified growling sound. 

A count of ten, and it was go time. I had always dreamed of being an actor growing up, but the Army Rangers took that thought far from my mind at age 18. But now, now was my time to shine.

I turned on my flashlight, positioned it under my Glock, and started running backwards around the bend, where I would be within eyesight of our prospective captors. It felt foolish and foreign to give would-be killers my back but I had to sell this one hard. Once I knew they could see me, I screamed again, shooting shots off into the darkness, away from the men. Looking back over my shoulder, I yelled at them:

"RUN!!!! For God's sake, RUN!!" I could make out the bewildered expressions on the 3 men's faces. Wait, 3 men? That's all they sent in after us? I could've taken them barehanded but it was too late now, my plan was in action. The roar of the dune buggies engine came ever closer, louder and louder. Placing my faith in the sheer pecuilarity of this plan and half-praying they wouldn't fire, I continued running with my back to the men, urging them to run, all the while shooting at my imaginary monster.

Mikey came flying into view, shirtless, headlights off, and a flaming torch affixed to the center of the roll cage. He must've been cruising at least 40 mph through this narrow tunnel. Once he was about to round the bend into the lit area with the soldiers, his hand lowered empty, and returned holding our can of bug spray. With one last glance at the terrified soldiers, I threw myself flat against the dirt wall, allowing space for the buggy to pass.

Mikey sprayed the aerosol container into the torch, sliding around the bend in a fury of flames. Flabbergasted, I stared forward as he sprayed over and over again, flames leaping from the little buggy like a hellish pissed-off medieval dragon, determined to incinerate all in its path. The 3 men—the fear of God now in their eyes—turned and ran for their lives. Rifles and lanterns clamored to the ground. If I had time to laugh, I would have.

The buggy came flying towards me and I focused my vision, preparing for the perfection required for my planned rescue. Like a baseball player trying to hit a fastball, I locked my eyes on my target. 20 feet away, 10 feet now — I pounced. Arms outstretched, I caught the cold medal with both hands. For a moment, my legs swung wildly in the wind before I managed to swing them up and around into the passenger seat. Sort of. It worked. Our plan had worked!

The 3 men were running desperately in front of the buggy, flames licking at their backs. They threw themselves towards the walls of the cave and with a slight bump, and a scream, we ran over one of the mens legs.

"Imbéciles!" I screamed at the confused men as we rocketed past them. Mikey flipped on the headlights and I wrapped our thermal tarp tight around his burning T-shirt we had used as a torch, extinguishing it. Everything went according to plan, but I found myself feeling disappointed they had only sent 3 men in after us. I would've enjoyed a larger audience for my big show. Oh well. 

"Slow down a bit, we're in the clear now" I said. We slowed to a casual pace. 

"That was epic Teddy, did you see the look on their faces!" he laughed his deep hearty laugh again. "I would pay good money to see that on film. You know, me n you, we should write these Hollywood movies, we'll show 'em how this shit really goes down!" 

I remained silent. Sensing my unease, his laughter subsided.

"What's wrong bub?"

"I've got some bad news. Those guys back there? I heard them talking just before I gave you the signal. I know who sent them." 

"Who?" his childlike joy replaced with justified curiosity.

"Señor Cortez" 

"What!?! Why? We haven't seen that cooky fuck in years, decades maybe?" It didn't make much sense to me either. It had been a very, very long time since I'd thought of Señor Cortez but there is one thing I know for certain: we parted on very bad terms. 

"In case you don't remember Mikey, you and him are the reason we've never been back to Venezuela since 1998!"

He didn't answer, but instead turned his attention to the mine entrance we were approaching. The sunlight fought its way through the tangle of loose vines that obstructed most of the view. Mikey being Mikey, slammed his foot down on the accelerator. 

"Fuuuck Cortez!!" he screamed as we plunged through the opening, ripping through vines, and landing just outside the mine in a cloud of dust.

"Jesus Christ man! That gash on your head teach you nothing?" I growled.

The dust cloud lazily settled around us, revealing our fate. We were completely, and totally — surrounded. 

100 heavily armed men, rifles raised, forming a perfect half-circle around us. Military humvees, several with LMG turrets attached, stood behind them. Every barrel pointed at me — me and my brother. 

We were fucked. 

The crowd parted at 12 o'clock and a man passed through, walking toward our dune buggy. His intense gaze never left his trapped prey. Us. As he came closer, a thick mustache made itself apparent, furiously silver hair blew in the wind. 10 feet away now, I could see that there was a large, circular hole in his upper left ear, daylight shining through it. Mikey gasped, recognizing our captor. The man's mustache twisted, unleashing a sinister smile. 

"Michael Sanguis! Mi amigo perdido! I've been looking for you for quite a long, long time"  Señor Cortez said. "Come now. You have no escape, and we have so much to be discussed"

To be continued...


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