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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 absolute darkness.  

"What?" I said.

"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 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 fluent in Spanish, recognizing 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 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, "Its good! It's really good! but fuck, that's funny as hell. Wow!" 

"I'm so happy you're enjoying yourself, but that laugh just cost us precious time. Get in that buggy now Mike, start preparing, and wait for my signal. You know what to do. I'm heading out" I grabbed my .45 pistol, a flashlight and alone, 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. Suddenly, I heard the voices. I quickly shut off the light.

Feeling my way across the wall, I tripped and stumbled to the ground. 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 companero"

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

I stepped into the center of the mine, turned towards my brother, took a deep inhale of air, and screamed like I've never screamed before. A thunderous roar filled the mine shaft as my brother fired up the engine in the distance. The sound of loose rocks and sediment flying from the spinning tires echoed everywhere, creating a truly horrifying, amplified 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. Once I knew they could see me, I screamed again, shooting shots off into the darkness, away from the men. Looking backwards over my shoulder, I yelled at them:

"RUN!!!! For God's sake, RUN!" I could see the confusion on the 3 men's faces. 3 men? Wow, that's all they sent? I could've taken them barehanded but it was too late now, the plan was in action. The roar of the dune buggies engine came ever closer, getting 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, shooting at nothing, screaming RUN!

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. 

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 pissed-off medieval dragon, determined to incinerate all in its path. The 3 men, fear of God in their eyes, turned and ran for their lives, dropping their rifles and lanterns along the way. 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. 20 feet away, 10 feet — I pounced, and like a baseball player trying to hit a fastball, I never let my eyes leave my target. 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!

"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/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 looks 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 and ripped through the vines, landing outside the mine in a cloud of dust.

"Jesus man, that gash on your head teach you nothing?"

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

100 heavily armed men, rifles raised, in a semi-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. One man passed through, walked toward us, 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, I could see now that there was a large, circular hole in his upper left ear, daylight shining through. 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 there is so much to be discussed"

To be continued...


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