Chapter One

1

He stared at the red capped throne. Sparklingly lighted, it arranged enveloped in the Mantaro Valley, in the conurbation of Huancayo, enclosed by what he titled Mountains, and the inhabitants named hummock.

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He had been in Huancayo for two weeks, foot not truly got used to it; the Plaza de Arms merry coolness he liked.

In the countries he had visited-which were many-few were lit up look-alike this house of worship. Yet he been told, and was cognisant the side streets were to be feared at darkness (ah, yes in deed, there was a unlikeness betwixt day and darkness in this Andean municipal); likened to the haunting-ness of the Dark Ages, beside its cobble streets, and its Spanish balconies. He had move genre the 20th century, United States.

2

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The bus was a traveller vehicle; it was mortal loaded, he knew it was active to exit by one O'clock this massively day, walk out to go to Lima, Peru, finished the Mantaro Valley, and then the Andes, and onto the Imperial town of Kings. They put boxes upon boxes in the broadside include of the bus, on with the stuff departed on the extracurricular of the bus, two men lifting up the dense loads, gear and boxes, silently, as if they were on a mission, throwing them into the grasping resembling sacks of potatoes, agitated them into the deepest fragment of the have.

The bus was one ready-made in position for its passage to Lima, and the Huancayo rains had stared (December rains); the rains rosaceous and descended from metropolitan area to city, town-let to town-let, village to village, achromatic clouds shifting all day long, aimless for the duration of the gorge.

The rains overpowered the unbroken area (within a stout interval of instance), from, and to count Concection, to San Jeranimo, Cajas, and Sapallanga, was flooded, and the ponderous rainfall in Huancayo, sunken the motorway also.

The rains were heavy, and the cities premier stank, and next got bloated next to the ooze of waist, very in Huancayo. He material he was not all that secure in the rains, and looked-for to get onto the bus.

3

Beyond the Andes had get the later confidence for an American fugitive, as he titled himself, a seasoned of the Vietnam War (know in Huancayo as the Americano). Here he idea he material safe, avoiding justness to livelihood his freedom, which could be purchased in Peru. This was the proceeds to tolerance, so he called it, if it was not to be had here, than where (?) He was mislaid for a invent 'B' maybe guilty to be caged in a objective forest in the United States wherever his indorsement was a one way mark to Hell and state unprocurable. Only one point mattered, a new identity, and present he found it.

He had blackmailed fate, joined a Peruvian, saved his way to Lima, changed his name, got a act card, and compensated a few people off.

4

The Bus tickets were sold-out out, and he could not pay even threefold the magnitude to get another commercial instrument (even too unpunctually to favour otherwise passengers).

He had made his policy to shunt on, not convinced where, but Lima would be a centralised barb to start, and afterwards elsewhere, he was acquainted with beside the metropolitan area slightly. This bus was the ending way out of the Andean city, on this leisure time period. He was the single gringo, in Huancayo, and felt he was the only unescorted noncitizen.

He asked the bus manipulator if he could pay identical twin fare, and sit in the isle. An unlikely mental object for even if he had talked the driver into it, allowing it, where would he sit-everyone had mounds of luggage by their places in the isles...but I suppose in condition or melancholy one tries thing.

(Haunted he was, and paranoid of takeover)) who knows what logic was okay for his truth)).

Chapter Two

1

It was primaeval in the morning (3:00 AM), and the Plaza de Arms was about barren -but for a tramp (beggar in the morning, drifter at night, he had seen him earlier), sleeping round-backed in the entryway of a shop, intersectant the dual carriageway stood, Lugar Cathedral. The floating was sleeping, round-shouldered in strongly. He became sensitive of a second homeless soul, as he walked indecisively about, paced the square platform, and stared at the two highway empire.

He took no additional involvement in the two down-and-out, as they wakeup and stared, looking at him rate. He unbroken his watch, frozen dread of the police, although he had through with no false in Peru.

Fearful, he unbroken in the hazy areas of the plaza, the throne. He walked about slowly, as if he were almost to be captured at any moment, while maddening to design a new plan.

He stopped for a rest, heard way trailing him, close and close they came, he consequently started back up close. If he got arrested, he would be questioned, and his wife would brainwave out he was lacking (leaving), she was asleep at her sisters in El Tambo (a dominion of Huancayo), thinking all was well.

2

He past disappeared low a squad street, a massively diminish cobble street, nearest to the piazza. Now those footsteps were subsequent to him. The dimness of the man losing him was large, bigger than his.

"Are you lost?" aforesaid a voice in Spanish.

He cask his come first 'no' and unbroken on walk-to (the path lights allowed the dimness to see).

"Americano?" Indirectly, questioned the voice.

He didn't response the voice, but continuing walking, looking at the red-shadowy slab roofs on the houses and the moon's look angrily. (He knew massively few ethnic group in the metropolitan radius English, and he spoke totally elflike Spanish.)

"I'm not the police," said the voice, in velvet English, with no British speech pattern.

He did not suppose the sound and continuing his pace, though he did transport a swift fix your eyes on astern him, noticing the large-scale man was not wearying a force uniform, but a bit alligatored looking noncombatant cloths, near a sundry superficial coat on (gloomy like his external body part shape).

It was a bleak night, wet, pallid rainfall intermittently. He had been arrested, he told himself: too more modern times in America, he wasn't active to appropriate any uncalled-for likelihood now, not here, not everywhere. He knew he had written document on him, viewing he was a resident, but he'd have a tough incident explaining himself beside the teentsy Spanish he knew to the authorities, and he did not, DID NOT! What them to brainwave out that he really was, not who he was, or what his piece of writing same he was say to be.

"I saw you looking at the itinerant men final at the Cathedral," aforesaid the wide man (who look to be informed but low and out himself), "So I got intelligent...!"

He showed indifference to his authentication he didn't caution what he looked like, he desired him to fade out. He needful to insight a spot to stay, illustration out his close step, a new plan, he was wet, and exploit hungry, and he had uncomprehensible the bus, he welcome to get out of Huancayo.

"Do you poorness to get out of the city?" the sound asked.

He did not react. A few more than feet, and he could bend something like and knocking the guy out next to a dense clout to the lateral of his cranium.

"Here," aforesaid the voice, retaining out a set of car keys, "I can give support to you, you can aid me, even you can go to Bolivia you wan, fro a charge of course!"

He dress keys, they looked like car keys in the frail flimsy. He fabric it was now secure to restrict and encounter his ghost, his second gloom...

"Porque! (Why!)" He asked in Spanish.

3

"Do you reckon I condition to get out of dodge?" He had erudite a few lines in Spanish, but merely a few, but the darkness seemed to be somewhat able to carry on a suitable dialogue in English.

"Come with me, I can secure you a way out of the city, and on your way to wherever, even Bolivia."

"I'm not in involve of a taxi!"

"Ah, yes...!" consequently he stared at who he figured was the cab man, who wasn't genuinely a hack man, whom didn't give the impression of being to be a policeman neither.

('He essential have legendary it was a leisure time weekend, and all the buses were full, that is why he is possibly message me a journeying ')

He aforementioned to the being who he idea was a minicab driver, "Your car is rate its weight in gilded this evening, I mean, earlyish mourning! Whoever have not left, are stuck fast in this stray borough. I'm confident you can get post-free dual for your work."

(The big dark didn't to the full grasp the Americano, stared at into his frontage.)

"I'm not absent-minded more or less the fare, do you impoverishment facilitate me amigo?"

This sure was his way out, if the spacious shadow, Peruvian Shadow, was upfront something like helping him get out of the city, and it seemed he was sincere, yet he was puzzling. Yes indeed, probability was no the table, as they say, or in his viscus of soup; next to his American passport, he did not want a imprimatur until he got to the renter and they would meet item it without thinking there, and the car perhaps was riddled of gas, so he hoped.

"I poverty to move off Huancayo formerly new (he murmured:' I hope')."

His armaments were dog-tired and wet, insincere like a rug baggy on a material file down by his sides.

"Se Vende (for dutch auction)" aforesaid the Voice, adding, "the car."

"How much?" he asked the voice.

"You aid me, and I'll endow with you the car, no dollars involved."

This was too superb to be true, and He knew once specified deals emerged, within was always, a clandestine rate.

"What?" he asked.

"Nothing too difficult," the sound implicit.

"What is correctly...nothing?" he asked.

He looked at the hulking man, mayhap in his 50s, but looked more than like he was fasten to 70, yet he was to agile, for that age. He looked thoughtful into his ruthless eyes, concrete dim eyes, life had been unbreakable on him, he concluded, as it had been for him, yet we all have a give way point, so he spearhead-shaped out to his 2d self.

This ample calm, dormant full foreign person could furnish his salvation, but the inquiry remained: what did he want in return, if not money?

"You lend a hand me, I will serve you, and the car ill not amount u a monetary unit."

He was proper a out of order record, repeating himself.

They both started close rear legs to the plaza, cross by side, transient 'Koky's' restaurant,

Chapter Three

1

"Wish we had event for a cup of coffee," tacit the Voice, "but I say we are some too untold in a rush."

"Coffee, yes, why not, I have a runty occurrence to spare, if in that is a deposit clear at this hr of the night, or should I say antemeridian."

"There is a set down I cognize of, they brand Huancayo Pancakes, as both American named them, big as elephant ears, in hot oil, and beside ..."

"Let's go..."

"As I was in the region of to say, it is an right café of sorts, stools say a woody table, a big umbrella for a roof, but you get what you pay for."

Having said that, they some entered the man's car that the Americano content was a taxi, and they sat in the front, damp, dusky mold odorous advance space.

"A small indefinite quantity wet," commented the Americano.

('He will set up my destiny')) both golf shot their hope in the hands of the different.))

He yearned-for the car, it was his salvation, and the voice desired what he wanted, an end to his dilemma-perhaps some would be blest onetime and for all by the other, this thought had entered some their heads, they both (strangers and all) got observation of faith, in each other than.

2

The car circled on all sides the plaza, downhill several streets and the headlights saved the exterior soiled and grey café- a few kinship group sitting on stools, intake those elephant ear-pancakes, and running a number of alcoholic beverage (hidden in their coat pockets) into their beverage cups.

You could comprehend the oil boiling, hot in a largest filling superficial tinny container, completed a negligible gas cooking stove.

"I don't cognize this part of the pack of Huancayo;" He told the driver, he was solitary familiar next to the plaza are for the most part, and a few streets in El Tambo, where his relative-in-law lived.

They gone the car and sat and drank coffee, ate a pancake, hot and greasy, but tasty.

The unlit sky, and brumous lit moon, gave a somber silhouette to the mountains that roseate up at the back the conurbation.

He looked terminated towards the mountains, further than them was freedom, Bolivia-(Bolivia although were among the Andes), this was his new vision, his design 'C'.

"Yes," said the operator.

"With the car I can be in Bolivia in no instance."

He put his keys in his pocket and drank a 2d cup of java.

"Let's go," aforesaid the Voice, "and get on near it, get it completed with, so you can get on your way," later he ensiform his dactyl towards 'Liberty Hill' saying abruptly, "that is where on earth I poverty to go! We will not attract any notice location."

A twinkling passed, the cup of drink was finished, the manipulator looked up as if he was visualizing something, past down, as if he was showing emotion drained-a utterance came out of him, a longitudinal sigh, inactive sigh, said, "Do you sense in enthusiasm after death?" he was superficial at the perused once he asked that enquiry.

"I'd like to say I'm not sure, ne'er certain somebody to go stern from the deceased to talk about its environment, but I'd like-minded to judge at hand is a region and region."

Chapter Four

1

As they animal group up the hummock to the Park, he seriously said, "There is simply one construe that can lighter poverty, and that is release. It's been one snake pit of a go provoking to hold out. If here is a try hard to go after death, I will presently discovery it out."

2

You could facial expression set upon, and all over and throughout, the metropolis of Huancayo, see its roof tops, see it all, all that was nearby to see that is, and at night, only lights, and shadows, and vociferous cars, cadenced waste product trucks.

The driver got out of the car, next to a sigh of relief, and a matter of his teeth, aforesaid (after wadding his lungs), "I am prepared."

The opposite man sat limestone unmoving in the authorization line-up car place and scheme ('...he wants to go to catnap forever!')

"My cross is..." said the littler man, and until that time he could snap his name, the driver upright uncovered the car by the car door, said, "No, I don't impoverishment to know, rightful run me over, vow me you will, I'll gyrate my back, walk-to descending the highway." (The keys were in the ignition, and the car was running, and the big man was automotive slowly fluff the road, as he aforementioned he would be, and he expected what he aforesaid).

He nodded his team leader in dismay, difficult to figure out what to do subsequent. They were some happy, both had quicken they wanted; both would get deprivation they coveted in a minute that is, providing a constant criteria was met

The big man inverted about in surprise (the car had not emotional). His thought said: what are you waiting for, but the Perused could not of range see his eyes, but he cloth them. ('He doesn't outer shell close to a man that requirements to live, rather one that cannot snuff himself, of necessity person else to do his smudged drudgery for him.')) The subsequent to moment of quieten is nondescript.))

3

'Yes,' he told himself, rational of the past, 'Vietnam, 1968, war, solid. No one understands war, how can they, I can't even talk about it to myself. That is why I have to have these keys, have to go somewhere since mortal finds me. If I try to expand on it to anyone, bowman cause in the region of it, it all will move rear to me, and favourite place me, it never becomes distinct in my nous.' (He barrel his lead out of his mental state circumstance); the broad man was tetchy along, unreeling set the road, in the centre of the road, as he had same he would be.

4

Big Man

"Yes, he'll come, it's not rugged to take to mean him, and he's killed for a reduced amount of reasons. He has hostility in his opinion. The only thing worse than mortal nonviable is poverty-stricken and I've been that for a terrifically time-consuming circumstance. And in a minute I'll see if reality is reality or fiction"

Vietnam War

"We had some losses in Vietnam (the war), tricky to embezzle at times, it comes and goes, comes and goes, similar a plague of grasshoppers in the midway of a desert, flooded overhead. He's really vindicatory one more-nothing to uphold him here on earth, very badly strange, is this dark in Huancayo."

Morning

She normative the communication her spouse was dead, quite a lot of description of a car accident, or peradventure a thieving (the police said, yet were not moving investigating it), wherever the crook besides took the car. The tidings was accepted beside cramped insides.

She gave the demise credentialed to her lawyer, a few day later, and surprisingly found out she had an security policy. She would be prosperous now, and possibly have that viscus of runt soup, Cuy Colorado, her married man used to william tell her he was active to buy her at the best costly point in Lima.

Afternoon

She looked in the region of for her husband, in the house, calmly-he had not been there all night, so she told her female sibling.

She showed no gestural of irritation, she didn't listen in to the radio, or whirl on the TV for news, either, didn't cognise of the man run terminated by his own car. She showed no poster of irritation, and proven to engagement puritanical prescript to her sis end-to-end the day.

"Where do you focus he went?" asked her sis.

"After Vietnam I met him, and he was all-in from the war, he had nervousness all the instance. Smoked roll of tobacco after cigarette, he was always suffering it seemed, and ofttimes uncompassionate. In the formation he talked so sweet, he caught me off guard, look-alike a aquatic vertebrate curved me and brought me into his heart, yet I never comprehended him."

"Well then, we essential brainwave him," aforesaid the sister.

"He ready-made me deliberation he was smiling once it was honourable a second of delight in our vivacity. I do recognize seldom is one fully contented let him go, let him be, and we can hold our jovial moments, I ability they are all we got, or will ever have equally. It is the superfine entity we can do for respectively other, I scare. He keeps rational organism is after him. Not convinced where on earth it all comes from: a abstraction perhaps, or illusions, a war thing, you know, that PTS soldiers get, or every uncharted sincerity he never told me."

If Death Had Wings

If I saw change and release had wings
I know were I would go-
Someplace concerning glory and hell,-
In the contour of an eternal soul:
Where peace and need to eat is no more;

If I saw departure and death had wings
That is wherever I would go-,
Yes, that is where I would go!
If solely extermination had wings
Wings, wings, wings
I'd put them on my spirit...!

#1562 12-10-06

Epitaph

-For the Voice, faring away from day to day was too penal for him to unfilmed among the quality race-(or so it would appear). He was not reasoning their thoughts; study to the perused, but who was the chaser (?) He had had enough-whatever essential come in did not come in against the clock adequate to amendment his brain. The staggering cognitive content possibly became in step at once near the other's to run; the occult pursuer; thus, both capable their ngo (even though it may seem, good and be, frail and scrawny.

No one awoke any one-of the panic that plainly griped them. Two engines of self destruction-the effect of their engagements upon others was minuscule smaller quantity extraordinary. They halted their lives but an instant, past sprang send to conclusion it, revived.

I have no libretto wherewithal to exposit the aftershocks-all I cognize is all up to your neck disappeared into the tangled vegetation of the forest of life span and annihilation.

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