Fiction: "Jake Brake," part four

by Mike Woodson

10 December 2004

Jake shook Alexander's hand and with a coldness in his voice said, "you owe me 2400 dollars, pal."

"Does that include payment for the four Mexicans you ran off the road and killed on the 66," Alexander replied, smiling.

Jake stared intently into the pale green eyes of Alexander, trying to size him up as quickly as possible. Not only did he know and plan the chem fertilizer load he somehow also knew about Jake's run in with mud on the dark and lonely road that is 66.

He was about 6-1, medium build, smarty dressed for a desert rat and wearing a pair of eyeglasses that gave the impression of a young college professor. In spite of the smile there was a hardness in his eyes and he stood erect and proud as if he were a king. His carriage was clearly that of a man used to command. He had a voice deep and resonant, and other than the the brightening of the face he gave Jake, there were no other emotions save that of self-assured confidence mixed with a distain of those lesser souls around him.

"Since you value mud life so much the price is 3000," Jake bluffed.

Alexander smiled ironically and said, "come inside and we'll talk about it."

Jake followed Alexander into an adobe building apart from the five mobile homes that he had seen adjacent to the lemon groves. As Jake passed his rig, he noticed about half a dozen Whites unloading his trailor, all heavily armed.

It was cool inside the adobe and Jake was glad to be out of the heat. Inside, to his left, there was a wall of books. In front of him there was an oaken desk and behind it an array of mounted firearms. To the right, pictures of children and diplomas from Yale U.

Jake had a million questions, but out of a million there was only one that mattered. Pay me my money, or else!

"Three thousand isn't it?" said Alexander as he counted out 30 one hundred dollar bills.

Jake could barely contain his glee. "Yeah, three grand will work," he mumbled. 3 thousand for a load from Barstow to bumfuck Mojave was 3 times what it was worth. So what if they knew about the mishap involving the Mexicans on the 66. They couldn't prove anything and it obvious they didn't want to, Jake thought.

Alexander paid Jake his money and with that Jake stood up to leave. "Where are you going old son?" said Alexander.

Jake whirled around and in a menacing tone said, "I'm leaving old son, and if you try to stop me it will be the last thing you ever do."

Jake had dealt with men like Alexander before. Jake did not fear them but some men were to be avoided. The blood that ran through Jake's veins, that had run so hot in him when he was younger, was now infused with caution, and he sensed the danger in the man before him. Jake knew that some men were deadly and instinctively he knew that Alexander was that kind of man.

"I only meant that it's late and in the dark you won't be able to find your way back through the desert. Stay the night and head home in the morning," Alexander said.

Jake climbed into the sleeper and fell asleep exhausted. It was only about an hour before the dream came. The monster had chased him down once again and had his hands around Jake's throat. Jake awoke in a panic and tumbled out of the truck. He ran into the desert, pitch black, barely making his way past the scrub brush and Joshua trees. Past the lemon trees and up on a small mesa, a strange glowing white orb in the sky illuminating his way.

"You don't have to run anymore," Elizabeth said.

Jake didn't know if it was dream or reality but he grabbed Elizibeth and lifted her up and kissed her neck and then her breasts and then lifted her further and kissed her between her legs.

She struggled to get away, but the loneliness, futility and sense of dispair that Jake had felt for half his life wouldn't let him let go.

He clearly reconized the sound of the round being chambered in the Remington 870 pump shotgun followed by, "Let her go, asshole," told Jake that this was no dream.

Jake let go of Elizabeth and turned and looked, under that weird glowing white orb that lit up the night. A haunting familiarity, a face from the past.

It was Glenn Thompson.

To be continued...


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