Chato's Way

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
A grieving father in a world that has moved on.

Submitted: April 13, 2017

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Submitted: April 13, 2017



It was five twenty five a.m. Breakfast sat cold and half eaten on the rough-hewn oak table. The sun, not quite peeking through the clouds over the Yucatan canopy, the old man stood in the dark. A cup of strong coffee in his hand, he faced the morning drizzle head up. Droplets chased each other through the creases in his warn brown skin. Chato smiled, his flat nose widened more. He could smell the Blue Jacaranda and the Lebbeck trees that surrounded his property. The old man sat in his rattan rocker and reached for his Rosewood pipe. Not lighting it but just tapping his teeth with the stem lost in thought. Chato wondered how many more people he’d have to kill.

At ten a.m. Chato was sitting indian style behind a short parapet just below the Pemex sign atop a warehouse 20 minutes from his shack. Through his NightForce TS-82 Xtreme high def spotting scope, the old man scanned the rim of Valle del Lagarto. He made his stand here. His home, his cemetery. Chato had everything, fuel, ammo, food, clean water and his children. All four, three girls and one son “Miguel” buried by a stream that he could see from his front porch.

By one p.m. the old man was sitting peacefully in the company chapel, head bowed, his hat beside him, snoring loud enough to disturb the bats. God had no use for Chato these days and that was fine with Chato. He only found God and his house useful for keeping him and his cerveza cool during the midday heat. Other than that, the old man felt God could be the lord of bats for all he was good for. The smell of fresh guano stung his nose. He sneezed, wiped his nose with a threadbare yellowed linen hankey and blindly reached for another beer. “Gracias, Senor Jesus.” he said to the grotesque icon hanging in front of him. He popped the top and gulped half of the can. He broke wind loudly and went back to sleep.

Ten p.m. found Chato swallowing his last bite of cornbread and drawing a bead on his third would-be interloper from the cat walk over the water tower. He dropped the first two an hour after sunset, evaporating their heads at almost nine hundred yards within fifteen minutes of each other. Now, the old man ran the bolt home again with a satisfying click. Through his night scope he could see the man’s face clearly. The cross hairs on the bridge of his nose. He cleared his mind and released his breath while squeezing the trigger. Chato then at the last moment raised his head and rolled the Mauser on to it’s side. He closed his eyes and stretched his neck from side to side. Miguel’s face and voice ran through his mind. “No, Pappa! No!” he was saying. Chato took aim again and blew the man’s leg off. He threw back a shot of Mezcal and then put another round into the screaming man’s face. “Puto de Madre!” the old man spit. “I’ll kill you every night!” He sat back down and gathered himself again. The faces of his daughters danced laughing across his brain and the pain was real. There is no justice in this or the after-life. Chato knows this like he knows every part of his 1889 Argentine Mauser. If there is no warm life for me then there can only be cold death. I am the right hand of Parca. Now I do it my way.

Chato Jose Miguel Lopez Martinez did it his way for one hundred and thirteen days with an average of three kills a day. The old man killed over three hundred men.

Four a.m. on day one hundred and fourteen, Valle del Lagarto filled with angry women.

Chato was rudely awakened by a sandled foot in his crotch, a knife to his throat and the sound of an over revving diesel engine. The old man’s eyes were wide with shock as he took in the sight of his shack filled with pissed off looking women. They only grew wider when they dragged him to the porch and he saw the old cement mixer truck backed up with a ladder leaned up against it’s funnel.

The pain seared through both knees after one of the smaller women cracked the stock of his rifle across them. The old man fell over onto his already flattened nose. They next tied him like a rotisserie chicken and tossed him into the turning barrel of the mixer truck.

The women, after raiding the old man’s larder, had a feast while listening to him scream, at first for mercy, but then for someone to shoot him in the head. He held out for an hour more and then the only sounds coming from the barrel was his body bouncing off the mixer blades.

That evening they poured his liquefied corpse into a diesel soaked ditch and burned his remains while their children danced in the fire light.

© Copyright 2018 R.Guy Barringer. All rights reserved.

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