Searching for Kansas

Moderator: Tituba

Re: Searching for Kansas

Postby Elaine Glimme » Wed May 17, 2017 1:11 pm

“My freedom, of course. Get me out of this prison without anyone knowing that I’ve escaped, and get me to the airport in Dakhla with 500 dinarii. Do this, and I will save your terrified life.”
Omar’s face fell. Hopelessness hung in his downcast eyes. “I do not have 500 dinarii to spare. If I had 500 dinarii, I would not need any help. You offer money, but instead you take what little I have.”
“I can get you all the money you need. But first I need to be freed.”
“How do I know I can trust you?”
“Because there is no one else.”
“I can put my trust in Allah.”
It was really too easy. Alex smiled. Just a little. A kindly, fatherly, grin with a gentle nod of his head. But inside, Alex’s heart was racing like Algerian Winter. “And Allah has sent me to you,” he said. The horse was a winner all right. He had just won Alex his freedom.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
User avatar
Elaine Glimme
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2271
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Searching for Kansas

Postby SquarePeg » Thu May 18, 2017 8:08 pm

awesome, elaine: "The horse was a winner all right. He had just won Alex his freedom."
SquarePeg
Veteran Poster
Veteran Poster
 
Posts: 967
Joined: Tue Jan 26, 2010 9:36 pm

Re: Searching for Kansas

Postby Elaine Glimme » Fri May 19, 2017 11:01 am

Alex took two steps toward Omar. “I can give you a token of my good intentions,” he said. “If you agree on your oath of honor to help me.”
It seemed wrong to use Allah’s name, but Omar had no other options. He swore on his faith and his family that he would free Alex if Alex would save him.
With as much drama as Alex could muster, he reached into the straw of his pallet. “Take this ring,” he said. “Save the stone and use it to make a fine ring for Tifawt.” Alex noted the surprise on Omar’s face at the mention of Tifawt. Power brought such joy. “The gold will be worth one thousand dinarii. From that money get me to the airport at Dakhla, and give me the 500 dinarii we agreed on. Once I’m free, I can get more money. I will give you two thousand U.S. dollars - twenty thousand of your dinarii. I will give you twenty thousand dinarii when I receive the money, and I will mail to you twenty thousand more when I get back to the United States. Do we have a deal?”
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
User avatar
Elaine Glimme
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2271
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Searching for Kansas

Postby Elaine Glimme » Mon May 22, 2017 9:16 am

Omar tentatively reached out his hand. Forty thousand dinarii was more than he had ever dreamed of. Even if he only saw the first twenty thousand, it was enough to pay off Nester, buy a magnificent ring for Tifawt, and have enough left over to be very happy for a while.
“Yes, we have a deal.”
Omar’s initial elation was soon replaced by more doubt. How was he going to get Alex out of prison? That evening, as the sun was setting over the desert and the air was burnished orange and gold, he fiddled with the ring as he walked the sands along the shore of the Atlantic Ocean.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
User avatar
Elaine Glimme
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2271
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Searching for Kansas

Postby Elaine Glimme » Thu May 25, 2017 1:42 pm

. The wind had died down some, and the heat had abated to a bearable temperature. He walked and considered his options. The only way to get Alex free was to replace him with someone else. But of course it had to be someone who looked enough like Alex to fool the other guards, which was almost impossible. Even if he could find a white man and could attack him, the man would have to be approximately Alex’s age, have Alex’s hair coloring, and have no other obvious markings. It all appeared hopeless.
Omar walked and meditated. I am not a bad man, he thought.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
User avatar
Elaine Glimme
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2271
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Searching for Kansas

Postby Elaine Glimme » Sun May 28, 2017 11:08 am

." I am not evil. I say my prayers, I do not blaspheme. I do not steal. But now I must sin. If I am to live, I must take another man’s life. This is only way. Perhaps, I should just take my own life. If I were brave man, I would face Nestor. “Do your worst,” I would say. “I am not afraid to die.” That is what I would say.
As he walked along listening to the ocean lapping against the sand, he knew that he would do anything to save his life. But perhaps this had nothing to do with cowardice. Perhaps this was just good judgment. Why should he die needlessly? His life was important. There were people who needed him. Tifawt needed him. His family would grieve if he were murdered. Perhaps one of his family would kill a relative of Nestor’s in order to avenge his death. So, in a way, staying alive was a right and godly thing to do.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
User avatar
Elaine Glimme
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2271
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Searching for Kansas

Postby Elaine Glimme » Tue May 30, 2017 7:22 pm

He began focusing his thoughts on finding a man whom no one would miss. Slowly his plan took shape. It would have to be very elaborate, and he would have to consider every detail.
Izem was the obvious choice for the victim. He had been sick with fever as a young boy, and his mind had never healed. Izem often wandered away from his family. Sometimes he would be gone for days. If he should disappear forever, no one would suspect the worst. In fact it might even be a blessing to his family. Perhaps what Omar was doing could be considered a good and kind thing. Izem was clearly a burden and a great worry to his family. His death would be of help to his kin, lifting heavy weight from their shoulders. Omar continued inventing rationalizations for what he was about to do. It was hard to justify murder; hard, but not impossible.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
User avatar
Elaine Glimme
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2271
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Searching for Kansas

Postby Elaine Glimme » Thu Jun 01, 2017 5:58 pm

Omar prepared himself for the day when opportunity would present itself. He bought several bottles of a sleeping draught, and a small piglet which he tethered to a tree out of sight, a short distance from the prison. A fortnight later, Omar found Izem alone and staggering slightly with a bottle of what looked like bootleg liquor. This was the chance Omar had waited for. It was the middle of the night. The streets were deserted. Omar crept behind him. and slid a knife across Izem’s throat. He made the cut before he could think about what he was doing, before he could change his mind. Because changing his mind was not a option. Omar could not afford to think, or feel, or listen to the voice of his conscience. He must do the deed, do it quickly, and it must be done before any thoughts could cloud his judgment. The knife was dead sharp, and it sliced cleanly through the skin. Izem bled profusely, and Omar propped him up at such an angle that blood drenched Izem’s clothing and his skin.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
User avatar
Elaine Glimme
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2271
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Searching for Kansas

Postby Elaine Glimme » Sun Jun 04, 2017 8:05 am

Omar owned a dusty brown, twenty-year-old truck, which was held together by duct tape, prayer, and parts which could be pieced together from vehicles more dead than this one. With this truck, Omar drove Izem’s body to a spot in the desert several miles from the prison. It was there that Omar prepared the body. He used an ax to completely sever the head, and he wrapped the body in a blanket to keep it free of sand. “Have mercy,” Omar whispered. It was more an act of appeasement than an act of repentance. He dug a pit in the sand, placed the body inside it, and covered it over as best he could.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
User avatar
Elaine Glimme
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2271
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Searching for Kansas

Postby Elaine Glimme » Wed Jun 07, 2017 10:21 pm

Then he drove home, cleaned himself off, said a prayer for Izem’s soul and prepared his thoughts for the following day.
The next day, before his shift ended, Omar prepared a pot of coffee for the guards who would watch during the night. He made it strong and bitter. He used decaffeinated coffee, and he added a large dose of the sleeping medicine, as large a dose as he dared to put into the pot. He hoped the bitter taste of the coffee would mask the taste of the medicine. After that there was nothing to do but wait and hope that the guards would drink the coffee. He came back into the prison four hours later and found the pot empty and both guards in Alex’s wing asleep.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
User avatar
Elaine Glimme
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2271
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Searching for Kansas

Postby Elaine Glimme » Fri Jun 09, 2017 5:38 pm

In his cell, Alex was awakened by Omar shaking him and whispering to be quiet. “Take off your clothes, and put on these.” He handed Alex a grey/green robe and a turban to wrap around his head. “Be quick,” Alex obeyed, uncertain of what was to happen. Omar dragged the mangled, headless body into the prison cell and dressed it in Alex’s clothes. He then slaughtered the piglet and doused the body with the pig’s blood. The body was unrecognizable. The skin was thoroughly drenched with blood. “Quickly, quickly,” whispered Omar, and the two men crept away into the night.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
User avatar
Elaine Glimme
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2271
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Searching for Kansas

Postby Elaine Glimme » Sun Jun 11, 2017 9:53 am

Omar did not own a house. He lived in a large tent on the western rim of Dahkla. The material was a sun-bleached yellow, with a flap covering an opening that served as a door. Inside, there was a fire pit, and a straw pallet. Toilet facilities were a common area dug outside. Omar used a bucket to wash the remaining blood from his arms and face. Then he handed the bucket to Alex. “Stay here. I have only the one pallet. You must sleep on the ground. Tomorrow, stay inside while I am at the prison. There is still much to do. Then I will take you into Dakhla Airport, and you will give me the twenty thousand dinarii that you promised to me. And I will expect the other twenty thousand to arrive soon.” Omar felt it was important to mention the money, to remind Alex that he had a bargain to keep.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
User avatar
Elaine Glimme
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2271
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Searching for Kansas

Postby Elaine Glimme » Tue Jun 13, 2017 10:50 am

How could this have happened, they wondered. There had been other nights when they had fallen asleep at their post, but usually it was after a party or, for one of the guards, after some happy drinking. Still groggy, they rose and walked around the area they guarded. Surely everything would be in order. Nothing unexpected ever happened here at the prison. But in Alex’s cell, they found a mangled and bloody body, with a pillow lying where the head should have been. Omar was with them when they discovered it.
Quickly, before the others had time to think, Omar took control. “It will not do to report all of this to our superiors,” he said. “Too many questions will be asked. There may be unpleasant consequences. We say he hung himself in his cell, and we buried body quickly before smell became too strong.” He removed a bloody blanket from the pallet, and used it to mop up some blood which had spilled onto the floor.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
User avatar
Elaine Glimme
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2271
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Searching for Kansas

Postby Elaine Glimme » Fri Jun 16, 2017 9:52 am

And so it was done. No questions, no probes, no recriminations. Each man had what he wanted. The guards had gotten away with falling asleep at their post; Omar had gotten away with murder, and would soon be free of his gambling debts; and Alex had his freedom.
Inside Omar’s tent, Alex allowed himself one joyous “whoop” followed by a victory dance. He was finally getting out of this sand pit and going home. What would he do once he got home? That was a question for a later time. Right now he had one thing to concentrate on - getting out of Western Sahara with no trails or questions that could cause him trouble later on.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
User avatar
Elaine Glimme
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2271
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:00 pm

Re: Searching for Kansas

Postby Elaine Glimme » Mon Jun 19, 2017 2:16 pm

Alex had never been so happy to be sitting in a rattling old truck with no air conditioning. Outside, the weather had climbed above a hundred Fahrenheit, and the wind was whipping the truck around almost as badly as it did the desert sands. He and Omar sang songs and told stories. Omar talked in broken English. Both had received freedom. They laughed and sang on. To see them, you would think they had been best friends since childhood.
At the airport Alex found an Internet cafe and began accessing investments he’d made back in the days when he was rich and influential. Omar’s eyes grew wide as he stared at the computer screen, watching numbers flash by and realizing just how much money Alex had.
Elaine Glimme - author - "Temporary Address" and "The Molly Chronicles"
User avatar
Elaine Glimme
Mega Poster
Mega Poster
 
Posts: 2271
Joined: Wed Aug 06, 2008 1:00 pm

PreviousNext

Return to Becoming Writers and Speakers

Who is online

Users browsing this forum: No registered users and 1 guest