Just after Memo went inside the store, Chico heard his name being called
by someone outside the van. When he looked in the rear view mirror and
saw Leland he shook his head out of disgust. Out of all the people
Chico couldn’t stand Leland was at the top of the list as the man
appeared in his window. I mean he had sole possession of first place
locked up Chico thought with a hiss. The street preacher called out his
name again and pointed to the front of the van but with the windows
rolled up Chico couldn’t make out what the man was saying about his
“Man, what this fool want now?” Chico said rolling down the window.
”What you want Leland?”
“Hey Chico, my main man, how things been?” Leland asked smiling
from ear to ear.
“Hey man what you want? I don't have the time to be messing with you
right now.” Chico sneered.
“Hey, no problem bro, just wanted to know when you got that dent in
the fender of this sweet ride?” Leland asked.
“Dent in my van!” Chico squealed looking dumfounded as he got out
of the driver’s side door. ”I don't have a dent in the fender! Man
if someone jacked up my ride I’ll shoot me a fool with a whole
But as the small Hispanic man rounded the front and saw there was no
dent in the chrome fender Chico felt his blood boil and for a second he
was about to reach around for the .38 caliber pistol hidden in the
waistband of his jeans. He shook his head and walked toward Leland
“That’s not right man, and you know it. Now get your ass out of here
before I lose my patience!”
Leland raised both hands making sure to try and placate the angered
young man because he sure didn’t want any business with the concealed
gun. Chico shook his head some more, muttered some Spanish, and reached
for the door to the van. The door though swung open in a vicious arc
just as his fingers touched the handle. The blow was hard and fast
knocking the young man out before he even knew what hit him, one second
he was upset and the next there was nothing but darkness. How long
Chico was out he was never really sure, something wet splashing against
his face brought him out of unconsciousness. The water, or whatever it
was, kept pouring causing the waking man to gag for a second and roll
over to get away from a possible drowning. Chico got the gagging under
control just in time to spit out a few words. “All right man! Stop
with the damn water or I’m going to bust your ass!”
“Somehow, I am not really scared by the prospect of physical violence
from you Chico.” A refined voice told him. Chico rolled back over to
see a guy dressed in black jeans, a black t-shirt over white long sleeve
one, and a pair of Doc Martin boots. Another one of his homie’s had a
pair just like them, wore them all the time. Then the scene clicked for
him, this was the guy in black, the dude trying to muscle in on Eight
Ball’s turf. Chico decided to play it cool, show some machismo when
needed, and then run like hell when the opportunity presented itself.
“You know who you’re messing with man?” Chico spit moving to a
“Manuel Rodriguez,” the man said dropping an empty pitcher to the
ground,” a man of the street said you might give me some information
on a little enterprise you’ve been ‘running’ with.”
Chico looked around trying to figure where he was, it took about two
seconds to see he was on some rooftop, but just where that rooftop was
in the city only the guy dressed in black knew and he wasn’t about to
tell him Chico sensed. It was promptly confirmed a second later.
“Looking around isn’t going to help Manuel, I took the liberty of
getting us some privacy. I also took the gun you keep hidden in the
back waistband of your pants. I want to be the only one with the
surprises tonight.” The man in black said with a small grin. A quick
check with Chico’s right hand confirmed the fact the pistol was
missing from its usual spot.
“So I guess you expect me to just answer your damn questions.” Chico
spat giving the man in black a little attitude to chew on.
“That would be the best thing to do if you don’t feel like
flying.” The man in black said cryptically.
“Wha-“Chico started to respond with a giggle and a smart-ass remark
when his chest caved inward driving all the air from his lungs. He had
the sensation of someone carrying him effortlessly across the rooftop
but air and breathing was the first priority now so Chico pretty much
forgot about everything else for the moment. When he got some precious
oxygen back into his lungs his eyes looked down and focused on the spot
where his feet now dangled. Moreover, when the picture finally
registered in Chico’s mind he began to scream like a little girl.
“Holy shit man, don’t drop me!” He wailed. Chico’s feet hung
lazily out in space as he made out the alley some ten stories below.
The only thing he saw holding him up was the arm of the man dressed in
black so Chico clung to the cotton material of the long sleeve t-shirt
like a newborn baby to its bottle.
“I think you better be quiet Manuel! All this noise might distract me.
I might loosen my grip for a second and it’s a long way down as you
can see.” The man in black stated.
“No! No!” Chico cried.
“Are you ready then to answer a question or two of mine Manuel?” The
man in black asked calmly.
“Whatever you want man, just don’t drop me!”
“Now that’s what I wanted to hear. Let’s start by your rank with
Eight Ball’s Organization?” The man in black asked.
“I ain’t got any rank man!” Chico yelled.
“That’s not what I have heard Manuel. I was told you have some
personal connections, that you made some runs for Eight Ball. Special
runs with special cargo.” The man in black stated.
“They were lying to you man!” Chico screamed.
“And you are not right now?”
“Hell No! I just want to get back to the roof man!” Chico sobbed.
“Then tell me the truth Manuel or I get to see how high you bounce.”
The man in black demanded.
“Man, I can’t tell you! If they know I’d talk they’d kill me!
They’d kill my whole family!”
“At this point I would be more worried about my piloting skills. The
old saying ‘Any landing you can walk away from’ really does not
apply right now I think.” Alexander hissed, and for emphasis he
loosened his grip letting Chico slip just an inch.
“Oh No, don’t drop me man!” Chico wailed.
“Then start talking or start flapping your arms Manuel.” Alexander
“Okay, okay man! I make the deliveries for Eight Ball, the ones off
the books. Just a kilo here or there, not enough to draw attention but
enough to bring in a good piece of green, you know man. He was just
skimming, getting ready to strike out on his own.”
“Who’s working with Eight Ball? Who brings in the drugs that go to
the Laurel?” Alexander asked quickly, wanting to keep the pressure on
“I don’t know man, but there’s this place up off 285, it’s the
Shangri-La strip club. There’s a bartender there, Shane, and I owed
him a lot of green for a bunch of bad bets so one day I get this call.
He says Eight Ball needs a special driver, none of his people will do,
and if I make this pick-up and delivery everything will be square
between us, clean slate you know man. I get some keys by Fed Ex the
next morning along with driving instructions. I pick up the package and
drop it off real fast like I was told.” Chico explained.
“Who got the package?” The vampire demanded.
“Ice took it from me at the crack house, you know, the one that you
blew up.” Chico stammered.
“And where did you pick the drugs up?”
“A Gym in Duluth, stashed in a locker. I told them Shane sent me and
they just let me right on by man. It’s all true man, I swear to
Jesus!” Chico said.
“Who runs the Shangri-La?” Alexander asked.
“A dude named Ray. Everyone says he connected, in deep with the
Mexicans. That’s where Shane got the whole kilos from! Aw come on man,
let me back on the roof!” Chico whined.
“I believe you Manuel, but I think I’m still going to drop you off
the building.” The man in black remarked calmly.
“WHAT, NO WAIT, WHY?” Chico screamed so loud it turned to a shrill.
“I do not like having to work so hard for answers Manuel, and if the
truth be known, I do not like you all that much either.” And with that
Alexander let go of Chico’s shirt with a quick snap of his fingers.
Chico tried to scream for the man not to let go, but his voice was a
second or two late with the plea, and the world began to float. He
forgot about the words then and just screamed at the top of his lungs as
the alley below began to rush up at him with blinding speed, the windows
of the building whizzing by like some kind of crazy kaleidoscope. He
flapped both arms, actually flapped them up and down like a bird, which
caused his body to roll over instead of fly like he was hoping for, and
then he was dropping headfirst. Impact was only seconds away. Chico
stopped flapping his arms and brought them up to guard his face as he
closed his eyes not wanting to see the end. Then, abruptly, he stopped
falling. He was hanging by his left foot, or better yet, something had
grabbed his foot right out of the air. Chico opened his eyes looking
around and there he was, the man in black holding him by his foot just a
few feet from the ground. The scene really hit home then and he noticed
the fact that the man dressed in black was floating too. The two of
them were hovering just off the ground like something out of Sci-Fi
movie. Chico was just about to ask the man how he did that amazing
scare-the-shit-out-me-by-letting-me-plummet-ten-stories trick when he
felt his foot being let go. For a second time Chico wanted to say
something only to be cut off by a loss of gravity, but hey at least he
survived the second fall he thought. With a plop, Chico hit flat backed
dead center in the middle of the alley.
Excerpted from "Ancient [Kindle Edition]" by R Kane. Copyright © 2015 by R Kane. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.