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Mike Smith Is Dead—Pt. 30

by Dub Wright 2 years ago in fact or fiction

Christian lite - Fiction

The big house in Florencia seemed cold to Rosa as she prepared for her day, she had been home over a week and depression had been the watchword although the doctor gave her medication she still was lonely and depressed. The new manager was handling all the properties and she learned she had a dozen people on staff and was still showing a profit. She paced the floor and finally picked up her phone and dialed Sam’s number in Argentina. After many clicks she knew it was searching for a tower or a location. “She’s probably traveling.”

---

In a Panama City apartment the downstairs doorbell rang. Sam pushed the call box button. “Yes.”

“Flowers for Miss Juanita Giles from Mike Smith.” Was the answer. “Somebody needs to sign.”

Giles looked up. “Mike has never used my first name, I’m not sure he knows it.”

Sam handed Giles her 45cal., “I’ll be right back, nobody comes in but me, that flower delivery isn’t right.” She turned and ran down the stairs to open the door. A tall thin man in a delivery shirt was holding a large bouquet of red flowers in an open box. He was standing just outside the glass door.

He held them out toward Sam holding the box with one arm. “I got a receipt for you to sign. He reached behind himself and produced a 9mm with silencer and fired four rounds through the door and into the upper torso of Sam. He opened the door wide and pushed her lifeless body over against the wall and then ran up the stairs and kicked open the apartment door.

Before he could raise the nine millimeter to point it at the woman in a wheel chair she raised her arm and fired two shots from the 45cal. both of which smashed through his body and onto the apartment wall. The tall thin man crumbled to the floor.

Giles felt the bile roll in her throat and fought to keep her composure during her panic. She rolled her wheelchair to the man and searched his clothes for ID and cellphone. The phone revealed a text message from a certain number.

She replied to the text with “terminado (finished).” Then she dialed the number from which the text came. A familiar male voice answered and she disconnected and carried the phone back to her own purse. The 45cal made a tremendous racket and she was sure someone would come investigate, but it was mid morning and almost all of the apartment complex was made up of working people. She used the same phone to call a special number. “Shish, I hope this still works.”

A voice answered, “Carpet Cleaning.”

“Code Alpha Delta, party mess charge to SD account.” She gave her address and hung up. A special group of covert operations specialists would scrub her apartment. She charged the service to the US State Department.

She rolled around the apartment and put together two bags of medicines and sundries and a bag of clothes. Plus she pocketed Sam’s passport. Then she rolled out of her apartment enclosing the dead man. She rolled to the front stair case and could see Sam crumpled on the floor. Giles suppressed a scream and turned and rolled to the back stairs. First she rolled her suit case down the stairs, then slid out of the wheel chair and carefully pulled her bags of medicines and sundries behind her. She went one step at a time and when on the bottom pulled herself up. Her legs were weak and wobbly, but she managed to push open the door and with it her bags. Little by little she urged herself on until she leaned on the hood of her tiny car. After resting she pushed her bags into the back seat and slid into the drivers seat and drove to the bus station.

A porter met her at her car. “May I get your bags?” He looked in the car. “Oh, I have a wheel chair if you like.”

“Yes please,” she answered.

The young man took Giles bags and pushed her to the ticket window.

“I need to go to Florencia, Costa Rica.”

“I can get you to Quepos and you can taxi from there.”

“That’ll be fine.” Giles was running short of energy and gladly fell back into the wheelchair for the young man to push her to bus waiting area. Luckily the bus was pre-boarding and with a great deal of assistance she was hoisted into the bus with her bags. “Thank you,” she told the young porter. She handed him a $20 bill.

The bus ride was uneventful until they crossed the border into Costa Rica. The border patrol agent came on board to check her passport and ticket; all other passengers were taken off of the bus and luggage searched.

“I’m traveling to a friends house who will care for me, I had no other means to travel.”

The agent seemed unconcerned with the woman whose head was wrapped in gauze and tape. Giles handed him the medical papers which he barely glanced at. Giles used the killer’s cell phone to call Rosa. “Don’t hang up, it’s me, I’m on the way to your house.”

Rosa took a breath. “They said you were dead.”

“We’ll talk. Be there when I can.” She pulled the Sim card out and the battery, and tossed the cell phone out the window of the bus. “This road should claim it soon.”

The cab took her to Rosa’s doorstep and she had the cabbie knock on the door. A maid appeared who spoke with the cabbie then Rosa came out and rushed to the cab door. Giles face and head were wrapped in gauze as was the forehead of Rosa. The taxi cab driver set Giles suitcases on the sidewalk then stood waiting for payment. Rosa reached in her pocket and held out a hundred dollar bill American.

“No Cambio (No change),” she said to the driver who took the bill. But before he got in the car she hailed him and gave him another one hundred dollar bill, “Silencio, no estabas aquí. Verdad? (Silence, you weren't here. Right?)”

The man nodded and took the additional hundred. He drove off as Rosa helped Giles into the house and placed her on a wide couch.

“Where’s Kip?” Giles asked.

Tears built in Rosa’s eyes. “He’s dead, and it’s my fault.”

Giles tried to wipe the tear soaked bandages. “No Rosa, none of this is anyone’s fault except some very greedy people. Did you have a funeral?”

Rosa whaled, “Nobody did, I don’t know what happened to the body, I suppose the government cremated him and tossed his ashes into the sea.”

“You don’t know what happened?” Giles was alarmed. “I mean he’s your husband.”

“We had a fight. I told him I didn’t want him around any longer. He was responsible for the murder of my brother and sister n’ law, a close friend, and I thought you.”

Giles intelligently neglected to tell her about Sam. “Rosa, you didn’t.”

“I was really upset. Well, he walked out of the church from Maria and my brother’s memorial service, and was shot, right through the heart. I went to the door and was hit on the side of my head.” Rosa pointed to the bandage. I saw him in a pool of blood on the ground. I haven’t seen him since.”

“I’m so sorry, Rosa.”

The women sat in silence, only weeping now and then. Finally, Rosa said. “What happened to you? How’d you get here?”

Giles leaned back on the softa. “A tall thin man shot me in the neck,” she paused. “Twice.” She pointed with her left hand. Why he didn’t shoot me in the head is only God’s province. Except I think it was because I had leaned over and he was so much taller than me. I had to be snuck out of the hospital.”

“Wow,” said Rosa. “You’re pretty tall.”

Giles giggled. “One point seven meters. I was just starting to put my hand on a door handle. Anyway, as to that certain man who shot me. I saw him again, earlier today. He’s laying on my apartment floor with two large holes in his chest.” She whispered. “He had just killed Sam.”

Rosa gasped. “Oh, no. Poor Marcos. Does he know?”

Giles dipped her head. “I don’t know. He’s in Haiti recovering a sea plane that was dumped.” She elected not to tell Rosa what she knew yet until she confirmed her suspicions. “I used Sam’s passport to get here. Mine was stolen when I was shot. With my head wrapped there was no suspicion at the border.”

Rosa studied Giles. “Are you okay?”

“Yes, and no. I feel fine, very tired, I have holes in my body that are unintended and I’m losing friends. It’s as if the war is still going on.”

“That’s what I told Kip, this stuff he was in.”

Giles closed her eyes. “Kip wasn’t really apart of the events much. He was a go between. The US gave him money and he distributed it. That simple. The State Department funneled it through him to appease public relations. Unaccounted for funds, supposedly not paid for by the American tax payer, but some guy named Mike Smith, a college business major pressed into service. These guys like Mike were short lived. Most died within a few months. But, Kip was a survivor. He sat in a dirty office along a train track and with the help of a banker named Jorge Salas and a nasty old fax machine supplied billions of dollars to struggling countries or oppositions, depending on the mood of the United States government. A non-descript guy, supposedly, but government leaders loved him and trusted him; he just had a way with people.”

“How’d he do that? He doesn’t speak Spanish?” Rosa cocked her head.

“Rosa, he was born in San Juan, he grew up speaking Spanish.” His father was stationed at Ft. Benjamin. Giles tried to suppress the grin under her bandages. “He conscionably doesn’t speak Spanish to give him an advantage over people who misjudge him. Plus he’s a notorious listener-in. I’m surprised he still does that.”

“I’ll kill him.” Rosa screamed. Then she broke down sobbing so hard that Giles tried to reach for her but fell back on the couch.

The next morning Rosa arranged for a doctor to come to the house to look after Giles and tend her own bandages.

“You ladies were lucky. I don’t know the circumstances but both of you are walking miracles.” He pointed with his stethoscope and motioned to Giles. “I’ll come out again. But, as soon as you’re strong enough we need to run some tests. We have to be careful with infections. The medical documents you brought worried me, and the story you told of escaping Panama City sends chills down my spine. You should be in a morgue or at the very least change professions.”

“God works in mysterious ways,” said Giles.

The doctor looked at Rosa. “Ma’am, you’re going to have a scar, but the hair will grow back around the gash. If you’re really vain I can suggest a plastic surgeon who could tighten that all up.”

Rosa grinned. “Maybe some day.”

“And Miss Giles. I will go ahead and make the appointment for you. The scar tissue and disfigurement where the bullet passed through your cheek can be repaired, good as new. And the scar on the back of your neck is easily covered by your hair, but that can be repaired too if you wish. One thing we have here in Costa Rica are top notch plastic surgeons.”

Rosa put a hand on the doctor’s shoulder. “Because of circumstances beyond either of our control. Some very bad people may want to harm us still. Is it okay if you use my maiden name in your report? After all my husband is deceased.”

The doctor looked over his glasses. “What’s a name? The report is number coded, I don’t mind at all.”

“Put me down as Juanita Cortez,” Giles said.

The doctor smiled and nodded. “This is not a problem. I’ll be back to check on you Miss Cortez, next week. Hopefully, you can start regular visits to the clinic after that. And, like I said, just as soon as we get those bandages off I want you to see a plastic surgeon; it will do wonders for your mental health as well as your general health.”

Rosa walked out with the doctor and paid him. “She’s my only friend now, my husband gone, my brother gone, and other friends gone all in a few weeks. This nonsense that went on in the 1980s is being revisited by some evil people, at least that’s what my late husband said.”

“Oh, I hope not. So many wasted lives. Please take care, and I will see you next week.”

Rosa lingered on the porch and watched the doctor leave before returning to the house.

Giles was standing in the doorway. “I talked to Marco’s voice mail.”

To be continued...

fact or fiction

Dub Wright

Curmudgeon; overeducated; hack writer; too much time in places not fit for habitation.

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