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Monday, June 6, 2011

BLOOD - "Here Comes One", a short story by Bowie Ibarra





            “Shut up, woman!”
            Darren was not well.  He had not been well for years.  Medications that were supposed to help his mental condition did nothing but make things worse.
            Pulling over on the edge of the hillside road, he threw a few more pills down his throat, chasing them with some Coors Light straight out of the bottle.  That was not the way he was prescribed to take them.
            The banging from the trunk was very, very annoying, and he had listened to it since they left San Uvalde over fifteen minutes ago.  It was hard for him to concentrate on the winding road that headed to Garner State Park, built next to the Frio River where George Strait learned to swim.  The road to the classic south Texas park was built on the treacherous hills of Devil’s Backbone Mountain.  Sharp turns, blind corners, and blinding brush in the moonless night highlighted the trip to the Works Project Administration-built vacation spot.  It was treacherous at night, but that’s just what Darren was going to need to punish the girl in the trunk.
            He turned off the engine of the car near a blind turn hidden by a hill on his right side.  Safety barriers lined the road next to the dropoff on his left.  Groaning, he took another swig of beer.
            Stepping out of the black Kia Spectra, he moved to the trunk, popping it open with his keyless remote.  Inside, tied up with orange electrical cord, was Rachel.  Sweat had seeped from her pores in the heat of the trunk, making her sandy-blonde hair stick to her head.  She had struggled to get loose to no avail.  Darren had really taken to the knot-tying course he learned in the Boy Scouts when he was young, and applied those skills tonight.  He felt he needed to back then, as it provided an advantage when the older boys tied him up and did all those awful things.
            Very awful things.
            But today, it was Darren’s turn to do something awful.  His only regret is that he didn’t tie a gag around her head for her mouth.  She was as eloquent as a sailor with colorful metaphors
            “Darren, you cock-smoking butt-pirate!  Let me go!”
            Darren smacked her across the face.  It hurt Rachel, considering that was the side of the face he had been working over since he caught her and chloroformed her as she walked to her car leaving the Honeycomb Saloon in San Uvalde.
            He pulled two sets of ropes out of the trunk and slung them on either shoulder.  Then, he walked to one of the barriers.  He tied the rope to the barrier, saying, “Calling me names isn’t going to make things better, Rachel.”  He then stretched the rope as far as it would go, dropping it into the lane they had arrived from, coming down the hillside.
            “Swear to God, Darren, I’m going to kick your ass.  Billy’s going to kick your ass.  We’re all going to kick your ass.  Let me go!”
            She was feisty.  Even when she was putting her under with the chloroform, she struggled and almost got away.  Rachel was a fighter.  He giggled as he tied another rope to a signpost near the blind turn.  A sign stood tall, warning for falling rocks.  Darren couldn’t help but think Rachel must be so frustrated that she could not escape.
            “Oh, Rachel.  You love me,” he said, securing the rope to the sign and walking it to the trunk.  “Or, should I say, you should have loved me instead of Billy.”
            “Darren, you are one stupid motherfucker,” she shouted as he secured the rope to the electrical cord with a neat and tight knot coupled with a metal lock.
            “Wait ‘til you see what I have in store for you tonight, cheater,” he said, lifting her out of the trunk and heaving her onto his shoulder.  “You won’t think I’m dumb after that.”
            “You are dumb.  You…”  Then she had a thought.  “Wait.  What do you mean by ‘cheater’, Darren?”
            Darren slammed her to the pavement.  She cried out in pain at the impact.  The tight and insulated electrical cord served as a bit of a cushion.  But it only served to act as if Darren had dropped her on an object that was located on top of the pavement.  The throw rattled her body, and the cord did nothing to prevent her head from bouncing off the pavement.  The back of her head was able to feel every loose piece of asphalt on the road as it struck.  Two pointed pieces of rock even embedded themselves in the back of her head.  A pair of small, red patches of blood began to form in her hair as she groaned in pain.
            “You are mine, Rachel.  You know that?”
            She tried to regain her senses, looking up into the night sky.  “What do you mean I’m yours?”
            “My girlfriend,” he said, securing the other side of rope to the segment of cord near her head.  He secured that one with a metal lock as well.
            “What?’ she said, chuckling.  “I’ve never been your girlfriend.  Billy’s my boyfriend.  He has been since our sophomore year in college.”  She was tough, but not the smartest, perhaps, because it took her a moment to realize she was in the middle of the road.  “Wait.  Darren, let me go.  I’m not playing.  A car will come.”
            “That’s right,” said Darren, checking on the rope tied to the barrier.  “And I’m going to watch you get run over, like a polecat.”
            Darren stood over her as she tried to free herself.  The ropes were secure to her body as she tried to roll away to no avail.  “This is not funny, Darren.  Please, let me go.”
            “Oh, it’s please now, huh?” said Darren.  “Now it’s please,” he whispered.  She cried out in disgust, but her voice just echoed across the dusty landscape of the Texas hill country under the blanket of black and its hot white stars.
            Darren was mocking her.  He put his foot on her stomach and leaned forward.
            “Get off me,” shouted Rachel in futile frustration.  She began to whimper, insulted and scared.
            “No,” Darren groaned, burping beer, provoking more tears from Rachel.  Bound, she could do nothing.
            Then they both heard it.  Distinct.  True.
            Floating down the hillside was the sound of a vehicle descending the hillside.
            Darren’s eyes lit up.  He looked down at Rachel, who looked back up at him with tear-stained cheeks and bloodshot eyes.
            “Here comes one,” said Darren, smiling.  “Goodbye, Rachel,” he said, standing up.  “You should have loved me,” he said, walking off to the side of the road near his car.  “You should have loved me.”
            “Let me go, Darren!  Please, let me go!” Rachel cried out.
            “Too late,” he said with a smile as they could see the car lights approaching.
            “Please, Darren!” cried out Rachel.  “No!”
            The lights glowing on the brushy turn grew larger.  And larger.  And larger.
            The car engine grew more distinct.  Louder.  And louder.
            Then it turned the corner.
            Rachel screamed in terror.
            The white BMW hit the brakes with finely-crafted precision, stopping just short of Rachel.  She was still screaming when the car stopped.  She could see distinctly the dead bugs on the bumper.  She could even see under the car.
            She heard the car door slam.  Moments later, someone stood over her in the bright lights of the vehicle.
            “Oh, my God.  Help me,” she cried.  “Help me!”
            “What the hell is going on here?” asked the man with an east Texas accent that clearly indicated he was from Dallas.
            “Untie me, quick,” she said.  “There’s a crazy man out there.  He’s close.  Quick, before he gets here.”
            “Well, ma’am.  You’re lucky I was in a BMW,” he said, working on the first knot.  “BMWs are some of the best cars in the world,” he said with pride, “and have such a precise brake system that….”
            Rachel never knew the kind of sound a skull being cracked over the head with a very large stone would sound like.  She was surprised to find it reminded her of an egg being broken at breakfast.  Darren swung the rock again at the man two more times for good measure, making Rachel cry.
            A bit of the knot had come loose.  But it was still not enough to release her from her bonds.
            She looked up through the bright beams of light emanating from the car to see Darren dragging the body of the man back to the BMW.
            “Oh, God,” she mumbled.  “Oh, God.”
            She heard the door to the car slam.  Then she heard the car being shifted into gear.”
            “Oh, God,” she groaned.  She was going to get run over.  He’s going to kill me, she thought to herself.
            But the BMW moved backwards up the hill.  Then, she watched as the car shifted gears yet again.
            “Oh, God,” she groaned again.  This was it.  He’s going to kill me.  She could hear her mother crying in her mind when she discovers her grisly demise.
            The vehicle moved away from her, then crashed through the barrier and down into the brushy Texas hillside.  A section of the barrier was reduced to twisted metal and sharp wooden posts jutting out of the ground.
            She thought Darren had gone over with it.  But he hadn’t.  He had jumped out of the vehicle and now dashed to her again.
            “God, that turns me on,” he said, flexing his muscles and groaning like a maniac.
            Rachel could not believe she was still alive.  She was thankful, but it was no consolation still being stuck in an absolute nightmare.
            But her bonds were loosening yet again, subtle, but definitely loosening.  If only she had more time.
            Then it happened again.  The sound of an approaching vehicle danced through the air.  This time, both of them knew it was an 18-wheeler.
            “Here comes one,” Darren moaned.  “Oh, this is going to be better than I thought.”
            He pointed and laughed at Rachel, then stepped away to his car to watch.
            “Please,” Rachel whispered, knowing it was no use.  “Please let me go.”
            The lights glowing on the brushy turn grew larger.  And larger.  And larger.
            The 18-wheeler engine grew more distinct.  Louder.  And louder.
            Then it turned the corner.
            Rachel screamed in terror.
            The hissing and screeching brakes of the 18-wheeler screamed through the night like a mechanical banshee.  The truck could not stop with enough time.  So instead, it turned away from the body, tumbling through the already mangled barricade and flew over the side of the hillside road.
            “No!” shouted Darren.
            The trailer, filled with food to line the shelves at HEB, tumbled after the cab.  The metal vehicle twisted, steel grinded as it wrecked on the hillside below.  Dust danced into the dark as the truck finally settled in a temporary resting place.  Still.  Quiet.
            “You are a dumbass!” cried Rachel hysterically.  “You are a stupid motherfucker, Darren.  A stupid motherfucker!”
            “Shut up,” he shouted, pulling at his hair.  “Shut up, shut up, shut up!” he shouted through tears of anger.  He was jumping up and down like a spoiled child.  His plan was failing.
            “Stupid Darren,” she began to sing.  “Stupid Darren.”
            Then it began again.  Another car was coming down the trail.
            Darren walked to Rachel.  In anger, he swatted her face four times.
            “You could have avoided all this if you hadn’t cheated on me, bitch,” he shouted before walking back to watch by his car yet again.
            Rachel laughed.  Tears laced her cheeks.  “Fuck you, Darren.  You stupid bastard.”
            The lights glowing on the brushy turn grew larger.  And larger.  And larger.
            The truck engine grew more distinct.  Louder.  And louder.
            Then it turned the corner.
            Rachel laughed with madness.
            The truck screeched to a halt.  Unlike the BMW, the brakes were not as precise.  It began to slide.  And though the Ford F-150 almost fell through the trashed barrier, it didn’t.
            It stopped short.
            “What?” shouted Darren.
            Rachel began to laugh hysterically as the person stepped out of the vehicle.
            Darren tried to look at who was getting out of the vehicle before he moved to pick up the stone.  But he was now exposed.  The person in the truck was ready, and fired with a pistol at Darren.  The first bullet popped Darren in the stomach.  The second ripped through his shoulder.  The third hit his thigh as he tumbled to the ground.
            “Oh, my God,” shouted Rachel.  “Oh, my God.  Help me!”
            She could hear the footsteps.  She knew the person was near.  True excitement filled her belly.  She was going to be free.  She was going to make it.
            Then the man made it to her.
            “Billy!” she shouted, recognizing the face, wanting to cry.
            “Rachel,” he groaned, kissing her waiting lips.
            Then she pulled away.  “Quick!  Untie me before another car comes.”
            Billy tried to untie the knots, but was amazed.  “Wow,” he said.  “These are good.”
            “Loosen that one,” she said, indicating the loosened knot.
            “Even better,” he said, looking at the granny knot used to secure the rope to the barrier.  “Let me get that one first.  Then at least we can get you off the road and figure out these knots.”
            “Do it,” she said.  “Quick.”
            As Billy left her side with a kiss, she looked up at the stars with utter joy.  She had never felt so relieved in her life.  She was so close to death, now she was free.  The stars in the Texas sky never looked brighter.
            It was such a relief, in fact, that neither of them saw the lights glowing on the brushy turn growing larger.  And larger.  And larger.
            A car engine grew more distinct.  Louder.  And louder.
            When they both realized another car was on the way, it had already turned the corner.
            Rachel screamed with anger.  “Here comes one!” she shouted.
            The driver saw Rachel in the road and swerved to avoid her.  It did not have the brake system of a BMW, so it swerved away from her.  But it flew straight into Billy before crashing into his truck, smashing Billy up against his own vehicle.  Blood and guts vomited from his mouth.  The car wreck sent Billy, the truck, and the car over the edge in a rain of blood and steel.
            “No!” shouted Rachel.
            She heard the vehicles tumble, then settle in the hillside below.
            Rachel began to cry hysterically.  She was stuck.  She looked at the knot below her.  It was loose.  In fact, looser than it had ever been.  She had to try.
            Then a voice came across the deadly night like a ghost.
            “Rachel,” it sang.  “Where’s your hero now, Rachel?”
            It was Darren.  He was still alive.
            She turned to see him crawling to her from the car where he had been shot.
            “It’s not over yet, Rachel,” he chuckled.  “Not over in the least.”
            She began to wiggle more and more, slowly freeing herself from the bonds.  But there was still a lot of work to do.
            Then she could hear it again.  It was another 18-wheeler.
            Darren began to laugh, crawling to her with a mask of blood.
            “It’s not over Rachel,” he said again.  “It’s not over.  Here comes one.  Here comes one.”
            She was getting loose.  She could make it out of the bonds, but she needed more time.
            “Here comes one,” said Darren, taunting Rachel with glee, crawling closer.  “Here comes one.”
            The lights glowing on the brushy turn grew larger.  And larger.  And larger.
            The 18-wheeler engine grew more distinct.  Louder.  And louder.
            Then it turned the corner.
            Rachel screamed, busting loose of the bonds.
            The 18-wheeler made no effort to change course.  The driver noted the circumstance, but stayed the course for his safety and the safety of his products.  He expertly slowed down on the winding road, but squashed Darren in the process. 
            The front pair of wheels rolled over him, then the next eight wheels of the cab, then the final eight of the carriage.  Chunks of gore and streams of blood fell from his squashed body, lacing the wheels in blood.
            Rachel couldn’t help but laugh with madness as the 18-wheeler rolled on.  The illustrated mascot for Raccoon Trucking, Rodney Raccoon, held up a thumb and was winking as if it was meant for Rachel.
            “Here comes one, baby!” she shouted hysterically, pointing at the ground remains of Darren in the dark south Texas night.  “Here comes one!”

San Antonio, in the republic of Texas
“Love’s Theme”

A family has to make a cruel decision at the advent of the Zpoc
in an excerpt from "Down the Road: On the Last Day" by Bowie Ibarra

A FEMA camp is overrun in the Simon and Schuester title, "Down the Road" by Bowie Ibarra


Bowie V. Ibarra is an writer and actor living in Texas.  His most recent book, “Down the Road”, is a zombie horror story published through Permuted Press and Simon & Schuster.  You can read more about Bowie and his written works at

1 comment:

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