Anna Drake:

Yes, I know it’s Saturday. Please, I’ve been one dollar short and one day late nearly all my life. But I thought some of you in the ol’ blogging world might enjoy a go at this anyway.

Originally posted on Kellie Elmore:

 

Happy Friday! Read the Introduction to Free Write Friday OR if you’re a frequent flier let’s get started!

Here is your prompt:

You are cleaning out your attic when you find an old dusty box you’ve never noticed before. You open it to find stacks of hundred dollar bills and a note that says, “Here’s your cut, see you in Mexico”. There is no signature. Start writing whatever floods your mind at this thought and tell me a story…

Comment with a link to your entry, there is no word limit and no deadline! Have a great weekend and don’t forget your button!

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  1. “Here’s your cut. See you in Mexico,” the postcard read. The stacks of bills beneath were musty and brittle, although free of attic dust. I was anxious to count the money. My head flooded with images of paying off the bills and heading off to Mexico myself, or possibly Europe. There was a certain bike trail through the Pyrenees foothills I had never seen but knew must exist somehow. I could take that trail. Perhaps dance with a pretty girl with a red flower in her hair late of a Saturday evening and listen to authentic Basque music and drink a little too much wine. Money. Money could buy anything.

    I examined the card a little more carefully. The postmark was for January 20, 1982, El Paso, Texas. Hmph, thirty years and about six hundred miles. Printed in small gray type along the edge of the card was: The Rio Grande from the International Bridge. I flipped the card over. Azure water reflected an afternoon sky with puffy clouds now thirty years gone. Nothing noteworthy there. I tucked the card into my shirt pocket and felt a chill. In whose pocket had it once similarly resided? I took it back out and examined the handwriting. Cursive. No traveling ovals, which might indicate a woman had written it. And women didn’t talk like that: “Here’s your cut.” The Ma Barker-type, maybe, but that was fiction. Or mostly fiction. Some maven from the wrong side of the river in St. Louis, perhaps, but no woman I had ever know. The handwriting was neat and tight, but hurried. Also, he’d written in large letters and in doing so had to take up two lines. All that white space there–mostly antique white fading to a mild manila–called for at least two lines, if not more. But the message–the message was brief and to the point. But looking at it, why write anything at all? If the bag got into the hands of the intended recipient (had it? Had it, indeed?) then Mexico was the plan all along, so why a note? There was a sense of bravado in it, as if to say: “I could have kept every cent, you know. But I’m really the good guy, see? Yeah, I can afford a little honesty among us thieves. So don’t try to screw me later, because you wouldn’t like the not-nice side of me. Yeah, see you in Mexico, chump.” The handwriting wore a smirk. I could almost smell the gin on his breath beneath the redolent old-attic smell. But it also said “See, I don’t care if the world knows I wrote this. The world has got other samples of my handwriting, and the world can compare it all to this note, see? But I don’t care. You know why I don’t care? Yeah. You know. I’m just reminding you I don’t care, just in case you forgot… chump.” I didn’t like the author of the card. And I didn’t want him in my shirt pocket. I put the card in the bag and started to close it, and my eye caught the word: Mexico.

    Mexico. 1982. No cell phones back then to amount to anything. The internet nothing but a dream. A time before the drug wars and open killings and the international news media was in its infancy. And I wasn’t yet even a glimmer in my old man’s eye. For me, Mexico had always carried with it a certain mystique. An old language of love mingled with the raw hot-bloodedness of the Aztecs and a go to-hell-attitude the envy of the world. La Ley De Fuego–the law of fire–the unwritten but most well-kept law of the land was the order of the day, and had been since the time of Coronado and Kukulcan before him. Mexico. A swath of admixed colors to the slap-beat of a out-sized acoustic guitar and an aroma of spice on the wind-swept narrow village streets that carried a heat no temperature gauge could measure. Mexico had lived in my dreams since childhood. But I was never to go there… unless.

    I had decided not to count the money. It was better not knowing. I’d be disappointed if it was less than I wanted it to be, and at the same time I’d be thrilled it it were more and the suspense of not knowing had a sharpness to it I couldn’t evade for the life of me, as if I’d be somehow richer by not. Knowing, that is. I closed up the leather bag, slid the zipper carefully shut and took it back down the attic hatchway with me, listening first to make sure no one had come in while I was up. Ah. Paranoia setting in already? I didn’t want to answer that just yet…

    —————–

    Nice contest. I’d better get back to my book. Thanks!

    George Wier

  2. Oh George. That’s delightfully rich! Loved “the azure sky . . . thirty years gone,” and much more. There are too many good lines in there to make not of them all.
    Thanks for the visit. Good to read your work again.

    Best wishes,
    Anna

    • Anna,

      Muchas gracias. When you write in very high volume, you have to learn to waste words. I suppose that’s the only way to really have anything–you’ve got to be willing to toss it.

      Told you I’d be checking back in. :)

      Best,

      George

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