Death but No Deal
Dream | February 21, 2013
The passenger van stops at the entrance to Carvalho's estate.
Inside are my six armed men, one prisoner, and myself. I am a lieutenant in Carvalho's rival cartel. Our prisoner is his right-hand man known as the Accountant.
While my men have guns, I am only holding this piece of concrete like a club. It's angled like a small boomerang, and I'm wielding it above the Accountant's bald head. "You try to escape and I bash your fucking brains in!"
I pushed him out and we escort him towards Carvalho's palace. It is immense and impressive. There's a vast lawn of grass split by a marble walkway dominated by gigantic pillars towering over a hundred feet high and supporting a huge roof whose sole purpose is to keep the drizzle off people walking towards the main building. We walk under this tying to conceal our awe. Then we ascend broad marble steps.
Five hundred men could fit in the foyer. Instead, we are met by twenty armed men in a semi-circle with Carvalho and another man at the center.
Nobody has a hand on their gun, but the tension is so tight that a gunfight could start at any second.
Flanked by our men, I say loudly to Carvalho. "I have your accountant. You can have him back if you agree to stay out of my territory. Do we have a deal?" I've got the cement club held over my prisoner's head, ready to drop onto his skull.
His reply: "I have a new man. The old one is obsolete. You're all dead!"
The lights go out. It's pitch dark. I can barely see the accountant in front of me. No shots are fired, but I can hear scuffling around me. I know that my men are being grabbed one by one. For a few seconds I am unsure what to do, waiting for something to happen.
Then someone grabs me and forces me backwards. Before I can swing the cement club it is wrenched from my hand. A blindfold is pulled over my eyes.
As I'm being dragged backwards my captor suddenly pulls me sideways through a door. My blindfold is off and I'm being pushed down concrete steps. At the bottom we go quietly through another door. To the left is an opening to the great lawn outside, but we hear the shouting of orders and the sound of several men readying guns. It's going to be a turkey shoot!
To the right is another door at the dead end of a corridor. We try it but it's locked. So we duck back into the stairwell. Above, the sounds of men trying the handle of the door to the foyer. We slip under the steps as they force it open.
A couple of men descend the steps then stop on the first landing. We are right below them, flattened on the cold floor and just out of sight. I realize my captor is a Hispanic woman in her 30s. We are almost face to face. Her gun is out and ready. It's all puzzling to me until I see this red writing on the walls visible through the spaces between the steps, and also on the bottom step. I can read some message she has written. It says she wants the bloodshed to stop, to have peace for their families. There are other messages that indicate why she is trying to escape with me but I have forgotten them. When did she have time to write this?
Through the steps the men spy at us. Then they stand up and start shooting straight down. I'm wedged up against the wall as a rain of bullets and concrete shrapnel whizz around us. Silence. They are gone.
The woman is looking at me without seeing. she is not unattractive. Probably someone's wife and mother of some children. But she's dead now.
I'm lay there for awhile. On the right is a window with a metal grate which looks out upon the grassy lawn. The sun is setting and dusk is darkening the landscape and colonial houses on the other side of the street. I find a National Geographic magazine with an article about my story. It says that I waited until early morning and escaped dressed as a woman. Oh that's a good idea, I think. But how am I going to dress like a woman?
I look over. The woman's eyes have closed. There's no way I'm going to wear her military clothes or take her hair. The article continues with crisp photos of Sao Paulo cultural artifacts intermixed with the story of cocaine cartels. Typical National Geographic...
Sure enough, early the next morning I force open the metal grate and sprint across the lawn in the dark. I'm charging down the street in front of houses that get poorer and poorer. I hear men shouting behind so I jump behind a utility sink on the side of someone's house.
The men run by, then stop and double back. There's four of them and I'm not sure if they are Carvalho's men or some of the many people he has paid to be informants. They go back and forth, seemingly looking around. Then a woman comes around the house next door with a bag of groceries. She spots me instantly and is about to shout something, but I put a finger to my lips to suggest silence, pointing to the men. She nods knowingly and continues on.
When the men are gone I'm running again. Down a few blocks, turn right, down a few blocks, turn left. Then into an In n' Out burger restaurant for food and rest.
Munching on some delicious food — apparently In n' Out locations in Brazil make lobster burgers — I am reading the article again. I come upon an ad for In n' Out but in its bold red and yellow graphics are a message that Carvalho found me in this same restaurant. I bolt out with my bag of food.
On the streets again I'm weaving here and there. Maybe I need to get off the street and hide for awhile, but that's really not my style. Then I see this huge mango tree, perhaps a hundred feet high, over a dilapidated house. I ram through the front door and find myself in a stinking bedroom. I think I fell asleep. Time skips forward.
When I wake up, Carvalho is sleeping in the next bed.