What follows is an excerpt of the first book in my Armageddon series, The Blessed Man and the Witch. You won’t find it in Amazon’s Look Inside feature on the product page; this chapter is from the middle of the novel, where Diego gets a closer look at his employers, though at a distance.
Chapter 25: Diego – Theater
Cain spoke to Abel in the field, and when they were alone in the field, Cain rose up against his brother Abel and slew him with a club fashioned from a cypress tree.
Then the Lord said unto Cain, “Where is Abel thy brother?”
Cain said, “I do not know; am I my brother’s keeper?”
And the Lord said, “What hast thou done? The voice of thy brother’s blood doth cry to me from the earth. And now thou art cursed from the ground, which has opened its mouth to receive thy brother’s blood from thine own hand.”
(Genesis 4:8-11—The Holy Bible, New Kingdom Version)
Diego rocked back and forth on the bus seat with his hands between his legs, biting his lip bloody to keep from screaming. That bitch! That fucking bitch! He punched the air five times before he could stop himself. This was the last bus of the night and if he got kicked off he wouldn’t make it back to Boulder on time. The only other passenger was an old lady who sat in the front as far away from him as you could get and not be hanging out the window. Fuck ‘em. Let ‘em try to kick me off this piece of shit bus. And if Gerald leaves without me, then fuck Occupy, too. FUCK YOU ALL. He might have said that last part aloud, but he wasn’t sure.
A terrible, sick pain throbbed from his taint to his bladder as though someone had kicked him in the nuts over and over again. He was afraid to see what it looked like down there. She must know some kind of women’s empowerment kung fu or something. That PMSing cunt! Hearing himself hissing curses out loud, he bit his lip again to stop it. The fucking driver kept looking in the mirror at him and had sniffed audibly when he’d gotten on board. Shithead’s obviously looking for an excuse to kick me off. Thinks I’m high or drunk or something. Judgmental cocksucker.
It took him several seconds to notice that the bus was already a block past his stop. Taking his hands from his groin, he yanked on the red wire and yelled, “Stop, STOP!” After hopping off he flipped the departing bus both birds. “Fuck YOU!” The Occupy camp was two blocks away. You know, fuck this whole road trip secret mission bullshit. Fuck it. FUCK. IT. Micah with his little flag pin and twitchy-ass Gerald can both eat shit and die.
He was stomping over to Micah’s tent to tell him that when he saw Gerald sitting in front of it on that orange milk crate of his, smoking something in a glass pipe. The butane lighter he used to keep it hot flicked off, and at Diego’s approach he proffered the tube with a quivering hand.
The bitter, plastic odor of the smoke told Diego it was meth. He took the pipe, drew in the smoke, held it for a medium-slow three-count, and let it out. If you held it too long it fucked up your lungs and made you cough. If you didn’t hold it long enough you were wasting it. As he handed it back the pain in his crotch lessened. “Uh, thanks, man.”
Gerald shook his head and held out the lighter. “It’s yours. Feeling better now? You were looking a bit…peaked.”
The constant facial tics made Gerald’s expression almost impossible to read, so Diego just nodded and accepted the lighter. “Yeah. I do, a bit.”
“Good.” Gerald nodded in the direction of Walnut St. “Time to go. You’re driving. Anything here you want to bring with?”
Diego considered going to the tent he shared with the endlessly-coughing Hanlon and grabbing his duffel, but shook his head instead. “Nah. Just this,” he said, lifting the pipe. Fuck it. A new start. I can always find what I need on the way.
Chuckling, Gerald led the way to a white Chevy Tahoe. “It’s a hybrid,” he told him. “Good for the environment.”
The keys were already in the ignition. Diego burned off the last of the meth, put the pipe in the center console, and started the car. “Where to?”
“East. Go east, young man. We’re going to Kansas.”