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Excerpts

from

Cuqui

From the foreword:

"...a modern-day version of a 1950ís B-movie Creature Feature, just a fun, scary story full of action, laughs, and lots of gore. So grab some popcorn and your favorite snuggling sweetie, and enjoy!"

From Chapter 2:

The Rio Grande glistened like a river of green lava in the weird light of the night goggles. Bumpy used the lights of Presidio off his starboard side to guide him into the United States. Running without lights, he was now able to see everything clearly in front of him. He brought the plane down even lower, ready to skim the low foothills less than fifty feet from the ground. He glanced at Jorge. In the goggles, the flame from his joint shone like a hot poker. Suddenly, the cockpit was illuminated with a blinding light. Bumpy knew immediately what was happening.

"Customs!" Bumpy shouted. He craned his neck to see what type of craft was behind them, shining a million-candlepower spotlight their way. It took several seconds for the goggles' electronics to compensate for the new light. In his mirror, Bumpy could see it was one of the Customs Service's own Beechcrafts that they had seized in a raid. He was glad it was not one of their Learjets; they could have given him a run for his money. Even though he was on their side, Bumpy still got a kick out of outrunning the schmucks.

"You better do some serious flying, maricon," Jorge said, his high coming to a tragic end.

"Don't worry, jefe," Bumpy said, his grin looking strange under the bug-like goggles. "I'll leave these boys behind like a six-legged jack rabbit. You'd better buckle up."

He gunned the throttle and dived even lower, threading the plane through a series of hills and valleys. The Customs plane held firm, illuminating the smuggler as it clung to his tail. Bumpy decided to climb a bit; his pursuers were a little too low to the ground. He didn't want to cause a crash. He pulled sharply on the wheel and put the plane into a steep ascent. Jorge cursed in Spanish and held tightly to the suicide straps hanging from the ceiling. Bumpy laughed as he pulled the plane into an inside loop. Jorge cursed louder as the cocaine and his precious jar crashed about in the rear of the cabin. The Customs pilot didn't dare duplicate such an audacious move. He continued a straight course, waiting for the aerobatic smuggler to once again appear on his radar. Bumpy came out of the loop and banked sharply to his left, heading back toward Mexico. He dove sharply into the Rio Grande river valley and swept in low above the water. Instantly, the plane disappeared from every radar screen in the intercept grid. Jorge was yelling at him in Spanish as they flew above the water in an easterly direction. There was not much between Presidio and the Big Bend National Park, a hundred miles away. He would fly a while and pop up where they least expected it.

"Estas loco! You're crazy, man!" Jorge snarled as he slapped burning marijuana from his lap. "You trying to kill us, man?"

"You want to do thirty years in a federal slam, compadre?" Bumpy asked. "You pay me to keep you from getting caught, right? Well, I just kept you from getting caught."

"Look what you did, man; you broke the freaking jar," Jorge whined.

"Ingrate," Bumpy said under his breath as Jorge unbuckled his seat belt and began rummaging around on the floor.

"It was probably worth a fortune," he said as he flung a piece of broken pottery into the cockpit. After a few seconds, he became still and muttered, "What the hell..."

Bumpy was trying to tune the little guy out when he heard a shrill scream. The noise startled him and he jerked on the wheel, causing the plane to rise sharply. Bumpy managed to bring the craft under control and turned around to peer into the dark cabin. In the green light of the night goggles, he saw something wrapped around the upper part of Jorge's body. Powerful insect-like mandibles had already pierced the drug dealer's skull just under his left eye and were loudly snapping bone and tissue. Jorge was grasping at the thing's body but could not budge it.

Bumpy turned his head back around, unable to believe what was happening. As he pulled the plane out of the valley, he could hear the sickening, familiar gurgling sound of a man dying. The snapping noise continued as he leveled out the plane over the desert. He turned again and saw that the thing had wrestled Jorge's body to the floor and was methodically eating his way from top to bottom like a caterpillar on a tree leaf.

"Holy God," Bumpy muttered. The thing stopped eating and shifted two slit-like eyes toward him. It loosened its bloody grip on Jorge's torso and began to inch its way toward the cockpit.

Finis

Copyright 2001 by David L. Kilpatrick

All rights reserved

Duplication of this text is only by written permission of the author.