the cowboy and juan carlos

juan carlos sat in the idling el camino and nervously tapped the steering wheel. “it has to be at least 120 degrees in here” he thought as he lowered the window to get some air. the heat was rising off the highway blending the desert into the cloudless sky like the soft undulations of a country creek. the line at the border checkpoint of los nogelas mexico was long but he was almost to the front now. he spotted luis marcos on the other side of the fence, wearing a cowboy hat and red shirt as planned. the man held up his hand as to wave and flashed three fingers. that was it, that was the signal. juan pulled into bay number three. luis marcos had bought the customs agent and in just a few hours, he would be 5,000 dollars richer. the agent waved juan into the bay without looking at his face. “papers amigo.” the agent said bending down to the window. juan handed the handful of papers to the man as the agent opened the car door and motioned for him to step to the orange line. he casually looked over his shoulder to find luis but couldn’t spot the red shirt. the customs agent bent into the el camino and looked back at juan as he popped open a long red switchblade, “what do we have here amigo?” he said, flashing several gold teeth in a crooked smile. he jammed the blade into the black leather seat and a puff of white dust erupted. “it's a godamned double cross!” a female agent grabbed juan's arm, jerking him hard from behind. “you are going to clean up every bit of this mess young man! now put the powdered sugar down and finish your pancakes!” jimmy sat back down at the kitchen table as his mother got a rag and handed it to the young boy. jimmy slowly wiped at the dust covered table and thought to himself, “you’re a dead man luis marcos, a fucking dead man.”

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