Vespers: A Never Prayer Story, Episode 3

Aaron Michael

I make it to Eladio’s car as he speeds away with Goy safely inside. Eladio survived Kendrick, but I feel myself coming unraveled. Moving the plastic container of dog food around has depleted most of my energy. I need to rest. I can’t. Not until Eladio is safe at the airport and far away from Fiona’s apartment.
Eladio cracks open the dog food container and lets Goy munch on it, on the floorboards of the passenger seat. At least one of us in the car is deliriously happy. I’m in the back seat, barely holding myself together in the scraps of upholstery. The yellow stuffing of the seats rests like snowfall under the layer of clothes. Eladio’s plastic bag of treasures sits on his Playstation and a cardboard box of games. They are his life’s things, and I’m glad he has them. The car’s dashboard is mostly dark. The steering wheel’s plastic covering is worn after a half-a-million miles of driving, mostly done by strangers, but the car had been Eladio’s sister’s before their parents died. She left him the car when she fled to St. Louis. She went there for a job, to send money back to her little brother, but that money never came.
Eladio counts the cash Mrs. Romero gave him by tumbling twenties onto the passenger seat. He slides his fingers through the green paper at a stoplight. Windshield wipers thwack away the snow. Still hard to see to drive. Heater’s broke, and the ice is forming. He keeps having to use the ice-scraper to see. Ice flakes fall onto the cracked dashboard and melt into little rivulets of water.
He snaps open his cell phone. He calls Mrs. Romero. Guess who picks up? I can hear Kendrick’s sludgy voice. “Caller ID is cool, bro. Hey, Eladio.”
“Where’s Mrs. Romero?”
“Marisol? She paid me. Kind of. But now, you, you owe me lots of money.”
“Yeah, I know. Are you gonna let me pay it? I have two hundred and sixty dollars. It’s a start, yeah?”
“You’re in to me for five grand, bro. It ain’t no start. I can take the car you got, but you can’t give me back that tuition you spent. First time anyone borrowed money from me to pay for college. Heard you got good grades, but that don’t matter. You can’t pay me by teaching me anything, right?”
Eladio laughs nervously. “I can give you a lesson on the dangers of the underground economy, or the fact that usury was considered a sin in the Catholic church for centuries. Judaism didn’t seem to mind it though.”
A snort from the other end of the phone. No laughter. More drugs for Kendrick. “I don’t give a crap about your learnin’, bro. I want my money, or I want your blood. I’m thinking your blood ’cause we both know you ain’t got no money.”

Read the entire exciting installment in the October 2018 issue of InD'Tale magazine.

Subscriptions are free!

You can just click on the magazine image on the left hand side of our home page to open and enjoy!


If you would like to receive the magazine every month (for FREE!) , just sign up on our home page. Once you do, an e-mail validation notice will be sent directly to you. Just open and click the link and you're in - forever!  Each month the magazine will be delivered directly to your inbox to downlad and read!