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John P. McWilliams

Date of Birth: 8/4/34
Location: Portland, Oregon
Email: johnpmcw@teleport.com
Published In: Stirring V1:E2



RUNNING FROM JESUS

 

I met Jesus in Puerto Vallarta, Mexico during the winter, although it wasnít winter there, it was sunny and warm, but not too warm for a good dayís sleep. However, it was winter in Vancouver, British Columbia when I departed - right after Christmas - leaving behind a divorced mate, a boring job, and a life that I was eager to alter. Prior to our separation I had begun to feel comfortable in the seductive tentacles of mediocrity.

Puerto Vallarta is located on the Bay of Banderas; there are miles and miles of beaches. I had been staying on the beach at the Tropicana Hotel located on the southern end of the bay; itís one of the least expensive tourist hotels, but situated near a nightclub that featured a damn Marimba band until two oíclock in the morning. I was getting used to staying up all evening and going to bed after breakfast.

One morning prior to breakfast, just as the sun made its predictable, brilliant intrusion from the east, I walked along the beach. There were not many people out that early. I noticed a familiar couple approaching from a distance; I had noticed them before, well to be thoroughly honest, if one can be at all honest, considering the current climate of our various corrupt cultures, I had actually noticed her before. She was wearing a pair of white shorts that accented her dark, long legs and left no doubt that she possessed feminine charms that would raise the temperature of any warm-blooded creature within our solar system. Her colorful blouse looked expensive, but then I assumed anything she wore would look expensive. Oh, and her earrings were extra large; they glittered from a distance in the dim reflection of the mounting sun. There was no doubt that she was a local; she had long black hair tied together with a red ribbon. She was taller than her male companion who also wore shorts (everyone did along the beach). He wore one small earring on the lobe of his left ear. He wore no shirt; the muscles on his chest looked as though he took good care of his body. He possessed a rather large head, a dark beard and eyes that seemed to take in everything, as if in total, immediate evaluation. His complexion was even darker that his companion. And even though she was taller, he appeared to be somehow larger.

The woman had asked me for the time and I told her I was sorry that I never wore a watch. That brought pleasant laughter from both, although I didnít see anything to laugh about, I also let out a laugh; being in her presence made me very happy, even light headed. Latin women have always captured my rapt attention; thatís one reason I went back to Puerto Vallarta after having vacationed there with my former spouse a few years past.

The women of Puerto Vallarta, and I donít include tourists, (nor do I dismiss them either) dress up, poor or rich, they all appreciate looking good. And, to me, many of them did. I had only been there for a few weeks; my tan was improving, but my sex life was dormant. However I had my eye on a woman who sold tours at the Tropicana but she could not compete with the woman in the white shorts in any physical department. I walked along with them; we introduced ourselves. Jesus and deJaneria invited me to breakfast with them; I accepted.

We sat in the open and drank coffee while awaiting our orders. I stand a shade over six feet; at the table when we all were the same height Jesus again looked so much larger than either deJaneria or myself. He had a smile that flickered easily; his English was articulate with little trace of accent, but enough to notice that English wasnít his primary language. deJaneria had a delightful laugh; I noticed that she deferred to Jesus whenever the conversation lagged. Her English was more accented, but musical in tone. I could easily imagine her dancing with her skirts flying, her long legs flashing to the rhythm of Flamenco, with her partner, me, prancing along with her.

I was immediately infatuated with deJaneria, and Jesus must have known it. I made every attempt to restrain myself from looking at her too often, concerned that I would blush with naked desire, but occasionally I indulged my eyes to feast upon her. I told them my circumstances; they asked no questions. After our meal Jesus asked me if I was interested in working for him through the Easter Holidays. I told him that I didnít need to work at the moment, but I would keep his offer in mind. It was then that I felt the warm, sandy foot of deJaneria cover my own bare foot; she was looking at Jesus, who merely smiled. There was something about Jesus that I couldnít quite figure; he really had a commanding presence; it was as though we were waiting for him to speak, for him to influence the conversation in any direction he chose. It was extraordinary, even the waiter treated Jesus differently than either deJaneria or myself.

Jesus wrote down an address in case I changed my mind. He invited me to drop by any Friday evening not later than eight P.M. to see what kind of work it would be. He said it was like a theatrical production; however, different than I would imagine, and, it would be only for three evenings a week, Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays. The rest of the week would be mine.

When we parted Jesus shook my hand with a warm grip; deJaneria smiled and said that she would look forward to seeing me again, if I changed my mind. My mind was changed. I reached down to touch some of the sand that was passed onto my foot. As I caressed the grains deJaneria turned and smiled widely. I looked down at the address: Cafe Bassarides - Pitillal.

I showed the address to the woman at the hotel tour desk; she looked at me, I thought, a little strangely. She said that Pitillal was an area of Puerto Vallarta that had remained untouched by tourism, and indeed, one wouldnít locate it on any tourist map. She knew that Cafe Bassarides catered only to very rich tourists; that was all she could tell me. There was a message for me at the main desk responding about my query relating to renting a room in Gringo Gulch.

Gringo Gulch is, as the name implies, home to several groups of Caucasians, mostly American, many Canadians, and some Europeans also have homes there. Many are retired from one thing or another, quite a few have Mexican families living with them, taking care of their needs as well as paying their wages. Of course, as in many cases, some gringos were a hell of lot better than others, and some of the others were absolute monsters.

The woman I rented a room from was an older woman; her husband had died a few years ago; she rented out a couple of rooms to supplement her income. She was very gracious and didnít require any advance. I asked her about Pitillal; sure she had been there - wonderful place - but too old-fashioned for her. They donít want tourists to stay there, she said, they donít mind an occasional visit, but one cannot rent or buy a home there unless one is indigenous to that area. She had never heard of the Cafe Bassarides.

The room was on the third floor, comfortable, airy; I could see the bay off in the distance. I moved into the room the next day. I would miss the easy access to the beach but I would save a hell of a lot of my money for that sacrifice; it was well worth it, or so I reasoned. I decided not to leave my passport in the room until I thought it was safe to do so.

***

CAFE BASSARIDES was located on a cobble-stoned side street, it looked quite small and modest from the outside. I paid the taxi driver and went up to the door. There was only a small sign indicting the name. It had no doorknob; only a bell to push. Jesus greeted me with his wide smile. He was dressed in black slacks, a short-sleeved white shirt with a black bow tie and a red cummerbund tied around his trim waist. The telephone rang and he excused himself while I looked around.

It was quite larger than it had looked from the outside and very plush. The back of the cafe was enclosed with a dark curtain that completely covered where the wall would be; the curtain must have been sixty or seventy feet in length and at least twelve feet in height. On the left and right walls were several paintings; they looked original to me. One in particular caught my attention; it was huge, it looked like a crucifixion, but it was hard to tell for sure, as the body of a naked man was semi-covered with female parts and what appeared to be metal stakes were driven through the palms, but there was no blood. The figure, a light hued man, seemed to be laughing. The hair, complete with ponytail, was also somewhat of a match for my own; in fact the resemblance was discomforting. The other painting that caught my eye was of the moon; a very large and bright moon. Small human figures were dancing on the moon, looking up at a half-filled wineglass that seemed to be in orbit around the lunar object. All the paintings were thick with brush strokes, but strangely brilliant; they had a glow that emitted from the entire collection. If I were to categorize them I suppose I would have called them metaphysical. Jesus spoke softly on the telephone when deJaneria entered.

"So you are admiring Jesusí paintings?"

"You mean he painted these?"

"Yes, heís quite talented isnít he?"

I looked over quickly at Jesus who was still on the telephone; he caught my eye, then looked away. deJaneria wore red tights, covered by a black apron; her body was nude from the waist up. I had trouble keeping my eyes in proper focus; those breasts were perfectly shaped with tiny hairs at the nipples; nipples that were large and dark brown. When she turned to walk toward the bar; I saw tight egg-shaped buttocks rise and fall slightly as her high heels clicked on the stucco floor. Jesus hung up the telephone and approached me.

" We will have four guests tonight; they wonít be here for another half hour so I have time to fill you in. Drink?"

"Yes."

We walked to the bar where deJaneria brought him a cup of coffee and smiled at me.

"Iíll have the same."

"Open the curtain Jani."

She went to the back bar and pressed a switch. The large curtain swung open revealing one window the entire length of the wall; it was tinted to the shade of light brown On the opposite side of the glass were several huts, a small, dirty pond, some

blankets lay on the ground. The dirt floor was littered with empty cans of Coca-Cola, Pepsi Cola and other trash. The scene could have passed for a junkyard; indeed one corner did contain a large pile of garbage and several tires. Off in the background stood a very high stone fence. The entire area was dimly lit, but the light was enough to see very well. Jesus watched me until I glanced back at him; he signaled deJaneria and the large curtains swung back to darken the scene. We were sitting at a small bar positioned near the center of the glass, one could sit and look out the through the glass; there were only four seats at the bar. The back bar was setup just at the base of the huge glass window, but did not obstruct the view.

"What I am about to relate to you is strictly confidential; you must give me your word that the information will never leave Cafe Bassarides."

"I agree and you have my word."

We shook on it; again I felt his strength.

"This is a one-way glass. Our patrons are quite wealthy; they take pleasure in seeing how the poor survive. To them our stage is a cage of the poor, if you like. They entertain themselves with food and drink and watch how the poor survive and entertain themselves. Whether they think itís real or not is unimportant; they pay us well to perform for them. Everything we do is staged for their benefit. For example an attractive woman comes out of one of those huts, two men enter from different directions, they both see her, they both desire her; she smiles at them encouraging both. They circle each other to fight for her favors. The fight is to the death. One night one wins and samples her favors, the next night is the turn for the other, or we may have the woman leave while they are fighting and go off with someone else, thus duping both men. We stage fights, rapes, deceptions, beatings, even murder, all choreographed mind you, and a variety of other things as well."

"Where do I fit in?"

"At the moment you do not fit in. If you wish to be hired you will need to watch a tape of the activities, then spend one evening watching the production from the other side of the glass, then you must rehearse for perhaps one week.

"What are the wages?"

"Two hundred American dollars per night; no taxes, and you will sign a contract though Easter Sunday and swear to secrecy."

"What is it you actually wish me to do?"

"deJaneria is our dramatist as well as an actress, as you may have noticed she is the waitress this evening, but she plays other parts as well. She is working on a new scenario; it will be finished in a few days. You look exactly like the one she had in mind for the part; it was her idea to approach you on the beach, after we had you checked out first."

He smiled and tugged at his earring, then gazed deeply into my eyes.

"I have some minor influence here in Puerto Vallarta, as long as you work for me the authorities will look the other way when your visa expires. There is one more thing; deJaneria is mine; if you touch her I will kill you."

The smile disappeared; I knew he meant it. I was on the verge on telling him to stuff his job, when I thought about the money. Of course I had a few thousand dollars in the bank, but when that ran out. . ?

"All right Jesus Iím your boy, but if you have to kill me do it very slowly; Iím getting used to living."

He laughed at this, deJaneria, who had been listening laughed along with him; I didnít think it was so funny.

"Jani prepare the contract for our new cast member."

She moved toward the back bar; I couldnít resist the temptation to follow her movements. Even as close as Jesus sat to me I could feel the desire burn through my body, and it wasnít for him, although there was a compelling, fascinating dominance that radiated from his essence.

"There are a couple of questions that I would like to ask of you; they are of a personal nature."

"Go ahead Jesus."

"Are you a believer?"

"You mean do I believe in anything, or do I believe in a Supreme Being?"

"Do you believe in a Supreme Being?"

"Anything is possible, but until I can verify it, I donít give it much credence."

"Do you believe in Satan?"

"No."

"I assume that if I intend to pair you with one of the other women you will not object."

"On the contrary; unless you mismatch me."

"Be assured amigo you will see more beautiful women in Cafe Bassarides than you have ever seen gathered in one place."

deJaneria returned with a large knife, a slice of bread, a small bottle of wine, and what appeared to be a chalice. Jesus cut his small finger and held it over the tumbler, he then gave the knife to me. He didnít have to say anything I knew what was expected of me. I slit my finger and too held it over the chalice. deJaneria poured a small amount of wine from a bottle into the container then wiped up the mixture with the bread then broke it in half; Jesus ate his and I followed suit.

"Jani take him to Juan; itís about time for our guests to arrive."

***

deJANERIA punched in a code on the door; we entered a room that was fairly large; video equipment and monitors were displayed all over the room; it had a small desk. She introduced me to the engineer, Juan, who would show me the tape, then she departed. Juan was a large man; his English was good enough for me to understand, but he used a lot of hand signals when he couldnít find the proper translation. He led me to a smaller room, again the door was coded; I sat while he placed in the tape.

"Two hours, then I will be back si?"

I nodded; he left, then I noticed that the door could not be opened from the inside. I was trapped in there for at least two hours. There were no windows, no other way out, and the door was thick; I didnít think Iíd have much luck attempting to force it open. I felt trapped, but there was nothing to do but turn on the video.

It was as Jesus described: poor people struggling to make a living, having sex, groping for food, fighting, laughing, loving, hating. The normal emotions of human behavior displayed seem to run the gamut, and some of it looked quite real. There was a scene with deJaneria involving group sex; it didnít look like acting to me. For the most part it looked very well staged; the camera must have been mounted from inside the glass since the entire stage was always on display. There were no close-ups as one may see in a movie, but merely a panorama of the entire vast stage, at no point did I see any of the patrons.

Juan was true to his word; he let me out moments after the video finished. He then ushered me out a side door where a taxi awaited me.

"Tomorrow night at eight." Was all he said.

"Si." The taxi took me back to Gringo Gulch without directions, directly to my new home.

There was a taxi waiting for me the following evening to take me to Cafe Bassarides. I didnít see deJaneria, but Jesus introduced me to Miguel, the stage manager. Miguel placed me inside a small hut at the outskirts of the set; there was a comfortable chair and a peephole to see all the action.

I waited for what seemed like an hour before the action began; it wasnít much different than the video, but I did notice that I couldnít see through the glass; it truly was a one way glass. Sometimes men or women would go up to the glass and pound on it, as though they wanted to break through. I had no idea what that was all about. Then deJaneria entered; she was dressed shabbily, but her legs and part of her breasts were exposed. A man grabbed her and tossed her down on the ground, but another man fought him off. They both produced knives and fought for her. One man eventually stabbed the other as deJaneria kicked the loser and she and the victor kissed, then he took off her clothes and began to caress her. Peasants walked by, oblivious to their passion. deJaneria took the hand of her man and entered the hut where I had been hiding. They began to chuckle; she was still naked, but she picked up a robe nearby and placed it on.

"Well what do you think of our show by now?"

"Iím intrigued."

"What time is it? Oh I forgot you never carry a watch."

The man with her said something to her in Spanish.

"It will be finished in a few minutes then it will be safe to leave."

We waited, it was then that I realized that I was the only gringo involved in the production, and no one had spoken a word of dialogue, other than cries, yells, screams, etc. I made arrangements with Miguel for rehearsals; I was not to be paid for them, only for performances, and I would be paid on a weekly basis - cash. Rehearsals were scheduled to begin a week from that coming Monday.

It was a long week; I did some sightseeing, visiting several islands with the aid of a panga, an open launch, that I rented, complete with the operator Pedro, for three days. Pedro and I became friends; he was very efficient with his panga and he took me to many places where tourists do not go. He even attempted to give me back some of the money I had paid him, but I refused. I also attempted to date the woman at the Tropicana Hotel but she gave me a sad smile and said that she was married.

So I worked on my tan; my hair was getting lighter and longer by the day, then I discovered a new interest. She was an American, a tourist, and alone. We met a few times on the beach, then I invited her to dinner on the Sunday prior to rehearsals. We ate at the restaurant Playa Los Arcos, complete with traditional mariachi band and cool white wine. The food was excellent indefinitely not slightly chilled. Victoria was on a weekís vacation; she worked in Los Angeles as a secretary for a small publishing firm but unfortunately she was booked on a flight back to Los Angeles the following afternoon. Bad timing I thought. She drank only a little wine, ate her meal in contented silence, she seemed to enjoy it as much as I. The waiter paid extra attention to Victoria but was not offense.

We walked along the beach holding hands later in the evening; it was warm, the breeze off the bay was welcome. Hawkers still walked along the beach selling their wares. At her hotel I kissed her but that was as far as I got. She was pleasant, but insistent. She did give me her address in Los Angeles in case I wished to write her. I didnít wish, but I didnít tell her that. I walked back to Gringo Gulch to cool off. I had a busy day ahead of me.

***

Rehearsals were mainly for me; it seems that my little skit was being incorporated into the usual performance. I had three entrances. The first time I entered as a monk, complete with hood and long flowing robe; I would demand money from everyone by holding out my hand to them. They in turn would puts coins into my hand, which I would then transfer into a coin bag I carried on my belt. One man would not give me anything so I would pretend to beat him; he would bleed, then I would go away. I was to keep my face covered up and turned away from the glass as much as I could. Later, disguised, I came out as a peasant and fought for a woman and won her. She was a very lovely creature who could not speak a word of English. She was very gentle and held me with tiny hands after my victory. I would then lead her to a hut where we stayed for a while then we would leave the stage arm in arm, as would be lovers. Later I would come back as the monk again, but this time when I asked for coins, the man I had beaten would attack me along with others, then they proceeded to tie me tightly with straps and position me up against the side of one of the wooden huts. One of the peasants held up a huge hammer and a nail, as they were about to crucify me two policemen would enter and rescue me in the nick of time. I would give them the coins from my purse.

This was the only scene that remained the same; sometimes a man wearing a red hat would appear and walk past whomever was acting out a scene. This meant that the usual loser would then become the winner, and sometimes he would appear again, then the winner would again be reversed.

When I asked about this Miguel said itís what Jesus wanted. deJaneria helped me with my performance; she was held responsible for my achievement, after that Miguel as stage manager took over. I made a few mistakes, but all in all I think I did reasonably well, at least deJaneria expressed satisfaction with my roles. I liked playing the monk and I was again informed to keep my identity hidden behind the hood at all times.

Opening night offered no hitches; the only thing I did notice was that the man in the red hat sometimes made other appearances to determine who would win or loose the fight; I couldnít figure it out. deJaneria must have been the waitress for the first two evenings; on Sunday she played a peasant and took the place of my usual partner. When I kissed her and caressed her on the stage I really meant it; her response indicated that she did too. When we entered the hut we were both breathing heavily, but she placed on the bathrobe and said nothing until it was time for us to stroll off stage.

There was a party that Sunday; Miguel said there was always a party on Sundays after three days of performance. Jesus was dressed up, and deJaneria had donned her white shorts and blouse. My stage partner stayed close to me most of the evening. If I went to get a drink; she went to get a drink. Once she placed her hand on my arm and squeezed. I saw deJaneria say something to her at one point, after that she left me alone. I wasnít pleased, but when I tried to talk to my partner she shook her head as if she did not understand. Jesus was beaming; he told everyone that we made a lot of money and we would all be paid a bonus. deJaneria passed out the envelopes.

The party broke up about three a.m. My taxi was the only one waiting at the front door. I went home an ambivalent man; my wallet was full but so was my scrotum.

I wrote to Victoria the next day and saw Pedro again to visit the whales near Rio Tomatlan. Friday I was on stage again and starting to become good at my role, at least I thought I was good. The others in the cast began to accept me, and some even spoke words of encouragement to me. The party Sunday night was about the same as the last one except deJaneria placed her hands on my face at one point and smiled. I looked around but Jesus was not in the room at the moment, so I took her hand and held it briefly.

There was a letter from Victoria on Monday; she wanted me to visit her since she could not get away, or at least call her at home. I did call that evening and she sounded good. We seemed almost like old friends who had shared a romantic liaison and wanted to continue it. That evening I arrived at my room very late in the evening having stopped with Pedro at one of his places for a "few" drinks. He drove me home to my room. Someone was in my bed asleep; it was deJaneria.

***

deJANERIA did not awaken; I could see her beautiful breasts exposed just above the sheets. I took off my clothes, draped a towel over my shoulder and headed for the shower down the hall. I shared the floor with another man; I hardly ever saw him and the owner slept on the ground floor, so I wasnít concerned about disturbing anyone. The hot water felt good as I reflected over my predicament. I had believed Jesus when he threatened me. Was she worth dying for? Indeed was anyone worth dying for? Probably not, but then how would I know unless I tested the waters; perhaps she was worth everything. My head was clearing and I took the trouble to brush my teeth twice to hide the odor of tequila and beer.

She was still asleep when I returned; I hadnít been hallucinating. I felt like Adam in the Garden of Eden at that moment, deJaneria was the apple that I would taste regardless of Jesusí wrath. I lightly kissed her hair, then her forehead, then her eyes, by the time I reached her lips her arms enveloped me. She smelled musky, alive; her mouth tasted spicy, but not unpleasant. We strained closer to each other and kissed whatever parts of our bodies that became exposed. When I entered her I felt as though I was immersed in a cavity of tepid honey. Soon we reached a comfortable rhythm; her soft moans performed arias in my ears; her mouth would not close, her tongue would not cease its probing. I couldnít stand the frenzied pace and I didnít have to; we eventually climaxed in unison; our sighs were matched in intensity. I thought my body would never cease its myoclonic spasms.

Ah sweet passion; one never thinks about worldly events during sex, in fact one is only consumed by the pleasure it offers. Itís no wonder itís so popular; itís the only time the world stops to catch its breath.

I lay beside deJaneria still in the throes of my laboring sighs. She held me tightly. I noticed two tears on her cheeks. Was I that good, I thought, good enough to make my love cry? She told me that Jesus had gone to Mexico City to visit his parents, he did so every other week. We were safe. She had told my landlady that she was my lover and she had been let in. When I wasnít there she decided to wait for me, but fell asleep. I didnít ask her if the death threat was real, I didnít have to. When she said that we were "safe," that was all I needed.

She said that she would come every other Monday and spend the entire night, but we could not be seen in public. Jani then kissed me and rolled her tongue over my body; I came inside her moist mouth; she wiped off my cock with her hair.

It was morning when she left; I slept until the early evening. I had asked her what her relationship was with Jesus; she merely said that he owned her. Her parents had been poor; they had sold her to Jesus; she had been with him for over ten years. He had educated her, groomed her, exploited her. She could do nothing without his permission. She hated him, but he was her past, present, and future.

She kept her word; we met every other Monday and otherwise kept apart, except at the Sunday parties, and sometimes we would sneak a kiss in the hut, when we were paired on the set, but we, at least I, lived for our enchanting Mondays.

April arrived; Easter Sunday was approaching and that would be the last day for me to work. When she came to my room on the final Monday before Easter she was very sad. We clung to each other most of the evening; once I awoke to hear her sobbing. She drove off in her Volkswagen; we both did not know when we would be together in private again.

Good Friday arrived, Jesus smiled broadly when he opened the door; he shook my hand, hugged me, even kissed me on one cheek. deJaneria was not there; another beauty had taken her place. There were about sixty or so seats arranged near the curtain.

"Yes, itís a big night for us. You must perform well this evening, after all this is the beginning of your final week. We will have a standing-room only audience."

My first performance went without a hitch. During the second performance the man with whom I was fighting suddenly hit me hard in the chest; it stunned me, almost knocking me down, then he punched me in the face. I felt the blood begin to trickle down my lips. I instinctively struck back knocking him down and pounced upon him.

The man in the red hat appeared, signaling that the one of the ground was to win. I ignored him and held my partner down by his arms until his body went limp and he surrendered with his eyes. I went off into the hut with my usual silent, female partner. She cleaned off my face with a rag and handed me a note.

 

My Love, my Life, my Soul;

Jesus knows about us. You must leave now; he is planning to execute you for real. Take the small barrel and go to the wall and climb over; I will be waiting to take you to the airport. I will have your clothes and enough money to get you out of the country. Do not hesitate or you will die a slow, horrible death.

Jani

The women nodded her head and pointed to the small barrel; she kissed me on the cheek and left the hut. I picked up the barrel and looked out through the peek hole; there were two women fighting over a coat, no one else was on stage. I ran out of the hut with the barrel and headed toward the wall. I placed the barrel on the ground and just as I was about to step up the man in the red hat came running toward me, I had to wait; he was too close. I faked a punch then hit him in the stomach. I then gripped him by the upper shoulders and slammed his head against the wall. I heard a sickening sound escape from his lips.

I jumped over the wall. deJaneria opened the car door from the inside and we sped off. Her face was battered and she spoke through swollen lips.

"Your clothes and money are on the back seat."

"What happened to your face?"

"Itís nothing; you were worth it."

"Nothing! Iíll kill that bastard!"

"No, it is Jesus who will kill you! You must realize this; you have to leave the country."

"With you?"

"No, I cannot go."

"You must come with me!"

"I have no identification; Jesus has seen to that."

"Well letís go deeper into Mexico then."

"We would be dead before dawn. He wonít hurt me anymore; I know him. Si, he will be disappointed, but he will also be very glad that you are gone. There is something that you must know. We had planned to crucify you from the start; you were just another gringo. Many gringos come here to escape the law in their own lands, we assumed that you were the same. Each year at Easter we perform the ritual of sacrifice."

"You mean you actually were a part of the plan to kill me?"

"Please do not ask questions; we will be at the airport soon."

"You see the patrons of Cafe Bassarides bet on what happens on stage. Thatís why the man in the red hat appears, when he does, the betting has changed. Juan, the engineer, watches from the video room, when the bets change he will relay the information to Miguel by radio who will then signal the man in the red hat to enter. The patrons know nothing of this. They were expected to pay a great deal for the sacrifice tonight. Jesus was to have told them just before your final entrance, that tonight there would be a real crucifixion."

She paused to look over at me then took a deep breath.

"I was sent to your room by Jesus; he has known about us from the beginning; it was his plan. But I do not want to see you dead; that's why he beat me. You are not like the others. I love you."

"Others?"

"Yes; there were, and will be many others."

I felt total tension invade my body, my stomach knotted. We drove the rest of the way in silence. When we arrived at the airport she stopped and turned off the engine.

"You are safe from here; there is a flight to Los Angeles in one hour, once you pass immigrations, do not leave, stay near the Customs Office. Promise me!"

"Yes, I promise."

I kissed her, but I couldnít get the íothersí out of my head. I left her without a word. I heard her shout just before she pulled away.

"Adios my love, adios."

I watched the small car turn onto the main highway, then I stepped inside the airport; I had no luggage.

***

Dear Victoria;

I have finished writing down my experiences in Puerto Vallarta as you suggested I do. It is in your computer desktop filed under Bassarides. Iím leaving this note to tell you that Iím off again. The telephone rang a few moments ago; of course I didnít answer. After the beep I heard one word ĎBassarides.í I want you to keep this letter on your person in case you are questioned by anyone. I wish no harm to come to you for your hospitality toward me. I have grown fond of you these past weeks Victoria, and I have fallen in love with you. Why didnít I meet you earlier in Puerto Vallarta?

I didnít print a copy so if you wish to publish my story under your name thatís fine with me. I have two choices, either go back to Mexico and stand trial for murder or wait for Jesus to find me.

Iíll take the latter; it seems as though Iíve been running all my life, and this time how ironic to be - running from Jesus.

Love,

You Know Who