Land of Milk and Honey

by Hector

It’s been the second week they’ve tried getting me out but I won’t let them. I know the secret hole is in here and when I find it I know I’ll be free. Shelly and me went out looking for it, tracking it down to this damn motel. Why a motel? Fuck if I know, but I figure the land of milk and honey’d been hidden in a nicer place. But maybe that’s the deal-it’s hidden where you least expect it. So I’ve gone and taken out the carpet up, red flower colored blocks of it up and against the walls and I put the beds above that. Thick mattresses out to hold it from slipping. Shelly didn’t like any of it one bit. But Shelly don’t know what’s good for her, does she?

She never did.

I push the drawer up against the wall. A bible slips out of the dark oak and onto peeled floors. Wooden boards broken in half, one with an ax stuck through the middle. A knock on the door. Shit.

I look through the peephole to see the the black and blue, a young woman with bug eye’d glasses next to an officer. They’re trying to catch me before I can find it but I know.

People’ll have always tried catching me from finding the truth. All my life it’s been that way, the murmurs behind their backs and the laughs they have when I run around just trying to get by. They think it’s strange, how I mumble, how I talk, how I think. Maybe thats why I never could quite mix well. It’s hard to explain the hole. It’s hard to explain a world of good times to a bunch of people settle’d on being stuck in their modern world. And I thought Shelly was different, when I met her on the soup line. I’d just been busted from a warehouse gig, got a splinter the size a damn tyrannosaurus tooth up my arm carrying a palette and asked the bossman about it. He never cared and I guess I just looked at him and thought, ‘I work ten hours a day and you don’t care?’.

Beat his ass right there. Next day I was begging for soup. Wouldn’t be the first time. What was was Shelly. Tight looking brunette who listened. I told her about the hole, she nodded and I thought she cared. Tolds her it was all in the book of relevations. Pointed down at the pages.

Knock knock. Fuck, man.

I tolds her, I thought she listened. I says there’s a land of milk and honey below Havenbrook, I just know it’s waiting underneath this hell. We’s got to go find it, I told her I tracked it down in the motel. Triangulated the position; you sees, Havenbrook was built on top of a desert and-

Knock. Knock. “Open the door sir, we just want to talk.”

They talk. And talk but they never listen. I thought Shelly did.

I grab the mattress and yank at it until my back starts burning up, dragging it through all the loose termite eaten wood. Green and black stained, dusty, spider crawling floorspace. I drag it until my ass touches the bottom side of carpet, sand paper on my ass. My feet are bleeding through the holes of my gaps of my sandals. My shorts are ripped. That’s alright. That’s the price of the heaven.

“Shelly, I’ll find it. I know you didn’t listen, but I’ll find it.” I grab the ax and bring it up. It’s heavy and slipper with gunk and just putting it over my shoulders it slips out. No biggie. I just wish I hadn’t ruined it. Oh well.

I wish she’d just listened too.

Went about dragging me in her car, went about talking sweet to me. Says there’s more to life than just soup. Asked me for food stamps. Girl, I got no food stamps. Just got this map, this bible and a thousand books. Says. Says. I want to talk for five hundred. Says heaven was in the motel. I thought she believed me. ‘Finally,’ I thought ‘Someone who don’t laugh at me.’

“What are you doing in there?” Two more knocks, a shoulder bumping and bulging the door past its hinges. “What’s that thumping sound?”

The dried blood flecks off the end of the ax and onto my face and I lick it clean off my chin.

I thought she listened man. I thought we was both going to get out of this city. Into the hole, save ourselves from the looney tunes world out there. But on the second night she wanted my five hundred. Says lets get this over with already. Made a dumpy, annoyed face. And I went, what’s that about? Don’t you wanna hear? Look, Exodus 3:8. Look. Look. Just please look, please listen.

She laid on that bed with her legs dangling all bored and rolled her eyes, put on some lipstick. I has to throw the book at her. She didn’t like that, not one bit. Just screaming everywhere. Just. She just wouldn’t shut up. And I tols her it’s right underneath us, I can hear the flowing rivers over the green valleys. I knows it. And she said get your hands off me, I don’t want to hear this shit anymore.

The door hinges crack. The men don’t ask. They just press harsh against the door. The mattress shifts and falls over.

“Put the ax down sir.” One cop with a gun in his hand. The dirts up to my face, caking my face.

“It’s down here, I know it.” I says. “I know the way out from all this.”

The gun cocks and ticks and the officer slowly goes through the wreckage of the floor, moving shrapnel and tile and debris with his black boots.

“Looks like war in here, Jesus.” The other says.

“You’ve got to listen.” The ax slips from my arms. It’s just too heavy now.

“He brought that thing in with him on the third day. That’s when the thumping started.” The bug eyed front bitch says. She’s at the door, the smoke slips past her and up the air. It all comes out of the room like a vacuum suck into gray sky.

“Please, just listen.” The knee comes over the back of my neck. Then plastic along my arms that lock them together. The other officer goes back a kitchen counter and looks down.

“Jesus Christ.” He presses down on his walkie talkie. “Get an ambulance here. She’s got a wound on her chest. Most likely dead.”

He talks and talks but he don’t listen. They lift me and drag me out and I know it was just there, somewhere in the dirt. I know it’s down there.

“It’s in Exodus. Trust me.” I says. “Please, let me find the hole.”

But they just talk and talk into their walkie talkies. They don’t listen.

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