Tierra, Cuero, Cuerpo y Sangre
The hint of red mist excited the red that flowed in his blue veins. His heart pulsed to the drums of the dark-skinned slaves carried off to the far Caribbean, lower near the coca plantations of Colombia but close enough for the philosophical reggae to show in the tum-tum-dum-dum of the Vallenato and Merengue.
She didn’t know of his heritage. All she saw was the blue in his eyes and her mind translated into hopes of green dollars, or to be more precise the red brown of Kenyan Thousand shilling notes. She was a whore like all the rest of them, pretending intellectual emancipation, calling for Africa’s freedom from old and neo colonialist alike, chanting and shouting in the streets when in truth she would betray everything she chanted and shouted for at the hint of blue-eyed enslavement. Not that she would; she had.
His blue eyes betrayed him, hiding the heritage of slave great grandmother of piel morena, passed through so many ports she was willing to forget her name for an eternity of rest. But instead she had become a free gitana; which was a slavery of sorts still, traveling, mixing black with the color of the Indios de Sud America to spread out a pretty brown. Still that abuela knew much more freedom than this whore who with just a few glasses of South African pinotage – hot and acrid – had loosened up enough to forget her chant of emancipation and to spread out for his misanthropic antipathy.
He told her he was British, that he sold helicopters, affecting a cute brit accent long enough that by the end of the night she was walking down the hallway to his hotel room. As she walked into his room, she had no knowledge of his years in the coca, hiding in the red earth, swearing, fighting and bleeding to Tierra, Justicia y Libertad. She had no knowledge of his specialty extracting truth with bindings of leather, knife and electricity watching life flow out of bodies and tasting the blood at the tip of his tongue. Everything he missed; tierra, cuero, cuerpo, sangre.
These days his name was marked by the colonialists as one of The World’s Most Wanted. Number Nine since they killed Osama Bin Laden and that other idiot. Wanted for crimes against humanity. What humanity? Stupid living dead who were only aware of their own existence, day after day, unaware that the world revolved by forces much more complicated than their existence.
Unaware. Just like this little whore was unaware that when he was done watching her gag on the leather bindings in her mouth as each jolt of electricity passed through her, the world would continue to revolve on its mysterious forces.
He had been frustrated at first, until he discovered that losing his homeland to be on the run forever was not as bad if he could get a taste of blood every once in a while. Except now it was not once in a while, it had become a long endless hunt that he only enjoyed for a few hours at a time. Still, blood and pain, in their eyes, made him want to live just one more day. So he lived, carrying names of men who lived or died.
He smiled, wondering what she thought now of his blue eyes. Spanish blue eyes, the other one had called them just four hours before he got on a plane out of Tangier, leaving her deep black Moroccan eyes lifeless in a motel room in the cold dark back streets of Tangier Medina. She had made one last ditch effort, screaming against the bloody cuerpo, spraying a heavy mix of blood and saliva into his face. He wasn’t infuriated just mildly amused, and bored. So he had pulled out the tiny knife inherited from his morena people, and with a sigh he had made a silver wave across her throat, sending a satisfying red mist into his mouth.
And he knew tomorrow, as a blue-eyed French Aristocrat, he would be hunting another pretentious whore from the equally pretentious caverns of Jo’burg. This faceless, meaningless woman in Nairobi would soon be forgotten, except for the little ball of nappy hair that would join his collection in the lining of his carry-on.
©Juliet Maruru 2013