Being confronted by the head of the Oñate clan of zombies in the men’s room of the Ludlow Café set my mind reeling.
That’s right Lazaro, it’s me and I’ve entered your mind.
Instinctively my mental defense went up.I turned from the face looking at me and examined the bathroom tile in front of me.
Isn’t the tile pattern on the wall in front of me interesting. All the tiles are the same, end to end, except for this one. It has a funny diamond shape at the upper right corner.
The urinal next to me is flushing.
You can’t block me from reading your mind, Lazaro. Remember I’ve been doing this for hundreds of years. But thank you confirming that you also have the gift. I was unsure about that.
The sound of footsteps walking from the urinal to the wash basin.
Here’s another tile with that diamond shaped corner. There’s one every eight tiles.
The water at the wash basin is turned on. Someone is washing his hands.
Lazaro, I know why you are here. And I know my old friend Neza is planning an attack. You tell Neza that I’ll be waiting for him.
The sound of feet walking from the wash basin to the door of the men’s room.
Oh, one other thing, Lazaro. I know what you’ve been wondering about since Neza first showed you the photo of me. You’‘ve been wondering , are you my son? Is your dreaded worse enemy your father?
I can’t help myself. The mental guard goes down.
“Are you? ARE YOU?”
The sound of the men’s room door slamming shut.
“He was here?” Filomino asked incredulously.
“And he does look like me,” I said, “it was really creepy.”
We were driving in the van on our way to the desert rendevous point, an outcrop of rocks south of Route 66 on the outskirts of the town of Bagdad, California.
“He knows why we were here,” Filomino continued. “That means we’ve lost the element of surprise. But that would only have helped us for the initial attack. I’m sure he has the entrances to the complex reinforced and well guarded. That’s where the real battle will take place.”
“I didn’t detect him at all,” I said, voicing the main thing that had been troubling me since the encounter with Oñate. “I should have been able to detect his mind probe. Instead it wasn’t until I saw him that I knew he was reading my mind.”
“Lazaro, he DOES have several hundreds years of experience honing his mind reading skills. You’ll develop those skills soon.”
“I hope it will be in time to make a difference for our side,” I replied glumly.
“We should text….” I began.
“Pearl and La Señora,” Filomino completed my sentence. Yes, definetly.Now that our cover is blown we need to get them out of Amboy as soon
as we can. They are in danger.”
We had arranged for a text password in case of emergency: sunstroke. Pearl, La Señora Falcón. Gus and Jimmy were all to return immediately to the rendevous point if they got the text.
Without hesitation I texted the alarm.
Filomino pulled the van into the shadow cast by a large boulder at the rendevous point. Nowall we could do was to wait and hope that our comrades were okay.
The image of Oñate’s face wouldn’t leave my mind.
Was he really my father?
Copyright 2014 by Lazaro De La Tierra and Barrio Dog Productions, Inc.