The Meth Chronicles Volume 4
The Meth Chronicles Four comes back full circle to Rebecca the Curandera. Upon arriving in Bakersfield to stay with her brother, Rebecca discovers a meth gang has control of her sixteen-year-old niece, who has shunned the family and run away.
Not long after, Rebecca’s cursed rock appears about the time the gang’s luck runs out and members start dying, especially after Rebecca learns from her niece (who’d returned to the family) that they deal in human trafficking as well. After the gang’s demise, Rebecca is drawn away, back to Redondo Beach and her detectives, to help them close their case and help an endangered child in the process.
Together they take on a cop killer and a human trafficking ring in San Diego, finally satiating the entity inside the rock, giving it what it needed to move on to the next realm…a river of blood.
She looked down at her new nametag with dread; it adhered to her smock sitting on the passenger car seat of her car. It had her name and title—-Barista—-on it. Barista, it was a title Debbie Meyer could live with she supposed. Of course, what she really was having a hard time with was the money she was making now. Baristas got paid shit compared to what she used to make…she used to be a stripper and made a lot of money.
Debbie Meyer was born with a curse of sorts. A curse a lot of women would kill for, as she was born to have near-perfect looks; near-perfect looks that have brought her nothing but misery. Heading into her job at Newt’s Coffee, she caught her only imperfection in the reflection on the door, it was her nose.
She had a real schnoz. She reflected on the other monikers she was bestowed with in years past. Honker, beak face, ski slope and the age-old standard, “big nose.” Debbie had saved seventy-two thousand, three hundred and thirty-six dollars and forty cents, as of this morning. It would not be growing now though; it would be shrinking because she ran from that life—-it and the brutal men that control it, and although she is working now, it is not enough to pay the bills and eat.
She said hi to Martha who was behind the counter and went into the back to place her stuff in her locker. She still had five minutes before her shift started. She sat on the bench and opened her tall locker; it had a mirror on the door that showed her honker (that was the other one she heard) in all its glory. Of course, she was just being flippant to herself, her nose was just big enough to make her not beautiful and for that she was thankful and would never have it fixed—-it was her only way to blend. It was hard to hide herself, from her lamp-like green eyes, to her unbelievable body, to her height, but flats were the best weapons she had there.
She was six feet tall, so any other shoes made her stick out even more. If she wore any revealing clothing at all, the gig was up. She was a Roman Goddess, Cleopatra and an Amazon Woman all rolled into one. Her curves and height made her nose invisible to men…all men. Even here, hiding behind a bland hunter green smock, the sharp wolves would just catch enough to know, and then they were stuck to her like flies on an outdoor cake.
Nowadays she only wore sweats, ugly ass black frame glasses and a hat. She would frumpy up and disappear, and her nose helped her make that happen. She sighed deeply, for part of her loved her old job, the money of course, but the power and control over men was addictive; the adulation, and the fanaticism of men that would kill for just a single moment of her time. But then came the men that paid vast amounts of money for personal visits to her trailer on the outskirts of San Diego…money she never saw, men she did not like.
Until recently an outlaw motorcycle gang owned her. They go by the name, “Bandoleros,” and they are heavily tied to one of the Mexican cartels. They get their drugs straight from the source and they are at war with the gang that was here first, “The Ratchets.” The Ratchets are all over California, but something happened to them up north and their attention wandered down on this front giving the Bandoleros a foothold. She was working for Dusty’s at the time, not making huge bank because it was a slow local place, but still, she had a loyal following of men, and the money was ten times what she made as a Barista.
Without warning, the place sold and became The Pink Cat, and that is when she started making some actual money, up to a thousand a night in cash and more. She loved it, until one night she was called into the office and introduced to the new owners. From that night on her life had become one of servitude, threats, and abuse. The Bandoleros were the new owners, and they were not nice people. She placed on her smock, wound the tie around and cinched it in front. She checked the mirror once more and she was good to go.
Having throngs of men throw money at you was not a terrible thing, but becoming nothing more than a fuck toy to some assholes was a whole different thing. Some object for them to jerk off to or have sex with…that was not so fun. She never used to have sex with any man not of her choosing, but soon she found herself doing favors for the Bandoleros more important clients weekly—-they made her into their whore. That she was not okay with that all.
Then the night it all changed, the night the little perv across the way saved her and told her to run, they were going to kill her. Her one true vice in life was speed. She loved speed. It kept her body fit and in control of food. She loved getting stuff done and it helped with her stamina during a long workweek.
Not long ago, she met this guy in the trailer park laundry room, his name was Craig Strano and he had seen her by the pool, so there was no hiding who she was to him, he knew she was a stripper. Craig was a meth dealer, and a good one. He had stuff that was better than what he Bandoleros were putting on the street, so she started using that, but it was the competition’s drugs. One night at work her supposed friend Beth asked for some shit and she foolishly gave her the bindle she had in her purse, the one with the Ratchet logo on it and that was it for her, Beth sold her out.
They came by her house, roughed her up and then told her to get to the club and wait for them while they went to deal with Craig. It was only when she got to her carport did her creepy, yet sweet neighbor tell her he was spying on the whole thing and as they were walking away, they were discussing their plot to kill her. That was when she ran.
Her only problem was, she did not know anywhere else but California her whole life, and she had never lived too far outside San Diego ever. Escondido was the farthest she had ventured out. Her thinking was they would assume she ran as far as she could, as fast as she could. That was why she went just fifteen minutes away to Vista. Vista was a quiet town, not on the beach, not a place for excitement, no strip clubs, not a likely place for her to have run to. She found a co-op room in a big house that was really cool, nestled up on a hill surrounded by citrus trees.
No traffic, no people, and her thinking was, what outlaws drank coffee at some podunk place in Vista? She was as isolated as if she moved across the country. That was why an hour into her shift, when she heard the motorcycle pull in, she tried not to let her apprehension rise. She could see out into the parking lot and when she looked it was always some local, not someone affiliated with outlaws in any way. Only this time when she looked out, she could see it was a heathen-looking guy that had a chopped Harley…apprehension rising.
Apprehension quickly turned to panic when he dismounted and turned to leave his helmet on the slightly elevated backrest. His vest had the name, “Bandoleros” on the back. There was no fucking way, but she was seeing it. She backed up and then said to Martha, “I have a bathroom emergency.” It was currently slow, so with no stress Martha replied, “No problem.” She bolted to the back and was shaking like a leaf, pressed against the wall just inside the doorway. The trembles that were hitting her were like she was out in the dead of winter without a jacket.
She heard the door chime, and Martha greeted the customer. Then she heard something she could not fathom, something absolutely bone-chilling. The man asked if she worked here? Her, Debbie Meyer?! That was impossible! She grabbed her purse out of her locker and bolted out the back door, the rear of her car visible to her just ahead to the left, right next to where a white van had parked. She never considered the white van was not parked there just a few minutes ago as she went in between her car and it, fumbling for her keys in her purse, her nerves frayed, she in full hysteria. Next thing she knew, the side door of the van flung open, and many hands grabbed her and drug her inside—-Debbie Meyer now understood what it was like to be a fly suddenly captured by a spider.
Rebecca Rubio had slept soundly in her bed for a couple of hours, but that was over now. She had done a lot the day before and when she hit the sheets, she was exhausted. Her sleep was one of those slumbers that came quickly and soundly. She did not usually have nightmares, but tonight was different. Gripped in the horror of what she was enduring in dreamland, her resting body twisted and writhed in her bed. Moaning, sweating and finally forced out of her sleep by sheer terror, Rebecca burst into the waking world gasping for breath, heart racing, clawing at the air.
The terror that drove her awake was fire…and a scream. It was a terrible and troubled scream, tortured, and the worst part was it had not subsided upon her waking. It was so loud she put her hands over her ears, like someone was yelling directly into them, yet when she sought the relief of covering her ears with her hands, the sound did not abate.
That was when Rebecca realized that this tortured wail was coming from inside her head. As the cobwebs tried to clear, she was trying to piece it all together, trying to make sense of this new development in her powers when it stopped. Just like that. Having been woken from such a sound sleep to that yowling was akin to waking up in front of a car while its alarm was going off and trying to piece together what was going on amidst the cacophony. Her heart was racing because it was all so real and sudden, and loud. Then she remembered the image flashes—-a little girl, a mobile home trailer burning, intense fire, smoke, crying, screaming and a name…a name.
What was it? The entire image flashes came so quickly, all the while the screaming, she could not recall what name the little girl on the bike was yelling. Rebecca was really shaken. She sat up on her bed and considered using the intercom on her nightstand. She lived in a mother-in-law house backside of her niece, Angie. Her husband Mike built her home and they put an intercom in between the houses. It did save a lot of trouble, and in a time like this, it held a reassurance of something she had been denied for an exceptionally long time—-someone on the other end who cared about her. They knew she would never own a cell phone, so this was a great solution.
She took a deep breath, swung her feet off the bed and planted them on the carpeted floor. It was February, but Los Angeles was in the mid-seventies weather wise, so no slippers were needed for her trip to the bathroom. The bathroom floor was a little colder than the carpet, but she liked the way the cool tiles felt. She was still shaken up and for the life of her, could not figure out what this new expansion of her powers was all about. It all seemed so real.
She tried to replay it all in her head, as best she could against the harshness of the sound. Recalling, she woke up to screaming, but thought it was nearby, and then the first flash image, it was a girl about ten years of age; she was on a bike and looking at something while shrieking. But Rebecca had not figured out the screaming was in her head yet, and before she could cover her ears, the second image came, it was a trailer burning and someone was screaming from within it—that person was burning alive. Now she realized that the girl was watching it.
The third image came as Rebecca was covering her ears and she was using a great deal of her concentration on discovering the source of sound that was pounding her, so she missed whose name the girl was screaming…but for sure she was screaming a name—-most likely of the person burning up. She went into a deep concentration, a meditation that allowed her to see the streams of light and dark around her.
Currently, in her vicinity, there was much more light than dark nowadays, a large cancer was removed from society by its own hands not long ago. She did feel something was amiss though, but before she could pinpoint its source the red light on her intercom was flashing. It was the first way of them signaling without being intrusive with the audible buzzer. Angie was calling her.
She pushed her call button, knowing something was wrong if she was being summoned at three in the morning, “Angie, what’s wrong dear?” Her reply was a quick, “Nothing here Tia, but Maya won’t stop crying. She’s calling for you, apparently, she had an awfully bad nightmare.” Understanding that her Maya and her were of the same tribe, she also understood how confusing this must have been for her as she dressed to hurry over to her mija. She wondered if Mario had dreamt it as well, and then she wondered why she had not sensed any of this? She always sensed when either one of them had as much as stubbed a toe.
Her curiosity was overflowing when she arrived at Elaine Zamora’s house to see her daughter Maya, who was really her protégé. She knocked on the door and the family were all waiting in the living room. Elaine was a single mom, raising Mario and Maya on her own until fate brought them all together as an extended family. Elaine was soon to be married and this family would grow even more, but for now, their immediate family was still three.
As soon as she breached the doorway, her little Maya leapt into her clutch, sobbing. Rebecca could feel she was shaking, but her brother Mario hunched his shoulders, indicating he did not get it. She looked down at her tiny ward, who stared back up terrified, with her straight black hair and dark watery eyes seeking reassurance and understanding as to what she saw.
Maya only spoke one stuttering and pained word, and as soon as Rebecca heard the name, she remembered her third image flash…Edgar. She held her tight and reassured, “I know mija, I saw it too. I don’t know what it means yet, but don’t be afraid my dear. We’re here to help and that’s what must be being asked of us, we just have to figure out who and how. You remembered the name, that’s a start.” Semi-calmed, the little girl still held on tightly and Rebecca knew she would not be returning to her bed this night.
Elaine looked at her as if to say, “I’m sorry,” to which she smiled and answered, “Don’t worry about it my dear, I fit just fine in her bed.” She looked down at the mousy Maya and said, “Let’s go back to bed mija, you have school tomorrow and need your rest.”
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Finish off the final chapter of the Meth Chronicles!
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