This is the story of a man named Michael James, a man who changed his life and became a totally diferent person in less than a month. Here it starts.
---------- CHAPTER 1 --------------
Michael was walking towards his office one afternoon, like he did every day. He was a reporter in The Blackwater Ledger, a very important job in Blackwater. He usually was the man who writting the first page. He was young, he was fourty five years old by 1911. Dressed in smarts clothes, he took out a bunch of keys out of his grey suit. - I found it !- he thought. He opened the door and climbed the stairs, to find his boss angry.
- What's going on with you Mike, you haven't written anything in the last three days !.
- I'm sorry sir, I was on holidays.
- Oh, yes, I remember now.- he said.- Now that you're here, I should give this particular job to do.
Michael took out his glasses and his small curved hat, and put them in a chair nearby, then he proceeded to sit at his boss desk.
- I want you to write an article about the Mexican revolution. Go there and find anything interesting, politicians, war crimes, anything !.- he said. - But make it fast, you only have one month.
- I'll do sir. Will I get a place to live in Mexico?.- he asked.
- Yes, a friend of mine, mister Gonzales will be waiting for you. Your train leaves in three hours, so hurry up, go !.
Michael was stunned with the news. He was happy because it was his first job in Mexico, but everything he had heard about the war, was that true?. He could only answer that question himself. He packed his things in a bag, and went to the train station. He sat in the first sit of the wagon, watching the landscapes of the frontier. He was from New York City. He liked it, living there. He used to work in The Times. But since he wasn't getting enough money, he went here. He wasn't used to dirt. Dirt roads, dirty houses. Despite his age, he didn't even knew how to ride a horse.
The train left the station. The driver put some coal to the fire. The only modern thing he had seen in the Wild West, he thought. He went to sleep. Hours later, he woke up by the noise of the train's brakes, he was now in Chuparosa. He went to the main plaza, and a man shook his hand.
- Hello mister.- he said with a Mexican accent.- My name is Enrique Gonzales, and I work here in Chuparosa. It's been a long journey, how have you been?.- he asked.
- Well, fine. This land is beautiful.
- Indeed.- he said.- And so are the women. Here, let's spend some time in the saloon.
The saloon was crowded as usual. A woman offered them a drink while they sat in their chairs.
- What do you want señores ?
- Un vaso de cerveza muchachita.- Gonzales said.
- I'd like a gin with tonic, thank you.
- We don't have that here señor. It's beer or nothing.
- It's ok, I'd rather drink nothing, thank you.- Michael told her.
Enrique looked at him and asked.
- Why are you here? Has my friend Williams send you?.- he asked.
- Yes. An important job, he said.
- You don't belive what he says, he is an idiota.
- Excuse me? I didn't understand what you said.- Michael said
- Nothing, he is a fool.
The talk was interrupted by a gunshot. Inmediately, every man in the saloon, took cover behind some walls.
- What's going on?.- Mike asked worried.
- Soldiers, don't move, stay quiet.- he said.
The men took out their weapons, most of them revolvers. They started shooting. The noise filled the room. But the soldiers were more, and were better equiped. Their rifles kept firing, and soon, every man in the saloon were dead. Most of them were banditos or criminals. A soldier aimed the gun at them.
- And you, are you rebeldes too?.- he asked.
- No señor, we were having a drink with my friend the Americano.
- No, I know you. Gonzales!.
- No, you must be mistaking me with a different person. Don't take me .- he shouted while being lifted up and taken to the public plaza, for an execution.
Michael James ran away, without a choise. After jumping over the walls of Chuparosa, he heard seven shots. He knew Gonzales was dead. He didn't know how to escape, so he asked the stagecoach driver to take him as far as possible.
- Come on, make it fast !.- he told him.
The man did what he was asked. In the middle of the night, the driver stopped the wagon.
- This is as far as I can take you señor.
- It's ok, it's ok.- Michael took five dollars and paid the man. There was a small bed, with some clothes arround it. It was cold there, in the desert. Michael covered himself with that clothes and tried to sleep. Tried, because he couldn't think of anything else than the wolves arround him.
---------- CHAPTER 2 ------------
He woke up covered in sweat. He looked at his watch. He had slept to midday. He heard a sound. He thought it was a coyote. He checked his trousers, and found what he was looking for. A Colt Peacemaker of 1873, that his father had given to him. He always took it with him, but he didn't really know how to use it, except for some practices. He took out the gun and aimed with his right hand to the bushes.
The noises stopped for a moment and he cocked the gun, he was terrorized. A figure started to rise up. An old lady looked at him. He was in shock. The old woman shouted and ran away. So did some little girls arround her. Michael James put down his weapon, and then put it back to his trousers. A man on horse carrying a Winchester Repeater came slowly at him, he was angry.
- What are you doing here uh? Apart from scaring my people. Are you working for Allende?.- he asked.
- No sir, I'm not. I was sleeping here and was afraid of the noises among the bushes, that's all.
- So then. Welcome to Mexico my friend. Come to our town to have a rest, you may have not slept well here.- the man climed him to his horse. And took him to his villlage. They lived in a place named Nosalida, where other rebels like him defended themselves from Allende and his men.
After they arrived, they sat together inside his house.
- What's your name ?.- the Rebel asked.
- Michael James. And yours ?.-
- Fernando Naranjo. I'm the leader of this town. I decide what's good and what's wrong. Who should fight and who should stay home.
- Interesting.- Michael said while drinking from an almost empty glass of beer. He wasn't used to this. He called himself a civillised man. The people here were different from the folks in Blackwater. Every man or woman, worked for the entire group, for them all to survive. The women fished and cooked while the men took care of hunting. No one had time to rest or have a talk.
- And why are you here?.- Fernando Naranjo asked him. While putting shells to both bandoliers he was wearing.
- Well, I'm here to do a report of the war that is happening here. So I would like to start asking you questions about yourself, or about Allende and his men. What are they like?.- he asked. He took a paper and a pencil and began.
- What are they like. Well that's an easy question gringo. They are the worst men in the world. The like to kill rebels just for fun. They call as animals. Out of them, Allende is the worst. When he and his soldiers come, they take our women and rape them outside. They are some pinches cobardes! - he said. Michael's writing was interrupted by Fernando's fist, hitting the table with anger.
- Continue.- Michael James told him.
- About us, we live like rats here. We work every day with all our soul just to survive. When soldiers come, they throw our food to the river, and kill our chicken. Just to let us starve to the end. We can't stand this anymore, we need help soon.
A woman shouted in an alarming voice. - Ahi vienen !.- Fernando Naranjo took two shells out of his bandolier and loaded them to his double-barrelled shotgun. He closed it and cocked it. Dust was seen in the distance.
- It's a big posse, of soldiers, we must be ready.
By the time he stood up, they were able to be seen, galloping in the distance. Michael James panicked, and ran away. He locked himself in Naranjo's house. Horse steps were louder now. The rebels took their rifles with them. Some of them were already aiming at the batallion. Naranjo climbed the rooftop of a house, and made their men wait for the signal. He finally shouted.- Fuego !. A storm of bullets hit the soldiers, but there were lots of them to kill. Fernando Naranjo shouted again, and the sound of a hundred rifles were heard. But they still couldn't hold them and the soldiers entered the village.
They fired at the rebels. A single man wiped out three of the Mexicans. He wasn't a soldier, and Naranjo doubted he was even Mexican. Captain Espinoza was among them. Fernando fired a shot and a soldier on horse fell to the ground. Then, he turned back, to shoot at another soldier's head. While screaming with anger, he reloaded the double-barreled. Aimed again. Another soldier was shot.
Michael hid himself in a closet. The space wasn't a lot, but he kept inside. A group of three soldiers breached the house, throwing the door to the ground. With their guns ready, they looked for rebels.
- No hay nadie aqui.- a soldier told his sargeant.
- Entonces, quemenlo todo.- he said.
Michael wasn't Mexican, but could understand some of the language. That phrase made him chill " Burn everything inside". He reached for his gun and loaded six bullets. He cocked it. Sweat covered his body. He took out his glasses and put them in his pocket. After watching the soldiers leave, he came out of the closet, but was already too late.
A cowboy threw a fire bottle to the house. The structure was set on fire instantly. Espinoza congratulated him, and they walked to the next house, to burn it too. Michael James was trapped. A part of the wooden roof fell down, and Fernando Naranjo hit the ground hard. He was trapped too, and his body was caught in the burning hell. The heat sorrounded the room. Naranjo knew he would die there.
- Kill me Michael, finish this.- he told him.
- No, we must find a way out.- Michael said panicked.
- Please !.- he begged him.- I don't want to die like this. Arghh!.- he shouted in pain.
Michael James didn't know what to do. The building was collapsing, he had to act fast. He had never killed a person before. He took aim at the man's head. Naranjo yelled again. Michael's eyes were wide open, with fear.
- Do it !.- Fernando shouted.
Michael took aim again, and put his finger on the trigger. Maybe, it was the best option. He fired and the man's head exploded in blood. Then, the wall went down above his dead body, leaving Michael James trapped forever. He cocked his gun again, as his body started being set in fire. His face was red, and wet. His eyes filled with tears again, so much that he had to close them. He kneeled and put the gun in his head. He pulled the trigger.