Ransom of Red Chief

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Lorraine’s companions were better at hiding than she was. First of all they were accustomed to running away from threats, while Lorraine had always lived in a bubble of privilege. Second, however, they were more lithe and slender than she was. Lorraine was crouched behind a giant Saguaro Cactus, but her body bulged out on all sides. They all trembled in anticipation, though, as the vehicle approached them across the desert. They watched as the dust began to clear and instead of an immigration officer, a man who was familiar to Lorraine was approaching them.

“Senora!” he called out. “I see you there.”

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Lorraine recognized one of Chappie’s men who had gone with her and El Chapo when they went on their luxurious vacation at El Dorado Royale. He was wearing the same all black outfit he had worn when they had gone to the resort. She wondered why these men dressed in black in the desert. It was so bloody hot, and dark clothes absorbed the heat. She should have advised Chappie to invest in some light color clothes for his men when she was still living in his hacienda. Opportunity missed.

“How did you find me?” Lorraine demanded.

“Easy. I followed the trail of those colorful dresses you left in the desert. It was easier than following breadcrumbs.”

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Suddenly, though, it occurred to Lorraine that Chappie must desperately want her back and he must have sent this man into the desert in his hot, hot clothes to bring her back. After all he had tracked her across this desolate terrain. So sweet, and so like dear Chappie. She had vowed to return to the US to rescue dogs from the Corona Virus, and there was a part of her that was still determined to do that in memory of her sweet dog, Suki. 

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The biggest part of her, however, was done with trekking across the desert. It was hot and miserable. Indiana had not recognized her charms and they had not made sweet love. And the food was awful. She would contact Yelp when she was all done with this nightmare and give this guide company a really low score and a bad review. She was so sick of this lowlife trip. She decided on the spot that she would return to El Chapo. He loved her so much! She stepped out from behind the cactus and called out, “Juan, Jose, Diego, or whatever your name is, I am ready. You can take me back to Chappie. I surrender!”

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“No Señora!” he responded quickly. “You are mistaken. El Jefe does not want you to return. You left your passport behind. He wants to return your passport and help you to return to your country.”

“But, but but,” Lorraine sputtered. “What if I want to go back to the hacienda? I miss him.”

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“He said this might be the case,” replied the man. “So he offered you this little bribe of $1000”

“No!” yelled Lorraine. “I miss him.”

“Okay,” he replied. “His final offer is  $10,000, but you must never return.”

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Lorraine took this in and, while she was hurt that he was bribing her to leave, she decided to take the money and run. “So what’s next?” she asked, glancing over her shoulder at her campesinos who looked on uncomprehendingly.

“Hop in the car. We’ll take you across the border. El Jefe has an agreement with your government so we can go back and forth freely. We take you to Texas, yes?”

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He had left the car running, so when Lorraine climbed inside and settled on the cool leather seats, she adjusted the AC vent so it blew directly onto her face. It felt amazing. She lowered the car window, and as they took off spraying gravel in an arc, she shouted, “Adios, Suckers!”