Sleeper’s Run - Henry Mosquera

Posted on Monday, September 16, 2013


I wake up from sleeping off my drunkenness and feel like the victim of a stampede. The first thing I notice is that my hands are cuffed behind my back. The second thing I note is that I’m in a cell all by myself. I sit up with some difficulty. Every movement sends a wave of pain rippling through my body. My clothes are torn and I can taste dry blood in my mouth. I use my tongue to check if I still have all my teeth. Surprisingly, I do.

What a night, I think, stretching my neck from side to side. I wonder how long I’ve been out cold. At least this time I remember everything that happened to me, including the police dragging my ass here. All I can do now is wait and see what kind of trouble I’m in. Luckily the wait isn’t long.

A few minutes later, I hear footsteps approaching. A tall, black sergeant appears in front of my cell. He’s twice my girth and has a shaved head. “How you feeling?”

“I’ve been better,” I say, as I lean back against the wall and look up. “So what’s the damage, Sarge?”

“None,” the sergeant says, which kind of snaps me to attention. “Listen, Caine. I read your file. My little brother was in the army. He had some trouble adjusting when he came back from Iraq too, so I know how it is. I talked to Doctor Goldman at the VA and he—”

“No offense, Sarge,” I interrupt. “But since we have no further business together, I’d love to be on my way.”

“Don’t be a smart ass!” the sergeant says. “The only reason you’re walking out of here is because your buddy pulled some strings with those guys and the owner of the bar. Otherwise your ass would be heading to court in a hurry.”

My buddy?” I’m surprised. I share a drink with a guy and I get a get out of jail free card? I don’t even pay attention when the sergeant enters the cell.

“Stand up!” he says, getting in my face. Still grappling with the news, I oblige. His nametag reads Cooper, J.

“Turn around,” Sergeant Cooper says as he takes my handcuffs off.

I turn around, rubbing my sore wrists. Cooper is still right in front of me.

“My brother got into a lot of trouble when he got back too,” his voice softens. “And thanks to Jesus, he bounced back.” He looks me straight in the eyes with a sincerity that makes me feel so uncomfortable that I look away. “Sadly, my old man wasn’t that lucky when he came back from Nam,” he continues. “I know things were tough back in the war, man. Believe me when I say this nation is very grateful for your sacrifice, but I’m getting tired of picking you guys up from the street for bullshit like this.”

“How long was I out?” I say feeling my nose; it’s broken.

“About two hours,” Sergeant Cooper says. “You took quite a beating. You should see a doctor.”

“You said the guy from the bar helped me.” I pause to put my nose back in place. “Why?”

“How would I know? Sometimes the Lord sends us an angel in our times of need.” The Sergeant hands me a business card. “He left this for you.”

Antonio Montenegro, I read, Business Consultant. I have to admit I don’t know what to make of this. It’s just too unreal for my cynical sensibilities.

“If I were you, I would give the man a call to thank him,” Sergeant Cooper says. “And do yourself a favor, get some help.”

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Genre – Political Thriller

Rating – R

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