Send in the Army
Driver dropped Kyle off at the boat. He was pretty messed up, worrying about Yvonne and not thinking about what this might all mean to him. Being he had Yvonne taken care of, he thought that he would try and relax in the beautiful sunshine of which there was plenty today. He had Jimmy make him one of those special Bloody Mary’s with a chaise lounge and pillow. Time to kickback. As he lay on the bow of the boat, he had a view of the estuary as it wound around Coast Guard Island, with the hills of Oakland to the east. It was all so tranquil. What a peaceful day to be had. Kyle could really use a down day; it was good for his sanity. After doing what he said he wanted for a long time, relaxing, and now waiting for his dinner from the chef and sipping on a nice glass of cabernet, he gave Yvonne a call. Yvonne, who was still at Sarah’s, had gone over to the wine rack to get her a bottle of merlot as the phone rang.
“Hello, Kyle, how are you?”
“Hello, I am fine. I just wanted to call and see how you are doing.”
“Well, it will be better when I get this bottle of wine opened and put this crystal glass to my lips.”
“Oh, maybe the whole bottle would be a good idea?”
“I hear you. Can you believe what we just went through?” Kyle was very concerned.
“I had to call you. Are you doing all right?”
“Yes, I am, Kyle, but you don’t have to act like it is your fault. You saved our lives. I stood there and watched you beat your way through the wall while the fire got closer. I was so scared.”
“I know, I was looking around to see how we could get out of there, and that was the only thing I could think of. I was bound and determined to breakthrough. Not to make light of it, but you should have seen the face on Larry as I crawled out of his wall. It was so special.”
“My goodness, I bet he couldn’t believe what he was seeing. However, it ended up saving his life and, Kyle, talking about saving our lives, what about the candle slipping off my toilet and crashing on the tile? If that had not happened, we would not have wakened to the fire and probably would not be here now.” Kyle wished he could just hug her. He felt her pain and his.
“I guess you are right. It is just that the candle keeps showing up at different times in my life, going back to the curse.”
“Well, if there is a curse, it is a good curse for you.”
“I guess so. I just want to have everything slow down and be normal. I have had enough stressful events happening around me.”
Yvonne wished he were there to hold. “I want to thank you for Maryanne and Cathy. It means so much to me to know that I can put my life back together.”
“Yes, they will be great, and the house you get, it will be bigger, and you will love it. Do not worry about money. Do what the girls say and be sure to get everything you want. It is important to me.”
Yvonne answered him. “I am worried about you.” Yvonne now sat on her couch, looking over the bay.
“So much has taken place in your life. I was getting worried about you and how you could handle your own problems, much less the new problems your employer gives you to solve, and before you say anything, I don’t know anything, and I am totally in the dark.”
Kyle sat at the dining table in the main cabin. “I am glad you added that last part. I do not want you to be involved in anything other than your business and remember that I am starting to be very grateful for this position. It has been rewarding, and I am starting to feel very safe.”
YL replied, “Don’t worry about me. I see nothing. I know nothing. What are you going to do tonight? Do you want to come over?”
“Chief is ready to bring me my dinner, so I will stay here tonight. Maybe go to bed early and read a good book. I will call you tomorrow. I am thinking of taking off for Mexico for a few days. Do you know anyone who might want to go, especially after last night?”
“You know you don’t have to ask me twice. Have a good night, and I will talk with you tomorrow.”
“Enjoy your evening. Good night.” The timing was good. The chef put his dinner in front of him, and this fine meal needed to be eaten while it was hot. As the sunset in the west and darkness came over the Bay Area, Kyle saw Jimmy doing the dishes.
“Jimmy, I am going to shut it down early tonight. I think a good book sounds good, and I happen to have one I have been longing to get into. Please get my room ready, and a shot of tequila would also be nice, use the 1940.”
Jimmy got his room ready as asked, and being it was now dark, he brought in a candle and lit it for Kyle to have some reading light. The room was now ready. Kyle was impressed with the way Jimmy got his room ready. The personal touches did not go unnoticed, and Kyle really appreciated them. As he waited, he flipped his new book open and started to go to another world, a world of problems, but they had nothing to do with him. How nice. As the night wore on, he could hardly keep his eyes open as he moved through the first chapters of his book, and soon, he was fast asleep. He did not know how many hours he had been asleep when the candle next to his bed fell off the table and crashed on the floor, waking Kyle up. As he opened his eyes and smelled the smoke from the candle, he sat up and looked around, but darkness was all he could see. Still feeling uneasy about everything these days, Kyle put on his robe and slippers, walked over to the door of his room on the officer deck, just outside the bridge. He looked down at the stern of the boat and then to the bow, saw nothing, turned around, and then he heard someone or something coming up the stairs. Kyle put his back to the outside wall of his room, looking at the stairs, trying to see who it could be, but he could not see anyone. Listening carefully, he picked up the voice of someone who was speaking Russian. Upon hearing those voices, he turned around to go to the bridge in front of his room when two Russians opened fire with their AK-47. It sounded like World War II as they opened automatic fire. Kyle hit the deck and started to crawl from his room, knowing if they got him in the room, he would be dead with nowhere to go. Now crawling to the bridge and the weapons firing as fast as they can, he took out all the windows on the bridge, and bullets rang his ears as they passed right over his head, bouncing all around the inside of the bridge with the smell of gunpowder prevalent in the air. As he crawled on his belly, he felt a burning sensation on his right arm as the bullet took off part of his arm, causing blood to start to run heavily down his arm and stomach. As he lay on the floor, waiting for the shooting to stop as the pool of his blood got large, Kyle knew that if he just stayed there, they would find him and kill him. They obviously knew where he was. Kyle crawled through the blood to the door and pulled himself up with one arm so that he could try and get a look at what the hell was going on out there, and he better put a plan together quickly or be dead. He could see two in front of the bridge and one over to the right. The two in front were still standing there with their AK-47s on full fire mode as they rested their weapons on their stomachs and kept emptying magazines, hoping to kill somebody or someone. The third seemed to be the lookout for his two Russian killers. It did not look good for him, and he knew it. They were only a few feet away from filling his chest with deadly lead. From the port side, Kyle heard someone else yelling, and then he heard gunshots coming from there. He pulled himself up again, and he saw Jimmy with an M16 with fire coming out of it. Then, to the starboard side, he heard the same thing, and it was the chef emptying his magazine at the Russians. Hitting the two in the back and side, they went down. The third started to run down the stairs. Jimmy took aim and waited until he hit the next level, and then bam! And down went the third Russian. The Russian on the stairs was killed with a headshot, but the two others were still alive and would be interrogated or tortured until they talked. Kyle did not care if it was torture, not after what he just went through. Still shaking, Jimmy and the chef came over to see if he was alright. Jimmy left to get the first aid kit to take care of Kyle’s gunshot wound on his arm. They stopped the bleeding, but it would require some stitches. Kyle held his arm with a blood-soaked cloth on it.
“Who is going to take me to the hospital?” he asked the two standing there.
Chief said, “Oh no, we don’t go to the hospital. We do not want any cops to get involved in this.” Kyle looked worried.
“Really? What about my arm?” he said as he looked at the wound still bleeding.
“Don’t worry, we have all it takes to do the job and keep your arm from falling off.” Chief laughed.
“I am glad you think it is funny. I am bleeding all over myself, and I have a dead Russian on the stairs without a head.”
What a mess on the ship. Blood all over the deck. The fire hoses were brought out to wash the sea of red overboard. The two Russians, still alive, were taken down into the ship. The third, the dead one, had been removed from the stairs, and his head was found two levels down. Kyle was so glad that he did not have anyone over. It would have been a different story. He had a question for Jimmy, who was cleaning up the bloody mess.
“Jimmy, first, let me say thank you for showing up when you did and taking care of business and eliminating the threats. I would not be here if you did not show up when you did.”
Jimmy with a hose in his hand said, “Boss, I am just glad you are alright. That was gnarly. I can’t remember when I emptied so many magazines.”
“You know, Jimmy, this is a night we won’t forget soon. It scared the hell out of me. Hey, I did have a question though. You put the candle in my room. Why did you do that? It is not a regular piece for the rooms?”
“I was walking out of the supply room, and it was sitting right by the door. I never saw it there before. I do not know who put it there, but I knew you were going to read, so I grabbed it. Why?”
“I will tell you why. I was sound asleep with my book on my chest when suddenly, I heard a bang and crash, and the candle had fallen off my night table, waking me up. Let me say this, Jimmy had you not put that candle in my room, I would have not woken up, and they would have had me where they wanted me, dead! That candle saved my life, and of course, you, who shot the perpetrators.”
“That is crazy about the candle. It kind of spooks me,” Jimmy said.
“I don’t want you to worry about the Russians. In situations like this, we will handle all the details, and you do not have to get involved.”
“Okay, thanks, Jimmy. I will make contact, and by the way, do you want to keep the candle?”
“Oh no Boss, we don’t like any kind of black magic.”
“Kyle had a complex expression on his face. He thought about the candle again. What was it with the candle? If the curse was real, then maybe he needed to embrace it, instead of running from it. As soon as Woody was in his office, Kyle gave him a call.
“Hi, Woody, I presume you have heard about our visitors on the ship early this morning?” Woody sounded concerned.
“Yes, I have. Are you all right? I heard you got shot in the arm?”
“Yes, I did, and, Woody, I am lucky that is all that happened to me. I was lying on the floor of the bridge while two crazy Russians emptied at least three magazines into the bridge, sending bullets everywhere. Pretty scary, to be honest with you. When I was in Nam with the Senator, it was nothing like this. I thought they had me and were ready to come in for the kill when Jimmy and Chef showed up blazing.”
Woody said, “Do you remember when we talked about this just the other day?”
“Yes, I do. It crossed my mind when all I saw was the fire of the barrels. That will get one’s attention real fast.”
“Well, here is the deal. It is too hot where you are. I want you to get out of there for the time being. Let us come in and clean this up. We now know from the Russians who did this, who ordered the hit. I do not want you involved. We have people who handle such situations, and they will eradicate the problem, and I want you to know for sure, that this will be taken care of, and when you come back, there will not be any problems or people you have to worry about. Also, Kyle, I cannot promise that this will not happen to you again. When you shake the tree, you never know what might fall out of it.” Kyle was happy that this will be handled.
“Well, boss, I might lie low in Mexico, somewhere warm. I will let you know when I decide shortly.”
“Okay, I am glad you are all right. We will talk soon.”