Chapter 3: Barney and Trevor
Half the world away from West Texas, an office building sat in downtown London (with a view of the Thames if you must know). On one of these floors held the offices of one Barnabas Pettymore Swindells, a real-estate developer. More to the point, Barnabas was for anything that made his family’s fortune grow.
Hair so black it radiated a blue sheen, slight gray at the temples, framed his square head. Short sideburns led to a clean shaved face. Built like a professional wrestler. A sizable man at six-five, most found him imposing, understandable given his personality.
He understood the need to be the one in charge. Never being afraid to use his size to intimidate anyone he thought he might be able to. Size and reputation lent him to being called, a tad rough around the edges. Sharp, course and deadly were some of the polite words used to describe him.
Always looking to keep his families name safe and build his small but growing empire. He was prepared to use every means necessary to achieve his goals. He happened to be on the phone when his younger brother Trevor burst into the room.
Trevor, the Yin to Barnabas’s Yang; slender, and blonde with almost androgynous features. People called him soft, he attempted to look rugged, and conceal his weak jaw with a patchy unkempt beard.
At five foot ten, he was much shorter than his brother. With a reputation for being a little too forgiving when it came to business, and soft in the head as well. He was known for seeking a myriad of ways to find himself. Always chasing some dream over the horizon.
The interruption irritated Barnabas. For a moment, he thought how he would love to seize his younger brother’s neck, with a satisfying firm grip and twist a bit. Luckily his softer nature concerning him prevailed. Without missing a beat Barnabas kept listening to the phone while motioning Trevor to be quiet and sit down. Of course, Trevor could not be contained by such niceties, needing a drink, he went for the bar.
Still engaged, Barnabas got to the point in his phone conversation when he found a burning desire to speak. His face at one moment flush with anger and blanched with uneasiness. Unable to control himself any longer, he spoke with a clear firm voice that held back all his true emotions.
“Listen you little prick! You uphold your end of the contract, or I will boil your ballocks and feed them to my dogs. You’ll be lucky if I will remove them first!” slamming down the phone. A brief moment of anger and fear swept over his face.
Of course, his younger brother was too excited to keep his tongue any longer. He slapped his paper down on the table with a flourish, pointing to what he thought important, “Barney! Here look at this, this is outstanding!”
Barney, glanced at the headline, took the drink from Trevor’s hand and took a sip before answering, “Manchester United won again? Hardly enough for me to get a chubby over... How many times do I need to remind you not to call me Barney? You make me sound like a flippin brain-dead purple dinosaur.”
Barnabas had always been Barney to Trevor. There were enough years between them that Barney grew up being the older brother most young boys would kill for. Barnabas always wanted to be named after the saint, or something majestic.
Clearly, he was named after the vampire from the sixties soap opera. How can a kid grow up normal when his mates all realize he was named after a character on the television? Their mother, called one of those ‘Hippies’ throughout her life, up until her death in the early nineties, loved ‘Dark Shadows’. Parents can be so mean...
Naturally, Barney learned to fight and protect himself at an early age. So, he went by Barney... until the early nineties. About that time, someone came up with the bright idea to name a children’s show... Barney. This was of course before Barney earned more of his intimidating reputation for mayhem.
Some of his less couth co-workers started to sing the Barney song when he came around. This led to some, late-night confrontations where Barney made it very clear how much he hated that song. Typically, with some small amount of violence thrown in for keeping the lesson fresh in everyone’s mind.
Thus, Barney became Barnabas once again. A person first feared for size, earned a reputation that he was willing to resort to violence to prove his point.
Exasperated, Trevor let out a long sigh and almost whined, “Barnabas...” flipping the paper to show the bottom of the page.
Searching way down at the bottom for a small picture and story; pointed again, “No here: at this!” Trevor happened to be pointing at the picture and story about the unexplainable lights in the night sky over a small town in the United States. With Billy’s pictures, sold for little more than beer money. Barney glanced a moment at the picture and reading the storyline, before blurting out.
“Trevor how in the flying nine hells is that going to do anything for us?”
Trevor took the drink from Barney’s hand and took a swig, facing him across the desk, before continuing.
“You are always telling me to take my head out of the clouds, well... Listen, all these old hippies are trying to find themselves. They search so hard to find anything they can believe in. Look at the new age places around the Southwest United States. Sedona, Taos, anywhere people think they can find spiritual meaning, they will migrate to. You know what happens when old people with money to spend, travel? They spend said money.”
Barney slowly shook his head, “You boil my piss... What do you know about... where is this?” The mention of money to be made grabbed Barney’s attention.
Trevor answered as if his life depended on it, “Texas.”
“Right, Texas. Isn’t there still problems with Indians or Mexicans or something,” Barney spewed.
“Not for about two hundred years... listen this might be a gold mine waiting to happen. We swoop in, buy up land around the area, hype the hell out of this UFO thing, who knows maybe even link in some other shite. This place is even near the lay lines,” Trevor prepared his phone to show off a map of questionable veracity.
Barney shook his head, “Trevor you need to pull your head out of your... the clouds...”
Trevor continued his sales pitch, “These numbers don’t lie. Over thirty percent of Americans believe in ghosts, for Christ’s sake. Forty-five percent of them believe E bloody T has visited us. Even the people running to be their President are talking about flippin aliens. You can’t make this shite up. This is from the country that is supposed to be the world leader. They are all turning whack-a-doodle.”
Barney studied the map for a moment before continuing, “How much you think we can make?”
Trevor cocked his head, thinking he had an in, pausing a moment to make his sale, “Realistically, the sky is the limit. All I need is a couple of guys to go with me out to this little town. Buy up some of the property cheap, hype the whole thing and flip the lot of it.”
Barney finally grunted an agreement, and let Trevor loose upon the world. May the gods have mercy on their souls.
With that, the fate of two countries an ocean apart were once again intertwined.