Revolutionary Beginnings

June 1, 2008
By Meredith Rutland, Miami Shores, FL

Running down his brother’s ornately decorated hallways, Ramon Perez reaches a pair of doors. Pausing a moment to compose himself he enters to take his place at his older brother’s deathbed. A dichotomy of grief and ambition fills Ramon’s brain with undesired ecstasy. He leans down to take Carlos’ shaking hand, straining to replace the gleam in his eye with tears. “Ramon,” whispers Carlos in a raspy voice, “Cambia is yours now. Carry on my legacy. Keep control.” Without another word, the feared yet respected leader of Cambia releases his fragile hold on life.

The grieving family exits the room with bodyguards in tow, leaving a middle-aged lawyer alone with Ramon. He holds a folder of considerable bulk. “There is no time to be lost, Mr. Perez. Cambia must have a president.” Ramon remains silent, his heart beating out of his chest with anticipation. “The last page is all we should concern ourselves with today.” The paper reads: “I, the undersigned, willingly accept the position of undisputed leader of Cambia and all the rights and responsibilities this entails.” Ramon maliciously smirks with the thought of the unconditional power this simple paper grants to its signer. The lawyer presents Ramon with a pen.

Before the ink hits paper, a gunshot rings out, and the document becomes spotted with blood. The limp body of the lawyer slumps to the ground. The supplier of the gunshot springs out from behind the oversized draperies, his cohorts coming out of the woodwork. Every one of them is filthy and slightly pale, evidence of an extensive stakeout. One of the more robust men restrains Ramon in a chokehold.

The lawyer’s shooter approaches the struggling Ramon. “Hello Mr. Perez.” The man raises a pistol he had concealed within his cloak. “Let’s cut the negotiations and get right down to business.” Grinning a yellow tar-stained smile, he positions the barrel of the gun in front of Ramon’s eye, as if to let him stare down a dark hallway of inevitability. “Give Cambia back to its people.” Ramon responds with dialect as cold as a snake’s underbelly with the sting of a scorpion:


The man lets out a guttural laugh in hearing this anticipated answer. His laugh is piercing, yet not quite loud enough to drown out the quick blast that shatters Ramon’s skull. Stepping over the recent victim the man picks up the document from Ramon’s cold clutch. Signing the paper, he turns to his followers.

“My friends,” he announces, “the rebellion has begun.”

As he pockets the article a weak ray from the setting sun illuminates his fresh signature: Javier Gonzalez.

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