“We all breathe the same air. We all cherish our children’s future.”
–John F. Kennedy
The scorpion moved noiselessly toward Benito Sanchez; Hernando’s eyes fell fearfully upon the black scorpion as the deadly creature curled it’s stinging tail; possibly, fatally, striking one of Hernando’s two sons.
Was this a nightmare of the worst kind?
Hernando felt a terror so strong his mind repudiated that it was really happening.
Hernando Sanchez a deeply religious man had his eyes fixed on a remarkable creature that God made.
This deadly creature nevertheless was poised to strike Hernando’s youngest son.
A father’s fondest dreams ended by this God awful scorpion.
Benito Sanchez the youngest son looked to his father with a sweet innocence not really comprehending the graveness of the moment. Antonio Sanchez the elder of the sons called out to his father.
Hernando pulled his Ford pick-up to the side of the road.
“Antonio, you and Benito get out of the truck…
Antonio! DO-NOT-CLOSE-THE-DOOR, just get out of the truck…
Antonio, leave the door open…si?”
Five-year old Benito Sanchez pointed to the scorpion crawling on the center arm rest of the truck.
Hernando focused only on his two sons and he waited as they climbed down from the cab.
Hernando balled his fist tight and he waited for the scorpion; he thought about his wife Daniela who had just given birth to their third child.
Energy cells within him began to percolate, the adrenalin and passion to kill was at fever pitch.
Hernando whispered to himself:
“The devil is a liar!”
He slammed down his fist atop the scorpion and smashing it with all the energy his body could produce.
The scorpion fell motionlessly to the floor vanquished.
Hernando quickly opened the driver’s side door and ran to his two sons awaiting him.
Hernando fell to his knees before Benito.
“Give papa kiss.”
And Benito kissed his father on the lips.
Antonio took hold of his father’s injured hand.
“Papa, did it bite you?”
Hernando did not answer Antonio.
Hernando lifted Benito up into his arms and kissed his forehead several times.
Once back in the truck Hernando drove about six miles before reaching the Lone Star Truck Stop.
Hernando climbed out of the truck and he told Antonio and Benito to stay inside the truck until he returned from the rest room.
Hernando walked hurriedly into the truck stop rest room; he removed his shirt and pulled a knife from his front pant pocket . He cut the shirt pulling a large portion of the cotton material.
He dropped the new rag under the cold current of water. His mind raced back to his wife Daniela and their new born daughter, Maria Elana Sanchez. His wife and baby daughter were to be released from the hospital in less than one hour. Hernando picked up the cold wet rag and used it for relief for his
throbbing hand. He walked slowly from the truck stop rest room back into the glare of the Texas sun.
Terror unimaginable terror attacked him; this terror which is not the terror of death, but a terror much larger and deeper, the terror of being destroyed spiritually, a terror so awful the mind fights in vain to repudiate because it is beyond a sane mind to process.
Hernando shouted loudly in Spanish.
“THE DEVIL IS A LIAR!!!”
Hernando’s truck was gone and so were his two sons.
Hernando looked at his watch and now it was just twenty minutes before eleven his wife and new born daughter were to be released from Saint Michael’s Medical center at 11:30 am.
Hernando looked up into the sky with his arms open wide apart he looked to be praying or maybe talking with God.
A lone female voice called out to Hernando in Spanish.
“Hola, que’ desea?”
(“Hello, can I help you?”)
Hernando replied back to the woman.
“No, se’ que decir, lo siento.”
(“I don’t know what to say, I’m sorry.”)
The Spanish woman moved in closer and pleaded sweetly to Hernando.
“Por favor confia en mi.”
(“Please trust me.”)
Hernando hunched his shoulders up and down then dropped them back down again.
“No lo puedo creer. Me parece un sueno.”
( ” I can’t believe it, It’s like a dream.”)
The attractive Spanish speaking woman showed Hernando the palms of her hands and she moved in a little closer to him. She spoke again even more softly.
“Lo siento. Que desea?”
(“I’m sorry. Can I help you?”)
Hernado wiped a tear from his cheek.
“Si! (Yes!) Porfavor… Policai! Policia! Policia!”
Twenty minutes passed slowly as Hernando searched the lot desperately for his two sons.
The Texas Ranger pulled into the truck stop and he took notice of Hernando speaking with several truckers in the lot. The Texas Ranger walked directly to Hernando and he removed his dark sun glasses to reveal the bluest pair of eyes that Hernando had ever seen before.
The Texas Ranger spoke.
“I’m Captain Boykin, Texas Ranger, are you Hernando Sanchez?”
Hernando patted his his chest with the palms of his hands and cried.
“My boys, Benito and Antonio, someone has taken them… they have my truck also.”
The Texas Ranger had already taken out his note book and pen; Captain Boykin spoke again.
“Mr. Sanchez, do you have a recent photo of your two sons?”
Hernando’s hands shook as he reached into his back pocket to remove his wallet.
he pulled a snap shot of himself, his wife, Daniela and Antonio and Benito, he pointed to his two sons.
Hernando spoke hurriedly.
“See, there is my son Antonio, he’s eight-years old and Benito is five-years old… this picture taken last year at the Cinco de Mayo Festival.”
“Mr. Sanchez, I’ll need to keep this picture, and I need you to give me a good description of your truck. Now, you pulled into the truck stop at what time?”
“I think it was around ten-thirty when I went into the rest room.”
“Mr. Sanchez, do you have a cell phone on you sir?”
” No, my cell phone is in my truck.”
Captain Boykin took out his cell phone all the while Hernando looked baffled.
“Mr. Sanchez, what’s the number to your cell phone?
“Mr. Sanchez, sir, I need your cell phone number.”
Hernando looked on in wonder as the Texas Ranger dialed in his phone number.
Several seconds went by as the phone rang, soon a male voice answered.
“Hola, que desea?
(“Hello, may I help you?”)
Captian Boykin paused and smiled slightly then he began to speak in Spanish.
“Si, hay que tener cuidado porque la policia usted paronos,”
(” Yes, you have to be careful because the police might stop you.”)
“COMO? HOLA! HOLA!”
Captain Boykin directed Hernando to climb into the vehicle, the Texas ranger wasted no time broadcasting what information he had.
“AMBER ALERT!!! This is Lone Star-83… I have an abduction, two boys, White-Hispanic, eight and five years of age, last seen at TEN-THIRTY this morning in RED, FORD F-150, 2000 model
suspect hispanic male no physical description of suspect at this time,
license plate…. WHISKEY-ALFA- TANGO – 3-4-1
I need air-mobile… EAGLE-EYE-TWO come in?”
Hernando was impressed with the Texas Ranger’s excellent efficiency in communicating so much information in so short a span of time.
Captain Boykin flipped on his flashing red lights and his siren grew louder as he pressed his foot hard to the gas pedal.
The Texas Ranger received a call on his cell phone:
“This is Captain Boykin, he did what! DAMN! The truck went into the river with the two boys inside…
SHIT! Got Damn!
Their dead… the boys are dead… my God!
Mr. Sanchez, I’m so, so, sorry to tell you, your sons, your sons, they are, they, ”
There was a buzzing sound next to Hernando’s ear and he took a swipe at the Bee near his ear
the buzzing sound grew louder.
Hernando lifted his head slowly from the pillow and lay next to him was his wife, Daniela and she asked him if he had a nightmare.
Hernando did not answer, but he ran to the room of his two sons where they lay sound asleep.