(Continued from Part II)

The bus headed toward the old Greyhound station in downtown Bloomington, Illinois, the first stop en route to Laredo.  “When the bus comes to a complete stop, do it. That’s the signal. It’s all lined up: the people, the gun, the conversation, the bus, the state of Illinois, the moment. Do it!” As soon as the bus stopped, Tomas pulled his gun, pointed it, and fired a single shot into the black man’s head.  The guy never knew what hit him.

It was this for a point in the narrative that a psychiatrist interrupted the flow of the conversation and asked, “If the voice told you to shoot everyone, how come you only shot the one man?”

Tomas answered nonchalantly, “I was out of bullets.”

Once the shot was fired, the bus went up of grabs. Some thought the motor was on fire, and others thought a tire exploded. A passenger from the back seat ran up the center aisle frantically telling the driver to call for an ambulance because a passenger had just shot himself.  He figured it was a suicide. Witnesses would later testify that it was Tomas who ran up the center aisle calling it a suicide, trying to cover up the shooting, but that never happened. Tomas sat quietly: the Voice told him to put the gun in his pocket and keep his mouth shut.  If he had left the gun on the seat next to the victim, the local police might have even bought the idea that it was a suicide.  But, when they went to search the bus, they didn’t find a weapon.

While the ambulance rushed Johnson to the hospital, the passengers were cordoned off in the bus station.  Although the Voice was still telling Tomas to keep his mouth shut, the patrolman charged with watching the group noticed that Tomas was acting suspicious.  He was perspiring heavily and didn’t remove his thick leather jacket.  He didn’t look at other people either; he looked through them. His movements were sudden as if he were nervous and trying to hide something.  And, he was only person who wasn’t speaking to anyone else about what had happened. He didn’t have to: he already knew.

The police approached him slowly, and conducted a quick pat-down search.  A metal detector revealed that he had a .25 caliber, semiautomatic pistol tucked into his waistband.  It was one of those little guns that makes a hell of a bang.  The bullets don’t have much stopping power, but up close, it’s a mean weapon. It’s small and easy to handle.  The police took Tomas into custody, processed him and put him in a holding cell, watching his every move through a two-way mirror. When Tomas began to listen to the Voice again, the police were watching. They could tell something was up. The Voice told him, “They’re going to kill you.  You should’ve gone down fighting like we said back in Chicago.  They’re going to come into the cell and beat the shit out of you with clubs, and then, after you’re nothing but a bloody pulp, they’re going to pop you! That’s it! Two right behind the ear.  You might as well ask them to give you some cocaine before they do it.  Tell them you want cocaine!  Pound on the walls you’re your fists until your hands bleed. Scream your head off. Do it! They’re going to kill you anyway!

Jimmy Gabacho

Part IV: the finale

About the Author

Jimmy Gabacho

Gabacho– according to the Dictionary of the Spanish Royal Academy– is derived from an old Provençal word “gavach,” meaning a person from the foothills of the Pyrenees who spoke incorrectly. These days, it means “outsider,” somebody who just doesn’t fit in.

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