In BURNT on January 5, 2011 at 4:16 pm


The old German man rides into town with his fat Mexican whore.  Arango greets him warmly, calls him Frank and speaks to him with respect.  The two men step into the ramshackle hacienda to confer in private.

Sunday offers Yanina a bowl of water and a clean cloth, but the woman only pushes them away.  She really is a hideous thing, with dirty hair in her face and swollen features — she’s a lump perched on two thick logs.  After a few minutes, she gets bored and stomps inside.  Sunday can hear a torrent of foul abuse in Spanish and some whining assurances in German.

Arango steps out, looking taller and younger.  He stares over Sunday’s shoulders at the horizon.  His eyes are filled with pride.  “Frank in an emissary.  The other ranchers want to meet.  They want to organize.  They want me to lead them.”

“The ranchers from beyond the hills?  Who cut your fences and steal your cattle?”

“They still fear me, even though my men are gone.  They respect me.”

A slap can be heard from inside.  The German cries out in pain.

Sunday shakes her head.  “You would trust a man like that?  Who lets a grotesque whore treat him that way?  He is no longer a man.  He has given up the right to be treated like one.  He cannot give respect when he has none for himself.”

Arango’s hand is a sudden blur.  Sunday holds her cheek.  Her eyes water but she will not cry out.  She stares at her father until he turns away.

Without another word, he saddles his horse and follows the bickering pair out of Los Rios.

The Story So Far

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