General Fiction posted January 21, 2024

This work has reached the exceptional level
Tucker to the rescue.

Tucker (Ready to Rumble Part-10)

by Ric Myworld

The author has placed a warning on this post for violence.

Able to flee the flames, Tucker and Farnsworth waded through muddy goop and trudged up a rat and bat infested tunnel to the top of the hill. Stapled onto a nearby tree, Tucker found a life-threatening note stating Tammy Jo and T.D. McCann had become cartel prisoners. Often passive, until challenged, Tucker quickly morphed into the aggressor.


Tucker and Farnsworth sat on the hill and watched plumes of dark smoke and soot billowing from the disintegrating fireball-of-a-house from which they had just escaped.

In the cartel’s clutches, Tammy Jo and T.D. McCann were in grave danger. Desperation etched across Tucker’s face. He knew something must be done quickly.

He read and dissected every line of the note trying to hash out a clue to the criminals' thoughts and intentions.

Daniel observed Tucker’s every move before speaking. “Well, Tucker - now what?” In deep thought, Tucker stared. Daniel fidgeted sensing his aggravation, then cleared his throat, and said, “These sinister, deranged lunatics like to make gruesome statements. So, time’s critical.”

“Daniel, I’m tired of playing games.” Tucker wadded up the note and slung it as he stood. “I’m not running anymore.”

“So – what—” Daniel spit between his spaced front teeth as he raised to stand beside Tucker. “What’s the plan?”

“Are you in or out,” Tucker asked? “Answer fast, because, at any cost I plan to save Tammy and T.D.” Tucker picked up a rock and side-armed it with the velocity of a bullet. “Suck it up if you’re coming with me . . . and let’s get moving.”

“So, where we headed—”

“Keep your eyes open, mouth shut, and stop asking questions.” Cautiously, in weaving livestock patterns, they wound down the steep grade, somehow staying afoot, despite crumbly, loose-ground sliding from beneath unsteady feet.  


At daybreak, back in the city, the lazy sun crept over the hillside. And just as the sky brightened and streets came into view, Tucker noticed two bodies dangling by their necks from an apartment’s third-floor balcony.

Unable to recognize the unfortunates from the distance, his heart sank. He ran, cutting through the alley, around the side of the building, and entered the maintenance shop through a ground-floor side door.

Anxious to identify the swaying flesh and bones, he grabbed up a hatchet and a razor-blade utility knife. Hoping he wasn’t taking hand tools to a pistol party.

Daniel grabbed up a weed-whacking machete and fell in line at Tucker’s flank, knowing better than to say a word.

Tucker whispered, “Daniel, stop off on the second landing at the feet of the dead bodies.” Then he continued steps to the third floor.

He eased carefully into the apartment. An empty dwelling—seemingly in perfect order—as if nothing out of the ordinary had happened there.

Once on the balcony he could see the purple-faced Chinese couple who owned the building, necks elongated, heads tilted, and pensile tongues out the corners of their mouths.

A sad fate for the innocent and hardworking young people. But Tucker couldn’t help but be thankful the corpses weren’t Tammy and T.D.

Daniel extended the machete past the first set of feet, curved it behind and around, pulling the legs toward him, and just as he clenched the man’s pant legs with his off hand, Tucker cut the rope and let the man flop into Daniel’s awaiting arms. Knees buckling from the weight, he gagged from the smell. Then, they used the same technique to release the petite female and remove her noose. 

Sadly, the couple had chosen the wrong place at the most inopportune time. Senseless deaths. Precious young bodies used to send a grisly message, instantaneously transitioned into split-second cadavers.


Savagely beaten before them, Tammy Jo, and T.D witnessed two young boys' last breaths, and undoubtedly, anticipated similar fates.

Corralled, smacked, shoved, and kicked—every stitch of clothing wrenched away—Tammy, stripped naked to the world. The cartel Narcos laughed, spit, taunted, grabbed, and squeezed whatever they could grasp.

Helpless, T.D. could only watch, waiting his turn. He eyeballed two giant spinning wheels, a few times larger than those on “Wheel of Fortune” or Drew Carey’s “The Price is Right,” their purpose becoming obvious.

Spread eagled, Tammy’s ankles were clasped in leather straps to the bottom portion of wooden-wheel number one. Her arms stretched high, nearing the top, and clamped far apart, in a stationary snow angel position.

T.D. tried to look away pretending not to see Tammy’s exposed flesh. The criminals doused her with whiskey and flipped cigarette butts against her skin, flames flashing wherever they hit. The sicarios danced, sang, cheered, and drank to celebrate their conquests.

T.D. knew what to expect and waited his turn. Soon lassoed, hooked to a Gator utility vehicle, and dragged around the warehouse, flipping and flopping, his concrete-burned skin torn and gashed as he was flung against stationary objects. Then, brutally pummeled, fist after fist, his clothes stripped away, and tied to face Tammy on the opposite wooden wheel. Still the captives refused to acknowledge the other. Lost dignity, eye to eye.

The paid assassins spun the wheels, faster and faster. Heads up, heads down, spinning ‘round and ‘round.


On the third ring, Tucker answered his phone to a blurred video-image of Tammy and T.D. naked and spinning on the wheels.

Then, the caller turned the camera on himself and said, “pendejo, look what we have.” Tammy’s wheel gradually slowed to a crawl and stopped. The tormentor seized the moment. He walked over, laughing, squeezed her breast, and smacked her face viciously. Chin slumped against her chest, he reached between her thighs, putting his cigarette out in a sizzle against her skin. Her shuddery scream tensed Tucker all over, but he never reacted or said a word.

He recognized the attacker, Francisco N.  better known as the executioner in the CJNG (Cartel de Jalisco Nueva Generacion). Mexico’s most wanted criminal, a 10-million-dollar reward for information leading to his arrest. Cartel leader El Mencho’s (Nemesio Ruben Oseguera Cervantes’s) right-hand man. The leader’s maliciousness pales to his enforcer.

“Sénior Tucker,” said Francisco N. “Yours and Farnsworth’s lives for the mercy of your friend and pretty’s—do we have a deal?”

“Sure, just tell me where to meet you.” Tucker obviously itched to confront Francisco in person.

Francisco laughed hysterically. “Oh, so you think I’m estúpido do you, el cabrón?

“Yes, as a matter of fact—but right now we’re talking a swap.”

“We’ll be in touch, el cabrón . . . if you don’t run out of time.” Francisco laughed wickedly and clicked off the phone.

Daniel questioned Tucker, “So what was said?”

Tucker sat with his head in his hands for what seemed an eternity, then looked up. “You know what Farnsworth? I missed my calling.”

Puzzled, Daniel asked. “You what?”

“I should have lived at a beach resort and been a poolside, beach-bum philosopher. I could have used all the idiot drunk’s tiki bar and tavern-tested analogies to take advantage of the few dumber than me . . . those like you, Daniel.”

“That’s not funny, Tucker.” Daniel’s pouty face resembled a kid who’d dropped his candy in the dirt.   

Tucker just laughed. “It was Francisco N. offering us a deal.”

“What kind of deal?”

“Your life and mine, for Tammy’s and T. D.’s”

“And . . . what did you say?”

“He’s not trying to make a trade, nitwit; he just wants us to agonize.” Tucker knew Farnsworth as a calculated businessman and anything but stupid. He just liked to rankle him.

“So, what’s next?”

Tucker stood and strutted in a mambo as he sang: “Down in New Orleans where the blues was born. All dem cats was blowing dey horns. Da Mardi Gras mambo . . ..”

“Have you lost your mind . . . acting so outlandish at such a serious time?”

“Probably not far off; but, upriver from Canal Street, alongside the Mississippi, past the Ernest N. Morial convention center, sits the Blaine Kern Studio’s massive 300,000 sq. ft. warehouse. Since 1947, all the Mardi Gras floats have been made and stored there."

“How do you always know such arcane information, Tucker?”

“Because I’m old,” he said. “Even those of us who aren’t too smart learn if they live long enough . . . well, most of us anyway.”

“So, Tammy and T.D. are being held at Kern’s warehouse?”

“Nope; well, not exactly.”

“What do you mean? Farnsworth shook his head, exasperated. “Didn’t you just say where the floats are in New Orleans?”

“They intended us to assume and rush for the Crescent City (New Orleans). But in the video Francisco sent, I noticed Woody Woodpecker on a workbench in the background.”

“Which means, what?”

“They’re in Kern’s Disney/Universal shop in Orlando, Florida. One of two alternate warehouses.”

“How’d you figure that from a cartoon character?”

“Staying cognizant of current affairs, lamebrain. Woody’s the new mascot for Universal Pictures and theme parks.”

Farnsworth jumped to his feet, and said, “So, we’re off to the rescue.”

“Wait, wait, quickdraw . . . slow down,” Tucker said, rolling his eyes. “We can’t go in guns-a-blazing and get us all killed. First, we need to find the cartel’s big boss.”

“So, you’re just going to leave Tammy at the monster’s mercy?”

“They might be humiliated, privates exposed to the world. But the cartel isn’t going to let anything happen to them just yet.” Tucker, chuckled. “They’ll keep pulling our chains for a while; then, probably, kill us all. That is unless, our collateral is bigger than theirs.”

Dumbfounded, Farnsworth asked, “What does that mean?”

“Daniel, call your thug brigade. It’s hard to imagine your crew working together with SWAT, but they’re all in Orlando and can act quicker than we can get there. And besides, there are only two of us, and an army of them.”

“So, what are we doing?”

“On second thought, have your henchmen meet us at the Acapulco International Airport. SWAT doesn’t need the help, and they’d likely just be in the way.

"We’re headed to round up El Mencho and put an end to this once-and-for-all. El Mencho will be at his La Cima Club residence overlooking the Acapulco Bay. He keeps six men outside, and four throughout the house.”

“How do you know all this, Tucker?”

“South of the border intelligence: where pesos buy cheap information.”





Story of the Month contest entry



Okay, so I lied. But it wasn't intentional. I promise I'm trying to end this series with every chapter. Tucker just doesn't want to go, or at least without kicking and screaming. Thanks for your continued support.
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