“ ... I will have such revenges on you both,
I will do such things ... what they are, yet I know not:
But they shall be the terrors of the earth. You think I’ll weep?
No, I’ll not weep: I have full cause of weeping; but this heart
Shall break into a hundred thousand flaws,
Or ere I’ll weep.”
Shakespeare King Lear II, iv,278
“Revenge should have no bounds.”
Shakespeare Hamlet iv, 7,128
This story is a response to the challenge by The Wanderer in his story “No Welcome Home: Sandra’s Story.” Please read his story first, otherwise this one won’t make any sense!
I have changed the locale from England to the USA. I gave it a stab to try to keep the flavor UK, but it became too complex. Some things had to change because of this, like Sandra using an airport instead of a train station.
The story is complete in this submission.
This is a substantial rewrite of “No Welcome Home—Before I’ll Weep.” In addition to significant editing, there is considerable new material. Besides the new parts, I had a ton of questions and suggestions from readers. I hope I have answered most of them.
In my original story, I missed a key point of the story by Denham Forrest (The Wanderer):
Andrew Swingfield, in his digging, found out this:
“Somewhat surprisingly, I found that Dave Lawrence seemed to have appeared out of thin air about eight years previous. Whether the guy had spent all his youth abroad or what, I could not find out. As far as I could make out, there seemed to be no record of him living in the UK before he bought the house that he now shared with Sandra. That really should have been a red flag for me, for if anyone tried to research my past they would find the same brick wall.”
I never accounted for this at all ... should have caught it.
In this rewrite, there is a new section called, “PART TWO—How did it all begin?” This provides the backstory of how Dave arrived in the Denver area eight years before this story takes place.
Please remember though, this is fiction. I remember the first time I read about infinity: it went something like, if you put a monkey in front of a typewriter and it typed forever, for infinity, it would eventually replicate Shakespeare’s writings letter for letter. (I seem to remember that it was “One Two Three ... Infinity” by George Gamow).
So, in one of the infinite alternate realities, this story could have happened exactly as written!
I am not removing “No Welcome Home—Before I’ll Weep” from the files. Feel free to go back, compare the two and let me know what you think.
I want to thank the editors: Black Rand, timothybil and Steve. They help keep the punctuation under control, and the story readable. Kudos!
Thanks for reading, Jake Rivers
To keep things straight
Prelude: Lead-in to Part Two—Dave living with his real name, Sam Carson; takes on an undercover name as Nic Rosso.
Part One: The story ending—Dave lives the good life as Carlos Zingada in Lisbon
Part Two: Backstory on Dave Lawrence—The first time Dave must “die” to continue living; Dave’s real name is Alex Samuele (Sam) Carson. His undercover name is Nicolo (Nic) Rosso. After hiding from the Mob in Sevilla for two years, he leaves Spain to live in Denver.
Part Three: The investigation of Sandra and Dave’s preparation to disappear
Part Four: Dave changes the plan—The second time Dave must “die” to continue living. He lives in San Sebastian, Spain, for a year, and surfaces in Lisbon as Carlos Zingada.
Epilog: Wraps up loose ends
I’d just finished my testimony in the US District Court in Manhattan, about halfway between the NY Police Department and Columbus Park. For a moment, there was a silence ... the type of quietly angry silence that portends violence and death. I started to rise as the crowd erupted in the closest thing to a riot that court had ever seen. People were shouting, unintelligible, an ominous roar. As I put my foot on the step down from the witness box, there was the sound of a high caliber pistol exploding and silencing the riotous noise.
At some unconscious level, I realized the shot had missed me, and I instinctively dove for the floor. The pandemonium had quieted from the shock of the loud gunshot in the confined space. The peace lasted for the smallest tick of a clock, then actually became a riot. Some of this I heard about later: people were screaming, frantic to get to the door and escape; fights started, with pushing and shoving injuring many people.
As the protection team grabbed me, I had a glimpse of several people fighting with a cop; his arm with the pistol held high as he was slipping to the floor, weighed down by the sheer number of people. Even as he was falling a couple of additional shots rang out and hit the ceiling. The guard around me, not knowing where the shots were going, jerked me hard, and pulled rapidly back towards the Judge’s chamber and the hallway to the back door.
I fought free and stepped close to Jim Phillips, the head of the team from The Special Operations Group (SOG) that was providing both the overall courtroom security and my personal security. He had been with me ever since I had been persuaded to go undercover with the mob in New York and New Jersey.
I yelled in Jim’s ear, “Shit, this is a clusterfuck! I’m running up to the roof. Have a helicopter pick me up there in ten minutes. They can take me to Fort Hamilton. A second copter can meet me there and take me on to Andrews. Hopefully, I can get an Air Force plane to Germany or somewhere in Europe.
“Get some guys and clear out the courtroom; have the limo in the back take off like hell. Hopefully, they will think I’m in it.”
I got the master key from Jim and ran up the stairs to the roof, locking the door behind me as I went through. I was trying to die as quick as I could, but the plan was shot to hell. It was a lot harder to die than I had ever imagined, or maybe easier and all too real!
PART ONE – This is the good part.
I was dead! In fact, this is the second time I’ve died.
I know that sounds strange. I guess it’s an oxymoron: you must be sentient to know anything and if you are dead you are not sentient. In other words, if I was dead how could I be aware of being dead?
Most people live their entire lives with one name. I’d had so many it was hard to keep them straight. Most people don’t have to run two times in their life, to give up family, possessions ... even their identity to ensure their heart keeps beating.
I was having uma bica (an espresso) at Café a Brasileira, the oldest and most famous café in Lisbon, with wooden booths, mirrored walls, and a long oak-paneled bar straight out of the 18th century. It is in Rossio, in the Chiado district of Lisbon.
What was strange is how much I was enjoying looking at the local girls, particularly Maria João O’Brien, who was walking towards me with a question in her eyes. As she approached, I started to ask her if the excitement I felt as I admired her quite charming young body was appropriate for a dead man. I wisely chose not to say anything as she asked, “Do you want outra bica, and are you coming over for dinner tonight?”
I said, “Yes,” and, “of course.”
I guess I should back up a little. Before I “died” I was known as Dave Lawrence, loving husband of Sandra, living in Colorado when I died. Now, I was Carlos Zinganda, known as Charlie, expatriate Spaniard from San Sebastian ... living in a comfortable apartment in Lisbon, in the Barrio Alto, on Rua do Norte.
I had met Maria about six months earlier there at the café. She was 28 at the time. Her Aunt owned the place, and Maria helped sometimes. She was an anomaly for a girl from Portugal. She was tall, a little over 5’10”. She wasn’t slim; maybe willowy was better. She weighed about 120 pounds, with gentle flowing curves rather than ostentatious ones. Long legs that won’t quit. She had (I guessed at the time; I really wasn’t an expert at this) 34B breasts that seemed to have an attitude. Her long legs flowed up into the most hauntingly beautiful derrière I had ever seen.
She had kind of dirty blond hair and fair regular features, with an upturned button nose. She was light skinned, with brilliant powder blue eyes and a few freckles around them (later I was to find she had freckles elsewhere). In other words, if you spent some time in Lisbon looking at the local girls and saw her walking toward you, she would stand out!
Maria was born on the island of Terceira, in the Azores. Her father was an American Tech Sergeant in the Weather Office of the 65th Air Base Wing at Lajes field. Her mother was a local girl and worked in the base library. They met, and, well, things happened: marriage and Maria following in short order. Her family moved around the world with her dad’s duty assignments until he was killed in a car crash in Fayetteville, North Carolina. At the time, Gary O’Brien was stationed at Pope Air Force Base and Maria was a junior, majoring in Marketing with a minor in Literature at Duke University.
.... There is more of this story ...