Author’s Notes: Read all the other chapters before continuing. Thanks for making it all this way, this is the finale of the story. This is probably the most violent chapter, so head’s up.

CHAPTER 7

The road leading back to Mexico City felt infinitely shorter than the road that had kept me away from the place where I was a Ghost.

As I walked along I wondered if everyone had an inescapable fate that they must face at some point in their life, but there were only two people I knew well enough to ask, one that I hadn’t seen in over twenty years, and the other I was on my way to kill.

I couldn’t possibly begin to explain how I blend into a crowd so well, but for as long as I can remember I’ve had to go out of my way to make myself noticed. Today was no exception, as I milled through the daily humdrum of the city’s crowds, slowly but surely making my way towards the infamous bar where all this trouble had started for me. By now, there were newer and better bars, and El Charrito had fallen out of vogue, especially with Mondo in charge. According to Mr. Morales, Mondo spent most of his day either in the bar itself, or working out of the room upstairs from the bar which he had fashioned into his office, and was where he handled most of his business.

I found myself standing in front of the bar by the late morning, my eyes scanning over the painting that decorated the facade of the place, claiming to have the best pulque from the farms of Apan. That was certainly a new addition by Mondo, and it seemed less than coincidental that the happy farmer portrayed tending the fields bore a definite likeness to him too. Just another jab from his arrogant pride, because I knew he had hated our childhood and had left Apan as soon as he could, and certainly didn’t plan on going back.

I definitely wasn’t going to walk right into a lion’s den of hostile mobsters, and I didn’t have any money, so I did what any homeless bum would do, I sat on the street corner and strummed my guitar, leaving a bandanna on the ground to collect whatever change was thrown my way. I played until the sun went down, and then took my meager collection of coins up to the bar where I ordered a single shot of tequila, tipped my sombrero and wandered back out into the night before finding an alley to sleep in. I repeated this process for almost three weeks before a young man in a fancy suit approached me as I turned to leave one night.

”Wait amigo! What’s the rush? You know, I’ve heard you out there playing your guitar, you’re pretty good! Maybe you stick around and play us some songs and I’ll buy you another shot?”

My opening had arrived. I smiled slightly and gave a nod before I moved to a chair off to the side of the bar, and played songs well into the night, until Mondo himself sauntered down from his office and started joining in with the festivities. Eventually everyone was too drunk to notice that I was buying more rounds of shots for everyone, while strategically spilling my own drinks either over my shoulder or down my shirt. I went into action before the first rays of the sun made their appearance.

***

Mondo awoke sometime close to noon the next day in his office chair with a throbbing headache. He called for someone to bring him up some cold water, and when he got no response he stormed down the stairs only to find that all of his henchmen were dead, stacked behind the bar. Mondo retreated back to his office, slamming and locking the door behind him. I know all of this because I heard it as it happened. I had been the one to kill and arrange the men behind the bar. I was sitting just outside the doors, waiting, listening, when Mondo stuck his head out the window to try and calm himself down. Through his hangover he was beginning to realize what was happening, but he couldn’t see me from where I sat, and so went back to his desk, probably trying to think of a way to get out of the city, and move his operations. I will always remember the look of fear that was frozen on his face when he turned around and saw me standing in the doorway to his office, his key and gun in my hand as I locked the door behind myself.

”Christ, is that you Javy? I didn’t even recognize you.” He said as he backed up around the desk, as if that would save him from the inevitable now.

”You never were very observant Mondo. Didn’t even recognize the guitar you sent me? Of course I don’t think you ever expected to see it or me again, did you?”

”So, Miguel found you before I killed him.” Mondo gave a sigh before he sat down at his desk, lacing his fingers on the desktop. “I wasn’t sure if you would, or even if you could be a Ghost again. But clearly you still have a knack for the business.”

”Apparently neither one of us knows each other very well after all then.” I said as I approached him, checking his revolver for bullets, emptying all the chambers but one and tossing the bullets on the floor.

”It doesn’t have to be like this Javy. You and I could run this city!”

”Now you’re just embarrassing yourself Mondo. You’ve ruined my life enough already, I just want to live in peace, and that means you have to die.”

”Kill me then, but don’t lie to yourself Javier. If it weren’t for me, you’d be a poor-as-shit farmer with a fucking beer belly and aching back.”

”Maybe, but I’d be happy, something you know absolutely nothing about. But who knows, maybe you can sweet talk Satan.”

Mondo opened his mouth to make a retort, but the bullet I put through the back of his throat kept it from getting out.