5am: Thursday - Victoria
When I came to, there was a stench and my shirt was soaked in sweat - fear filled the car, the salt from my tears drained into the gag cutting across my face. Memories of the past couple of hours slowly started to return.
I had followed Alex out to the desert but for the first time he noticed. I hadn't trailed far enough behind - I wasn't careful enough and he caught me. But he didn't just "catch" me - he tied me up and gagged me - roughly, in a fury. He yelled at me.
And there I was in between two young Mexican women, tied up in the back of Alex's car. One of them was crying as I moved into a state of some variant of calm, trying to outsmart the situation. We sped along the highway in the dark, rain splattering the windshield.
I scrolled through idea after idea in my mind. There must be some way out of this, I told myself. There is always a secret door. Alex isn't a bad person, I told myself, he just ended up influenced by the wrong people. I felt love mixed with hatred.
Alex was driving too fast. He was angry, agitated. It paid back - he slammed on his brakes as the traffic came to a sudden stop, the rain made it too much and his wheels slipped - the car spun out of control.
And then I awoke in a pool of sweat.
3pm: Thursday - Alex
"Hi, Victoria!", I say, answering my phone whilst in the middle of a workout on my
balcony. The sea air is fragrant and I sit down in my plastic green chair, actually not minding the break.
When I saw Victoria sing for the first time over at "Club Inanna", I loved her voice and way she moved. She's beautiful and really fun to be with. The only problem is that she wants more than I can give - more of my time, more attention.
Maybe she will chill out though. We're still in touch and we still have fun when we
hang out, but it's not as often anymore.
The one issue that worried me was her curiosity about what I do for work. I studied business but last year I got a good gig from a trustworthy friend transporting people from Point A to Point B.
Okay, it's transporting women.
But that's all I do - I just take them from here to there. Sure they are Mexican and yes, they most likely entered the country illegally, but I just do what I do and don't see anything wrong with it.
I just do my job and close my eyes to the rest. I'd like to move back over to legitimate work, but it's hard when the illegitimate work is this easy and pays so well.
Victoria got really curious about my life for a while. She stopped that lately, thank goodness, and I've distanced myself from her to prevent it from happening again.
I don't need her involving herself and I can't tell her anything - there are too many links involved in this chain. It could even threaten my life. That's the downside of illegitimate work.
"This Saturday? Sure, I don't think I have any plans. Shall I come around 8?" We close off the conversation and I resume my chest workout. Saturday I can rest, but Friday I work.
4pm: Thursday - Victoria
My nightmare in the desert doesn't come as a surprise, as I have been trailing Alex out to the desert - I've done it three times now without getting caught. Tomorrow I will go again if I can borrow Stella's car.
I don't want to betray him but it's clear that he's into something illegal. And it appears to have to do with women, though I don't believe he is sexually involved with them. That's not the issue.
At first I had to find out what was going on. Once I knew - after the third trailing to the desert - I couldn't stand back. I knew he had to be involving himself in trafficking. The trafficking of women.
I know Alex so intimately that I can only believe that he doesn't feel what he does is wrong. But it is. I don't have a vengeance towards Alex personally, but I can't stand back or turn my head away.
And tomorrow night I'll see if I can make a change. I have a good idea.
Written by Liz Davinci
Listen to Pax Victoria here: https://lizdavinci.bandcamp.com/album/pax-victoria
Continue to Mini-Chapter 5: Imprisonment: https://www.lizdavinci.com/2021/01/22/pax-victoria-imprisonment-chapter-5/
The abstract text "Revolutions in the dark. Revolutions in the light." accompanying the album trailer https://youtu.be/cLigLIdDQM0 written by Mark McConville:
I seek a rebel heart. We all seek rebel hearts. From the middle point of this resurgence we play the strings of old guitars and we scream for a revolution.
Revolutions in the dark. Revolutions in the light. Down by the river we sit and sing about revolutions. Inside dusty rooms we sing about revolutions but can we dream too much? Is the world crushing our dreams, are the obstacles we face pushing us to our limits?
Opening wine to toast the ending of days isn’t an agenda but this world is breathing fast and inconsistently. All we have is a chance to spark a revolution, and a revolt against the non-believers. Standing side by side we hold torches as signal fires, assaulting our lungs with smoke, but we don’t care about our abused organs, we care about the beginning of an upsurge in fortunes.
Sadly, some have disbanded and discarded their badge of the runaways. They’re frightened by standing face to face with devils and callous hordes. Bringing down the empires they fought for, but they’ve left us. They’ve ran and ran until they feel dizzy, until they’re sick and out of breath.
We are on our hands and knees praying to god. Hearts in ruin, lungs failing, the anthem playing in our heads. An anthem playing through radios and TV sets, a song for the youth who carry the burden of the world. And what are we supposed to do as our guts ache? What are we supposed to do as our hands shake? Do we view the world through immaculate lenses or do we unravel its toxicity. Do we cut ties and dream hard enough for it all to wash away.
Revolution, an uprising, an innovative plan is what we need. Praying to God isn’t working, grieving isn’t viable, scrawling words of wisdom on bathroom stalls doesn’t make a difference. Poisoning the antagonist would cause chaos, feeding the system would only fatten it up. So, tonight, in the dead of darkness, carrying lucky coins and images of our lovers, we’ll rip against the grain and fight to eradicate enemy lines, with a revolution in mind.