It could have been hours or minutes or days when next Jurgis regains consciousness and comes to. His arm is bandaged and stiff, sore but better feeling, his thigh is on fire but it too is bandaged. He has a massive headache and his eyeballs feel about to burst out of his skull.
He looks around and sees a nice walnut table beside the bed and a whole slew of papers that had a cow logo on them. On further inspection he noticed that they said the Fourth Street Locker and Processing.
Above the desk he notices a storage locker reminiscent of high school gymns. Another walnut table across the room is filled with various Victorinox professional boning knives with the handles well worn and the sharpener near by. It was a wheel grinder one which Jurgis was quite familiar with. Quite the great machine to keep handy in a professional slaughtering locker. He had quite the affinity for these knives and the angle that he would steel the knive to maintain constant sharp edges. He was quite aware of the days he had not remembered the physical degree of its edge and paid dearly for those days. His shoulder and back would hurt immensely if his knife could not be sharpened.
Looking further around he saw nothing else of interest except for looking at his feet he noticed he was chained to the bed in the room.
“What is this about?” Asks our friend as he is still puzzled.
Out of nowhere he hears the unmistakable sound of a .22 Long Rifle being fired and then an all too familiar sound of gates opening and metal clanking and death throes of an animal happening. The other direction sounded a bell likened unto a door buzzer. There was fast, flourid conversation and then the door buzzer sounded again. Then there was silence. An odd silence.
Here he begins to think to himself is where they bring people who won’t pay the crooked cops his asking price. He pulls his rock that he has had since the age of 10 when his father was dropped into a pit and the soldiers were there shooting at him. He as a little boy tried to get them to stop. Tried to get them to explain what his father did wrong but no one would or could. All he could do was watch. Afterwards he looked down at his wonderful father with contempt like he was a bad man and picked up a rock which he was about to throw at the man laying dead, when some pretty girl walking past, stopped him. She looked him in the eyes and shook her head no and he understood what she had meant by that gesture. He was told that his father was a good man, who had died standing up for what was right, and did not die dishonorably. She made him think before throwing the rock and that was enough for him to stuff it into his pants pocket. He carried it everywhere he went from that time on. His rock had become familiar to him. Every crease, ridge and mark was ingrained into his memory. He could draw it without looking at it.
He was soon asked his name by her, the pretty girl who saved him from doing something stupid. He fumbled with the words but sputtered that it was Jurgis. She gave him a hug and said that her name was Ona. From that day forward until the cartel shooting, she would be his companion, helpmate and guide. They would go through rough times, good times and things that made them laugh. They would share secrets and triumphs and everything from the past.
They would share coffee by the truckload, Mountain Dew by the boatload and of course love by the mother lode. He enjoyed such fine and wonderful times with her, his beautiful wife and such great friendship that others were envious. He had it all until that fateful, terrible day that changed everything. But from that day of her stopping him, they interwove their strengths and weaknesses into something spectacular. They wove their lives into a tapestry of unimaginable beauty.
This room became his prison for who knows how long. He had time to reflect and time to ponder what it was that brougth him here in the first place. He was seeking a new life. One where he could go where his ability enabled him and not just be a puppet. He wanted freedom. He wanted to know know that he could rise above anything and everything to get rewarded beyond mere poverty. He wanted more and was hungry for it. He needed something big in his life. He figured life owed that to him for all the hell he had walked through. Such wonderfully big things. He wanted a chance to change his world, to leave it better then he found it. He wanted to succeed and be recognized as just that, a success. He wanted the money and not the fame. His whole life’s ambition was to run his own meat shop. Something he had done since he was a little kid helping out at his uncle Ted Folo’s store. Quite a reputation he had earlier in life because of his awesome butchering skills. He would later regret having had to do that for a living.
He knew these sounds he was hearing very well. He had heard them and been part of them since he was very little. His mind understood them all so very well that he could trace his fingers lovingly over the shackles that hold the animal to the worn and comfortable stock of the gun. He could pull out a shell and trace its three lines near the tip of the shell. He could pull a shell out of his pocket and caress it with such a profound sense of awe at the ability produced by brass and lead. He could trace his hand over his pockets and know by weight how many shells he had left. He loved this .22 rifle with a profound respect. It saved his life on numerous occasion. It enabled him to drop huge beasts and small alike. He could pull the Ruger 10 shot clip out and deftly maneuver another shell into its slot, be putting that shell in the chamber and flicking the safety in a seamless dance of motion. He was that gifted because of how long and how often he had done this motion. He was a professional at this point.