Reacquired4 mins 91 4 mins 91
A few months later I was sitting in a bar, spinning the bottle caps when I overheard that there was going to be a rather large shipment of books heading to the Smithsonian. At first, my alcohol-addled brain paid little attention until my ears heard precious metals. “Well, I’ll be damned,” I thought. “They are moving them.” I leaned in closer. From the details I could pick up, they were going to use an armored vehicle as a decoy only. Very interesting, the real shipment was going out in a UPS truck. “HA!” my mind screamed. This is my chance to reclaim what was mine. The University never paid me what was promised, so technically they were still mine. So, it looked like it was time to get a job.
The next day I managed to get a job at the university and, with a few 20s and back-scratching, I was put on the detail for moving the chronicles to its new home, mine. The other two were mountains of men, without that spark in their eye. In other words, they were like oxen, strong as hell but dumb. Good for me, unless I got caught. The thought still sends shivers down my spine. Anyway, I was to be the co-pilot for the first part of the trip. I took this opportunity to snooze up to my coworkers. By the time we got to the rest stop where I was to take over the driver, I was like their long lost brother. You know, the one that left them there while they were on the toilet. I could only imagine the look on their dull oxen faces. I wondered how long it would take before they realized I wasn’t coming back. Awhile I figured.
Didn’t matter either way, about a mile down the road there was a little gravel access road for the billboards that lined the highway. I had a rather unremarkable white van parked in the woods off to the side of that nice, conveniently placed road. My pits were soaked by the time I traveled that long, long mile. And there was my rather bland van right where I left it the night before; thank God it didn’t drive itself away. I pulled the UPS truck around to the back of the van, where it got stuck in the mud. Oh well, I’ll just carry my Chronicles to the van, man they were heavier than I remembered. Got everything loaded up and my clothes changed, I took all the evidence that pointed to me and chucked it all in the back of the UPS truck. I even took the tomes out of the shipping crates and tossed them in the back. Oh my, where did all of this gasoline come from? “Oops, that was an expensive spill” my mind gleefully giggled, or I might even have said it to myself I was so gleefully nervous. It’d be a shame if my cigar fell out of my mouth and lit it up.
The smoke still couldn’t be seen as I pulled back onto the highway. I listened to the news on several stations as I headed to the state line, nothing until I was about five or so miles from the border. Even at that, it was a blip about a vehicle fire just off the highway.
When I got back to my ranch it was pitch dark, I drove the van straight into the barn and unloaded my property. This part I really hadn’t planned out so I was kind of lost on what to do. I knew I had to hide the tomes in a secure location, so I put them in the loft of the barn in a couple of old cedar boxes that my grandfather saved from when they shipped him his tractor parts sometime in the ’40s. Dizzy with giddiness I walked right into the backhoe and knocked myself out.
I guess you can say the idea literally hit me. The ride in the backhoe to the creek that ran through the middle of my property was very bumpy and did not help my headache. I dug a ten-foot deep hole in a matter of hours and drove the backhoe back as the sun came up. The next night I lay to rest my only accomplice, it was a fine funeral.
The rest of the day I spent glancing through my new, shiny library. The chronicles spoke of ancient ones and dragon men. Spired cities and slave mines. Of great kings and power-mad emperors. Armies of men riding mastodons into battle and the most interesting and formidable Sky Knights. These stories need to be translated and made available to the public; it seems the gods have chosen me to start the translation. So many books, it will probably to more than my lifetime to complete. God help me.