El Jefe


The jungle air was still, thick, and heavy. Ricardo Massamba Jurgensen was a bundle of nerves strung taut. It was too quiet, too still. He knew that something was about to happen, he just wasn’t sure what. The rebel leader gnawed on the end of the cigar that he held clamped between his teeth. He liked to chew on his smoke for an hour or two before lighting it, and he didn’t allow smoking around the baby. There was a ban on smoking around his baby that was punishable by death. As long as your cheroot was unlit you were not smoking. So far he had not had to kill anyone but he supposed it was only a matter of time. The adoption had only been finalized at Christmas, thanks to the help of his Mamá. Sooner or later someone would screw up.

Mamá worked and moved with the band of rebels. She had been the one to complete the work with the agency at Babyland. She had been the one to clear the way for his dream to come true. Mamá was the one who had helped him to finally, secure his son. It was a pity about the boy’s name, but one of the conditions of the adoption was that the child must maintain his birth name, his identity. Had it been up to El Jefe he would have named his son, Salvador Alejandro Jurgensen but it was not to be. Oh well, it was a small price to pay. Soon the name Montgomery Ward Jurgensen would be known and revered throughout the land. His father would see to that.

El Jefe pushed aside the tent flap to check on his boy. Mamá cared for him on most days, and she was there today; typing at her field desk, unlit cigar clenched between her tobacco stained teeth; while her assistant, Carlos, moved his foot in time to the clattering keys. He rocked the cradle where Montgomery slept, and he held a Kalashnikov rifle in his arms like a baby of his own. Carlos thought that the boy slept a lot. He seemed unanimated and didn’t talk yet. He had mentioned his concerns to his leader, but El Jefe had dismissed them. Chalking this behaviour up to the boy’s age. He was, after all, only three months old.

“What are you writing, Mamá?” El Jefe asked his mother.

“I’m writing a reply to the adoption centre in Georgia, USA about Montgomery. I mailed them before to express my concern about his lethargy. I told them that he appeared to be a happy baby, never crying – always smiling, but I explained that he seemed to lack energy and often seemed, unresponsive.”

“What did they tell you, Mamá?”

“They told that this behavior is normal for Cabbage Patch Kids and that I should not be concerned. I’m thanking them for getting back to me so quickly. I believe that young Montgomery will grow into a fine man.”

A Tuesday morning response to another Monday Writing Prompt generously provided by The Secret Keeper.


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