John shook the bars of his cell. "Let me go! Liberarme!"

A door opened at the end of the hall. A man in dirty clothes stepped out. He had a gun hanging from his belt. "Silencio!" the man said. He tapped his gun and closed the door. John thought he saw his brother, Brian, in the room.


John had not seen Brian in a long time. Three years ago, Brian had had an argument with their father. Brain had said he was going to make a big score and had stormed out. Three days ago, John had received a mysterious phone call from Brian telling him to go to Boca de la Sierra, Mexico.

John turned. Someone stood against the wall. John was startled. "Brian?" John said, "Is.. is that you?"

Brian pointed. John turned to look but saw nothing.

"Find Niru," Brian whispered and vanished. John shivered. John sat on the cot and closed his eyes.

***

John opened his eyes. Brian appeared. John screamed.

"What do you want?" John said.

"Forgive me," Brian said.

John rubbed his eyes and shook his head. "This can't be real."

"Find Niru," Brian said and vanished.

"I must be going crazy," John said. He felt the bump on his head. "Probably a concussion."

John closed his eyes. A voice whispered in his ear.

"John, you're not crazy. I'm sorry I haven't been there for you. Please find Niru. He will guide you.”

John opened his eyes as if from a dream. He heard foot steps and voices. The cell door next to his opened and then closed again.

Brian appeared. John screamed. Brian pointed in the same direction as before.

"No," John said, "You got your self killed. That's on you. Don't expect me to finish whatever it is you've started." Johns eyes teared up.

Brian lowered his arm and watched John.

"Hello?" a voice said from outside the cell, "Brian, is that you?"

"Please John," Brian's voice whispered in John's ear. "I'm sorry I wasn't there for you. Please forgive me. I can not rest until you find me."

"If I am going crazy," John thought, "Then none if this is real. But, if this is real, then Brian - "

"Please say something." The voice said.

John looked around. The cracked walls frowned at him and the dirt floor mocked him.

John got up and grabbed onto the bars of the cell.

"Hey," He said, "Are you Niru?"

"Yes, who are you?"

"I'm John,” He swallowed, “I'm Brian's brother. Brian's ghost appeared to me and told me to find you."

After a few moments of silence, Niru said, "Bull shit."

***

Niru paced around the cell. He recalled stories of spirits visiting relatives at their time of death. Until now, he never believed.

"Hello, old friend," Brian said. Niru screamed.

"Brian!" Niru said.

"Ha!" John said from the next cell. "I knew I wasn't crazy!"

"What happened to you, Brian?" Niru said.

"John will help you now,” Brian said, “He will need your friendship and guidance."

"Does he have your father's training?"

"Yes, but he is reckless," Brian said.

"Then he truly is your brother." Niru said.

"Can you get out of this cell?" Brian said.

Niru walked over to the cot. He reached underneath and pulled off a rusty spring. "I can use this to pick the lock." Niru went to work.

***

Brian appeared in front of John. John screamed.

"Can you pick the lock?” Brian said.

"No, I have a better idea." John grabbed the bars and shook. "Hey! Let me out!"

"What are you doing?" Niru said, "You're going to get us killed!"

"Relax,” John said, “We need to take care of the guard sooner or later. I'm sick of waiting."

The guard swung open the door, his hair matted and eyes half closed. "What do you want?" He said.

John mumbled. The guard moved closer. John reached through the bars, grabbed the gun from the guard's belt, and pointed it at him. “Keys!" John said.

The guard tried to run. John shot the guard in the knee. He fell, screaming. "Give me the keys or I let you bleed," John said. The guard threw the keys. John picked them up and unlocked the cell door. John handed the keys to Niru. John did a double take.

"I can't believe you shot him, John," Niru said. He bent down to take care of the wounded guard.

"More guards are coming," Brian said. "Your things are in there." He pointed towards the guard's room.

Niru finished the tourniquet. They ran into the room. They gathered up their wallets, keys and phones. They exited through the window.

They ran to a nearby car. The door was unlocked. They got in and John ducked under the dash board.

"I hear them,” Niru said.

"Almost got it," John said. The engine started.

"Go!" Niru said.

"Ha ha!" John yelled. Gun shots fired as they drove away.

“We need to find Brian's body,” Niru said.

“Do you know where?” John said.

“I'm in Brisbane,” Brian said.

John and Niru screamed.

“Can you wear a bell or something?” John said.

“Why were you in Brisbane?” Niru said.

“To get the key,” Brian said. He disappeared.

“What key?” John said.

“I don't know,” Niru said, “Our plan was to meet up in Mexico, then go to Santa Cruz.”

“Well, I hear Australia is nice this time of year.”

***

John and Niru flew from Los Cabos International to Brisbane. They rented a Jeep and drove west to Mount Coot-Tha forest until they saw Brian's ghost standing in the road. They found Brian's body two miles south of where they stopped.

"They executed him," Niru said.

John's eyes welled with tears. "I swear I'll find who killed him." John wiped the tears away. Brian stood pointing as John searched the body. "When we were kids, we used to take the T into Boston," John said, “We hid our money in our socks. That way, if we got pick-pocketed, they wouldn't find anything." John found the key. He smiled, then laughed. "Looks like it still works." He said. Brian vanished. They examined the key.

“I need to get to Santa Cruz,” John said.

"John, we must lay his body to rest," Niru said.

"No time,” John said. “His spirit is at rest now. I'll make a call to the BPD when we get back into town".

Niru knelt next to Brian's body and touched his shoulder. "Good bye, old friend," He said.


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