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Responsibility & revenge
Nicaragua, Last winter

[Image: Edgar.jpg]
Zacarías Secada Amengual
El Tiburón, The Shark

Zacarias tucked his hands in his pants pockets, and turned in a slow circle. Glass crunched under his sandals as he did, but he paid the flimsy shards no mind. He could imagine the grounds on which he stood once brimming with guests: children running poolside, dogs leaping. Even now, all these years later, he could imagine the smell of roasting meats wafting through the courtyard.  No such mirth existed now. The entire beach-town was boarded up and business abandoned. Trash drums were tossed into the bowl of a former pool. Shingles ripped from the roof. Wild flowers grew in cracks, cigarette butts were more plentiful than shells.No hammocks. No gardens. 

The Land of Lakes & Volcanos was a popular tourist destination during the early years of the twenty-first century. These images were not so difficult to conjure, for they were his own. Wealthy as the Amenguals were when he was a child, they loved their country. His parents introduced it to their two sons like a beloved heirloom they were to someday inherit. A responsibility, his father told Andres and him, to care for what came before and nurture what was to follow.

Maybe it was Andres’ death that stirred up the nostalgia in Zacarias. It didn’t matter. He was here again, ready and willing to fight for what was stripped of their beautiful nation. Who did the stripping was a more complicated revenge to resolve.

He strolled heedless of the eyes that watched his actions, lost in the shadows of yesteryear. The building required demolished, but pictures could be found, and restoration was never impossible. Nothing was impossible. Not for him. His walk was tailed by El Primero, his First, and the leader of their financial operations, Armando. As a long-time associate, dare to term, a friend, Armando kept his silence out of respect for Zacarias’ mood.

When broken sidewalks turned to sinking sands, Zacarias’ and Armando pushed through the growth and found themselves on the beach. The rolling water washed away the filthy stenches hovering around the abandoned resort at their back. He drew in a deep breath. “Buy them all, Armande. The first reservation opens this summer.”

“That’s very fast, Zacar. There is much work to be done.” Armando’s response went unacknowledged.

Jaw set, he took one last look at the beach, washed in the memories of being chased by Andres along this tree line, and proceeded toward the cars. By the time he climbed into the lead vehicle, the purchase was made.

If Zacarias had money to burn, he had the obligation to use it well.
Only darkness shows you the light.

Present day

[Image: Edgar.jpg]
Zacarías Secada Amengual
El Tiburón, The Shark
El volcán

The restoration of the Nicaraguan coast attracted the right kind of attention. Months following the declaration of his intent, Zacarias’ reputation expanded. People loved his flags flitting on ocean breezes. ZA had a nice ring to it and looked sharp on a logo. ZA, Zacarias Amengual, built legitimate business circling around tourism and property; but tourism was a flashy word for trafficking and property a screen for the poverty surrounding it.

He disconnected the call mid-flight, tapped his lip and peered out the window. Vast swaths of green hills stretched the earth below like shag carpet. Volcanoes dotted the curve of the horizon, but the power rolling under the surface was a sight he could never see enough. Where Andres loved the water and adopted the moniker of El Tiburon, Zacarias was fascinated by the power of the churning earth, and El Volcan was a new name now shared on hushed lips.

The call ended not so positively for himself, but despite the shallow disappointment in his American caller, Zacarias was optimistic. The potential was flush for the future; like the power just threatening to spill over the edges, the world would soon swarm in his product. As soon as it was perfected. They were so close, he could taste it. The people of Nicaragua had a sampling though. The mighty rich filling his resorts were only teased; enough dead sons of rich bitches might destroy the undertaking before the product had a chance to bleed into the larger market. But the jungles were a vast, dense canopy. They held many bodies; forgotten and soon returned to the soil like any other organic decomposed matter.

He summoned a screen and swiped through the various company websites his American friend described. Although of Nicaraguan descent, the good doctor was born and raised in the States. He trained there as well, but he could not forego his roots for they delved deep as the foundations of those volcanoes and what was inherited by blood was not always skin-deep.

Lucky for that cockroach, Diaz, the doctor was next to nothing to Zacarias. He would soon cross swords with someone far more interesting.
Only darkness shows you the light.


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