Raven Series # 6 | Jump to Raven # 1
A ratty looking gringo I’d never seen before sauntered into the dive shop. Outside, Ramón stood in the shade by his licuado cart. He was watching through the window.
“I’m looking for Pantas,” the stranger said.
“I don’t know anyone named Pantas.”
“She said you’d say that.”
“Pantas. She said to ask for Pantas and you’d say you didn’t know. That’s how I’d know I was talking to the right guy.”
“What if there is no person named Pantas? Then nobody would know her.”
“In this dive shop? C’mon.”
“What else did this person I don’t know tell you?”
“That you would know what her name was before it was Pantas.”
I looked the guy over. The sun had faded his clothes and tanned his skin. He was a little dirty, but not stoned. His backpack looked road-worn, but it wasn’t stained. So far, he’d said all the right things.
“Pantas comes from KP,” I said.
“She said there is more to it than that.”
“KP stands for Kid Pants. I called her that when she was little. Pantas is a shortened version of pantalones.”
“OK,” the guy said. “Here’s the message. Raven said to hurry up.”
“With the envelope.”
“Where is she now?”
“I don’t know. All she said was hurry up and she’d meet you at Santa Sofía’s after.”
“After you do whatever it is you gotta do, man. I don’t know.”
“Ok,” I said. “Thanks.”
“Raven said there’d be a drink in this for me.”
“She did, huh?”
I slid him a few bills. “‘When Raven says drink she means one of Ramón’s licuados. That’s him outside.”
The guy pocketed the money.
I asked him, “You have a place to stay for the night?”
“These days I usually hang my hammock on the beach.”
“A little, yeah.”
“You want a room with a shower?”
“I’d love one.”
I tossed him a wooden token for a room at the hostel. “Tell Javier I said dinner is on me. Stay off the booze. We’ll leave early in the morning.”
“I don’t know yet. I’m gonna go sacrifice a chicken and figure it out.”