The Odyssey of JUDGE Santiago Burdon begins in the “City of Big Shoulders”, as Sandburg called it in his poem “Chicago”.
His father named him Judge, hoping he would pursue a career in law. He had no idea his son would end up appearing in front of so many.
He attended Universities in the United States and abroad, focusing his studies on Victorian Literature and Authors.
Santiago’s short stories and poems have been featured in over one hundred fifty Magazines, On-line Literary Journals, Podcasts and Anthologies. He was listed in “Who’s Who of Emerging Writers 2020” and again in 2021.
His first book “Stray Dogs and Deuces Wild Cautionary Tales” was published in January 2020 by Arthur Graham Editor Horror Sleaze Trash Press. His next book, a collection of poems, “Not Real Poetry” was published in July 2021 by Steve Cawte, Editor of Impspired Press, Lincolnshire, England.
Arthur Graham, Editor of Horror Sleaze Trash Press launched Santiago’s third book, “Quicksand Highway” , more short stories of adventurous mayhem, in September 2021.
Steve Cawte, Editor/Publisher Impspired Press, published “Fingers In The Fan” the fourth book by Santiago in July 2022.
‘Tequila’s Bad Advice’ ( poetry with the worm) another collection of visceral poems, is slated to be published in December 2022.
‘Overdose of Destiny ‘ (Impulse Fiction) will be his 6th book. Once again he provides more short stories of a Bohemian lifestyle with the same bizarre tales, gritty dialogue and dark humor Santiago has made popular in his past books. It is due to be launched in February 2023.
Santiago turned 69 last July and is close to completing a nonfiction novel ‘Imitation of Myself ‘ divulging experiences while working as a drug runner for a Mexican Cartel. He is living modestly in Costa Rica.
Johnny and I had just gotten out of the Carlos Vivas concert along with our dates for the evening. I suggested we head to one of my favorite Restaurants for a late night meal. Everyone was in agreement since I offered to buy. Slowly, rhythmically, like a Mozart second movement arm in arm I walked with my incredibly attractive date. We were strolling behind Johnny and his girl and of course he had his hand on her ass. It was a short distance to the Lincoln Towncar I recently acquired through a transaction from a misfortunate pendejo. He was given an eight year mandatory vacation for robbing a high end jewelry store. In an attempt to fence the cache quickly, he unknowingly dealt with the cousin of the owner whose store he had robbed.
It is a nice enough ride but sometimes it becomes difficult to maneuver on some of the city’s narrow streets and tight turns. So I hired a chauffeur. It was still a righteous purchase and his wife appreciated the cash especially with three children to raise on her own.
I couldn’t turn down this colorful character’s request for employment.
” Pleased to meet you mate, they call me Mickey Sixpence. I’m originally from New Castle, on the Tyne, United Kingdom,” is how he introduced himself. He mentioned that he doesn’t like New Castle Ale and the New Castle United Fútbol Team are a bunch of Wankers. Then in a polite tone he requested I don’t refer to those subjects if I attempt to make small talk.
We met at the Casino one night and he had lost all of his money. He asked me if there might be a chance I could float him a few Quid until his pension was deposited. Now I had no fucking idea how much a few Quid was but I told him I’d lend him fifty dollars but first I would need to know where he lived and worked.
His apartment, it turned out, was across the street from mine. He wasn’t employed at the time but worked as a chauffeur back in the U.K. for some very distinguished and infamous clients.
I found him to be a nice enough guy and as I started to hand him the money he began giving me his pitch on why I should hire him.
“You know something? You could use my services. I see you every once in a while driving that big Lincoln of yours and I think you’d enjoy being chauffeured around. I know this city like it was my hometown and we can negotiate my salary. I can make myself available twenty four seven. And I’m one hell of a body guard as well. And I keep my mouth shut. How do you feel about that boss?”
“The name is Santiago, don’t call me boss. Give me a day to think about it and I’ll let you know.”
” Fair enough, Boss.”
He’s turned out to be a decent and entertaining employee. Johnny appreciates having him around; they get along famously with one another and communicate on the same low frequency.
Mickey is a large fellow with enormous fists missing some knuckles. It’s obvious he’s been in his fair share of street scuffles. His head is shaved, you can tell his nose has been broken a few times, much like mine. He has a hysterical laugh , complemented by that scary kind of smile. I guess he’s maybe thirty five years old, and drinks his Gin and Tonic without the lime. Something about not wanting people to call him ‘Limey’ along with some bullshit about having had a couple of distant relatives killed while fighting during the Crusades. He pointed out all they accomplished was bringing back the lime and introducing it to the U.K. I thought it made for an interesting subplot and called on him to tell the story on a few occasions. The one fact I found somewhat bizarre as well as humorous was his desire to become a professional Ventriloquist with an astounding act he already has worked out and sure audiences will clamor for.
Everybody has to have a dream, an aspiration, a goal in life, the desire to be somebody. He talks with a robust Georgie English accent that when he speaks Spanish it has the inflection of a distinct juxtaposition. It could be best described as listening to Classical music in a biker bar.
We turned a corner into a street which was dark with just a few working street lights. I instantly became cautious and I wanted Johnny to be aware of my feelings .
“Hey carnal.” I softly said to get J.R.’s attention.
“Yo sé jefe. Soy listo.” He answered back.
(I know chief. I’m ready.)
The Towncar came into view as we walked past a Hardware Store with delivery trucks parked out front.
Then like a Chicago Saturday night gunshots rang out with bullets penetrating the delivery trucks with some pinging off of the brick building from an Automatic Rifle. I assumed it was an AK-47 because they’re a very popular choice of gang members here.
Without delay we took cover behind a Dump Truck. I returned fire with my Glock toward a Dumpster where I had noticed some rifle flashes.
Johnny crouched down next to me with the girls safely hiding in the store’s brick entryway.
I fired off a couple more rounds, then Johnny followed suit firing two shots from his antique 38 Police Special.
“I’m out.” Johnny reports.
” What do ya mean you’re out?”
” I’m out. You know, I don’t have any more bullets. I’m out.”
” You only fired twice. You’re telling me you only had two bullets loaded in your pistol? Well reload dumbshit. What are you waiting for?” I ordered.
I could see the answer in his eyes before he said a word.
” So that’s all you brought with you is two rounds? What if we got into a shoot out and needed to defend ourselves? Wait a second, call me Nostradamus, that’s exactly what’s happening right now!”
“Don’t holler at me Santi I will not ever let it happen again. I’m sorry.”
“Let me see if I can talk to these guy’s and find out why they’re shooting at us. Maybe I can negotiate a ceasefire .”
I hollered out into the darkness hoping to open a line of communication.
” Hey, what is the problem here? Who are you guys and why are you shooting at us?”
” Because you are going with my girlfriend Carmen. And I am very mad by it.” A voice from the darkness responds.
“That’s Carmen’s crazy ass boyfriend Rodrigo. He is a jealous pendejo and she has not been with him for a long time.” My date Diana yells.
” It is true. Rodrigo follows me all the time and makes trouble for me.” Carmen, Johnny’s date says.
” So did you know about this Telenovela (soap opera) drama story before you decided to ask her out?” I interrogate Johnny.
” She said…” He stops explaining.
“What is going on?” The psycho ex boyfriend screams.
“Hold on Rodrigo give us a minute we’re working this out.” I yell out hoping to buy us some time.
“This guy is going through a lot of trouble to win her back. All he has to do is kill her cat and hang it in front of her door. Right Johnny?”
“You are now not a very funny guy. Why are you laughing?”
” You know why I’m laughing. Out of all the women in this city you choose this woman with a psycho boyfriend stalking her. What’s wrong with you Rico?”
Johnny doesn’t answer. He hangs his head down, mumbling to himself.
” Carmen, what do you want to do?” I ask the psycho’s ex-girlfriend.
“Carmen, come here talk to me.” Rodrigo pleads.
“No Rodrigo, go away I don’t want to be with you anymore.”
With that a burst of automatic gunfire rings out. Well that didn’t get the response I was hoping for.
” So Johnny I have no role in this lover’s spat. I’m going to get my date and go. You can deal with the jealous psychopath yourself. This is all your doing.”
“Santiago, are you being a joker? Please don’t leave me alone. This pendejo is a crazy one. I think he might kill me.”
” Carmen, come here now.” Rodrigo yells.
Suddenly some headlights come up behind us and the car squeals to a stop sitting sideways toward the action. Mickey exits the Lincoln with an automatic rifle laying down a line of defensive fire.
“Come on, hurry, get in, boss.”
Mickey commands while once again firing off more rounds.
I ran over to Diana, grabbed her hand, pulled her out and into the Lincoln. I don’t have any idea how, but Johnny and Carmen were both already inside. Closing the door, I tell Mickey we’re ready. He fires off another burst, hops into the car, puts it in gear and with tires screeching and smoking we are gone.
“Good form Mickey. Where in the hell did you get the automatic rifle?” I ask.
” I always keep one in the trunk. Spare tire, jack and automatic rifle. Should always be prepared.”