The Visions of Carlos Rivera

by

Brian C. Petroziello




Diego Sanchez looked out the window overlooking the Plaza De la Revolucion. He watched the rabble that milled through the square and into the dusty streets and alleys that dotted the capital city of Costa Azucar. The men wore frayed white loose-fitting shirts and pants marbled with perspiration stains the color of the thick, tan choking dust of the streets. Most had bundles secured to their backs, or pulled wooden, wheeled carts laden with produce or the cane that lent its name derisively to Costa Azucar. The women were attired in pale dresses and shawls that once held the colors of the rainbow after a soft summer rain; amphoras and baskets balanced precariously on their heads.

The hot sun beat down though it was yet early in the day, causing the stark white buildings to glisten and shimmer in the intense waves of heat that rippled up from the ground. The light-box sky stung his eyes even through the dark lenses of his aviator glasses. The heat of the street and the garb of the throngs boldly contrasted with the air conditioned comfort of the room in the Presidential Palace in which he stood, and with the crisply starched military uniforms worn by Sanchez and the man standing next to him, Carlos Rivera, Presidente of Costa Azucar.

Sanchez' eyes misted at the tableau of life and death being played out in the streets and plazoletas below. It was now two years since he, Rivera, and the Larristas had climbed the blood soaked and bullet pocked steps of the Presidential Palace and wrested control of the tiny nation from the despotic junta that claimed sovereignty over the people. It had been a long and bitter struggle, from the hills in the north to the shores of the Caribbean in the east. There was rejoicing in the streets, and a collective sigh from the people at the promise brought by the change of regimes. It was the promise of full stomachs and free thought. Promises that were decidedly unkept. In fact, freedom for the masses was still an idea whose time had not yet come.

"You look troubled, Sanchez. Is this not a glorious day on which to be alive? The sun is shining; the heat is on the other side of the wall; there is nothing for which we want. The revolution has been good to Costa Azucar. Why do you look so glum?" asked Rivera.

"The revolution has been good to us, Carlos, but not to the people who struggle under the burdens of everyday living. In my mind the revolution is not yet finished; things are not sweet enough in Costa Azucar," answered Sanchez.

"There are others who mouth such opinions, Sanchez. Their traitorous corpses dot the landscape. I am sure it was but a poor choice of words on your part," replied Rivera.

Sanchez let out the breath of air he had held deep in his lungs. His left hand defensively fingered the butt of his sidearm, but he thought better of taking it out. "Yes, and the number grows daily. There was such promise in the early days in the mountains, Carlos. We seem to have lost our purpose. Sometimes, I think the only thing that separates us from the Dictator we defeated is the manufacture of the boots that we use to crush the people."

"Before we can achieve the glorious Eden that we envisioned, we must be free of obstruction and interference. Then we can use all of our resources to move forward with our great humanitarian programs."

Sanchez did not respond to this spurious rhetoric -- the official party line -- even though every fiber of his being wanted to shout down the lies, but he knew that even the Foreign Minister of Costa Azucar would be permitted to go only so far. He feared that he had already crossed the line lately. His attempts at being the conscience of the Revolution only served to anger Rivera. He knew that elusive shadows, and furtive specters would dog his every step from that moment on. He changed the subject: "And the purpose of today's meeting?" he asked.

Carlos Rivera looked at his watch. "We are nearly at the appointed hour. There, see -- in the plaza. One of the critics of the People's Government approaches."

Sanchez followed in the direction of Rivera's finger, and saw a small knot of men moving in the direction of the Palace. Soldiers of the People's Army snapped to full alert along the intended route, weapons at the ready. At the head of the procession strode an old man. For all his apparent age, there was strength in his gait. The man was dressed in traditional Mayan colors. A wide brimmed, almond colored hat guarded his features from Sanchez' line of sight.

"Who is he?" asked Sanchez.

"A prophet in his own land, Diego. They say he is a Mayan priest; something of a shaman who possesses mystical powers. They call him Chula Peten. He has been rallying the rabble and the Indians in the countryside against us with his prophecy, and, I suspect, he has been providing food and a safe haven to the counter-revolutionaries. We shall see what kind of magic he really has."

Sanchez nodded in recognition. He had yet to lose any of the guerilla fighter's instincts, as he thought Carlos had. "I would advise caution, Presidente. I have heard rumors of this man. It is said that he learned his arts in Chichen Itza in the plains of the Yucatan."

"Amidst the weed covered ruins of a forgotten city? Let the dead walls talk to him as they will, Sanchez."

"No, Carlos, not in the ashes of a dead place, but in a bustling Mayan temple city," Sanchez said. "Do you understand the significance of that? The man claims to have witnessed the Conquistadors as a youth. Not all knowledge in this world is to be gained in universities and laboratories. There is much knowledge that have been lost to the rest of the world. And there are still places in the Montaňes del Cielo where human feet have never trod. Who knows what dark secrets he may possess?" Sanchez shook his head vigorously and gestured toward Chula Peten. "It would be unwise to take this man lightly."

"I'm surprised at you, Diego," Rivera said, laughing. "We are not small boys scrambling over the rocky peaks and crags in the mountains of our youth, running from some imagined terror. No man can live for centuries! Chula Peten is a counter-revolutionary, nothing more. His power is insignificant next to that of the government and our allies. He rallies people with his voice, not his magic. I will crush him as I would a fly -- after I have some sport with him."

Sanchez shook his head again, and took a seat at the side of Rivera's opulent desk as two soldiers escorted Chula Peten to a position directly in front of it, and then departed. Sanchez could see the old man's face as he was led in. It was the consistency of leather, and the wrinkles and creases reminded him of the valleys and mountains of his youth. His age was unguessable, but that he was very ancient, there could be no doubt.

Sanchez found himself wondering if the rumors were true. Peten's time-worn face was proud, and his nose was long and straight; but his eyes were the most telling feature. There were twin black coals set deep in weathered sockets; they twinkled like embers in a brazier. They reminded Sanchez of the jet jeweled eyes of the statue of some ancient Mayan deity. The old man's muscles were knotted in tight cords under his dusky clothes. There was an odd vitality there that could neither be explained, nor ignored.

"Welcome, Chula Peten," said Rivera in a soft tone. "I am told that you have important matters that you wish to discuss with me. Never let it be said that the door of President Carlos Rivera is closed to his people. Please be seated." Rivera gestured toward a red leather chair.

"I stand for my people," said the Mayan.

"As you wish. And what is it that you wish of me?" asked Rivera, trying his best to sound genuinely concerned.

"To warn you of the dangers in the path you walk."

"Oh, I know of the dangers only too well. There are those who would see our glorious revolution fail. Even now they raise arms against us on our borders."

"The danger is not from without, but within, Carlos Rivera," responded the old man. "In the way that you grind the people under your boots. You have betrayed the very people who gave their lives for you. But there is still time to change."

"I am not proud of what I must do, but it is necessary to thwart those who oppose the revolution. When our foes are finally subdued -- when I can buy food for my people instead of guns -- then can I give the people their just due."

"Mere words," said the Mayan.

"My promise!" Challenged Rivera. "If you wish freedom and plenty for your clansman, then help me defeat our common enemy, and you will see what can be done."

"And how can I help you crush your enemies? And even if I could do such a thing, how could I be sure that you would keep your promise?"

"I have heard of your power and your command of knowledge that is forbidden to the rest of us," Rivera said. "You can provide me with the means to know what the counter-revolutionaries are planning, and where they hide. With that information, I will sweep them from the field." Rivera was nearly pleading, his hands spread wide. "And, as for my end of the bargain -- you have the word of the Presidente of Costa Azucar -- and Sanchez is my witness. If I fail to keep my promise to you, then I'm sure your revenge will be that much sweeter."

Sanchez was both amazed and aghast at the apparent sincerity that Rivera had managed.

"And on that you have my word," said Chula Peten. He tensed the thick cords of his muscles, and stood with his legs braced wide apart, as if to hold back the gates of hell itself. He bowed his head. In a hushed whisper he mouthed words in a tongue that was completely alien to Sanchez. It bore no resemblance to the smattering of Mayan with which he was familiar, and it caused the hair on the back of his neck to stand up like masses of soldiers at attention. A cold river of fear worked its way up his spine, and through his arms. He did not believe that the tongue in which Chula Peten spoke was that of man -- surely human lips were never meant to mouth that terrible language, nor were human vocal chords made to echo the shocking sound that emitted from Chula Peten's throat. The old Mayan's face twisted and contorted with the effort of his precision.

Tense moments passed until the Mayan dropped his arms to his sides, and raised his head. His chest heaved as he sought to recapture his breath. "It is done," was all he said.

Sanchez followed the old man's gaze to where Rivera was standing, now clutching at the corner of his desk for support with one hand, while covering his eyes with the other. He staggered slightly as if trying to orient himself within the room. He eased himself onto the edge of the desk.

He stared at the Mayan in disbelief. "What did you do?" he demanded.

"What you wished. Now you have many eyes with which to see your enemies. Whatever your likeness shall behold, so shall your mind." He raised his hand in a cautionary gesture. "There is a danger of which you must be warned. Each gift of the gods carries with it a corresponding curse. There are no exceptions. Your visage must be protected, for it will afford your enemies the means to defeat you."

Sanchez continued to watch Rivera. His discomfort was increasing, it was as if he did not know where he was. Sanchez could not know the strange sensations that flooded Rivera's mind, or the many different people and places he could see at the same time; some familiar; some remote and forbidding; some dimly lit and dank. The perspectives and angles were myriad; from panoramic to confining. Rivera strained to shove the maddening images aside, and to see the interior of his office, to regain control -- his control. With effort, he managed to bring the room into focus. He saw not one, but many views, as if he was standing in many places at once. The objects in the room danced in kaleidoscope fashion in his vision, leaping and darting each time he changed his position slightly. Finally, all of the images merged into one, but he could not escape the confusing feeling of seeing all sides of the room at once, nor the three dimensional flow of his sight.

The images that he saw stunned him. He could see men talking at a table in a small outdoor cafe. Their words, about bombing a power plant, reached him in crystal clarity, despite the din of the cafe, and the men's efforts to conceal their conversation. The scene then changed to that of two men, clad in uniforms of the revolution, passing papers discretely. He was brought out of his reverie by the booming voice of Chula Peten.

"Now for your part of the bargain," said Peten. "I will report your words to my people in the mountains, just as I shall report your hideous death if you fail."

"You can tell them that the People's Government of Costa Azucar will stop all of those who oppose our common goal." As he talked, he fumbled for a spot on the desk, all the time trying to hold his head still lest he disturb the delicate balance of his focus on the present time and place. The door burst open, and several soldiers stormed into the room. Rivera pointed in Chula Peten's direction. The nearest soldier felled the Mayan before he could react. The old man crumpled to the floor, bereft of his consciousness.

Rivera barked orders. "Take him away -- quickly, before he awakens, and show him a room in our finest prison!"

The soldiers removed the still form, leaving Sanchez and Rivera alone. Sanchez studied Carlos closely. His difficulties were more pronounced and apparent. "What did the old man do, Carlos?"

"Nothing," Rivera replied. "He was a raving fool, carried away with his daydreams. Soon he'll be a dead fool."

Sanchez was unconvinced. "In any event, you should heed the old man's warnings to protect yourself." Sanchez watched for a reaction.

"Simply an old man's feeble ramblings. Outside that door -- and in the barracks -- are all the strength I need to crush the enemies of the state. You may take your leave now, Sanchez. Let us not speak of this again." Rivera put his head in his hands. Sanchez obeyed, noting each tortured movement of Rivera's frame.

Sanchez returned to his office down the hall from the President's. An Air Force major was waiting in his office. Sanchez beckoned him to follow him, and raised a finger to his lips to make sure that he remained silent. They went quietly down the hall, and down the stairs to the rear of the building. Sanchez opened the door to the palace grounds. Sanchez made sure that there were no sentries within earshot.

"Is everything ready?" Sanchez asked the officer.

"Yes," he replied.

"Good, my wife and children will be at the airfield in an hour. Fly them to Honduras. If any one questions you, it is a holiday. One of the privileges of being a member of the ruling class of Costa Azucar."

"What about my family, sir?" asked the officer nervously.

"You have nothing to worry about. The families of the junior officers are safe. I, on the other hand, and my family, would be made examples of. Go, you have precious cargo, my young friend," replied Sanchez.

With that important detail seen to, Sanchez went directly to the office of Army Major, Jose Varga. After being let past the guards, and Varga's secretary, he closed the door tightly behind him.

"What was the spectacle in the Plaza?" Varga asked derisively. "I heard shots." He gazed in the direction of the ragtag, angry mob that had accompanied the Mayan shaman. Riot helmeted police moved forward to disperse them.

Sanchez swore a string of invectives under his breath, and relayed the details of the incident in Rivera's office.

"Mi Dios!" exclaimed Varga. "Rivera was probably right. He was just a senile old man."

"No, Varga. Nothing in that room came from God. I could feel the chill in the room when he wove his spell. It was as though he spoke the language of hell, itself. And I'm sure it had an effect on Carlos. He looked unsteady; like he was lost or drunk. He was having trouble standing."

"And what was the warning the Mayan spoke of? Is there a way to defeat Carlos?"

"I don't know, but we need to find out quickly. When can we arrange a safe meeting?" asked Sanchez.

"Two days -- at noon -- at the Esperanza Barracks. Building C is not being used," answered Varga.

"And the Air Force? Can we count on Major Rojas? Is he with us or not?" Sanchez demanded to know.

"Viejo thought it would not be wise to approach him, lest we reveal ourselves. Rojas appears to be fanatically loyal to Rivera, but I am sure he will side with whoever he thinks is winning," replied Varga.

"Then we will have to make sure the Air Force does not fly when the time comes. Keep the damage to a minimum if it can be helped. Our neighbors may try to take advantage of the confusion. The Air Force will be essential to keeping them at bay. Two days then -- at Esperanza."

Sanchez left, being careful not to be seen. He avoided the courtyard, and the ugly scene rapidly drawing to a bloody close in the Plaza. On the way to his staff car, he mulled over the old man's words, trying to find the key that unlocked the riddle of the warning to Rivera.

The next day brought many surprises. Rivera had ordered the removal of all the other offices but his own from the top floor of the Presidential Palace. The guard around the building was doubled, and the President could not be seen by any one but the Chief of Security, and the General Geraldo Espinoza, head of the Army of Costa Azucar.

The afternoon papers trumpeted military successes in the field against the guerrillas, and the exposure of more than two dozen conspiracies against Rivera and the Revolution. Normally, Sanchez would have discounted such reports as the product of a well oiled propaganda machine; and, indeed, he would have been privy to the falsified accounts. But, the constant din of the fusillades of the firing squads bore vocal evidence to the truth of the arrests. With each new salvo, the temperature of his blood rose.

On the following day, he commandeered a military vehicle, and drove to the Esperanza Barracks. He did not bother to read the morning's paper, or to listen to the state radio. He was afraid that he would only confirm his darkest fears.

When he arrived, he was admitted to the moldering barracks, and found Viejo, Jose Varga, and a score of junior officers waiting for him. Sanchez did not take a seat, but rather he chose to stand with his back to the front wall.

"Have you seen the papers?" Varga demanded.

"No, but the gunshots told me what I needed to know." answered Sanchez.

"Carlos is moving to crush his enemies. They must have been keeping this information hidden for months. Even the guerrilla groups are hard pressed to hold the Northern hills." Stated Varga. "I can't understand how he could have kept such information hidden from our agents," interrupted Viejo.

"The information is recent, Raoul; acquired by the means provided by the Mayan priest. I don't know how, but that is the only possible answer. Carlos has been holed up in the Palace for the last forty-eight hours, seeing no one. I am certain he has been providing information around the clock. The lights were on all night. The guards say he doesn't sleep. If we are going to stop him, we must move quickly, before he consolidates his gains, and before we are discovered." Sanchez searched the grim faces of the men in the room for any sign of weakness that could doom them all. They were but shadows in the heavy gloom of the disused building.

"We must make our plans, then. There are places to be secured, people to be eliminated. We need to find out how Rivera gets his information, or I fear we will fail," said Varga.

"The Mayan gave a warning. There must be a clue in his words," said Sanchez.

"Carlos may have already protected himself against the weakness of which the old man spoke," broke in Viejo, throwing his arms in the air.

"I think not. The changes were beginning even as the Mayan mouthed his abominable spell. Carlos appeared stunned -- disoriented. I don't believe he heard anything the old man's warning. So we will have an advantage if we can decipher the curse, and move quickly."

"I think we should forget this nonsense of spells and witchcraft. We should move men and arms -- now!" Said one of the junior officers. Sanchez could not make out his face in the shadows.

Suddenly, a flash of light caught his eye. It was the reflection of the sun off of a huge, rippling portrait of a sadistically grinning Carlos Rivera, one of many that adorned the exterior walls of the grey buildings of the compound. As he stared at the poster, he heard a commotion outside. The sounds of gunfire filled the still air, and the door of the barracks flew inward. Several soldiers crashed into the room, guns held level. More filed in behind them. An army captain nearest the door reached for his sidearm. Sanchez stayed his hand. "We must live to fight another day, no?" he queried.

The conspirators were placed in open staff cars for the ride back to the capital with Sanchez separated from the others. The intense heat of the tropical sun added to the perspiration that already streamed down his brow. All along the route, the hideous likenesses of Carlos Rivera grinned down at him, mocking him. Sanchez glared back at the visages. "For the soul of Chula Peten," he sneered, "just one chance, Carlos."

Eventually, he was led into Rivera's office, flanked by two guards. One of the soldiers propelled him into a high backed, red leather chair near the desk that now served as Rivera's command center. The guards took up positions on either side of the door, guns loosely cradled in their arms.

In moments, Rivera entered the room through a private doorway behind the desk. He wore mottled, green and black battle fatigues, topped off by thick, dark glasses. Sanchez found that fact interesting. From his vantage point, Sanchez could see the Plaza, where people milled around, protesting the recent mass arrests. In the chaos that accompanied the charge of the riot police, Sanchez observed a bottle strike one of the gargantuan posters of Rivera. In the moment of impact, he heard a low moan from Carlos' direction. He turned in time to see Carlos clutching his forehead. Little wheels turned in his mind.

"A bit of a headache, Carlos? I imagine you're quite busy trying to keep up with all of the arrests," Sanchez said.

"Directing them, you mean," answered Rivera. "This one gives me no pleasure, Sanchez, but if the choice is between the revolution or old comrades, then it is the revolution that must survive."

"The revolution Carlos, or you?" shot back Sanchez.

"It is the same." Carlos removed his glasses, and Sanchez flinched as he saw the white orbs in Rivera's head; the pupils were not in evidence. It was though his eyes were turned inward.

"And for that we must kill harmless old men?" retorted Sanchez.

"Ah, Chula Peten. He is not dead -- not yet, and he is not as harmless as you think. He has done Costa Azucar a fine service, but he is, in fact, quite dangerous. I have taken great precautions to preserve his work. I hope you noticed the elaborate security on your way in. I have chosen to heed the old man's words after all."

Sanchez could not help but feel his bowels turn to jelly as he thought that he had surely failed.

"As for you, I have a cell next to Peten's. I am disappointed that your family is conveniently out of the country. No matter. I have agents abroad, who can remedy that situation. It is too bad that you forgot who your real friends were, Diego. You could have enjoyed the fruits of our victory, now you will suffer the consequences of your foolish actions," said Rivera. He motioned to the guards to take Sanchez away.

Sanchez did not know how much time had passed when he awoke. His body was a mass of pain. His mouth was the worst. He rubbed his face with his hand, and could feel the empty spaces once occupied by many of his teeth. He was still wearing his uniform, except that it hung in tatters in many places, and it was splattered with blood which he was certain was his. He vaguely remembered his sessions with his inquisitors.

He surveyed his surroundings. The cell was dimly lit, and the odor of urine, feces and worse, was overpowering. Despite the gloom, and his blurred vision, he could see a prostrate form in the next cell. As he was able to adjust to the light, and he was able to focus, he could make out the still form of Chula Peten. He could not tell if Peten was breathing, for the old man appeared to have many wounds. His right arm was posed in an unnatural way.

Sanchez raised up on an elbow, and tried to call the old man's name. Finally, sound made it past the dryness in his throat, and past his bruised and bloody lips. He called to the old man for several minutes before he could detect movement. Peten groaned, and managed to move his head in Sanchez' direction. Sanchez thought he could hear the old man laughing. It was more than a little disconcerting.

"So much for your glorious revolution," the old man mocked in a hoarse whisper.

"When we formed in the hills, and fought against the dictator, it was with heady dreams. We wanted to bring peace and prosperity to Costa Azucar. To take back the land from wealthy land owners, and make sure that each Azucaran could support himself and his family. We wanted to bring schools, and hospitals, and electricity. Costa Azucar could be a paradise -- for all of its people," said Sanchez with much effort, but also with much conviction.

"Rivera has perverted the dream. He is only interested in power, and what it can do for him, and you have helped him greatly. If the people are to defeat him, you need to undo what you have done," said Sanchez, as he spit out blood.

"I can not," whispered Peten, matter of factly. "It takes someone strong in mind and spirit to use the power of the ancients. I no longer have the strength."

"There has to be a way to stop him," insisted Sanchez.

"There is," said the old man. Sanchez crawled closer. The old man's voice dropped in volume. He whispered to Sanchez, who nodded in knowing approval. "Now if you could only fly out of the prison," finished Peten. Sanchez lay back on the filthy floor, and tried to block out the pain.

The two of them suffered mightily at the hands of their jailers for several more days. Sanchez was sitting in the corner of his cell, in a nearly fetal position, when he heard noises coming from the hall. It was Rivera's Chief of Security, and two guards that he did not recognize. One of the guards carried a bucket. The other bore one of Sanchez' uniforms.

"Clean yourself up," said the Chief of Security as he opened the door to the cell. The guard set down the bucket. Sanchez reached in and took out the crude sponge, and with difficulty tried to wipe off the caked-on blood and filth. "This is a glorious day for the revolution. One of the greatest enemies of the State is going to be executed today. Oh, by the way Sanchez, that would be you." The Chief laughed heartily at his joke. "But, Carlos has promised you a funeral with full military honors -- and burial right next to your family."

Sanchez winced, but tried not to let the men see the fear in his eyes.

"Just your hands and face, Sanchez. Nothing else will show. Now get dressed," said the Chief impatiently. Sanchez turned his back to them as he peeled off the remains of the old uniform, and painfully put on the fresh one. He felt slightly human. When he was done, the two guards grabbed him under each shoulder, and dragged him down the hall. Sanchez nearly blacked out from the pain. He was shoved in a car for the ride across the city, and was dragged once again to the office of Carlos Rivera. The guards poured him into one of the chairs, and took up positions behind him.

Rivera was seated behind the ornate desk. He was still wearing the black sunglasses that hid his condition from the world, and his enemies. Sanchez observed a small table between the chairs. He noticed that there was a small picture of Rivera there as well as a letter opener, the kind that was in the shape of a dagger, sitting next to it. Sanchez picked them both up, and played with them idly. He made sure that his hands were visible to the guards, especially after he heard the guards shift their weapons noisily behind him.

"You would be dead before you could lift your hand, Sanchez."

"Simply occupying my hands, Carlos. I have no wish to die any sooner than I have to." He eyed the photo photograph of Rivera in its simple glassless frame. "It is not a very good likeness. You really should think about a new one."

"Believe me, Diego, it serves its purpose admirably."

"I see," he replied tauntingly. He remembered the words of warning that Chula Peten had spoken not less than a week before, in this very office, and the instructions that he gave him in tortured whispers in his prison cell. "You should have taken better care to protect yourself, Carlos, and not with dark sunglasses, you fool!" he thought to himself. Then holding his hands out in front of him, he arced the razor sharp blade of the letter opener across the photograph, slashing the image in half, precisely through the eyes. A piercing scream filled the room. Sanchez jerked his head in Rivera's direction to see him grabbing at his face as he fell to the floor; fluid streaming down his cheeks; writhing in the cruel, agonizing fruition of the Mayan's curse.

The two guards froze for a second, confused by the sight before them, then rushed forward, past Sanchez, to their fallen leader. Sanchez reached out, snaring the rifle of the nearest guard, twisting him to the ground. He called to the remaining guard to drop his weapon. "You may attend him," Sanchez said, as he picked up the receiver of the phone on the desk. "The President has had an accident -- send for an ambulance. Bring Varga and the other prisoners from Esperanza Barracks to his office -- immediately. Then I want units from that barracks to take up positions around the Palace, and militia units from Tanzan Itza to guard the hospital."

He turned toward the prostrate figure of Rivera, whose howls of pain had turned to whimpers. "You should have listened more carefully to the old man, Carlos," he hissed. "The danger was never from without, but was the corruption within your heart. You won the war, Carlos, but knew nothing of winning the peace. That will now be in much more capable hands."

THE END



2005 by Brian C. Petroziello

Bio: Brian C. Petroziello is currently a lawyer in Dayton, Ohio. His paper-and-ink publication credits include appearances in Amazing Journeys Magazine and Black Petals. His work has appeared on-line in Planet Magazine, Fools Motley, and Unhallowed Sanctum, as well as in Aphelion. His most recent Aphelion appearance was The Hounds of the Five Boroughs (February, 2005).

E-mail: Brian C. Petroziello

Website: Brian C. Petroziello - The Official Writing Web Site

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