I, Target (Part 1) by Bruce Rousseau by Bruce Rousseau - Read Online

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Summary

My name is Marko Santana and I have been killed many times.

You see, each time I am killed, my mind jumps into the killer’s body and I take over. It’s weird but simple: if someone kills me, I get their body.

So does that make me the ultimate crime-fighter? Maybe a cool body-snatcher kind of guy? Or nothing but a freakin’ brain parasite? Personally, I prefer to think of myself as the ultimate survivor—with a serious personality disorder.

I am not your father’s punch and run superhero. I am a problem in motion—and for better or worse, I am on the road to being seriously mental.

Join me on my quest for purpose and sanity as I journey through life in other people’s bodies. For these are the chronicles of one who feeds on killers—my killers. These are the chronicles of Marko Santana.

Born in Texas. Died all over.

I, Target is a 5-part series and each part must be read in order. I, Target (The Complete Series) is also available.

Warning: I, Target contains no cool graphics. But it does have wry humor, adult language, and starting in part 2 it contains some humorous adult sexual situations. So don’t say you weren’t warned.

Published: Dark Teal Press on
ISBN: 9781498910392
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Acknowledgments

I,

TARGET

(Part 1)

By

Bruce Rousseau

Copyright © 2013 Bruce Rousseau

All rights reserved.

Dark Teal Press

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, products, brands, places, and incidents are either the product of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, persons living or dead, businesses, or organizations is entirely coincidental.

BruceRousseau.com

Series Description

My name is Marko Santana and I have been killed many times.

You see, each time I am killed, my mind jumps into the killer’s body and I take over. It’s weird but simple: if someone kills me, I get their body.

So does that make me the ultimate crime-fighter? Maybe a cool body-snatcher kind of guy? Or nothing but a freakin’ brain parasite? Personally, I prefer to think of myself as the ultimate survivor—with a serious personality disorder.

I am not your father’s punch and run superhero. I am a problem in motion—and for better or worse, I am on the road to being seriously mental.

Join me on my quest for purpose and sanity as I journey through life in other people’s bodies. For these are the chronicles of one who feeds on killers—my killers. These are the chronicles of Marko Santana.

Born in Texas. Died all over.

To Carol

who transforms me

1.1 It Must Be Said

This is my story and it begins straight-up with my death.

Yeah, truly.

My name is Marko Noviño Santana. To my mother, I am Marko Mijo. To my father, I never even existed.

I speak neither Serbian like my father, nor Spanish like my mother. But I ask that you do not blindly label me Euro-Latino. I am intensely American. Some might say I am the American dream: hard working, pragmatic, and something of a cultural mongrel. But just like the American dream, I am a work in progress. I live awash in blockbuster films, FPS games, epic game music, major league football, and even some playoff hoops. I am as all-American as any other white guy—with a permanent tan. And a somewhat hot-blooded nature.

I am Texas born, an awkward high school graduate, and an ingenious college dropout. But at 22, I am not stupid. I am genius—admittedly unpolished. I am as sharp as they come and often just as blunt.

I drive a taxi. I make my own way in life. You could say I have pride. Lots of it. It comes with the perma-tan.

As you hear my story, I ask you not to judge me for what I have done or what I have become. Only that you walk in my footsteps—for a life or two. Judge me then—not before.

As I live my lives, so I tell them.

And so it begins.

* * *

It was a humid Friday night in Austin, Texas. Overcast with some light drizzle, but still hot enough to remind you today had been near 100. You have to understand, it was only the first week in May, but full-blown summer officially starts here in late April. March is the bastard child of a globally screwed winter and the lobster-pot hell we call summer.

Like most Friday nights, I was trying to make the most of my cramped orangey-yellow office. The taxi.

It was 10:40 p.m., just about when Austin’s airport rolls up its only sidewalk. The late night flights were dwindling down. So after dropping off my fare at the Driskill downtown, I started to cruise South Congress Avenue, as well as the downtown hotels, nightclub hot spots, and outlying bars and strip clubs.

Just so you know, airport fares are always predictable. Folks from the Midwest don’t notice the high humidity, and the hot nights makes them think Texas is some sort of tropical paradise, which it ain’t. Folks from California step off the plane and instantly know they’re not gonna like it here. Folks from New York? They know they won’t like it here even before they board the damn jet at JFK or LaGuardia.

Welcome to Austin, y’all. Enjoy the live music. Respect the dancers. Don’t forget to tip your waitstaff.

Nightclubs, bars, wall-to-wall bands, gentleman’s clubs. All do a booming business. Hard to believe the Texas Legislature only meets a few months every other year.

Lady travelers are what I call standard tippers. Pretty much 15% regardless of how helpful or rude I am. Yeah, I’ve tried it both ways. As for helpful tips on the local nightlife, only one out of a hundred ladies are ready to cruise. Sadly, I have to tell them the nearest hunk show is two hundred miles up the road in big D. Hey, lady traveler, I’m available. Not interested? Then we have a wide selection of drunk frats on 6th street. Just make sure to get your kicks before they barf some slightly used brews into your lap. Don’t blame me, lady from Cincinnati. You should have taken my fine brown American ass when you had the chance.

Yeah, working alone can make you a little off-center. I guess truckers know what I’m talking about. I can’t say I’ve ever met one, but every one of those guys must be felony-grade unstable. Especially if they spend much time tuned in to the tunnel-vision drivel being served up on talk-radio.

Anyway, the guys I pick up at the airport are a different matter. Suits get the lowdown based on my feel-out patter. Players are divided into two groups: rural johns and city jackasses. However, I do offer a select few the opportunity to get setup with some trusted ladies I know pretty well, but can’t afford. But most suits get my casual warnings about undercover vice cops and the overcrowded jail conveniently located on 8th. One way or another, suits always leave the cab feeling like we’ve bonded and my advice was golden. And no matter how many drinks they’ve had on layovers and in their roomy business-class seats, they always seem to remember it’s not their money—but it is their money if they don’t get a receipt.

But the non-suits get the boring local weather report, and I set my tip expectations low enough not to be pissed. But I always wind up pissed by the male non-suits. Those guys are nothing more than a pile of disappointment stinking up the back of my cab.

Like I said, welcome to Austin. Don’t let the sultry clime lead you to crime—unless you’ve got a local guide for the ride.

I made that up. Nobody says that in Texas.

Inside my taxi there’s no big Latino cross hanging on the rearview and no bobblehead gang whatsit doing its thing on my dash. But under my seat I do keep a very sweet little .40 cal Glock with nine rounds in the clip and one in the chamber—all waxed hollow points for our mutual pleasure. And yes, I have a concealed carry permit. Welcome to the lone star state, stranger.

Okay, I’ve been driving way too long. A year and a half is too long for anyone. It gets to you. It turns your mind to mush. I used to have more ambition. Two semesters in college—assorted majors. It was a real hope for my mother that I could make it to a better life. She’s big on respect. She always insisted I have it—respect from others as well as respect for myself.

But these days, it’s drive as much as I can stand, play video games, drink too much, and try to do the right thing by my girlfriend. That’s Marie Turner. Don’t let the last name fool you. She’s a mongrel like me, but reversed. White on the outside, seriously brown on the inside.

I know when Marie is disappointed with me. She doesn’t hold back. She’s just that type. But I also know when she loves me. Sometimes I know I’m not worth it. But she gives me what I need, and even throws in a swift kick now and then. I deserve that, too. Her amazing love—her harsh words. She tries to make me whole. I can’t leave her, and I hope down deep she can’t leave me either.

I should probably say I found the taxi job through Marie. And maybe they hired me because I was half Serbian and it was Ethnic Oddities month. But however the hell I got in, I earned it. And I proved it every damn day with persistent hard work—and desperation. Desperation because the world runs on money and there’s never enough down here at my level.

My girl was solid. Work was solid. Even if I had to earn both, day by day.

But I didn’t know that it would be the night I died. Hell, if I’d known that, I would have gone to church. It’s like, wake up people—don’t leave the plane without a parachute. You know? Don’t die without a priest giving you a big thumbs up.

Well, it couldn’t hurt.

The last time I’d seen a priest, he’d given me a pat on the head. I naturally figured that’d hold me until I was an old man. Then I’d give one a call, get blessed and sprinkled in my hospital bed, and I’d be good