A Short Story by Jim Nasium

This Is An Adventure Story Based On A Rumor
I hope you enjoy this new short story I call

On The Other Side Of The Border

I can still see them very clearly in my mind as I sit here and recall days gone by. They were out in the rain in their uniforms inspecting and taxing everything I had with me...

On The Other Side Of The Border

The trip to this far away magical place was one I had planned to do for sometime, and now that I'm finally here, I can't wait to get back home. It's not that anything went wrong with the plans I made, it's just that suddenly I don't feel like I belong here any longer, and it is time to carry out the rest of my plan, part two, and return to the safety of my own home on the island.

I left the shade of the studio room I had been staying in here at my friends home high in the mountains and made my way across the court yard to where the men my friend hired were hanging around drinking, laughing and joking about me and my silly plans. What made them think I couldn't understand them was beyond me, but when I spoke to them in their native toung they were very surprised.

I asked the men to load the rented jeep, very carefully, with the bags and boxes of ceramic items I had in a store room near the end of the home, and to prepare my things for a trip to the border in the morning. The arrangements for a plane were made by my friend on his CB Radio and a flight for me and my cargo was secure. A quick visit to the local chief of police for a letter of passage and to give him a big pay off was the last thing on my list that I had to do, besides try to get a goods night sleep for a change, to be ready for the journey we would take off this mountain and to the border in the morning.

The rain we had over night made the dirt roads difficult to travel. Going down hill on mud roads made our decent a bit slower than we had planned, but never the less we were right on schedule and should be at the border soon. My driver slowed the jeep down to almost a stop and told me to throw away the thing I had been smoking, and to be prepared to be searched at the border crossing that was only a half mile or so down the dirt road from where we were. I assured him we've have no problem at the border and showed him the letter of passage I bought from the chief of police that was in the glove box, but he was still concerned.

The trip down from the mountain farm at dawn had been a long slow rough trip, but now that we were almost to the border, I could taste the sweetness of success. Not many who dream up wild plans of over night riches actually get to carry them out, and even fewer actually pull it off but the way things were going, it seems I would be one of the few lucky ones...

We pulled up slowly and came to a stop at the gate near the guard house on the border, the only legal passage into freedom. The men at the border were very silly, it was hard to believe they were really even police. Each tried to be tougher than they really were, as if a Rambo like RoboCop were their roll model. They all wondered why their country was so poor, and looked at me as if I had the answer for them. I didn't have any answers and I wasn't concerned with their countries state of affairs, I just wanted to get across the border, and out of this god forsaken land and back to my home on the island.

The youngest of the men, a man who wanted to make a name for himself, told me to get out of the jeep, and to go over near the guardhouse where a small wood bench was waiting empty for me. Then he ordered some of the men to open up the jeep and search it toughly. I told him he had no right to search my car and that I had a letter from the chief of Police with me in the glove box that would assure my safe passage but he would not allow me back in the jeep to prove that what I was telling him was true.

They found my guns right away, two forty-five's, gold plated, pearl handles and it was then that they started searching more seriously, and actually pulled everything out of the jeep and laid it out on the dirt road, going through each bag, one bag at a time, and each box, one box at a time. The young man who was trying to make a name for him self told me he liked my guns, and that if he found any contraband he would keep the guns for his own. I smiled and asked him nicely to check the glove box, and read the letter, but he went on and on about my guns...

I've been detained here now for 5 hours, so far, and there hasn't been one thing of mine that they haven't gone through expect the glove box, and everything they saw, and listed wasn't going across the border they said, with out being taxed. I was worried that this tax they are charging was going to kill my profits. I had no idea this would happen to me, and didn't bring a lot of cash with me. I was holding less than twenty thousand dollars US and if they soon don't let me pass over the border and tally up what I owe them, I'll not have all the cash they demand for the tax, and there could be trouble...

All I could see was my guns in the young policeman eyes.

I was very concerned that if they decided to claim any of my goods for their own, or if they started to destroy any of the ceramic goods I have with me they would surly find what it was that I was really trying to get home, and that may not go down so good for me. This is the last place in the world anyone would want to get in trouble with the law so I asked them again to look in the glove box.

My idea was simple, come down here, buy in bulk, then buy from the local merchants items that could contain other items if handled correctly, get out of the mountains, across the border, and fly the stuff home from a neutral country, but plans don't always go the way we'd like them to, and this being detained for five hours just caused me to miss my private flight out of here.

The rain fell in thick sheets as the men in their uniforms continued to search the rented jeep. I wasn't sure why they didn't know who I was and what I was trying to do, and I couldn't understand why they were even searching me when I had paid the local chief of police for a safe departure.I asked them to look in the glove box a few more times and to read the letter of passage I bought, but none of them seem to want to, and finally I knew that I was only being scammed for some cash.

Finally one of the men walked up to me with a clip board in his hand and told me that I owed them a total of $12,000.00 US dollars in tax on the goods I was taking out of the country with me. He said that payment was due immediately and smiled.

I laughed at him and asked him if he knew who I was and he answered, do you know who I am I am. I begged him to look in the glove box and to allow me my safe, tax free departure, but he had my guns in his eyes, and I knew I was in trouble so I reached into my pocket and started counting out twelve thousand dollars to pay the tax. All I wanted to so was get across the border and find another flight, and get home.

I suppose it was fate that brought the chief of police to the scene just then, because he was the only man, at this point, that could officially allow me to cross over the border tax free, and head home. I was very glad to see him when he got out of his car, and walked towards me...

He spoke to a few of them men in uniforms who had just spent hours out in the rain searching through my cargo and looked over the clip board that one of them had handed him. The Chief looked over at me, back at the clip board and then turned away, said something to his men who started re packing my jeep for me. The Chief walked slowly over to where I had been sitting, and told me his men acted foolishly but that they will need a little something for their trouble if I want to cross the border, and that ten percent of the tax money should be enough to cover everything...

I reminded him that he already got ten thousand US dollars from me for a safe passage letter, but his reply was that things got complicated. I told him that I'd pay this extra fee if he promised me I could leave as soon as the jeep was packed, and so he shook my hand and said yes, ok, that is fine, $1200 US will do nicely...

Out of the goodness in my heart, and a need to get across the border I handed him fifteen hundred dollars and told him to hurry his men up... he smiled and invited me back to his hell hole of a country any time at all, and welcomed more business with me promising me better prices next time.

I reached into one'a the ceramic pots I had with me and pulled out a large bag of powder to do a few lines before I headed across the border, on my way home... The Police chief waved to me and wished me good luck as he drove off in his private car, leaving me safe to cross the border at last... I couldn't wait to get on the other side and out to the airport where hopefully I could hire a private plane to fly me, and my treasure back to my island home on Jamaica.

It was good to be on the other side of the border.

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©2001 Jim Nasium

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