A FEW CASUALTIES SO WHAT

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Chapter 11

To say this was the sticks would be justified. A weathered white ranch house fully equipped with

stone steps, three bedrooms, and bath. During the day, a true eye-sore, but at night just damn

creepy. Inside the dump to say the least; cobwebs, dust, worn out furniture, stained wood floors

dirty dishes in the sink, a few upper cabinets with one door missing on one of the sink cabinets, and

a permanent smudge on a filthy kitchen floor. A corduroy style beige sofa, matching recliner in

front of an old fashioned 42 inch. Box style TV. In front of the sofa was a small brown wobbly

coffee table. The dump did have electricity thanks to the puppet master, but no cable, it did

however have a relic VCR/DVD player to play a galore of VHS tapes from the past and DVD’s

from way back to the present.

Sitting in front of the TV watching a DVD was a disgruntled James Krasko. Unkempt brown

hair, pale chiseled malnutrition crater stubble face. He was average height wearing a white sweat-

shirt, blue jeans, and black classic Converse sneakers with Chuck Taylor written on them. Who

was Chuck Taylor? Krasko wondered if he would have been better off in prison than living now

in a smelly moldy dump. Before he could finished that thought, he heard the back fire of the Chevy

S-10 pulling up behind the back of the house. Coming through the door was his partner in crime

Roland White. A low-class hip-hopper who was in the same situation as Krasko. Like his com-padre,

he was average height, dark brown skin, hair on his head, and face looked liked little black beads.

White always cringed when he comb his hair. In other words, he needed a hair-cut and a shave. Krasko

hated talking to White, he welcomed the moldy smell of the house since it helped counter the horrific

breath that oozed out of White’s mouth. White came back from a food run. He had a plastic bag

containing two square Styrofoam boxes. He dropped them on the mid-sized wobbly wooden brown

rectangular table surrounded by any assortment of chairs.

“Better come and get this shit while it’s hot,” said White.

Krasko strode over to the table with his index finger under his nostrils to fend off the breath of

death. “It would help if you didn’t call it shit.”

White opened both boxes. Pop-corn shrimp aplenty spilled out onto the table.

“Damn!” said Krasko.

“I know right,” said White. “Know this hole in the wall that loads you up. Under the shrimp is

cocktail sauce and hush puppies.”

White then put a brown paper bag on the table and took out two 32 ounces of Polar pop cups.

“What flavor of soda?” asked Krasko.

“You thirsty?”

“Hell, yeah.”

“Then drink the shit.”

White settled at the table while Krasko placed himself on the coffee table in front of the TV.

“Fuck this,”

White shook his head. “What’s yo problem, man?”

“I can’t live like this. This place is ugly, it smells . . . when I eat I need somethin’ good to at,

somethin’ that smells nice you know.”

“Pop somethin’ in the VCR and look at that.”

“Fuck that! Got us living out in the middle of nowhere, shit that’s probably the name of this place,

nowhere.”

“Yo punk ass need to stop complaining. You should’ve said no and stayed yo ass in the joint.”

Krasko was clueless to how he ended up in the joint in the first place. He was intoxicated when he

woke up behind bars wearing an orange jump-suit. Krasko had a talent for blowing things up; that’s

what he and White had in common besides being outcast from their prestigious gangs and ending up in

the joint on some trump up charges. In the joint, Krasko became everyone’s Maytag. He washed too

many skid marks out of tidy whites and droopy drawers, but staying in this dump made him almost

home-sick for his cell. Krasko came back to reality; at least he wasn’t a caged animal behind bars. He

was more than thrilled when White told him about some man he didn’t know and neither of them still

met pulled some strings to get them out. Krasko gave White the look of you don’t have to ask me twice.

Orange wasn’t his color, so he had no problem ditching the threads. White promised a big pay-day

which gave him plenty of motivation to blow up a couple of kids even if they did belong to prominent

crime families. Things were not so good on the outside as he had thought. He looked around his

environment and realized that he left the hell hole only to end up in the shit hole.

Krasko swallowed hard. “Look, all I’m sayin’ is the accommodations could be better I happy we

have electricity and can take a bath, but no cable? I’ve seen all these tapes and DVD’s more times

than I can count.”

White pursed his lips. “Okay, I’ll tell the man about your complaints, but he might put

yo ass back in the prison.”

“He’d do that?”

White shrugged while popping shrimp into his mouth. “Think about it, he got us out … who’s

to say if I tell him about yo bitching he might consider you ungrateful and incarcerate yo ass.”

White saw Krasko squirm like a worm thinking about being sent back to the joint, he smiled.

White didn’t tell Krasko that this hell hole belonged to his family. He told his cell-mate what he

needed to know and kept him in the dark which turned out to be a good thing since things weren’t

exactly going as planned. Krasko knew nothing about the baseball strikes terminology, and they

were only a strike away from perhaps heading back behind bars or worse. If had been a long

frustrating day and White, for now would mourn in private the relatives he lost in the process.

He had time because the man still needed him to take care of Pone which Krasko was in the

dark about and would keep it that for as long as he had too. So he’d just sit back and eat the

hell out of his popcorn shrimp …

“Fuck that … I ain’t going back to the Hoosegow. I’ll roll with the punches. Tell me

the plan and don’t give me hooey.”

White frowned. “What the hell is a hooey?”

“Lies, rubbish … just tell me the truth.”

“I told you to speak English when you talk to me.”

“You do the same to speaking that hip-hop shit.”

“You can understand my shit better than that prohibition shit.”

“Just fill in the blanks, will ya?”

“White shook his head. “The man said one more job, and we get paid in full and go where

we damn well please. For now, he’ll give us enough loot for food and gas.”

“One more job? What does he want us to do now?”

“When I know, you’ll know, but for now … “

“Yeah, yeah … just sit tight,”

“You catching on,”

“You trust this cat? We should be rolling in dough after the job you pulled.”

White rose from the table. “Hold up! I push the button, you are the one who planted

that bomb, and that makes you accountable too.”

“All I’m saying is, we need to agitate the gravel … that means … “

White held up his hand. “I know what you mean, and I agree. Problem is we ain’t fully

paid, and I need my dividends before I get the hell outta town.”

Krasko gave white a sharp look. He knew dividends was slang for money. Krasko threw up

his hands.

“What do you suggest?”

“Shut the fuck up. Be patient and remember you weren’t too happy being everyone’s Maytag.”

“No, they can wash their own damn laundry.”

“That’s what I thought,” White sat down and took out plastic bag of rolled joints.

“Hey, give me one of them jive sticks,” said Krasko.

“If it’ll make you shut the fuck up.”

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