A FEW CASUALTIES SO WHAT

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Chapter 5

“Here you go, sweetie,” said Lorna.

She handed Pone a cup of coffee. He took a long sip and the ambrosia with the right amount of

french vanilla cream met his approval. It was 10 a.m. And Pone was on the east side meeting with

his contact Lorna. He didn’t get much sleep after his business on Brevard. Not because he felt guilty,

but sleep just refused to be a friend of his lately.

“Is that better sweetie?” asked Lorna.

“Just what the doctor ordered,” said Pone.

Sweetie was what Lorna always called him ever since she found out that he took care of the man

who killed her dear friend Sheila Green. Lorna didn’t approve oh his lifestyle, but said that even

angels kill. She thought so much of him that she bought a small ranch house on the outskirts of the

east side because of dealings with the prohibitions. The ranch house was nice with a white picket

fence and everything including a small garage with a 1950 Chevy Bell-air she hardly drove. She

was a retired accountant, but did income tax and notary work on the side. She once handled Macone’s

books and her nephew Martin Rudenbaugh was his lieutenant. Pone got comfortable on the antique

furniture; a matching white sofa and recliner with flower patterns, varnished oak coffee table, and

stands for her pink oval shaped lamps all encased in a sunflower-colored room.

“How are your investments, sweetie?”

Pone sipped his coffee. “They’re fine … I get a dividend from Forward Air.” Pone took advice

from Lorna on investments despite having little time to keep track of them.

“You look tired,” she said.

“Can’t seem to get much sleep.” He sighed. “Did you do what I ask?”

“Sweetie, as soon as you told me about those poor children and trying to keep those families from

going to war I hopped right on it.” She nodded and flashed her pearly white dentures.

Lorna and Sheila were college roommates and stayed close ever since, they attended church

every Sunday together and afterwards always had some tea-time to talk about those days up until her

death. “He wants to find who did this awful thing badly,” said Lorna.

Pone took a long sip of the coffee. “I’ve been assigned to the case and to keep peace between

the probonos and hip-hoppers.”

Lorna shook her head. “Where do they come up with these names? Probonos and hip-hoppers.”

“Just an identity for the two crime families.” said Pone.

Lorna rocked back on the sofa and nodded. “Right … right,” She pursed her lips. “Now is

that slang because I still can’t get around that?”

“Yes and no,” responded Pone.

“Sheila would be so proud of you,” smiled Lorna. “A detective>”

Pone rubbed his forehead. “I’m not a detective.”

“Private-eye?”

“Troubleshooter.”

“What’s the difference?”

“My job is to stop trouble before it begins.”

“Two dead childre … “remarked Lorna.

“To make sure things don’t get worse.” Pone sighed. He had already explained to Lorna about

his job, but he guessed fading memory was just a sign of old age.

“Don’t do that,” said Lorna.

“What?”

“I’m old, but I know why you’re hated on the east and west side of this city. I’m glad you’re

more legit now,”

“I meant no disrespect.” Pone finished hi coffee. “So, everything is set?”

“Marty will be at the meeting.”

They both rose and held hands as if to say a prayer.

“Oh, sweetie,” She gave him a hug and kiss on the cheek. “Shelia would be so proud.”

Pone sat in the Yaris and sighed. He looked to the heavens. As he eased out of the drive-way,

he thought about Shelia Green. Lorna was wrong. Shelia would not be proud of him because he

was not proud.

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