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HeavyLight" Chapter 10

So the day at which we would try to rob the bank for a second time was fast approaching, but we couldn’t focus all of our energy on planning. We still had other parts of our lives to content with. Me, for instance, had to see my Therapist every thursday. Dougman taught a class on English to new U.S. citizens on wednesdays and Roger played Golf with Steve every other saturday. Also, since we were criminals for a living, there was always those jobs to content to.

Now, for the most part, we leave the crime scenes pretty clean. But every once in a while, someone in the team messes up, and we all pitch in the help out. Angry Steve kinda botched his latest job, which is so unlike him. But apparently something went wrong, he misread the clock, and things went sour. And we all had to help him get rid of the evidence. So that’s why we spent the night burying a body in Morning Dew Cemetery.

First, we had to dig up another grave because people would probably notice a brand new grave dug out of place in the Cemetery. So we dug up the grave of a Mr. P. Smackyjack and opened up his casket. Once Jumbo Jim popped the top off, we were immediately greeted by the smell of decay and 30 year old perfume. That didn’t bother us that much though; we’re used to really messed up smells. Also, most of Mr. Smackyjack was gone thanks to the millions of bacteria that aid in the rotting process. So Dougman and Angry Steve went back to Dougman’s mom’s car and got the dead witness from the car, carrying him over.

We tossed him in, making sure he was nice and comfy inside the dirty but still very nice coffin. I had some trouble closing the coffin because I guess caskets aren’t one size fits all. But eventually I managed to squeeze him in there and slam the coffin shut like a trunk. “Hey, do people ever dig up these coffins to make sure that the guy is still in there?” Jumbo Jim asked.

“I’m pretty sure they don’t. It’s not like there skeletons are going anywhere.” I pointed out.

“Yeah, I was just afraid that this guy’s family will come back and dig him up just to see how he’s doing and find some other guy hanging out with him.” Jumbo Jim explained.

So Dougman, Jumbo Jim, and I lowered the coffin back into the ditch and we got to shoveling the dirt back onto it. Dougman had to pass his shovel off to Angry Steve though after 3 minutes because his arm still hurt from where this big guy hit him with a baseball bat. It happened during a day of criminal activity and he didn’t go that into the details. It might have even been the same guy that we were burying now that I think of it. Anyway, we were getting towards the end of the process and Angry Steve and Jumbo Jim were finishing shoveling dirt back into the grave. I was standing off to the side and thinking about what we were doing. You know, this may seem a little odd but, helping some people bury a dead body, for some reason, made me think about death. And I didn’t really like the cold silence that hung in the equally cold air.

So I started talking. “Hey, guys, do you think they keep track of the time in Heaven? Sounds kinda pointless since life just goes on forever.” I said.

Angry Steve stopped shoveling to think about it for a second. “I dunno, bro. Let me tell you this though; one time I dreamed I went to Heaven, and I was just walking around and I saw Hitler there and I was like ‘what the bell are you doing here man?!’ and he was all like ‘don’t worry, I know Gabriel, he’s a homie of mine!’ and it made me rethink everything I had ever learned in my life. Then I woke up.” Angry Steve said, taking an extra second to stare at the middle distance as the thought faded.

“...I’ve always wondered this; why are the gates in Heaven made out of pearls? Like of all the things to make your gates out of, I would think like steel or something would work.” Jumbo Jim said.

“Dude, they’re called the pearly gates because they’re pearlescent in color, not because they’re made out of pearls!” Dougman explained.

“Oh...what’s pearlescent?” Jumbo Jim asked.

Speaking of gates, the gates to the cemetery suddenly swung open which was a surprise to all four of us considering that nobody was supposed to be there. We spotted a dark figure walking angrily towards us up the cobblestone path and we assumed that it was a cop. So Angry Steve shouted “scatter!” And immediately dove behind the tombstone. But as the figure came into the light casted off by the moon, we saw that it was a very angry, very skinny black woman with a teased weave pulled back into a ponytail with a butterfly clip and a pipe cleaner. Seething with rage, she stomped right up to us and shouted “where’s Steve!?”

Steve’s head shot up from behind the Tombstone. “Shabiqua?” He asked. Seeing his wife, he jumped up and ran straight towards her. “Baby! You’re here!” he said. He held his arms out to hug her but right before he was about to grapple her and bring her into his soft, warm, milk chocolate embrace, she’s slapped him upside the head. He covered his temple and shied away. “Why did ya do that!?” He shouted.

“Boy, you know very well why I’m here.” She said. Seeing that my bro was in trouble, I stepped up to defend him.

“Hey, Shabiqua, listen. We’re just helping Angry Steve out with his job, you see I-"

She interrupted me, saying “Listen here, white boy! You ain’t helpin out that lazy SOW, you just covering up something he messed up, ya hear? SLAM JAM!” Yeah, Shabiqua is one of those ghetto black girls who have a catch phrase, and that catch phrase, for some reason, is slam jam. I don’t know why. She also moves around alot when she talks, especially in her neck, and she spits when her thin, pink lips flap.

“Uh...naw, you see...” Dougman began to say.

“No, look here, Mormon boy, you don’t know piss and that hairdo looks ugly. SLAM JAM!” She shouted. Having seen that both I and Dougman were lost for words, she turned to Angry Steve. “Now listen here, Steve. I love ya egg shaped head and yo’ warm cheeks. I’ve supported you and your whole ‘cluck the police, take from the rich and take from the po’ kind of living. But listen, you cannot let yo’ job get in the way of our family.” She explained.

“Come on, honey! I’m making money here! Can’t you cut a husband some slack?” Angry Steve asked.

“I would if you hadn’t forgotten we were supposed to drive to my momma’s house today! When yo’ job makes you forget that you got a duty to uphold to me and ma’ momma, then you done messed up, quack-back. SLAM JAM!”

Angry Steve sighed angrily. He hates his mother-in-law. I’ve met her too myself actually; she’s the Governor of Ohio, and I went to her first press conference because I voted for the other guy and I had planned to go and see his first conference, but it turns out that she won instead. I still had it in my day-planner though so I decided to go anyway and get something from the gift shop. That’s where I first met Steve, believe it or not. I was sitting in a chair outside the conference room, trying to open up a gum pack. He took a seat next to me on the bench and said “Man, dude, the world is just rough sometimes.”

I figured he was saying that because the water fountain up the hall wasn’t working. I kinda felt bad for him, so I said “I know man. Gum?” And I offered him some gum from the unopened packet. He nodded and took the gum, immediately popping it open with little ease even though I had spent the past few minutes kneading my fingers until they bled trying to get this packet open. But he got some gum and then I got some gum. After that we started talking. Turns out, he said that ‘the world is rough’ because the Governor was his Mother-in-law, and that now that she was large and incharge, she had all the necessary tools needed to ruin his life. Shabiqua was pissed too because that was supposed to be her job, so in the end nobody wins but the Governor.

Anyway, so that’s how Steve and I met. What was I talking about? Oh yeah, Shabiqua. So anyway, Shabiqua took a step towards Steve and grabbed him by his earlobe. “Come here boy, we gonna drive there tonight!” She said angrily.

She started dragging him towards her car which had been parked on the curb. “Come on, babe! Let me play with my friends!” Steve complained, echoing the words of an upset child.

“Should we...help him out or something?” Dougman asked.

“Naw, I’m done negotiating the Shabiqua. Serves him right for botching the job anyway. I could be at home right now watching anime but no, I had to freaking bury some dead guy.” I said.

So Shabiqua was dragging Steve towards the car, and I notice that across the street from the Cemetery was a two story house with a big yard. We were in the suburbs so that wasn’t an unusual thing to see. But it was clear that there was a party going on, because the house was popping, neon lights were flashing in the windows, and I could hear people cheering. There was also the sound of music playing on the inside. I could only see the shadows of people dancing, so I wasn't sure what kind of party it was. You can often tell what kind of party it is based on what the people attending the party are dressed in.

I did see that the front porch was decorated in drunken frat bros who each had a red solo cup in their hands and were just taking sips in between rants about the government. I noticed that one of them was Kevin Strokehard. He saw Steve getting pulled towards the car. “Yo! Yo bro!” he shouted out, waving his arm in Steve’s direction. Steve kinda waved back but was distracted by Shabiqua and her fingers which gripped his ear painfully. His wife proceeded to open up the car door and stuff him inside before going and sitting in the passenger seat.

My first impression was a sudden bout of anger due to the fact that not only had Shabiqua dragged Steve to the car, she was making him drive now. That’s kinda mean. But that thought was replaced with the next one, which was; “hold on, is that Kevin Strokehard?”

Jumbo Jim saw it too. “Hey...look. It’s Kevin Stroke-” He began to say before starting to laugh uncontrollably. He recovered just long enough to wipe the tears from his eyes and say “Sorry, sorry...I just realized how ridiculous his last name sounds...” he said again before launching into another volley of laughter.

“Uh...well...we’re pretty much done burying this guy. You wanna go see what Kevin’s up too?” Dougman asked.

I shrugged. “Might as well. This job was getting kinda dull anyway.” I said. So Dougman and I tossed our shovels to the side and began walking towards the House, leaving Jumbo Jim rolling around in the dirt laughing.

So as the car drove away, Dougman and I walked across the street and then across the lawn. It was dark so I didn’t notice the gopher hole which I managed to step in. “Ack!” I shouted as I tripped and fell. Dougman helped me back up, but he did it kind of aggressively.

“Dude, stop it! You’re embarrassing me in front of the frat bros.” Dougman whispered sharply in my ear. I managed to get to my feet, but now my ankle hurt, which is never a pleasant feeling. Dougman walked ahead of me, clearly unaware that I’ve been injured. “Hey, Kevin! What’s going on? What are you doing here?” Dougman asked.

“Dudes! Check it out! It’s Dougguy and....and...that guy over there. Man, bro, homie, check it out. There’s a party going on right in this house right now. My whole Quad has come over to mellow out and party all night here. My bros and I are just out drinking like it’s 1973.” Kevin Strokehard explained.

I limped over, cringing with each step. “Sounds great...uh, what’s the occasion?” I asked through gritted teeth.

“Yo man, so listen and linger; my bro Big Blue found this haunted house in which some guy murdered like two girls in the basement and then fled to Mexico. We figured that these ghost chicks are lonely and want someone to party with. So in honor of them, a bunch of guys brought some beer kegs and some boom boxes and now we’re rocking out! We even brought a gypsy woman in case some guy wants to try and hook up with the dead girls.” Kevin explained.

“Alright...so you’re partying...in a haunted house....sounds totally legit. Mind if we hang out here for a bit?” Dougman asked.

Kevin smiled, revealing a row of shiny teeth, stained pink with red wine. “Sure thing, bro. Just watch out for Funky Ted. He don’t like it when people mess up his groove.” Kevin said. Dougman smiled and made his way on into the building. As he opened the door, the sound of music was unmuffled and I could hear exactly what was playing inside. It was like a remix version of “Turn down for what!” But with extra bass which made the windows rattle. Personally, I was actually kinda curious. I wanted to know what was going on, and our trip was pretty much done anyway.

Not wanting to seem like a party crapper, I made my way to the door, grimacing with each step. Kevin gave me an extra hard pat on the back which nearly made me fall down. “You got this bro. Go get some tail.” He said.

I opened the door and stepped inside. I immediately slapped my hands over my ears when I realized just how loud the music was. I then had to cover my nose because the room was filled with the musty smell of beer, throw up, vinegar, and horse urine. Then I wanted to cover my eyes so that I was no longer visually subjected to the disgusting activities taking place in this house. For one thing, there was a lot of people, mostly college students. There was also one old guy wearing an army helmet standing on the couch. He was shouting “Lock and load, mother cluckers! We’re going to war! We’re going to war!!” but nobody seemed to notice.

There were three people in the back standing inches from each other just repeatedly sneezing on each other. There was some guy lying passed out in the middle of the room and several guys are standing around him, holding solo cups and taking turns throwing up on him. Everybody else was just standing around, waving their arms in the air to the sound of the music. I did recognize some people though. I saw that sitting in two chairs next to the table that the punch bowl sat on were none other than the same two girls I saw making out at the college the day I met Kevin Strokehard. And guess what they were doing...making out. Just like last time. But I’d seen it done before so it didn’t really draw my attention that much.

What did snatch my attention was that at the other end of the table was Roger. He was just standing there with a cup in his hand, staring across the room at the old guy. I kinda wanted to know what he was doing at a college party, so I limped over to him, pushing my way past the girls who were all making fun of the guy who was getting thrown up on. I got over to Roger and tried to call for his attention. He couldn’t hear me because the sound was so loud. I shouted, but it doesn’t do much because Little John had just shouted “TURN DOWN FOR WHAT!?” over me so Roger didn’t hear me.

Then he glanced over and his eyes lit up with surprise. His lips moved but I couldn’t hear him, so I gestured with my hands that I couldn’t hear. He nodded, reached into his denim jacket, pulled out a pistol, and shot the boombox. Nobody noticed that a firearm had been fired because of how loud the freaking music was. But the boombox immediately shut off and began to spark. The loud music was replaced with the chatter of confused people. Two guidos walked over with a roll of duct tape and assessed the situation.

Roger took the time to put the gun back in his jacket and addressed me. “How’s it going?” he asked in his usual stoic manner.

“What are you doing at a college party, man? You’re like 40!” I pointed out.

“Hey, listen. Believe it or not, I used to be in college. Anyway, a friend of mine invited me to this party. I heard there would be punch but turns out they only have beer. Not that big of a deal though. I’ll drink anything except for orange juice.” Roger explained. I took a second to glance over at the red punch bowl and discovered that it was in fact filled to the brim with cheap beer. So he was right about that. But I still wanted to know more.

“Who invited you? A friend? Who would that be? Kevin?” I asked.

“Nope. The Gypsy they brought in.” He said, gesturing to open doorway that lead to the dining room. In the dining room was a guy sitting next to an old woman dressed in scarves and shiny purple clothes, with her wrinkled hands rubbing a crystal ball.

“...Hmmm...those who haunt this house...we wish to speak to you...” She murmured into the crystal ball.

The guy next to her leaned in and said “tell them I’m totally up for a ghost threesome.”

“Oh...uh...how long have you known her?” I asked Roger, in regards to the Gypsy lady.

“About 2 months. I met her at her shack in the bad part of town. She told me there would be much excitement in my recent future, and that night we made love in the back of my van.” he explained.

I wanted to tell him that that might be giving too much information, but then Dougman walks up to me with a lampshade on his head. “Roger! This party is hopping! Hey, check it out, Red decided to join the party.” Dougman exclaimed.

“I see you’ve been enjoying yourself.” Roger points out. Dougman started talking about something but I stopped listening to him because I realized a long time ago that nothing Dougman will ever say will have any impact on my life. But I did notice some movement from across the room. There was some guy sitting by a wooden table with one empty chair. He was completely bald and had on some sunglasses which was weird because it was nighttime and we were inside. So he seemed kinda shady. He was waving for Dougman to come over, but Dougman was still talking to Roger.

“So anyway, then she kicked the clown right in the taint, and he let go of the balloon animal and fell to the ground. Other than that, it was a pretty good evening.” he said, finishing the story I had just ignored most of.

I tapped him on the arm and pointed out the guy. “Dude, check that guy out. I think he wants something.” I said. Dougman saw the guy and got this confused look in his eyes.

“Uh...what does he want?” he asked.

“Maybe...he’s looking for you to sign a petition. For like gay marriage or something. Isn’t that the big issue right now? Or am I thinking of the slaughtering of jews in concentration camps in Europe? Is that still going on?” Roger asked.

Dougman walked over to the guy and I couldn’t hear what they were saying, but the guy in the chair murmured a few things and offered his hand which Dougman shook before sitting down and continuing the conversation. Out of the corner of my eye, I spotted another familiar character. Cinnamon Smack. He and a bunch of his boys were heading up the stairs laughing and talking with big bowls of water in their hands. Now, I’m kinda curious about what they are planning on doing. The only other thing to do was drink with Roger, but come on, I do that every saturday. “I’m gonna go see what Cinnamon Smack is up to.” I said.

“Watch out. That guy’s a mean drunk.” Roger pointed out.

“Roger...he’s a mean person either way.” I noted. Roger nodded and took a swig of his beer. By the way, I like that word “swig.” Its got a feeling of old fashion english modesty to it. Anyway, that’s a digression.

So I take a cup of beer off the table and make my way towards the stairs. I want to seem inconspicuous as I’m tailing these guys, and the best way to do that is to look like I’ve been drinking. Even from downstairs, I can see that there were dark, giggling shapes wandering around the dimly lit hallway at the top of the stairs. I started making my way up, listening to the sound of the boards underneath the carpet creak with each step. Upstairs, the ambience of the downstairs was cut off. Several guys hung out in the dim hallway, just smoking these stubby white rolls.

There was some rap playing from a radio inside the room at the end of the hallway though a slightly opened door. I figure that’s where Cinnamon is. So quietly, I began to sneak over to the door. But I had to watch my step because there were guys who were passed out drunk all over the floor and I was having to step over them which kinda hurt because my ankle still felt a little twisted.

So I made my way over to the door and peeked inside. The room appeared to be a bedroom of some sort with big posters of crudely drawn marijuana leaves hanging everywhere and plastic effigies of Bob Marley smoking a fat one all over the room. There were 4 or 5 people inside, all standing around Cinnamon Smack who was in the middle of the room, standing on an old towel.

The Smack himself was wearing a tight pink top, equally tight light blue track shorts and nothing else. He took a drag of his blunt and addressed his group. “Alright, ya’ll done wanna see yo boy dance his pants off. You all know the steps it takes to getting me ready. First, oil.” He said.

All his bros took the bowls of water and dumped them on him, making him look extra shiny. Now, turns out, it wasn’t water; it was oil. And I had to fight the urge to freaking throw up. I’ve only seen a black man get oiled up one other time, and it was at a very bizarre magic show that still gives me nightmares. But Smack took another drag like nothing had happened. “Alright, listen up, buttercups. Nelson, turn on the box and spin the Soundtrack to ‘Hairy Larry and The ButtRubbers.’ I’m about to get it on.” he said.

So the white guy with dreadlocks flipped on the radio and turned up the volume. I wasn’t familiar with Harry Larry and the ButtRubbers so I didn’t know what to expect. But after the first few seconds, I realized it was some kind of dubstep polka, which I didn’t even think was possible. I don’t like polka to begin with, and dubstep amplifies everything, so it made the Polka almost unbearably in-your-face.

To make matters worst, Smack turned around and began to dance. His choice of dance was the worst possible dance move for a boy ever and that is; the twerk. That’s right; Cinnamon Smack was twerking up a storm in the middle of the room. And it gets worse because he was doing it really poorly; he was transferring all of the motion to his shoulders so it looked like his upper body was twerking and not the part that should.

After a few moments, I couldn’t take it. I had to make it stop. I threw open the door and shouted “hey! Smack! Cut that bull shaving cream out, punk roll!”

He spun around and stared bewildered at me. One guy ran and switched the radio off. “What’s up, cuz!? You got beef with your boy Smack!?” he said.

“Yeah, I’ve got more than beef! I’ve got some pork too! I’ve got both those things with you! First off, that isn’t how you twerk, or as my friends from the South would say, that ‘ain’t’ how you twerk. Second, that music sucks more than a gay vacuum cleaner. You got no taste in music, dance, or clothing. And that pissed me off so much I broke my cover just to point out my disapproval!” I shouted.

Cinnamon Smack crossed his arms and frowned at me. “Man, I shouldn’t have to listen to this scrawny white boy flap his lips at me while I’m getting down with my homies. This boy looks like he can’t lift more than 90 pounds. What does he know about music? That boy looks like Keith Richards made love to a manatee and 9 months later he was born.” He said.

“Oh, I’m gonna...” I began to say as I stepped toward him, my fist held high. But I didn’t see the passed out guy lying across the floor right in front of the door. So I ended up nudging him with my foot, and the pain in my twisted ankle sent messages to my brain telling me to let out a sudden yelp of pain and let go of the solo cup before falling to the ground. So I did. The solo cup left my hand and flew straight towards Smack’s face. He’s not that fast, so he didn’t notice that a cup of beer had collided with his face, sinking into his open eyes, until after 5 seconds.

Once he realises that his eyes were stinging, he covered his face and shouted “Ah! My jellies!” Then he stepped back, bumping into a guy who had just lit a joint. He dropped the burning joint into a wastebin filled with paper and the entire thing caught on fire. The curtain of the nearby window was actually partly inside the bin and also caught fire. Now there was a fire blazing in the room. “Holy gandhi! Somebody call 911! Shaudi fire burning on the dance floor!” Cinnamon Smack shouted. His homies wasted no time getting out of the room. I had to pick myself off the ground and limp towards the door. Smack ran past and pushed me back down with his big meaty hands.

“Every homie for himself!” he shouted as he passed. Ignoring the pain in my ankle, I pushed myself back up and stood shakingly in the room. Now the curtains and the bed were on fire. Shaving cream was going down. I limped out of the room, making my way down the hallway.

Now, I felt like I should let everybody know that the house was burning down. So I carried myself over to the top of the stairs and leaned over. I opened my mouth to shout “Fire! Flames! Fahrenheit 451!” but I stopped when I saw that the living room was entirely empty except for Dougman and Roger who were still standing by the punch table.

“Guys! Where did everybody go!?” I shouted.

Dougman glanced up at me. “Oh, uh...someone messed up Funky Ted’s groove.” he said.

“Yeah, he flipped out and stabbed the dude in the neck with a corn dog stick. Everybody ran out the door after that.” Roger, motioning to a blood drenched body hanging halfway out of a closet.

“Oh...uh...we gotta get out of here anyway. The house is on fire.” I said. Roger and Dougman shrugged and began making their way towards to door. I turned around and saw that flames were literally flowing out of the doorway. I started running, even though my ankle was on fire in a metaphysical sense.

I push past Dougman and Roger on the way out the door. Kevin Strokehard was standing alone on the porch. “Hey bro, where you going? Funky Ted already left! I keep telling everybody to calm down about it, he just gets a bit jumpy sometimes.” He said.

“La casa es un fuego!” I shouted over my shoulder.

“Sorry bro, I don’t speak italian...” he said.

I ran down the lawn, across the street, and back to the cemetery where Jumbo Jim was kneeling down, reading the nearby gravestone. “Huh...apparently this guy lived for 87 years. Isn’t that a prime number? ...Oh, hey dude! How was the party?” He asked, looking up at me.

“The entire place...is burning down.” I said while out of breath, motioning over my shoulder.

“Huh...well...parties will spontaneously erupt into flames from time to time.” He said.

“Can you...carry me to safety? I twisted my ankle...” I said, motioning to my bleeding foot.

He shrugged. “Alright, Princess. Hop on.” He swept me off my feet and carried me down the path in the opposite direction of the house. Flames began to pour out of the windows on the second floor, and then suddenly the entire roof just erupted in an explosion, sending glass and roof panels showering down on the lawn and road. The bright inferno lit up the night sky as the architecture burned to the ground.

Other than that, it was a pretty good evening.

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