The message is like gold to western ears.
“Sammy, have a drink with me!”
Already quite intoxicated, the rock singer is helpless to refuse the offer.
“Why t..ha..k yo…u.”
Cledus guzzles down the gift concoction, swiftly.
“Quite a party, dude!” A fellow band member exclaims.
Sammy waves it off. He notices a curvy and spunky brunette run by with a straw waving in the air, completely oblivious that she is in her birthday suit. The bottom of the woman’s nose holds spotty white remnants of powder.
“You got coke?” Cledus asks, before breaking into laughter.
Another woman lures Cledus out a set of bi-fold doors, out onto a veranda.
“Whe we fro…l..icken?”
“I want to share the sunset with you, Sammy.”
The woman takes his hand into hers.
“Wh…o a..r yo…u?”
The woman does not answer him. Instead, she poses her own question. “You ever wonder if you can fly?”
Bruno works the room and attempts to find out where his client disappeared to—beyond his vision. The woman helps the rock God up onto a three-inch wide railing. She jumps down from the ledge. She leaves, quickly, back through the doors before the inebriated rock star even knows she vacated.
Cledus hesitates, for a short time, as night air billows through his long curly hair. The damp air brings back a memory of dangling his arms over the lip of a metal, stationary, bathing trough. Perhaps it’s what the entertainer thinks he dives into as he plunges three stories. In the end, the man is too inebriated to offer up a scream.
Inside the home, the woman which had positioned him on the railing laughs and flirts with a smooth-talking man in a finely tailored business suit.
Belinda walks onto a neighboring back lawn, where she hears disturbing sirens. She does not envision they are for her Sammy. I think it is about time I tell Sammy about the baby. I wonder how he’s going to take it?
Within minutes, Belinda overhears the news. The woman runs over to the small crowd gathered around her famous beau. She finds some relief, as she approaches and realizes Sammy Moore is alive. Cledus’s face reflects he is conscious enough to know there is a fifty-fifty chance he will be unmasked in the hospital.
What if things are matched up, such as: fingerprints, blood type, or DNA? His head begins to swim. Holy Moses…Cledus thinks. What happens if they fill me with the wrong red soup? …forms as a last thought, before his perception completely fades to black.
The tail man, through binoculars, sees Sammy fall from the railing. At first, he thinks he is hallucinating. Perhaps my brain is flashing back to the refer I smoked in college. He hesitates in calling an ambulance, but quickly realizes how much Omar Redding will be on his conscience—if the man dies.
Instead, he dials his boss and reports a drunken swan dive from three stories.
“Let me know where they take him.”
“Something’s gonna’ break…soon. I can feel it!”
“Faster than Sammy Moore’s bones!”
Larry relaxes in his comfortable roll chair. “Well…Street Posse. Time to cancel your North American Tour!” Larry cajoles.
The phone rings and he plucks it up.
“Hi, Larry.” A soft voice says.
“Who is this?”
“It’s Tina. Have I caught you at a bad time?”
“No. How was your day?”
“Interesting, to say the least.”
“How many more days until I see you?”
“I don’t know. Quite a bit. But it will be here before we know it.”
There is a short pause.
Larry surprises (both of) them when he says, “I love you.”
“You don’t know how long I have waited to hear those words!”
The woman coughs, before adding, “I can’t wait to give you a big hug!”
“You’re a sweetie.”
“Only for you, babe!”
“I love the giggle in your voice.”
“You can thank my mother for that.”
“Sounds pretty kinky to me, Hun.”
Tina giggles, despite trying to hold back laughter.
“Worse than Michael Jackson?”
“Never mind; I’m just kidding.”
The phone rings.
“I got another call coming in, I gotta’ go,” Larry adds.
“Ok. Bye—m…m…ahhh!” Tina.
Tawny reveals hidden artistic qualities. Quite dazzling artwork comes from her little fingers. Portraits, landscapes, or collages; you name it and she produces it, most often in fine detail and many years beyond her age. One portrait she draws she calls, affectionately, ‘Grandpa’. Lucky’s pocked and weathered face stares back at her from a cream-colored sketch pad. Tawny finds soul-inspiring artistic talent passed down from her mother. In the portrait’s background, she sketches a hazy, old-fashioned hand-to-hand fight between an Indian and a white man. Both men hold a three-foot leather strap between their teeth, and neither face reflects a willingness to let go. Tawny thinks the men human dogs fighting over a pull-toy. The strap holds each man’s spirit in a signature bite print. Even so, the small artist cannot reflect such subtle reflections of pain either man experiences. Lucky knows what happened and why the rip was opened, but he hides all he knows behind his portrait’s smile.