Chapter 2: Winner Winner Turkey Dinner
Beep! Beep! Beep!
‘What the hell?’ The sound woke up Remy just in time to experience the full blown nausea and headache of the hangover he wanted to sleep through.
Beep! Beep! Beep!
‘Shut the hell up,’ he closed his eyes but it was too late. The inside of the cardboard Maytag home started to spin, there was no sleeping now. Being a homeless man in the back alley of Front Street had perks at night but not during the day. No one bothered wanders while they slept but the morning always brought the foot traffic of early risers to downtown.
Beep! Beep! Beep!
Remy rocked his body out of the shelter and felt for his boots. It was a weird quirk of his, but sleep only came without shoes on, no matter how cold it was. He tied the laces of the worn doc martins he had found in a dumpster some years back and stood up.
The back of the alley was deserted say for a new microwave that someone had dumped there. ‘Why would anyone toss this? Maybe it fell off a truck. Doesn’t matter now, this should be at least fifty bucks at Smitty’s if it still works.’
He walked over to the microwave to inspect it. A Sears genuine special, and not one scratch on it. The aluminum handle caught the rising sunlight and blinded his eyes. He stepped closer and opened the door.
‘God damn. Would you look at that?’
Hot and steaming, a fresh turkey dinner was in the microwave. The mashed potatoes were filled with a reservoir of brown gravy that flowed contiguously onto a pile of white turkey breast meat. Green little marbles of peas stacked with the precision of the most prestigious upper class restaurant. The coup de grâce of this food masterpiece was the pile of cranberry sauce bleeding into the base of turkey hill and potato mountain. Remy wasn’t one to turn down a free meal. He would take this to Smitty’s after breakfast dinner.
“Morning Remy. Wow, someone felt sorry for your ass this morning didn’t they? Lemme have some buddy.”
“Back it up Josiah. This was in that microwave and I’m claiming them both. No one was around when I got it, so piss off they’re both mine,” Remy said.
“Alright alright, cool it old man. I’ll be on 9th and Sierra Ave today so give it some birth.”
Josiah shuffled off with his shopping cart half full of cans rattling on the rough pavement, his “Disabled Vet, need help, god bless” sign was sticking way out. That boy wasn’t a Vet, he had no idea what war was or what it meant to fight for something, he had no idea what it meant to survive. He was just a filthy beggar.
Remy sat and polished off the meal slowly with his trusty metal spork. It was nice to have a hot meal, the tastes reminded him of Thanksgivings spent with his wife and son, wherever they are now. He sat cross legged and stared at the dirty brick wall of the alley way, eating his food with conservative bites and wiping his mouth with the cloth napkin he carried in his back pocket. Unlike most of the condemned persons around this city, Remy still retained a sense of common manners so long as you weren’t trying to threaten his life. Being a fifty year old homeless man with a bum leg made that life hard, it made it real hard. The daily struggle was breaking him down very fast.
He shuffled to the microwave and turned it over for further inspection. Not one dent or blemish, say for his own finger prints that molested the buttons earlier.
‘Let me get you to Smitty’s. Thanks for the breakfast dinner.’
Heavy lifting required all the weight be put on his good leg. With arms under the microwave he grunted and stood looking for his cart that was a good twenty feet away.
‘Should have pushed that over here, to late now, cause my back ain’t gunna do this again today.’
He began slow forward steps, hopefully his arms would hold out.
Remy did not see the discarded plastic soda bottle when he got to the half way point and stepped on it. The cap was on tight and it held shape. His good leg lurched forward forcing him to attempt balance with the bum leg. He let out a yelp of pain and his knee buckled causing him to fall straight back, the back of his head hitting the asphalt first and his vision went black. Good thing too, if his body hadn’t been so relaxed by the time that microwave fell on his chest, he probably would have busted some ribs.
Chapter 3: Don’t tase me bro.
Arthur Martian might have been a slacker rebel to his father but when it came down to his own security and employment, he was a workhorse. Not to be out done, his little brother would never leave the station until after Art did, no matter how late into the night he stayed.
“Not one finger print, not one trace of fiber or hair, no foot prints and no sign of a forced entry. This guy is really good. A right professional cowboy of murder. I blame movies and TV. The media wants to make things so damn real these days. We are training our children to be killers at the age they can operate the remote.” Arthur was angry, someone got lazy at that crime scene.
“It seems bizarre doesn’t it? I’ve been over the photographs a hundred times. Nothing adds up like it should,” John said, at the desk across the room. There were only two desk lamps on at the station. The Martian boys wanted to crack this sucker wide open. Nothing bad had come this precincts way since the riots of 2001. Detectives were being replaced by science. Grunt police work was fast becoming a lost art. Once and a while some cases needed the insight a computer hasn’t been able to produce yet, the human intuition.
“Why are you still here? Don’t you have a girlfriend that needs your attention? It is eleven o’clock get the hell out. You aren’t helping,” Art snapped at his brother.
‘They didn’t analyze everything, didn’t give him the tools he needed. He would have to go back to the Snoogin residence himself and see just what the hell was going on. He hated the foot work but he hated the possibility that a criminal could out wit him even more.’
“I’m going back to the Snoogin house to run over it again.”
“I’ll go with you,” John said.
“The hell you are, I’m going alone. If you think you can ride my ass to the top you’re wrong. You will earn it like everyone else. Like I did.”
Danny Machal May 2nd, 2009