Chapter 6: Hoooooooooot Pockeeeeeeeeeeet
“Record setting temperatures are expected in the City this week with humidity levels in the forties. Community weather gurus are urging people to keep hydrated and stay indoors. More on that after the break.”
Remy watched the TV through the rusty steel mesh outside Smitty’s front window display. The microwave hadn’t produced a damn thing in two days and he was starving. He opened the windowed door nearly every ten minutes and kept getting the same empty disappointment. Under normal circumstances he would be gathering up cans, or holding his “will work for food sign” on some street corner, but it was just too damn hot to be in the direct sun. He held onto hope the microwave would produce again, even tried to leave it alone for a few and come back to it, hoping for another Breakfast Dinner. Looks like his Guardian Angel has moved on to another lost soul, back to the one man show.
The sign on the door said Smitty would be back at 1:30, said he was, “out to lunch.” That fat-fuck was constantly eating and living chubby off the misfortune of others. People from all walks of life could stumble in his store and get pennies on the dollar worth for wedding rings, watches, stolen goods or any electronics, Smitty didn’t care, he took it all. If the cops collected the inventory lists of all the house robberies this month, guaranteed, half of that stuff was at Smitty’s dingy Swap Meet. Remy heard the slow clinking of metal approaching from around the block.
Smitty couldn’t be more than a decade younger than Remy was, somewhere in his mid-forties if one had to guess. He was a butterball sort of man, bald, with a greying short beard that traced his round face, and the unmistakable jingling ring of keys as he maneuvered his great girth to and fro. He was like an obese pet pig with a bell collar, you always knew when he was coming your way. Remy hated Smitty’s sort, but he hated most of the beings he interacted with on a daily basis. There was a time he commanded the respect of men who would die for him, and a family that loved him. Smitty sucked in a big breath so he could talk and walk at the same time. It came out more like an asthmatic wheeze.
“Fifteen … feet from the … door … transient. Unless … your … doing … bus…iness,” you had to feel sorry for him on some level, but mostly it was just pathetic. Remy took a few steps back, looks like Smitty couldn’t hold out the two minute walk back before beginning his lunch.
“Did it hurt?” Remy asked.
“Did what hurt?” Smitty put down the grocery bag bursting with snacks from the corner gas station and fumbled with the keys to unlock the shop.
“The mustard and ketchup grenade that went off on your chest. Looks about the size of a .65 millimeter hot dog launcher with all the bells and whistles. Chili primer, relish propellant, and no doubt, a nacho cheese firing mechanism. What are the barrels on those things these days? Bout’ a foot long?”
“You being a smart ass right now? Fuck off before I call the cops you piece of street trash,” poor Jabba got his feelings hurt, Remy grinned. It wasn’t because he was fat, Remy didn’t care, it was because he was an asshole to the core and being fat was really all you could fuck with him about.
“Easy Smitt’s, I got something to bring in. I think it is right up your alley to cook all these hot pockets you just got.”
In the end Smitty only gave Remy thirty dollars for the microwave. It was worth hundreds and they both knew it, but Smitty had the upper hand. No one else would even consider paying for shit homeless guys brought in. Maybe that secretly exposed Smitty’s heart to help the people less fortunate than himself; his artery clogged grease trap of a dick-head heart.
Chapter 7: You stop laughing right “meow”
The price of a diet coke at the station’s vending machine was getting more and more expensive. Arthur got to work at 7:30am every single day like clock work. At 7:31am the quarters rolled down the change slot to purchase his diet coke, which went from fifty cents when he started, to a dollar and seventy five cents now. He found it disgusting how the price of everything goes up in such high percentages, his paychecks certainly weren’t growing at that rate. He made his way to the small desk and opened the top drawer.
“Jesus Christ, come on you damn children,” Arthur shouted to no one in particular but loud enough to make the room fall silent. He had that sort of commanding demeanor about him, that is what made him a good investigator. People rarely lied to his face.
Inside the drawer was a small stuffed cat crusted over with what he could only guess was ketchup. He pulled it out and threw it in his trash. A small “meow” came from somewhere. Arthur shot dirty looks in all directions. A hand slapped his shoulder.
“Morning brother, arrest any pussies last night?” John said.
“You’re still free, so I guess not.”
“From shooting cat burglars to being a comedian, my brother you’re going places. Did you find out anything last night?” John said.
“Not really, the place is clean. Why was the power shut off so soon?”
“We didn’t touch any utilities yet. We’re not that stupid.”
“Well it’s off, so get it turned back on, and get me the packet of records on her utility bills, I want to check out her phone records,” Arthur said.
“Sure thing, what are you thinking?”
“I have no clue to be honest. At this point, aliens came down from outer space, probed her, and left. Did the coroner check for any anal intrusions? I’m thinking the aliens are the best lead we have. A woman with her arm chewed up in a blender was found dead in her home, no sign whatsoever that she had anyone else with her. Maybe she got off her meds and fell into the blender while it was on with the lid off. Now go get me those utility bills,” Arthur said.
Arthur took a sip off his coke and waited for the Chief to get in. Still had that leak to deal with today. What a day it was turning out to be too.
Arthur grabbed his coat and stormed outside to have a smoke.
Danny Machal May 18th, 2009