The story so far:
ii - we meet
Light spilled out unto the front porch from inside the trailer. I stood empty handed, just inside the door. Waiting.
I knew I was ****.
Surely the news had gotten out and that meant that everyone would soon be coming. To collect what they could. Take what they wanted.
And what was a 13-year-old kid supposed to do? Stay and fight? Defend his home, his possessions…against an army of alcoholic thieves, crack craving teenagers, gang-bangers and professional ****-ups?
I decided for some unknown reason that I was. I would fight until the death because really, I had nothing left to live for.
The trailer park was full of stuff to put in your mouth. And up your nose. Or into your lungs or into your veins. And there was this dude named Treefrog that was happy to get any of it for you. Treefrog was the big time as far as we were concerned. He handled all the traffic in and out of our little western suburb Chicago trailer community.
Some big shot he turned out to be though. His real name was Donnie Dillson and when this low life Hells Angel wanna be who called himself Dago found out about this information he spread it around the park like syphilis.
When it got back to Treefrog he flipped out and worked over Dago real good. So good in fact that Dago disappeared. Which wouldn’t have necessarily been such a bad thing except for the fact that Dago was my dad. And since my mother had been AWOL since I was five, well that left only me.
The front door had already been forcibly removed. Probably by Treefrog when he came to get Dago. I figured leaving the light on would at least give the illusion that someone was home. Someone other than just me.
I saw them coming.
I grabbed hold of a baseball bat and ducked down behind the ratty green couch in my living room.
My breath came in hurried pants. I was terrified. I didn’t know what I was doing…I didn’t have a plan.
As I heard the first footfalls on the metal stairs I involuntarily started praying. Looking back now I can’t say for sure who I was praying to. I didn’t know anything about religion other than what I learned from watching movies like ‘the Exorcist’, one of Dagos favorites. Maybe I was praying to a God, maybe a Devil…maybe my long lost mother. Either way, my prayers went unanswered as a strong determined hand grasped the fabric of my shirt and hauled me out from behind the couch.
“Well lookee what we got here boys. It’s little Jesses girl.”
There were four of them, surrounding me.
I recognized Chili-Willi, a banger I knew from school. He was a few years older than me and ran with a group of kids who claimed to be with the gang ‘Almighty Krazy Getdown Boys’, although if it was true, they were way out of their territory. A few others looked familiar but I couldn’t put names with faces. Especially not in the rush of panic I was in.
“Whacha gonna do wit dat bat little bitch?”
I tightened my grip on it.
“You best not be fidden to take a swing.”
Even though I was outnumbered, no one wanted to take a bat to the head. And these guys were experienced enough to know that a cornered beast attacks. Normally out of instinct. Survival of the fittest.
But for me, it was simply desperation.
I took aim at Chilis head like it was a tee-ball and I lunged forward with as much force as I could get.
The bat struck him in the side of the neck below the ear. Terrible shot.
I heard him call out a war cry as I pulled my weapon back for a repeat hit.
It never made it.
A flurry of fists beat me into submission as I turtled on the ground. I can’t say for sure how long this pummeling lasted. Felt like hours. Once I was struck so fiercely in the side of the head that my eyes automatically opened. I was facing down into the shag carpet of the living room floor. It was once white, then after years of abuse, grey white…now it was red. Blood red. My blood red.
I heard Chili bellow out to stop and the beating resolved itself.
My body was soft and weak. I figured I would soon be dead anyway so I rolled over unto my back. I wanted to get one last look at the one who would do it. I hoped it would be Chili.
I wanted to say something grand…like, ‘God will judge you now.’ Or ‘I’ll see you in Hell!’
But before any words could form on my lips I saw the blurry figure of a boot flash into my groin.
And then the pain took over.
When I woke up sometime later, I can’t be sure just how long I was out, things were eerily calm. I could hear sounds…but they were faint.
I heard crying. Whining. Panting.
I heard sirens.
I rolled over and saw the figure of another boy, around my own age, standing over Chilis motionless body. In his left hand he held a bloody screwdriver. In his right hand he held a smoking gun.
On his dark face he wore a grin.
As if sensing I was awake he said, “Get up. Now! We have to go before the pigs get here.”
I tried to do just that but my legs were not strong enough. Like a battered boxer I lost my balance half way up and cascaded back to the floor.
The sirens were closer.
The kid shoved the screwdriver in his pocket, wiped the gun handle on his shirt and threw it down. Then he came to me and helped me to my feet.
As I tested my equilibrium I chanced a glance around the room.
Five downed punks. Bloody. Gunshots. Screwdriver wounds. Mostly dead.
I looked at the black kid.
“You did this man?”
“Yea, you got a **** problem with it white boy?”
“No…no. **** no…thank you.”
He smiled. His teeth seemed unnaturally white framed by his black lips and splatters of dark red blood.
“Okay then. Come on lets go. I have a bike out back. We can take the trail through the woods. Pigs will never see us.”
I nodded. I could still feel the heat of pain in my ball sack. I knew we had to get going but I had to ask…
“Who are you?”“Your new best friend. Names Kirt. Now let’s get the hell out of here!”