Wednesday, April 07, 2010


Julian sat huffing against a cinder block, holding a paper bag plump with chestnuts. His erstwhile companion, Toews, lay dying in the street adjacent, where he was shot in the head at close range.

Presently, Anton came running. His feet beat fast, alternately, upon the pavement like the sound of palms slapping water.

There was no one in pursuit, small miracles.

"Jules, I saw it!" Anton whisper-screamed. "Five guys. Two white, two black, and a Chinese. He looks like a squashed grape. The blood even looked purple! I've never seen..."

"We have to get the fuck out of here," Julian said, standing up. His legs were numb, unresponsive. Too much running. "How much money you got? We have to find a place to stay."

"Eighty-seven dollars. Is that gonna be enough?"

"Maybe. Barely. Or not. I have a fiver. If I hadn't lost my fucking jacket!" He spit and punched the invisible ghost of fate.

"And we have that bag of chestnuts. Don't forget that," Anton said with a smile meant to placate but which further enraged his partner in crime.

"You idiot, ninety-two dollars plus a bag of chestnuts is still ninety-two dollars." To demonstrate this logic of finance, Julian poured the bag's contents onto the side of the road, where they showered for a brief moment like the world's shortest and least destructive hail storm.

Somewhere in the cobwebs of his brain -- a lifelong affection for and addiction to heroin will do that to a man -- Anton understood.

They would have to have to rob another store, this time without guns or like weaponry.

"Pick up those fucking nuts," Julian commanded as he started toward the beachfront. "We might not have another thing to eat for awhile."

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