Friday, September 2, 2011

The Protocol: A Death Down by the River Part VI

(raccoon painting by Teo Alfonso;

(For Part I go here, Part II here, Part III here, Part IV here, Part V here)

Loaves and Fishes was about a half mile away. It was a non-profit dedicated to helping the homeless. Old Man Dan still made it to Loaves and Fishes around 7:00. It was at this time that he and a couple hundred others would get morning coffee and, if they wanted, lunch tickets. Dan got his coffee and ticket and went to his usual gazebo with his usual coffee klatch mates, which included Bugeye, Double D and Randy Terrell, a 30-ish, well built man with a bad anger and booze problem. He lived under some trees not far from Dan behind the car dealership fence, and he considered Dan a friend. He grimaced as Dan's story unfolded and Randy's goatee and shaved head accentuated the anger that was building in his face. Dan told them that he had been threatened, shoved and kicked. But he didn't want anything done about it - Dan wasn't the vengeful type. Randy was fuming. Yeah, he had his problems, but there were two kinds of people he would always defend: the handicapped and the elderly. And he didn't like it one bit that two men had harassed his friend.

It was Randy's habit, depending on how much he had made that day from "canning" (i.e., collecting recycles for money), to buy several 40 oz bottles of Hurricane Beer, the fortified kind, the kind that was over 8% alcohol. Randy had a pretty deep drinking problem. And it didn't help that he occasionally added drugs to the mix. After leaving Dan and the others, he got on his bike and made the usual rounds looking for cans. This happened to be a very good day, and after a few hours, he'd made a decent day's wages. He bought his first Hurricane, went back to his camp, and continued stewing about what had happened to his friend. His tooth was killing him; he would have to get that dealt with, but for the time being he took a coupla vicodans for the pain. Around noon, he decided to check out the house where Dan had been attacked. He rode his bike over to the end of Basler Street and began riding in circles in front of Danny's house, mumbling curses and profanity.

Danny was in the kitchen and when he looked out the window and saw the young man circling in front of his house, his first response was one of terror - was that Tommy Duke again? It sure looked like him! He called out to Mark, who came into the kitchen just as Randy rode away. Mark just caught a glimpse of him, but also thought it was probably Tommy. This was not good. This was getting to a point where something would have to be done. When Jay returned, they would tell him that they thought Tommy was back and looking for more trouble.

A few hours later, Randy bought his second Hurricane and again finished it at his camp. This time, he pulled out his glass pipe and added a little meth to the mix. There was no way those two guys were going to get away with hurting his friend. Who did they think they were? His anger was reaching a boiling point and he decided to do something about the two men who had attacked his friend. Around 5:30, another homeless man named Bandana came by with a few Natty Lights, and Randy talked about what he was going to do. It just wasn't right what happened to Dan, and Randy was going to let his fists take care of the matter.

To Be Continued

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