Sunday, November 11, 2012

12TH NANoWriMo Novel In A Month episode for 11/11/12

I come from the theater. I come from south of here, from a special place filled with dreams. My name is Lawrence and yes, I am one of The Ghosts of Philadelphia. Oh, they'll tell our story one night... like CATS, without the whiskers. You can see my name on old dry yellowed boards, hidden by the dust of many moons. In rooms where no one goes down in the darkest ancient basement 'neath a pile of long forgotten pantaloons. 

My time on the stage came in the early days. Dolley Madison gave me a glove. And I danced with lacquered ladies and tumbled with the clowns. Did magic with a cauldron filled with doves.

The Walnut Street Theater was a palace then. And strange enough, It's still a palace now. But when the curtain falls to kiss the boards each night, Oh how we ghosts step forth to take our bow.

And I wander. And I see the life that swirls about me on the streets. Some have cinders, others gold. But now it's time to watch the play unfold. Three people sit inside a car parked by a Dunkin Donuts. But none of them have sugar on the mind. Marty sits up front, stares out the window. While Ricky and Little Chrissie sit behind........ OK, I'll stop the Broadway Melody now and get on with it. Please forgive me. An actor never dies. And now, I am a narrator.....

Marty says - I meant it. I was serious. I meant every word........ Ricky goes - Yeah, but do you still mean it now?......... Marty thinks for a moment and goes - Look, all I know is I want the bastid to die.......... Little Chrissie says - No, Marty, you're not kiddin'. For real?......... Marty says - Yeah 'for real.' FOR REAL! FOR REAL! FOR REAL!........ Ricky says - Keep quiet. The place is closed, but keep quiet. And Marty, how much?.......... Marty asks - What? You mean how much I would pay you? Like I said. Like I said. Twenty five thousand when it's done and fifty thousand dollars a year for three years........ Ricky goes - That is not what you said. You said fifty thousand dollars when it's done and a hundred thousand dollars a year. That's what you said. We heard. You said it. You said it.............. Marty just sits there, but Little Chrissie chimes in - Lemme ask you something. How come you just don't get some thug on the avenue to do it for like ten thousand dollars? I hear stories. You could get somebody. Why not just do it like that?......... Marty exhales and says - What? You think I didn't consider that. I did. Had the kid picked out and everything.  But then I started readin' the papers. I read 'em real careful, all about trials, all about killings, all about everything. And I learned shit...... Ricky goes - What'd you learn?......... Marty says - For ten thousand dollars you get caught.  You gotta make it so they want to keep their mouths shut afterwards too. And the dumb fucks 'round here think they're cowboys. You know how they talk. You hear 'em when you go to that Texas Weiner place during your 'lunch' break. God, how could you eat in there?......... Little Chrissie goes - I happen to like hotdogs. Do you mind. And why don't you do it yourself? Just come up behind him one night with a little twenty two and go pop-pop-pop. No more a you, you dead bastard......... Because I got kids. I got kids. And their father ain't no killer - says Marty.......... Ricky looks at Little Chrissie. She just sits. She got a kid. He hugs her and holds her close.......... Look - says Marty. I thought he was givin' me a good deal. I thought he was the proverbial extortionist with a heart of gold. I'm a dope. I'm a dope. I know it. He just wanted me to front for him. So I, like an asshole did. Only now he wants more. He wants a lot more............. Ricky says - What's he have now, a gang? Who are them Ukrainians? What's he got, like a 'crew' now?........ Marty goes - He ain't got no 'people.' He ain't got no gang. They're wannbes. He gives 'em a few bucks, makes 'em feel big. That's all. That's all. Finds 'em in those Russian restaurants he goes to..... busboys, anybody........... Ricky goes - What? And like they can't be dangerous?............. Maybe. Maybe - says Marty. If they was loyal. But they ain't loyal. If he disappeared they'd go move on to something else. Nah, this is just like an internship  for them............ Little Chrissie says - What's he got on you? Jimmy, I mean........... Like   you can't figure it out? - goes Marty. He knows everything. He knows about the shills. He knows about the fixed games. He knows about all the books. And he knows how long I been climbin' on Big Chrissie in the room BEHIND the back room. His name ain't on nothin'. Just me. It's all me. And not just the cops, not just the government, not just the I.R.S.. You think I want my wife to find out? Like I told you. I got kids.......... Little Chrissie goes - So do I, Marty. So do I..... And Ricky goes - You must be afraid of him. You gotta be......... Marty sighs and goes - He's crazy. He's a psycho. Who knows what he'll do. But if it comes from nowhere, if it's like a big surprise, what the hell is he gonna do? You know them two Ukrainians ain't with him everyday. They got family. They got family up in Brighton Beach. That I know. And he's a ghost. He's a ghost. It's true. He's a ghost. No records. No name. No nothin'. If he dies, who the hell is even gonna know? Who the hell is even gonna care?............ Little Chrissie goes - Marty, you want Big Chrissie to have an abortion? That's what she's sayin'. I mean, I just wanna know. I just wanna know......... DON'T ASK ME ABOUT THAT! - he yells. Are you two gonna help me, or what? Where the hell else would you two ever get money like this? Answer me that!

But they don't answer.  So Marty turns the key and quietly drives away, revealing a few squashed donuts under the car. 

Four heartbeats later three dusty pigeons bob over and have a feast...

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