Thursday, August 27, 2015

TWO BLACK SHAPES ON AN EMPTY STAGE SET STREET... 8/28/15

Three nights later, it rained... a cold misty drizzle. The streets were deserted. Everyone cocooned inside the narrow, row houses. Cops will tell you most nighttime break-ins occur in bad weather... icy cold.. rain... Not snow, though. Too many foot prints. Plus, if it's cloudy, the light bounces back and forth creating a false, deep, dusk that never goes away. Kids sled all night. No, snow is bad for burglars. Ca-Ca's cousin, Mike, understood that. He was what you call an instinctive crook. And he had a kit... a few screw drivers... a small hammer... something like an ice pick... rubber gloves... two towels... some other crap. Hey, I don't know. I'm just the narrator. They tell me and I tell you. Ca-Ca saw some old reruns of Honey West on cable and said they should wear black, so they got these sweatshirts, wool caps and jeans at Kmart. they were having a sale on burglar clothes. Mike paid for it.

Ca-Ca's mother said - Where you gone?.... Ca-Ca said - I'm gonna watch scary movies with Mike and Aunt Connie.... And that was no lie. They were gonna watch scary movies. She watched scary movies there all the time 'cause they had cable. Would fall asleep on the sofa... the 'parlor' sofa... not the 'down the basement' one. Aunt Connie went upstairs at one, or one thirty. Ca-Ca and Mike watched til four. Then they fell asleep. She took the big 'man's chair.' He stretched out on the sofa. That's what they did. Liked ghost stories the best... old ones... creepy ones... But this time, when Connie goes to sleep, they're gonna slip out and go get that safe. Mike knew how to break it open and everything. I mean they have sites that tell you how to break open small household safes on You Tube. Not hard to do. The people who manufacture them call them 'fireproof strong boxes,' but they look like safes and everybody calls them 'safes.' Only they're not so safe. If you drop one from a second story window onto a hard surface, like cement or something, the lid'll pop right off. Cub scouts know it... even Brownies. Just gotta be sure you put the safe into a big, tied shut, plastic bag so the money inside don't blow away. Mike broke open safes before, but never one that was supposed to have so much money in it.

Ca-Ca watched as Connie went upstairs. Mike watched too. Figured they'd give her a half hour to fall asleep. She'd close her door. Didn't want to hear the movies. And they'd have three, maybe three and a half hours til she took a pee. Plenty of time.

They heard the bedroom door click shut. Mike looked at his watch and mouthed the words 'a half hour.'... Ca-Ca nodded. Then they watched the movie, The Uninvited, Stella By Starlight and all that. Good theme, actually. Ahead of it's time (1944). Look it up on You Tube. You'll see. Thing is, all these ghost movies made Ca-Ca think about Esther's ghost. Ghosts like to confront their killers. Must think about that a lot. I don't know what they think about after the killer's dead too, but who cares?....

After a bit, Ca-Ca whispered. She said - What do you think hell's like?........ Mike goes - Not my problem. I'll be dead..... She gave him a look and exhaled. Smart he ain't.... Then she said - I read that back in the nineteen fifties, Jews in Israel grabbed some German Nazi guy and buried him underground, like under a hundred feet of cement in metal cube, like a little room. It was dark...pitch black. Food & water came down a tube. There was like a drain, you could take the cover off, for piss and shit to go down. If he missed the hole, he had to push the shit down with his hands. And the water came down like a little shower. He had to stand under and drink it, or else he wouldn't get none til the next time. And if the food bounced onto a piece of shit... ewww, can you imagine what that was like? Ceiling was twelve feet high and German Nazi guy was naked. He lived for eighteen years, sleepin' curled up on a metal floor. They kept it just barely warm enough, so he wouldn't die. And he survived down there almost twenty years. Guy probably thought he was dead and he WAS in hell. God I hope it's not like that.....What do you want? Do you want fire? said Mike..... Don't be a shithead! - goes his cousin.

Then the half hour's up and it's time to go...

Mike gets the sweat shirts... They pull 'em on and slip out. He closes the door real careful. Hardly makes a sound. Almost all of the houses are dark... like a stage set. And from up above, the Eyes Of God, or perhaps one of His lieutenants, watch as two black shapes make their way down the shiny, wet street toward their prize.....

<more next time>

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