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Sneakers on the Wire (Ch 2) Blurred Tears

March 11, 2011

            

                                        Sneakers on the Wire

                                               A Novella

                                                            By

                                         Corona Cabronisimo

            A hand slaps down a three-inch-high stack of eight-by-ten,
             black and white photos on the cold table inside the police
             station interview room.
 
             Rubio sits at one end of the table, studies the dangling
             sneaker photo as if it were the first time he’d seen it.
 
             Powers stands, his hand rests on the stack.
 
             Lipton sits across Rubio, a digital recorder rests between
             them.
 
                                      POWERS
                           You take these?
 
             Rubio flips through a few photos, holds up the most recent one.
 
                                      POWERS
                           If you’re gonna deny it—
 
                                      RUBIO
                           I did.
 
             Powers and Lipton eye each other.
 
                                      POWERS
                           You like taking pictures of
                           sneakers on telephone wires?
 
                                      RUBIO
                           I love it.
 
                                      POWERS
                           That’s what one of your
                           neighbors said.  Says you love
                           it a little too much.  Why?
 
                                      RUBIO
                           To show my students in my
                           Chicano Studies class.
                           Sneakers on the wire are part
                           of the culture.
 
             Powers points to the photo.
 
                                      POWERS
                           There’s feet in those.  That
                           part of the culture?
 
             “WTF?” confusion contorts his features
 
                                      POWERS
                           How’d they get there?
 
             Rubio’s mind races.

                                      RUBIO
                                (sarcastic, about
                                 Lipton)
                           Maybe he put ’em there.
 
             Lipton glares.
 
             Powers chuckles, shakes his head.
 
                                      POWERS
                           A lot of innocent people act
                           like smart-asses sometimes,
                           Lipton, because they know
                           they’re innocent.  But guilty
                           ones try to act like that, too,
                           to hide the guilt.  Which one
                           are you, Rubio?
 
                                      RUBIO
                           There a law against taking
                           pictures, detective?
 
                                      POWERS
                           No, but there’s a law against
                           cutting people’s feet off.
                           That person dead or walking
                           around on fucking stumps?
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Did you see anyone stumbling in
                           my house when you searched it?
 
             Rubio’s eyes dart toward the door.
 
             Powers and Lipton notice.
 
                                      LIPTON
                           What?  Expecting mamita to rush
                           in and save you?
 
             Suddenly, a knock at the door.
 
             Powers and Lipton share a look.
 
                                      POWERS
                           Come in.
 
             An Elderly Female Cop enters.
 
                                      RUBIO
                                (under breath)
                           Helloooooo, mamita.
 
             She whispers into Powers’ ear.

                                      POWERS
                           Shit.
                                (to Rubio)
                           I’ll let the victim’s family
                           know how sorry you are.  Get
                           outta here.
 
             Rubio grabs the photos.
 
                                      POWERS
                           Those stay.
 
             Rubio releases them, heads out…Elderly Female Cop follows.
 
                                      LIPTON
                           He’s definitely our guy.
 
             Powers isn’t so sure…far from it.
 
                                         **
 
             Rubio parks his ’64 Impala in front of his house.
 
             CAR’S LICENSE PLATE:
 
                                       RR HOOPT
 
             He steps out, briefcase in hand and stares up at the
             telephone wire of the gruesome discovery.
 
             He glances at the dimly lit Estrada home across the street.
 
             The curtains slightly part for a brief moment.
 
             Rubio sticks a key into his front door,
             inhales, exhales…pushes it open…
 
                                        
             He steps inside the living room, flips the light switch.
 
             The impeccably kept room looks like a herd of wild boar stormed inside.
 
             He ignores the chaotic mess, drops the briefcase, heads
             straight for the urn…
 
             Glass breaks.  He freezes, looks down.
 
             His foot rests on the wedding picture, its glass shattered.
 
             He picks it up, gently places it back on the mantel.

             He snatches the urn, yanks off its lid, peeks
             inside…ashes.
 
             He places the lid back on, clutches it tightly against his
             chest…big-time relief.
 
             MEOW.
 
             Girl, a three-legged cat, brushes up against his leg.
 
             With reverence, he sets the urn back on the mantel, grabs
             and caresses the cat.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Hey, Girl.
 
             He sits on a recliner, Girl in his arms.  Next to the
             recliner, sits a miniature recliner…”GIRL” stitched into
             its backrest.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           They must’a had your crippled
                           butt falling all over the
                           place, huh?
 
             Girl eyeballs him, turns her head sideways.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Don’t worry.
                                (includes goldfish)
                           No one’s gonna hurt you guys —
                           no one.
 
                                   
             Flashback to the inside of Rubio’s car…
 
             Rubio’s draped in a tux, he drives.  Theresa Rubio, clad in a
             wedding dress, sits next to him, oozes happiness.
 
             Girl, the cat — all four legs intact — sits between the
             couple on top of a pillow, chest high.  The goldfish swims
             in a fish bowl between Girl and Theresa.
 
             “Just Married” is sprayed on the car’s windows.
 
             Rubio holds up a lotto ticket; its bottom half torn off.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Then we’re gonna hit these
                           numbers and buy us a mansion.

             Rubio hands Theresa the ticket.
 
                                      THERESA
                           Where’s the rest of it?
 
                                      RUBIO
                                (romantic)
                           At home.  Waiting for us to
                           unite them like we have.
 
                                      THERESA
                                (doesn’t find it
                                 romantic)
                           That’s very romantic.  And a
                           mansion is nice and all but —
                                (sexily)
                           — first tell me what you’re
                           gonna do to me after you rush
                           me through the threshold.
 
             Theresa bites her bottom lip, stares at Rubio as if he were
             a scrumptious meal.
 
             Rubio likes it.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           I’m gonna rush you through the
                           threshold and spike you on the
                           bed.
 
                                      THERESA
                           Oooooh don’t stop.
 
             The car picks up speed.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Then I’m a rip off that stupid
                           dress—
 
             Theresa shoots him an “Excuse me?” look.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           I’m a rip off that PRETTY dress
                           and —
 
                                      THERESA
                           And what?
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Cover your girlfriends’ ears.
 
             Theresa places a hand over Girl’s head, the other over the
             fishbowl.

             Rubio’s adrenalin pumps; the car picks up speed, he
             doesn’t realize it.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           I’m a — I’m a —
 
                                      THERESA
                           Slow down, Raymond.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           How can a horny man in love
                           slow down?
 
                                      THERESA
                           By taking your foot off the gas
                           pedal.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           That ain’t my foot.
 
             They share a grin.
 
             She suddenly gawks at the windshield.
 
                                      THERESA
                           Look out!
 
             Rubio follows her eyes.
 
             A Lady and a Little Girl, hand-in-hand, stand frozen in the
             middle of the road.
 
             The Lady seems to smile.  The Little Girl’s wide-eyed,
             slack-jawed.
 
             Rubio slams on the brakes, yanks the steering wheel hard
             left.
 
             The car skids, slams into the Lady, rips her away from the
             Little Girl…into a tree, BAM!
 
             Followed by silence.
 
             The car’s front-end is mangled.  The Lady’s torso lies bent
             over the hood; her bottom half pinned between the car and
             the tree.
 
             Blood trickles from her mouth, her nostrils. 

             She’s dead.
 
             Rubio slumps against the steering wheel, eyes closed,
             an ugly gash stains his forehead.
 
             Theresa slumps against the dashboard, faces away from Rubio.

             Girl lies on the dashboard, smashed against the windshield; her
             right front leg dangles, attached only by furry skin.
 
             The goldfish flops around on the floorboard in a puddle of
             bloody water.
 
             Rubio’s eyes open…find Theresa.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Baby?
 
             Theresa doesn’t move.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Theresa?
 
             Rubio reaches for her, his hand trembles.  He turns her
             face towards his.
 
             Her face bloody, her eyes wide…quiet, still.
 
             Rubio’s jaw trembles.
 
             A scream echos.
 
             The Little Girl drapes herself over the dead Lady and bawls.
 
             She stares at Rubio through her tears.
 
             Rubio stares back through his own blurred tears.
 
             His head bangs into the steering wheel.  His eyes close.
             He’s out.
 
             The Little Girl’s mouth opens wide to scream again.
 
             A cat shrieks.
 
                                    
             Back in Rubio’s living room…

             Girl bares her sharp teeth…HISSES!
 
             Rubio holds her up by the neck, chokes her — doesn’t
             realize it.  His forearm bleeds — a cat scratch.
 
             Blink.  Blink.  He snaps out of it, returns from the
             nightmare.
 
             He drops her.
 
             She races out.

                                      RUBIO
                           Girl!
 
             She’s gone…he slumps.

            To be continued…

*No part of this novella may be reproduced in any form or by any electronic or mechanical means including information storage and retrieval systems without permission in writing from the author.    
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