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Sneakers on the Wire (Ch 5) While Criminals Creep

April 1, 2011

           

                                                                    SNEAKERS ON THE WIRE

                                                                                 A Novella

                                                                                           By

                                                                           Corona Cabronisimo

             JJ lounges on Rubio’s couch as if he belongs there, chomps
             on a wad of gum.
 
             FOOTSTEPS stomp up the front porch steps.
 
             JJ slips the gum underneath the coffee table.
 
             Rubio marches in…
 
                                      RUBIO
                           What the hell are you doing
                           here?
 
                                      JJ
                                (sarcastic)
                           You’re welcome.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Do you break into everyone’s
                           home or just mine?
 
                                      JJ
                           Just yours.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Why?
 
                                      JJ
                           Because you told me to leave
                           the classroom.  None of this
                           would’a happened if you would’a
                           had your dawg wit’chu.
 
                                      RUBIO
                                (firmer)
                           Why?
 
             JJ nods towards a framed picture hanging
             on the wall…

             Coach Rubio and his little league team grin in their
             team picture. 
                                    
                           
                                      RUBIO
                           What about it?
 
                                      JJ
                          You kept me outta YA. Just
                           trying to return the favor.
                                (points to water
                                 bottles turned
                                 piggy banks)
                           Your race between good and evil
                           is a lot closer than you think.

                                      RUBIO
                           Not if I break the fifth
                           commandment right now.
 
             JJ glances at the ten commandments wooden tablet hanging
             over computer…commandment #5:

                                                “Thou shall not kill.”
 
             JJ’s eyes drift back to Rubio…the front door creaks a few inches…
             enough to expose the closet mirror…and the reflection of Rubio’s gun
             tucked into the back of his waistband.
 
             JJ swallows, slowly stands.
 
                                      JJ
                           You ain’t gotta be gangsta no
                           more, professor.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           You ain’t gotta be breaking
                           into peoples’ homes no more, homegrown.
                           Get out.
 
             JJ cautiously exits, ass backwards.
 
             Rubio slams the door behind him, snatches the little league picture,
             shakes his head in confusion.                       
                               
           
 
                                        **
 
             Mrs. Estrada shakes the cobwebs.
 
             Cookie sits across from her at the kitchen table.
 
                                      MRS. ESTRADA
                           I’m feeling better.  Let’s go.
 
                                      COOKIE
                           I ain’t going, ma.
 
             Mrs. Estrada stares: “What?”
 
                                      COOKIE
                           I ain’t seeing no more priests
                           and I ain’t never gonna be no
                           professor.  Matter of fact,
                           it’s about time I fly this coop.
 
                                      MRS. ESTRADA
                                (to the Heavens)
                           Amen.
 
 

                                         **
 
             A brand spanking new BMW idles in front of the District
             Attorney’s mansion.
 
             Nasty D.A. sits behind the wheel.  Cool and calm Britney
             sits front passenger.
 
                                      D.A.
                           This taxi ride better be worth
                           it.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           It will be.
 
             The car rolls off.
 
                                         **
 
             The living room digital clock reads: “12:02 am”
            
 
             Rubio sits, forearms rest on his thighs.  He faces the
             front window, determination saturates his face. He peeks
             at the Estrada home through a crack in the curtains.

 
                                      RUBIO
                           Your move, Cookie.
 
             LATER
 
             Digital clock reads: “1:58 am.”
 
             Rubio sits in the same position…eyelids grow heavy.
 
             He caresses Girl, glances at the clock, looks at the
             Estrada home.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Do something — fucker.
 
             MEOW.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Not you.
 
             LATER
 
             Digital clock reads: “3:05 am.”
 
             Rubio sinks lower in the chair, eyelids droop — he won’t
             last.

             Eyelids close…pop open.  He sits up, blinks in rapid
             succession, looks at the house.
 
             After a few moments, his eyelids
             blink…heavily…close…completely.  His chin drops to
             his chest.
 
                                       **
 
             An East Oakland run-down duplex where hard-working
             Latinos sleep while criminals creep.
 
             The BMW pulls up, parks.  Nasty D.A. and Britney sit inside.
 
             Britney holds a small, plastic bag labeled:
 
                                  Oaktown Pawn Shop
 
             D.A. scans the area…concern swims in his eyes.
 
             Britney reaches into the bag, pulls out a small box.
 
             A gold chain with a charm rests inside, snuggling against velvet-
             covered cardboard.
 
             She holds up the chain.  The charm’s initials dangle:
 
                                          RR
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           I can’t believe we found one.
                           Thank you.  Would you like a
                           super?
 
                                      D.A.
                           Super what?
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           Super woof-woof?
 
             D.A. glances at the duplex…at Britney.
 
             He can’t resist, a nasty “hell yeah” grin forms.
 
                                      **
 
             The duplex door swings open.  Britney flips the light
             switch, D.A. follows her inside.
 
             Magazines, clothes and dolls litter the humble place.
 
             Britney tosses the shopping bag and her backpack on top of
             a pile of clothes sprawled over the couch.

             She eases a closed bedroom door open, peeks inside.
 
             She smiles, eases the door back shut.
 
             D.A. watches her every move.
 
             She unlocks another closed bedroom door, pushes it open,
             looks inside.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           We have company, mommy.
                                (to D.A.)
                           Super woof-woof?
 
             D.A. stares uncomfortably.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           Trust me — it’s hydrant heaven
                           in there.
 
             D.A. moves to the doorway, peeks inside…confusion.
 
             He searches Britney’s face.
 
            Britney seductively slides down on all fours, kisses his…

            Brown alligator loafers before crawling inside.
             
             D.A. can’t resist, the human hydrant follows her in.
 
             The door closes.
 
                                      **
 
             The digital clock reads: “4:32 am.”
 
             Rubio sleeps soundly in the chair.
 
             A SIREN blares.
 
             His eyes pop open.
 
             He sits up.  SIREN blares past the house…fades away.
 
             He looks at the clock: “Shit!”
 
             He yanks open the curtains, stares at the Estrada home.
 
             No movement.
 
             He snatches the 9mm from the table, tucks it in his
             back waistband, rushes out the front door.
 
             Rubio speedwalks across the street…

             Right into the blinding glare of a helicopter search-light…

             The sound of helicopter blades pound the night air.

             The enveloping light follows him…

             Rubio could give a fuck, he’s focused on Cookie’s home.
 
             A  Chicano gangsta’ sprints across Rubio’s path, the light tags him.

             Within seconds, The pursuit disappears from view.            
                       
             Rubio marches onto the porch, raises a fist to pound the door…

             The door flies open…a machete’s glistening tip stops short of Rubio’s
             Adam’s apple.
 
             Cookie’s fingers grasp the machete.  Rubio freezes.
 
                                      COOKIE
                           Don’t’chu call before you
                           visit, professor man?
 
             No response.
 
                                      COOKIE
                           What’chu want?
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Where were you the last hour
                           and a half?
 
                                      COOKIE
                           Watching some Peeping Tom fall
                           asleep while he stared at my
                           house.
 
             CLICK.
 
             Cookie’s eyes scroll down…
 
             Rubio points a cocked gun at Cookie’s crotch.
 
             Cookie’s eyes scroll back up.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           I’ll shoot’chu faster than
                           homeboy they were chasing right
                           now.
 
             Cookie carefully lowers the machete.
 
             Rubio keeps the gun pointed.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Where’s your mother?
 
             Cookie leans to the side, exposes Mrs. Estrada sound
             asleep on the couch behind him.

                                      COOKIE
                           She’s medicated — had an
                           accident earlier.
 
             Rubio lowers the gun.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           If I’m wrong about you,
                           somebody’s already missing some
                           feet.
 
                                      COOKIE
                           Then somebody’s missing some
                           feet ’cause I ain’t no damn
                           foot-chopper.  Look, professor
                           man, I don’t hate’chu.  I just
                           hate you live across the street
                           and my mother’s always gotta
                           remind me about’chur successful
                           ass.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           So move.
 
             Cookie steps back, flips the door shut with a flick of the
             wrist.
 
             Rubio eyes the dark sky, looks at his watch.
 
             He hurries down the steps to his ’64.
 
             Slides in behind the wheel.
 
             Car screeches away, up the street.
 
                                        **
 
             Rubio cruises through the barrio, looks up at each passing
             telephone wire.
 
             The bare wires are just that…bare.
 
             The car rolls on.
 
             Rubio cruises down another street.
 
             He looks up through the windshield…another bare wire.
 
             From a distance, he spots a shadow hanging off the furthest
             wire up the block.

             He guns the engine, sparks fly from the Chevy’s back end as it
             scrapes a speed bump. 

             He rolls to a slow stop beneath the wire…   

             And frowns as he squints up against the darkness. “WTF?”

             Suddenly, a resigned look.
 
             Instead of bloody sneakers, a lacy, pink bra dangles.

             He turns onto another street, passes underneath another
             wire…no sneakers.
 
             The car passes underneath a second wire…nothing.
 
             A third wire…nothing.
 
             He pulls over, parks…
 
             Rests his forehead against the steering wheel, closes his
             eyes.
 
                                       **
 
             The rising sun peeks over Rubio’s home.
 
             Rubio pulls up in his ride, parks.
 
             He steps out, studies the Estrada home.
 
             He heads towards his house, suddenly, he stops, his head
             swivels towards the same wire of the gruesome discovery
             earlier.
 
             A pair of Converse, high top tennis-shoes hangs from the
             wire.
 
             He glances back at the Estrada home.
 
             All’s quiet.
 
             He marches towards the chucks.
 
             Forty yards and closing.
 
             His pace quickens.
 
             Thirty yards and closing.
 
             He trots, stops underneath the sneakers, looks up.
 
             The sneakers dangle innocently…
 
             His eyes widen.

             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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