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Sneakers on the Wire (Ch 6) Lift-it

April 8, 2011


A Novella


Corona Cabronisimo

            The sun kisses the horizon. A hazy glow spills over barrio asphalt.
             Rubio’s ’64 sits parked beneath the dangling sneakers.
             He pops the trunk, snatches an aluminum golf-ball-retriever
             from his golf bag and hops on the car’s rooftop.
             He extends the retriever to its full twelve-foot length,
             raises it up to the sneakers…
             Stretches retriever-clad arm to its painful maximum…  

             And falls eight feet short.
             He hops down, races to the trunk, searches…searches…
             Nothing. His mind races.
             He spins, slams his leg against the bumper…
             Five feet away, Joker’s lowride idles, faces menacingly.
             Inside, sit Joker and Happy.  Joker sticks his head out the
                           You get off blocking streets,
             Rubio glares.
                           Move me.
             Joker’s eyebrows lower, he squeezes the steering wheel…
             The car inches forward.
             Happy pumps a fist, let’s do this.
             Rubio swallows.
             Lowride creeps.
             Rubio doesn’t budge.
             Two feet and closing.  The license plate peeks out between
             Rubio’s knees: 

                                     “RR HOOP T”
                           Better move, RR HOOPTY!

                           No, don’t move, don’t move.
             Rubio doesn’t budge.
             A foot away and closing.
                           Don’t grow balls now, picture-
                           Grow some. Grow some.
             Lowride’s grill inches closer. Rubio
             presses back.
                           Smash him. Smash him.
             Lowride’s bumper grazes Rubio’s Levi’s.
                           Okay okay!
             The car stops.
             Happy hammer-fists the dashboard.
             Lowride rolls back five feet.
             Rubio doesn’t budge.
                           Move me.
             Joker and Happy eye each other.
                           You believe this ball-less
             They hop out of the car, march towards Rubio.
             Rubio whips out his 9, holds it down by his side, squeezes.

             Homeboys freeze.
                           Who’s the got the shank?
             Neither homeboy moves.
             CLICK. Rubio cocks back the 9’s hammer.

             Joker whips out an oversized filero from his waistband.
             Happy pulls out a smaller version.
                          Drop ’em on the hood.
             They backpedal. Joker drops the shank on the lowride’s
             hood…Happy hesitates for a split second, succumbs.

            They don’t.

             Rubio’s finger massages the trigger…
             Homeboys book, they’re gone.
             Rubio eyeballs the knife.



War’s LOWRIDER sings in the background…            
             Rubio wraps duct tape around the golf ball retriever’s tip
             and Joker’s shank.
             Once secured, he stretches, raises the knife-topped retriever to
             the sneakers. He grunts, a sweat droplet glides down his forehead…
             The knife falls five feet short.
             He lowers the retriever…down, down…its blade glistens
             against early morning sunlight…exposing Rubio’s feet…

             Which stand on the rooftop of Joker’s lowride.

             He reaches in his pocket…

             Pulls out hydraulic switches connected to an electrical cord
             from inside the car.
             He flips a switch, ZZZZT! Hydraulics scream in short bursts.
             The car’s front-end comes alive, jolts a foot upward.
             He flips another switch, ZZZZT!  Back-end jolts, rises a
             foot upward.
             ZZZZT!  Front-end rises another foot.
             ZZZZT!  Back-end climbs a foot.

             ZZZZT!  Front-end locks into its maximum upright position.
             ZZZZT!  Back-end locks at the same height as the front-end.

             Rubio’s two feet closer to the sneakers.
             He raises the ball retriever…
             Falls three feet short.
             He slumps, out of options…or is he?
             He contemplates, steps down onto the hood.
             Stretches the knife towards the sneakers…
             Falls five feet short.
             He balances himself like a rookie surfer about to face a big-ass wave,
             squeezes the retriever in both fists…
             and thumbs the hydraulic switch…ZZZZT!
             The lowride’s front-end drops, kisses the ground.
             He readies himself…
             ZZZZT!  Front-end jolts up, hard, tires fly off the ground.
             ZZZZT!  Back up…higher, a foot between the tires and the
             ZZZZT!  Back up…higher…
             ZZZZT!  Front-end bounces…three feet between the tires
             and the ground.

             Rubio takes aim…this is it…
             And BOUNCE!
             Rubio springs off the front-end like a diving board just as
             it reaches maximum height and…
             FFFFT!  The retriever’s blade slices the sneakers’
             And drops…
             SLAM!  He bounces off the hood, rolls to the ground.
             Freed Sneakers fall from the sky…
             Crash onto the hood as the front-end rises…THUMP-THUMP!
             The sneakers bounce back up…
             IN SLOW MOTION
             Rubio lies on his back, eyes locked on the floating Cons, dropping…             
             Directly at him.
             IN REGULAR SPEED
             THUMP-THUMP!  They crash onto his chest.
             He stares inside the up-close sneakers…                

             Blood, gristle, sawed-off bone…a pair of feet, chopped
             below the shoe’s ankle line.

             He swats away the bloody shoes, springs to his feet.
             Finally, he tears his eyes off the bloody mess.
             And glares at the Estrada home.

            He yanks his 9 from his waistband, limps towards the
             Hobbles on the walkway.
             Climbs onto the porch.
             The door swings open.  He steps back, points the gun at…
                                      MRS. ESTRADA
             Rubio lowers the gun, pulls Mrs. Estrada outside, pans
             inside, gun pointed.
                           You can’t go back in there.
                                      MRS. ESTRADA
                           Why not? What’s going on?
                           Cookie’s been sinning.
             Mrs. Estrada slumps, devastated.
                                      MRS. ESTRADA
                           Cookie’s gone.
             She holds out a sheet of paper.
                                      MRS. ESTRADA
                           I was on my way to tell you.
             Rubio stares at the letter.
             Britney steps out of mommy’s bedroom, a black backpack
             hangs off of her shoulder. 
             From the doorway, she blows a kiss into the room,
             whips out a key, locks the door.
             She heads to the cracked-open bathroom door, a kid’s song is
             drowned out by running water and teeth-brushing.             
                           Hurry up.  I don’t wanna be
             She steps away, reaches into a jewelry box, pulls out the pawn
             shop gold chain, dangles the RR initials…smiles.                     
             Rubio stands in the Estrada living room, reads the letter.
             The 9 sits tucked in his waistband.  Mrs. Estrada
             watches him intently.

                                      MRS. ESTRADA
                           Says he doesn’t wanna
                           disappoint me anymore.  That he
                           won’t come back until I’m proud
                           of him.
                           I think he left for other
                           reasons.  Can I see his room?
                                      MRS. ESTRADA
                           Of course.
             Mrs. Estrada leads Rubio past Cookie’s closed bedroom
             door…Rubio stops, she keeps going…turns.
                                      MRS. ESTRADA
                           Something wrong, mijo?
             He catches up.
             She enters her bedroom.  The fake-ass framed photos and
             creepy professor of the year award hang on the wall.
             Rubio hesitates, follows her in, wearing a confused look.
             She grabs a picture of fake Professor Cookie.
                                      MRS. ESTRADA
                           All he wanted was to be like
                           you.  This is all you’re gonna
                           find, believe me, I’ve looked.
             He rests a caring hand on her shoulder.
                           I think Cookie might be
                           involved in yesterday’s murder.
             She slaps a hand over her mouth, quickly regroups.
                                      MRS. ESTRADA
                           Please find him before the
                           police do.  They’ll hurt him.
             She races out, Rubio follows…stops at Cookie’s closed
             bedroom door.

                           Your room?
                                      MRS. ESTRADA
             Mrs. Estrada collapses on the living room couch, distraught.   
                           I’m gonna go look for Coo—
             Rubio pulls the 9 from his waistband, holds it down by his
             side…closes his eyes, opens them.
             Mrs. Estrada sits up.
                                      MRS. ESTRADA
                           Raymond?  What’re you doing?
                           Make it easy, Mrs. Estrada.
                                (motions towards
                                 Cookie’s bedroom)
                           Open it.
             She doesn’t budge.
             Rubio blinks hard, reluctantly squeezes the gun.
                           Open it.
             Mrs. Estrada’s face contorts…gains a shitty grin and an
                                      MRS. ESTRADA
                           You can take the hombre out of
                           the barrio, but you can’t take
                           the barrio out of the hombre.
                           I never left.
                           Open it.
             She smirks, heads to the room.

                           You’re as guilty as Cookie.
                           You knew he was the one all
                           along, didn’t you?
             She sticks a key in the lock, gives Rubio a “Fuck off” look.
                           Where is he?
            She pushes the door open.

            Rubio’s eyes widen.
             Cookie’s eyes bug out…an engorged tear slides down his cheek…

             He lies on the bed, duct tape stifles his screams…             

             Rubio’s eyes travel over him, his pant cuffs are saturated…

             with blood.

             His feet are missing.
             Cookie stretches his bound, trembling hands towards Rubio.
             Rubio fumbles the gun, manages not to drop it.
             He heads for Cookie, stops, aims the gun at Mrs. Estrada —
             his hands shake.
             She smiles…

             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.    
2 Comments leave one →
  1. Jo Ann Rodriguez permalink
    April 8, 2011 8:30 am

    WOW!!!! …. i want more!! … love it!!

  2. MEXICAN HEART...ATTACK! permalink*
    April 8, 2011 8:43 am

    It’s coming, Jo Ann! A chapter a week! Don’t know if you’ve read from the beginning, but if you haven’t, I think you’ll enjoy if you do!

    Thank you so much for reading and I’m THRILLED you loved it!

    Corona : )

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