Skip to content

Sneakers on the Wire (Ch 7) Cats & Dawgs

April 16, 2011

        SNEAKERS ON THE WIRE

A Novella

By

Corona Cabronisimo

            A black crow squawks, lands on the hood of Joker’s lowride,
           pecks at a blood smear streaking its smooth surface.
            
             Crime scene tape surrounds the parked lowride, its
             trunk open.
             
             A CSI team snaps pictures.
 
             Cops and barrio dwellers hover outside the neon
             barriers.
 
             Rubio sits on his front porch, eyes glued to the aftermath
             of the grisly dismemberment scene…
           
             The crow flies off, its claws stained with blood.
 
             A uniformed cop stands guard at the foot of the porch stairs.
 
             Across the street, the Estrada front door swings open…
             an uncooperative Mrs. Estrada is led out in cuffs
             by a uniformed police officer.
 
             Powers and Lipton follow the duo out.
 
             Rubio eyes the group.
 
                                      MRS. ESTRADA
                           Get your evil hands off me!
 
             Mrs. Estrada spots Rubio.
 
                                      MRS. ESTRADA
                           There he is!  He did it!  He’s
                           the devil!  He did it!
 
             Rubio stands.
 
             The officer opens the cop car’s back door, his hand smothers
             Mrs. Estrada’s head.
 
                                      MRS. ESTRADA
                           Arrest him!  Arrest the devil!
 
             Cop lowers Mrs. Estrada into the back seat, shuts the door.
 
             Behind the silence of the closed car window, Mrs. Estrada
             runs her mouth. Cop car takes off.
 
             Powers and Lipton approach Rubio and the cop.
 
                                      POWERS
                                    (to Cop)
                           We got him.
 
             Cop leaves. Powers glares at Rubio.

                                      POWERS
                           Lady Estrada fingered you.
 
             Rubio remains stone-faced.

                                      POWERS
                            You’re a lucky man, Rubio.

             Rubio’s stone-face dissolves into confusion. 
 
                                      POWERS
                           Her son gave her up before he–
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Before he what?
 
             Powers and Lipton glance at each other, neither speaks.
 
             Rubio slumps. Cookie’s dead.
 
                                      POWERS
                           You gotta come to the station
                           to give a statement.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Why’d she do it?
 
                                      LIPTON
                           We’re not at liberty to discuss—
 
                                      POWERS
                           Because he wasn’t YOU.                                                                      
                           Paramedics heard it all. Can’t
                           believe he was even able to speak
                           like that.                                                                      
 
                                      RUBIO
                           What about—
 
                                      POWERS
                           The other Cons?
 
             Rubio nods.
 
                                      POWERS
                           We don’t know for sure.My
                           guess is to set you up.  She
                           led you to them, didn’t she?
 
             Rubio nods.
                           
                                      POWERS
                           Ready to take that ride?
 
             MEOW.
 
             Girl struts on the porch.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           I gotta put her inside.
 
                                      LIPTON
                           That’s the sorriest piece of
                           pussy I’ve ever seen in my life.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Say that again and I’ll be
                           charged with assault on a pussy.
 
             Rubio and Lipton square off. The front door swings open.
 
             JJ steps out with a black backpack hanging off of his
             shoulder.
 
             Rubio’s eyes widen: “WTF are you doing here again?”
 
             JJ sets the backpack on the porch, picks up Girl.
 
                                      JJ
                           I got her, professor.
 
                                      POWERS
                           Who’s he?
 
                                      JJ
                           I’m his dawg.
 
                                      RUBIO
                                (hesitant)
                           My dawg.
 
                                      LIPTON
                           Well the dog’s got the cat.
                           Let’s go.
 
             Britney jogs up the sidewalk, a black backpack hangs off
             her back.

                                      BRITNEY
                           Professor Rubio!  Professor
                           Rubio!
 
                                      LIPTON
                           Now what?
 
             Britney arrives, catches her breath.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Britney, what are you doing
                           here?
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           I wanted to give you something
                           before class.  What’s going on?
 
                                      POWERS
                           Class is canceled.  He’ll
                           explain tomorrow.
 
             Britney holds out a fist…
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           For you.
 
             Rubio extends an open palm under hers.
 
             She opens her hand…the gold chain with the “RR” initials
             drops into Rubio’s palm.
 
             Rubio holds up the chain, everyone eyes it.
 
             Britney smiles.

             Rubio shakes his head: “No.” 
                                                             
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           Please?
 
             He stares.
 
                                      LIPTON
                           Take the damned thing already.
 
             Rubio clutches the chain in his fist.
 
                                      JJ
                           Sup, Britney?
 
             Britney eyes JJ.

             LATER
 
             JJ, with Girl in his arms and Britney standing beside him,
             watch the unmarked unit with Rubio inside, roll up the street.
 
                                     JJ
                           Don’t trip.  Professor be back.
                            
             Britney eyes Girl.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           Can I hold her?
 
             Britney drops her backpack, sets it next
             to JJ’s black backpack. 
 
             She holds Girl in her arms, strokes her fur.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           What happened to her?
 
                                      JJ
                           Professor wrecked on the way to
                           his honeymoon.  She was tagging
                           along and lost her leg.  He
                           lost his wife and ended up in a
                           coma.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           Professor Rubio was married?
 
                                      JJ
                           Not for long.  She’s all he’s
                           got now — and a stupid
                           goldfish.
 
             Britney hands back Girl.
 
             Without looking, Britney reaches for the wrong backpack,
             drapes it over her shoulder, hurries down the steps.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           See ya at school.
 
                                      JJ
                           Not today.  I’m watchin’ pussy.

             Britney freezes, shakes her head.
 
                                      **
 
             Still silence permeates Rubio’s thrashed living room.
 
             The lonely goldfish swims in the fishbowl.
 
             Girl sleeps on her recliner.
 
             Keys JINGLE against the front door.  The door swings open,
             Rubio walks in…a note lies on the coffee table. 
                                      
             NOTE READS:
 
                             Hadda run.  Girl’s fed.  JJ
 
             He tosses the note, eyes Girl on her recliner.
 
             He cracks open the front window’s curtains.
 
             Crime scene tape surrounds the Estrada home,
             squad cars sit parked out front.
 
             Rubio hears Cookie’s last words:
 
                                      COOKIE
                           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 releases the curtains, slumps…guilt.
 
             KNOCK KNOCK KNOCK.
 
             He straightens, moves to the front door.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Who is it?
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           Britney.
 
             He opens the door.  Britney stands on the porch, smiles but
             her eyes water.

                                      BRITNEY
                           I knew you’d be okay.
 
             Rubio hands her his handkerchief.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           Can I come in?  Want some
                           company?
 
             He reaches in his pocket, pulls out the chain with the “RR”
             initials, rests it in Britney’s palm and closes her hand.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           We’re different, Britney.
                           You’re young, ready to blossom.
                           I’m way past that, trying not
                           to wilt.
 
             Britney reluctantly takes the hint, heads down the steps.
 
             Rubio shuts the door.
 
             LATER
 
             Rubio sits on the sofa, eyes fixated on the coffee table…
             where the 9 and the revolver lie carelessly.
 
             He semi-sings the “Eeny-Meeny-Miny-Moe” rhyme, shifting his
             eyes to the 9 for the revolver with each rhyming glance.
 
                                       RUBIO
                          
Eeny – meeny – miny – moe
                           which of – you – homies will show
                           me – the way – to end – my life
                           to ease – this pain – and see – my wife.

            His eyes fall on the 9.
 
             He picks it up, studies it.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Sup, homie?
 
             He places the gun to his temple, begins to squeeze the
             trigger…
 
             Out of the corner of his eye, a colorful butterfly
             desperately flaps its wings…it’s trapped in a spider web.
 
             He lowers the gun…
 
             A spider inches its way towards the butterfly.

             Rubio inches his way towards the web.
 
             The spider inches closer to its prey.
 
             Rubio leans in….
 
             The spider freezes.
 
             Rubio plucks the butterfly from the web, stares at it.
 
             LATER
 
             Rubio stands on the porch, opens his cupped hands, releases
             the butterfly…it flies away.
 
             A smile creeps over his features.  He steps back inside,
             shuts the door.
 
             Suddenly, he turns, stares at the kitchen door.
 
             He eases both guns off the coffee table, quietly cocks
             back both triggers, points the guns at the door
             at eye level.
 
             The door eases open…wider…wider…until…
 
             The Intruder, draped in black, stands in the doorway,
             chrome handgun firmly in his grasp…
 
             Both Rubio’s guns point directly at his face.  Intruder freezes.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Sup, Homie?
 
             LATER
 
             Intruder sits on the couch.
 
             Rubio points the 9 at him.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Take off the beanie.
 
             Intruder rips off the beanie…

             JJ.
 
             Rubio lowers the gun, can’t believe it.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           You?
 
             JJ’s eyes dart, he smacks his gum.

                                      RUBIO
                           Was that you in the kitchen
                           last night, too?
 
             JJ smacks louder…
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Was it?
 
             Louder.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Was it?!
 
             JJ nervously nods.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Get rid of that damn gum!
 
             Rubio closes his eyes, clenches his fists.
 
             JJ slaps the gum underneath the coffee table.
 
             Rubio’s eyes pop open…glare.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           What gives you the right to
                           stop me from doing what I want
                           in my own home?
 
                                      JJ
                           I got high hopes for you?
 
             Rubio loses the glare.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Get outta here.
 
                                      JJ
                           Can I have my gun back?
 
             Glare returns.
 
             JJ hustles out the front door.
 
             Pissed, Rubio stares at the guns, then at his beloved wife
             in the wedding picture.
 
             His features soften…
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Is there hope here, baby?
 
             And tosses the guns on the couch.

                                       **
 
             Inside the police station, Powers flips through Rubio’s
             stack of Sneakers on the Wire pictures…

             Lipton sips coffee nearby.
 
             The phone RINGS…Powers picks up:
 
                                      POWERS
                           Powers.
 
             He sits up, tenses.
 
                                      POWERS
                          What?…Shit….Be right there.
 
             He hangs up, eyeballs Lipton.
 
                                      LIPTON
                           What?
 
                                      POWERS
                           Cuts aren’t the same.
                           There’s another foot-chopper.                           

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.    
Advertisements
No comments yet

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: