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Sneakers on the Wire (Ch 10) Stay Trucha

May 10, 2011

Sneakers on the Wire

A Novella

By

Corona Cabronisimo

             Rubio’s ’64 Impala creeps down the eerily quiet street…
 
             Parks just up a ways from Britney’s seen-better-days duplex.
 
             Rubio and JJ spot the surprisingly still-intact BMW.
 
             Rubio shoves Happy’s gun in the glove compartment, locks
             it, heads out. 

                                      JJ
                          Why you leavin’ it?

                                      RUBIO
                           I teach my students, I don’t
                           shoot ’em. 

             Rubio marches forward.
 
                                      JJ
                           Shit.
 
             JJ chases after him.
 
             Rubio and JJ peek through the duplex’s screen door…
 
             TV cartoons echo.
 
             Rubio places a finger to his lips, “hush.”
 
             He pulls the screen door handle, slowly opens its creaking
             hinges…
 
             They quietly enter…
 
             Little Girl lies on her tummy, facing the TV, away from the
             intruders.
 
             BONK! A cartoon character bonks another character on the
             head…JJ chuckles.
 
             Little Girl spins around.
 
             JJ slaps a hand over his mouth: “Oops.”
 
             Little Girl rises to her feet…she spots Rubio, her eyes
             widen…
 
             Rubio stares back…recognition slaps him like a
             two-by-four. Stunned, his jaw slacks…the Little Girl who
             witnessed the accident.
 
             JJ notices.
 
                                      JJ
                           What?
 
             Little Girl trembles.

                                      RUBIO
                           It’s okay, it’s okay.  Are you
                           alone?
 
             She shakes her head: “No.”
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Who else is here?
 
                                      LITTLE GIRL
                           My sis.
 
             Oh shit.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Your SIS?
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           Yeah —
 
             Their heads snap towards Britney…she stands at the
             doorway, a machete sits firmly in her grasp.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           — her sis.
 
             Little Girl runs to her, hugs her.
 
                                      LITTLE GIRL
                           Sis, it’s him!  He’s the
                           driver!  He was driving!
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           I know, shhh.
 
             Realization hits.  Rubio shakes his head.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           I had no idea she was your
                           mother.  I’m sorry.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           Not only did you kill her, you
                           killed us, too.
 
                                      LITTLE GIRL
                           Mommy killed herself.
 
             Confusion permeates the confrontation.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           What are you talking about?

                                      LITTLE GIRL
                           Mommy wanted me and her to go
                           to heaven together.  She told
                           me to keep it a secret.  But he
                           missed.
 
             Rubio remembers…
 
             Flashback to Rubio and Theresa in the car…
 
             Car picks up speed.  Rubio in his tux, drives.  Theresa
             glows in her wedding dress…with Girl and the goldfish
             resting between them.
 
             They smile at each other with happiness.  Suddenly…
 
             Theresa looks through the windshield.
 
                                      THERESA
                           Look out!
 
             Rubio follows her gaze.
 
             Britney’s mother and little sister stand frozen in the
             middle of the street, hand-in-hand, directly in front of
             the car’s path — staring at the newlyweds.
 
             Britney’s mother smiles, but not her little sis — her jaw
             hangs open.
 
             Rubio yanks the steering wheel hard left, his foot punches
             the brakes.
 
             The car slams into the mother, misses the daughter.
 
             Rubio snaps out of it, returns from the nightmare…
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           Don’t lie.
 
                                      LITTLE GIRL
                           I’m not.  He saved me.
 
             Rubio’s eyes water.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           My wife saved you.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                                (to Little Girl, re:
                                 JJ)
                           Go outside and play with him.

                                      LITTLE GIRL
                           But he’s old — and he likes
                           cartoons.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           It’s okay, go on.
 
             Little Girl hesitates.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           Go.
 
             She runs out.
 
             JJ looks at Rubio, Rubio nods.
 
             JJ races out after little sis.
 
             Britney pulls out a gun to compliment the machete, rests it
             by her side.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           I gotta show you something.
 
                                                           **
 
             Armed and very dangerous, Britney poses in front of her
             mother’s shrine.
 
             D.A. lies bound on his back, tape over his mouth, still
             trying to break free.
 
             Rubio scans the place, unsuccessfully trying to contain his
             shock…
 
                                      BRITNEY
                                (re: shrine)
                           This is all we got now.
 
             Rubio stays quiet.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           And this pervert of a D.A.
                           refused to press charges
                           against you.
 
             D.A.’s eyes widen: “Oh shit,” tries to wrestle free.
 
             She aims the gun at Rubio’s face.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           What’s offed mean, professor?

                                      RUBIO
                           Murdered.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           What’s strap mean?
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Gun.
 
             She cocks back the gun’s hammer.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           If you ain’t been offed with a
                           strap, you ain’t from the
                           barrio.  Do I get an A?
 
             She begins to squeeze the trigger.
 
             Suddenly, his face slacks…he’s relieved, ready to welcome
             death.
 
             Britney pauses…realizes…
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           Hell no — I ain’t sending you
                           on no honeymoon.
 
             She spins, presses the gun to D.A.’s temple.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           He goes.
 
             BLAM!  The D.A.’s brains splatter, blood flies, lands on
             her face.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                                (to D.A.)
                           Pay the devil to piss on you.
 
             Rubio’s shocked, frozen.
 
             Then, like a wide-eyed, bloodied zombie, Britney reaches for
             the closet door…pulls it open…
 
             A foot-less, Chicano homeboy corpse spills out, lands hard
             on the floor.
 
             Rubio chokes on his words…
 
                                      RUBIO
                           I’ll tell them why this all
                           happened.
 
             She lowers the gun…

             Blankly stares at the body, at the D.A., at her mother’s
             shrine and finally, at Rubio…
 
             IT’S OVER.
 
                                      BRITNEY
                           Take care of her.
 
             She slams the gun to her temple.
 
             Rubio runs, dives.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           No!
 
             BLAM!
 
             BLACK.
 
                                                       **
 
             Rubio and JJ, draped in black suits, stand at a fresh
             gravesite sprinkled with flowers…Cookie’s grave.
 
                                      JJ
                           Is it true he wanted to be like
                           you?
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Nah.  His mother wanted him to
                           be like me.
 
                                      JJ
                           I know someone who wants to be
                           like you.
 
             Rubio stares at JJ.
 
             JJ grins, chomps on his gum–Rubio ain’t complaining.
 
             For the first time, they share a smile.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Let us pray.
 
             They hold hands, bow their heads.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Our Father, who art in heaven—
 
                                                           **

             Rubio’s living room is once again immaculate.  The front
             door swings open, Rubio, in his funeral black suit, walks
             in carrying a large manila envelope.
 
             He tosses the envelope on the same ole coffee table, plops
             himself down on the couch, loosens his tie.
 
             An eight-by-ten photo peeks halfway out of the envelope.
 
             The photo depicts the original photo of the sneakers on the
             telephone wire.
 
             He grabs the picture, examines it…grimaces.
 
             He pulls out the next picture of Joker giving him the
             finger.
 
             He can’t help but smile…suddenly frowns.
 
             He brings the picture up close, studies it.
 
             In the background, behind a bush, a person stares towards
             the camera.
 
             Rubio can’t make out who it is.
 
             LATER
 
             Rubio sits at the computer, digital camera hooked up to it.
 
             On the monitor, Joker gives him the finger.
 
             He enlarges the picture, maneuvers the hidden person in the
             background to the center of the screen.
 
             He zooms in…
 
             Closer…
 
             Close…
 
             Clearer…
 
             Clear…
 
             He slams his back against the chair as if slapped.  He
             gawks at the monitor…
 
             And the image of Theresa, his beautiful yet dead wife.
 
             He snatches the bible from the desk, falls off the
             chair, clutches the bible tightly against his chest, in
             shock, stares at the monitor.

                                      THERESA
                           You just won’t die, will you?
 
             He spins, Theresa stands in front of the kitchen doorway, a
             gun hangs down by her side.
 
             He scrambles back against the wall, gawks, clutches the
             bible even tighter: “What in God’s name is going on?”
 
                                      RUBIO
                           T-Theresa?
 
                                      THERESA
                                (mocking)
                           Sherri.  Theresa’s dead.
 
             Rubio doesn’t get it.
 
                                      THERESA
                           I faked my death while you were
                           doing your coma thing.  Ta-dah,
                           how do I look?
 
             Rubio glances at Theresa’s urn.
 
                                      THERESA
                           Bitch ashes.  I’m one of those,
                           what do you call ’em — black
                           widows — who kills off her man
                           and lives off of the insurance
                           money until her next SOULMATE.
                           But I got lucky this time, I
                           literally hit the lotto with
                           you.
 
             Rubio’s completely lost.
 
                                      THERESA
                           Remember the lotto ticket on
                           the way to our honeymoon?
 
             He remembers…
 
             Flashback to the newlyweds in the car…
 
             Rubio holds up a lotto ticket with six numbers on it.  The
             bottom half of the ticket has been ripped off.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Then we’re gonna hit these
                           numbers and buy us a mansion.
 
             Rubio snaps out of it, his thoughts and eyes return to
             Theresa.

                                      THERESA
                           Your numbers came in.  Sixteen
                           million.  You were supposed to
                           die so I could get it all — but
                           you just won’t go away.  I need
                           the other half of the ticket
                           with the bar code before the
                           deadline next week.

             It all makes sense now.                            
 
                                      RUBIO
                           An annulment and eight million
                           would’n’a been enough?
 
                                      THERESA
                           Shut up.
                                (scans the place)
                           Where’d you hide it?  It’s not
                           in your usual hiding places.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           You’re the one who’s been
                           breaking in?
 
             She smirks.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           You’re lucky I didn’t shoot you.
 
                                      THERESA
                           Where is it?
 
                                      RUBIO
                                (confused, to
                                 himself)
                           You — Mrs. Estrada — Britney —
 
                                      THERESA
                           Britney?  My buddy?
 
             Theresa sarcastically chuckles.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           You knew her?

                                      THERESA
                           Knew her?  I had her set you up
                           for the feet so she could
                           eventually blackmail you — an
                           alibi in return for the ticket.
                           I told her I’d give her enough
                           money that she wouldn’t hafta
                           piss on weirdo D.A.’s anymore,
                           but she lost focus — wanted you
                           to live in a cage and suffer like
                           she was suffering.  She couldn’t
                           stick to the plan. 
                                       
                                      RUBIO
                           You set all this up?
 
                                      THERESA
                           What can I say?  I’m good at
                           what I do.
 
             She squeezes the gun’s handle.
 
                                      THERESA
                           Where’s the ticket?
 
             Rubio has just gotta ask.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Did you ever love me?
 
                                      THERESA
                           Love you?  I never even liked
                           you.
 
             He deflates…it hits him like a body blow…his eyes
             water…a single tear streaks down his cheek.

                                      THERESA
                           You’re not gonna give it up, are
                           you?

             Hell no.

                                      THERESA
                           Don’t tell me you don’t wanna
                           die anymore either.

                                      RUBIO
                           Not for you.

                                      THERESA
                           Thank God.  Now please tell me
                           you think your life is worth
                           at least sixteen million ’cause
                           it ain’t worth shit to me.
 
             As she’s about to raise the gun, Rubio suddenly
             stares at the kitchen door behind her.
 
             She pauses, follows his eyes, eases open the door.
 
             Girl walks through.

                                      THERESA
                           Still able to sense things behind
                           doors even after the
                           accident — cry-baby? 
                                      
             He glares.
 
                                      THERESA
                          You should’a sensed me.

             She begins to raise the gun…

                                      RUBIO
                          I did. 
 
             In a flash, Rubio yanks out a single-shot handgun from
             inside the bible, rolls…BLAM!  BLAM!  They fire at the
             same time.

             They both freeze…Rubio on his back, facing
             Theresa…Theresa stands, gun pointed.
 
             A moment…she drops to her knees, her grip eases, the gun
             dangles from her finger…she falls on her stomach, dead.
 
             Rubio’s body goes limp, next to the open bible…he eyes
             it.
 
             WRITTEN INSIDE THE BIBLE COVER:
 
                                      To Raymond
 
                                  Always in my heart
 
                                    Love, Theresa
 
             Rubio makes it to his feet…walks over to her…

             He turns her over…Blood smears a bullet hole right through
             her heart.
 
             He slumps on the couch, buries his face in his hands.
 
             After a moment, he gathers himself, stares at the
             goldfish swimming in the fishbowl.
 
             He reaches into the bowl, pulls out a sealed, clear baggie,
             buried underneath the gravel.
 
             He holds it up.  Inside, the bottom half of a lotto ticket,
             including its bar code.
 
             A glance at Theresa…
 
             He approaches…reaches into her pockets…nothing.

             He reaches into the blouse pocket sitting over her
             blood-oozing heart – bingo – pulls out the upper half
             of a torn lotto ticket…

             A bullet hole through the ticket, beneath the winning
             numbers…blood specs surround the hole…

                                       RUBIO
                           Always in your heart.
 
             He attaches the the torn tickets — a perfect match.
 
                                      RUBIO
                                (eyes on ticket)
                           What would you do with sixteen
                           million, Girl?
 
             MEOW.

                                                     **
 
             Powers and Lipton finish taking Rubio’s statement in the
             police station interview room.
 
                                      POWERS
                                (to Rubio)
                           That’s it.
 
             Powers holds out his palm towards Lipton.
 
             Lipton slaps him a one dollar bill.
 
             Rubio stares.
 
                                      POWERS
                           He bet me you were the killer.
 
             Rubio gives Lipton a look.
 
                                      LIPTON
                           Hey, I’m glad I lost, okay?
 
             Rubio and Lipton finally share a smile, Lipton opens the
             door.
 
             As Rubio heads out, Britney’s little sister walks past the
             doorway, spots Rubio and stops.
 
             She raises a hand: “Hi.”
 
             He raises a hand back.
 
             She walks out of view.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           What’s gonna happen to her?
 
                                      POWERS
                           Child protective services,
                           foster homes, who knows?
 
                                      RUBIO
                           What do you guys think about me
                           adopting?  My cat and goldfish
                           could use a little boss.
 
             Powers and Lipton eye each other.
 
                                      POWERS
                           Dollar says he does.
 
                                      LIPTON
                           Dollar says he doesn’t.

             Powers and Lipton shake hands.
 
                                      RUBIO
                           Bet my life on it, Powers.
 
             Rubio walks out.
 
             Powers and Lipton look at each other…shake their heads.

                                                          THE END


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2 Comments leave one →
  1. Geoffrey permalink
    May 12, 2011 1:02 pm

    Good stuff.

    • MEXICAN HEART...ATTACK! permalink*
      May 12, 2011 9:21 pm

      Thank you and thank you for reading, Geoffrey! I’m so glad you enjoyed it!

      Corona : )

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