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Yo Quiero

by: Colette Calapristi Casey
© 2014 taco

I laid awake all night with my stomach churning and my fever burning. I couldn’t explain it, but something just wasn’t right. I was beginning to regret my yo quiero taco craving at 1 a.m. this morning.

I remember tossing and turning and then finally falling asleep around 8:00 a.m. this morning. When I woke up, I freaked out when I saw the clock. It said 8:30…PM. I had slept like twelve hours or something.

I had to say this. I was feeling a whole lot better than last night. That is except for one thing, I was more freaking hungry than I could remember. First, I needed a shower because to be honest, I still kind of felt like death warmed over.

After my shower, I got dressed and went into the TV room. My buddy John was passed out on the couch. Maybe those tacos didn’t agree with him either because he looked like the flippin’ walking dead or something.

I kicked him with my foot. “Dude!”

He groaned.

I kicked him again. “DUDE! It’s night. We slept the whole day man!”

John groaned some more then opened his eyes. I just about crapped my pants. His eyes were freaky.

“Whaaaaaaaa.” John managed to say. He was really more messed up then me. That’s for sure.

“Hey man, there’s somethin’ seriously wrong with your eyes dude. Looks like they’re white or something. They aren’t blue no more.”

John looked at me then his eyes got really big and crazy. He stood up and stared at me and started freaking out. He raised his arm, but kind of slow.

“You! You look like crap! You’re eyes are supposed to be brown man!”

John stood there, pointing at me, staring at me and all I could think of was how creepy he looked.

“Your eyes man. Your eyes are supposed to be brown!” John’s voice was kind of slurred, but for some reason, I could understand him perfectly.

“What the heck you talking about man?”

“Go look! And, you’re like slurring a lot. Are you high on Nightquil or something?”

John was following me into my bedroom where my dresser mirror was. I turned to look back at him. “Dude, pick up your feet.”

I walked into my bedroom, but my feet felt kinda heavy too. Me and John stood in front of the mirror and honestly, we looked like friggin’ death.

“What do you remember?” I asked John quickly. Well, it felt quickly but seemed to take a long time to say it.

“Uhh, I remember tacos, then coming back here. Being really sick then falling asleep. Don’t remember anything else until you kicked me. Oh and yeah, I’m starving!”

“We should go see one of those doc in a box minor emergency places. Maybe we caught something nasty.”

John nodded and agreed. We both started toward the apartment door. It seemed to take longer than I remember.

Once we got outside I saw my car, but couldn’t remember how to drive it. No matter. Me and John figured the walk would do us good.

On our way to Main Street we passed a couple other freaky people. A few folks pointed at us and screamed. When I saw those screamers, I got hungrier.

I looked at John. He shrugged. “I’m starving man.”

I agreed with him. Me too. Matter of fact, every time I saw one of those screamers, it felt like I hadn’t eaten in like, months.

By time we reached the Minor Emergency clinic there were a few other folks hanging around. I thought it was weird because all the folks in the clinic were staring at us from inside.

Outside, there were like all the people who worked at Taco Bravo’s, then a bunch of people who were at the restaurant last night when we were there. There were a bunch of other people as well that I hadn’t seen before, but we all looked the same.

We all looked at each other, like we were some freak show. That is until we saw the military truck roll in with guns aimed at us. The other people on the street started screaming and again, my stomach lurched and started growling. This was really getting annoying. I looked over at John and he started licking his lips.

I saw the guards jump off the truck and start to round us up. I think we all would have ran, but even though it felt like we were running, we weren’t. A few of us got away including John, but I didn’t. But I really didn’t care.

They took me to this place and started testing me for different stuff. They kept trying to show me Tacos and get a response, but those didn’t look like anything I wanted any more. I looked around the lab and there were all kinds of tacos, the Taco Bravo uniforms and I was beginning to think there might be a connection. I did like the looks of the raw meat for the tacos. Uh.

This went on for like forever. They gave me enough to eat to keep me going, but I was starting to see my skin change and a bunch of other stuff. I wish I cared enough to worry, but they kept me fed, so that’s like all I cared about. I kind of wish all this didn’t happen to me but then I remember it was my idea to make the taco run.

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Horizon

by: Colette Calapristi Casey
© Copyright 2014
I have fought long and hard for my beliefs. I have been passionate and resolute. I have taken each step of my life with my best foot forward. But this. This battle has taken its toll on me.

I’m not saying I’m giving up, I’m just saying I’m so very weary. When is the time to fight or to lay down the sword? I was born into this world in the wake of the third great World War. A child of war, born during the bombing of London, a city resilient in its efforts to return to full glory and with that spirit, my life force was born.

But this war, this is a different war. This is a struggle for my very own identity. When even the slightest deviation from the expected tone unleashes a firestorm of attacks and then to be brought into the chamber for reprogramming.

My body is strong, my will resilient, but my mind, my mind is being monitored. How my mind directs my facial muscles, my hands, my passion. How do you win a war against yourself? When yourself is turned against you?

The regime has dictated what is acceptable and what is not. We wear the same clothes, we make the same jokes, we cut our hair the same, some of us with more diverse features have gone to the “shop” to ‘adjust’ their look.

When you flow against the river, you create turbulent rapids. But isn’t there beauty in that collision? Would this not be the same with humanity? We have taken acceptable behavior and removed the individuality that was once celebrated.

I have read about artists in the 1800’s, 1960’s and 2100’s being celebrated for their individuality and differences.

It seems the only place allowed for expression is childbirth and even that is dulled down with the new ‘Horizon’ drug that so many of us are forced to take. I find it funny that through such great emotional strife that something beautiful is born.

Wouldn’t that be the same for life? Without freedom of expression, where is the rebirth?

“Good afternoon Jane 401 it is time for your required dose.”

I heard the nurse’s voice and cringed. What if I didn’t want it? Could I refuse? No. This is one battle I can no longer fight.

“Thank you Jane 600.”

I take my Horizon as expected and fall into the abyss of numbness.

Sea Ya Later

by: Colette Calapristi Casey
© 2014tumblr_m0aaemzcIv1qik9elo1_500-e1362588021580

Well I’ll be damned. I knew something would happen to me but I never, ever in my 25 years of charters did I ever friggin’ expect this. Shark bite, yeah. Fishing hook stuck to my nose or ear: been there, did that. But this, I never would have guessed it.

I got up this morning feeling kind of faded. Wasn’t sure if it was bad whisky from the night before or just caught some bug. Either way, I had to move it or lose it. My charter that is. Got myself a father and son outing to close out the season. Guy wanted to take his kid out for a real special man-to-man day. Maybe catch some bass, a few strippers and if we were lucky a blue. It was already getting’ pretty cold, even though it was like 50 degrees, the high wind chill made it feel like 35 or 40. It was going to be a cold one today on the water, so I wanted to make sure to have some Hot Chocolate for the kid and coffee for me and the dad. Yeah, that was the plan, but that ain’t how it turned out.

I got up, got dressed and headed out for the marina. I’d get an early start, grab a hot cup of Joe and wait for my money day to start.

So, here’s the story. I pull up to the marina, grab a parking spot, hop out of my truck and start headin’ for the ‘Little Debby’, yeah, I like them, a lot and yeah, I named my boat after them. Hey, don’t judge, lots of people like Little Debby’s.

So anyways, I hop up on board and started checking stuff like the coolers, the fridge, stuff for snacks, that kind of stuff. So I see here, that I’m gonna need some Hot Chocolate after all. Maybe I’ll just get some of those single serve packets. A box will do. So, what do I do? I take off to get some.

I’m walking to the mini-mart at the end of the block and start to notice people freakin’ out around me. One guy was in the park doin’ some weight liftin’ and at first I thought he was havin’ a heart attack or something, cause he starts pointing at me and yelling. I look at what he’s liften’ and it’s maybe 25 pound hand weights at best. Couldn’t help but think this guy was a wimp, if he couldn’t handle those.

Once I figured out he wasn’t having a heart attack or something and he was just yellin’ at me for no reason, then I could give a rats ass.

“Cool your jets!” I yells to him, but he keeps screamin’. He didn’t look like no drug addict, but was sure actin’ like he was on somethin’ that’s for sure.

Another crazy thing happened on my way to the mini-mart. This guy in a big Ford pickup crashes into a telephone poll real close to me. I’m beginning to think that somebody put crazy pills in the water around here or something.

So, like I said, I’m headin’ to the mini-mart and I pass this old blind guy with one of them stick things. He’s walkin’ just fine but his dog starts barking at me.

I tell ya, I was beginning to think it might be me. I mean, I got up, grabbed a warm coat and a hat and gloves on account of the weather. Maybe my coat stunk or somethin’, I hadn’t worn it since last fall.

So I started sniffin’ my coat you know? Like the collar, the inside, the pits, but it smelled normal to me. Ok, so maybe a little fishy, but hey it’s what I do right?

The old guy kept walkin’ past me pullin’ that yappy dog. I’m thinkin’ “see ya, don’t want a be ya.”

Finally I tell ya, FINALLY, I get to the market and head in. It was pretty quiet on account of the time, which is good since people been weird today. So, I find my box of Hot Chocolate and go through checkout.

As usual, got one of them Guidettes behind the counter, filing her nails and reading a “People.” I threw a five on the counter, she picked it up, rang it up and handed me my change without so much as a hello, goodbye, nothin’.

So, here I am, hot chocolate, early morning and things are lookin’ good. The trek back wasn’t so bad. I passed the blind guy and his yappy dog, maybe that dog just always yaps. I don’t know.

Passed a couple joggers lookin’ all healthy and stuff. They were talkin’ to each other and not payin’ me any mind. Which was fine.

Once I get back to the boat I toss the box on the counter in the galley and figure its time to use the head.

Everything goes as usual and then I go to wash my hands. I look up and my first thought is, who stole my mirror? There was nothing there. Then I realized I saw my collar, but no neck or head! I reach up to grab my head and all I see in the mirror are my sleeves. I looked away from my mirror then looked back.

Holy, Ke-rap, I was friggin’ invisible!! My heart started poundin’ like a heart attack or somethin’. I bolt up the stairs to the deck and see the kid and his pop comin’ my way.

So, what do I do? The only thing I can do. I strip down to my birthday suit. Yeah, that’s right, naked as a jaybird and freezin’ my tush off. I had to lay low so’s I can get to a doctor or something.

Well, I tell ya, I froze my arss off for over an hour waitin’ for these two to leave. I felt kinda bad, ‘cause they were lookin’ forward to today, but you know, I’ll make it up to ‘em, give ‘em a freebie or somethin’.

So that brings me here. Yeah, I am now a friggin’ science experiment. I’ll say this about this joint though, they treat ya right. Got a good steak, good whiskey, I really can’t complain. Oh yeah, and their coverin’ my bills for now. Turns out me and the “Little Debby” floated through some pretty nasty stuff. Some old chemical dumping ground off the coast that ruptured or somethin’.

The guys here tell me that they couldn’t find my “Little Debby” until they bumped into her. Seems like she’s sufferin’ from the same thing as me. We’re both invisible. She’s in the other room.

So, here I sit, lettin’ these guys figure things out, because hey, its kinda like a paid vacation. For once, somebody shuttles me around and makes sure I got plenty to eat, I’m warm enough and well, taken care of.

I guess it was bound to end up this way. ‘Cause you see, it was me and the ‘Little Debby’ that dumped some of that crap out there about ten years back. It was good money, wasn’t supposed to be anything bad, but I didn’t check. Didn’t care. Money was good.

You could say my ‘slush fund’ turned into a sludge fund. That’s just awesome.

 

Moments

autumn

Moments

by: Colette Calapristi Casey
© 2014

She sat softly in the woods
An amber leaf
A golden leaf
And the sunbeams fell through the trees.

The stream was her companion
Moving through time
Sifting and rolling
And the sunbeams fell through the trees.

Her guitar echoed through the trees
Her music lifted her heart
It wafted through the treetops
And the sunbeams fell through the trees.

The ground was cool and painted
With nature’s art
With nature’s time
And the sunbeams fell through the trees.

A note here a note there
Combine to full music
Swirling in ecstasy
And the sunbeams fell through the trees.

She lifted her face to the sun
Another leaf brushed by
Music danced in her ears
And the sunbeams fell through the trees.

 

Cafe Attitude

coffee_smileCafe Attitude
by: Colette Calapristi Casey
© 2014

I could feel the paper in my hand fluttering from the shakes that had taken over my body. The words on the paper seemed simple enough: Jane Smith, 395-3098. A simple name. A simple phone number and today a very, very complicated situation.

I paced in my bedroom back and forth with my cell in my hand. I know I had asked for this, but now I wondered if it was just better not to know.

My mother was a saint as far as I was concerned. My whole life, she has been there for me through thick and thin. It didn’t matter what kind of crap I was pulling she was always there to guide me back on track. I remember one terrible day when I was 15, we had one of the worse fights of my life.

It started out simply. I had asked for information about my birth mother. I could see the color drain from my mother’s face. She was sitting on the couch reading the news on her computer. She slowly closed it and stood up to face me.

“I will tell you everything I know about your birth mother. What do you want to know?” My mother’s voice was kind but strained.

“Like her name, where does she live? Why did she give me up? Didn’t she care about me?” Yeah, I screamed it.

“I can’t tell you any contact information until you turn 18. That was part of the arrangement of your adoption. I can tell you that she cared very deeply for you, but was not able keep you.”

I remember the heat rise to my face and if I was a cartoon character I’m sure my eyes would have been bugging out.

“Oh dare you! I want her name and address now!”

The strain on my mother’s face tightened more if that was even possible.

“Alyssa, I wish I could tell you, but even if I gave you the information, she will not be there. She will not be there until you turn 18.”

“What the hell mom! What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

And there it was. My cussing at mom was not acceptable and she let me know it. I ended up getting grounded for over a month. Each time I opened my mouth and yelled at her, she’d tack on a day until I was up to 30 days grounded. Ok, so I’m a little slow on the uptake, but I did eventually shut up.

Now, standing here in my room with her number in my hand, these last three years seemed to have flown by.

I thought of my mother and how she had placed this paper on my nightstand the morning of my 18th birthday. That was two weeks ago. She never asked me about it and I never thanked her. I had gotten what I wanted but couldn’t bring myself to make the call, until now.

I looked at the number again, closed my eyes and tapped the numbers.

I put the phone to my ear and could hear my own breathing. It rang once, twice and a third time. On the fourth ring, she answered.

“Hello? Is this Alyssa?” Her voice was warm and rich.

My first thought is that my mother must have tipped her off.

“Ye..yes. This is Alyssa. Is this Jane? I mean Mrs. Smith? I’m sorry what can I call you?” I was stuttering like an idiot.

I heard her laugh. “You can call me whatever you like. But Jane is nice.”

Her laughter calmed my nerves and I could breathe a little easier.

“Jane, I was wondering if you would like to meet somewhere?”

Again, that creamy laughter. “Of course sweet child. Why else would you reach out to me. I think it’s time we got to know each other don’t you?”

My mind screamed, ‘yes! yes! I’ve wanted to know you ever since I learned about you!’, but I answered more reserved. “Yes, Jane. That would be very nice.”

We chatted about a place to meet, a time and what we would be wearing, but she insisted she would know me when she saw me.

The date was set for this Saturday and we would meet a popular coffee shop downtown.

The four days in-between were excruciatingly long. I felt like I had to tip-toe around my mother as I never told her about the meeting and she never asked. I was sure she knew and I was sure she had been talking to Jane.

By time Saturday had arrived, I had picked out four or five outfits, put my hair up, down, in a pony-tail or with a headband. I finally settled on a look and headed out to meet my mother.

The coffee shop was moderately full with patrons, students and housewives waiting for swim lessons at the Y to finish. It was a beautiful day outside and so I waited a few minutes to get the perfect café table facing the street.

I checked my watch and it was ten past 10. Jane was now 10 minutes late. I tried not to appear over anxious as I looked at everyone who walked by and in the shop. I don’t know why I was looking for her, I didn’t have a clue what she looked like. I told her I would be wearing Seattle Mariners jacket. What a stupid item of clothing to wear. There were at least two or three other people here with one on. But they weren’t 18 or female. I was beginning to think I was being stood up.

I took a sip of my coffee and starting checking my facebook. I scrolled through the status updates and even watched a cat video until I felt a hand on my shoulder. Then I heard the sweet, beautiful voice.

“Hello Alyssa.”

I looked up with all the excitement of a kid at Christmas, but what I saw freaked me out.

“Are…are you Jane?” I asked and I’m sure I had those bug eyes going.

“Yes I am. I’m sure you have lots of questions.”

The woman pulled out her chair and sat down beside me. She had long brown hair, blue yes, full lips, high cheekbones and was wearing a Mariners Jacket. Oh, and yeah, did I happen to mention she looked just like me? I’m not talking in a mother daughter kind of way. I’m talking like in a freaky twin sister kind of way.

I sat there stunned as she put on sunglasses as the sun came out.

“I..ahh..” yeah, smooth.

“Why don’t I start.” Jane said calmly.

I nodded my head still trying to see any wrinkles, any sign of gray hair, no droopy neck like my mom, nothing.

“Alyssa, first I have to say, you were very much loved. It was very difficult for me to give you up, but it was a matter of life or death that I do. You’re life. You needed to grow to maturity to be safe, and now that you are, we can finally meet.”

“What are you talking about? Someone wanted to hurt me? Is that why my mother wouldn’t tell me where you were until I turned 18?”

Jane smiled and took a sip of her tea.

“That’s part of it. Yes, in order for you to thrive here, you had to be adopted by a family…here. And yes, your mother knew that she could not tell you where I was until you were 18.”

“oookkkaaay, but I still don’t know why I couldn’t go with you instead of being adopted.”

Jane smiled. “Alyssa, I’m sure can see that there is something different about us, right?”

I nodded my head. You bet there’s something different.

“How old are you anyway?” It blurted out, I couldn’t help myself.

Jane laughed again. “You wouldn’t believe me if I told you.”

“Try me.” I was starting to get pissed off. This was my life and she’s answering questions with questions and laughing at everything.

She tilted her head and I felt a coolness settle over her.

“All right then Alyssa. Let me tell you, about you.”

Her words ran in circles in my head. I tried to comprehend what she was trying to tell me. Words like ‘came to this planet’ and ‘fell in love with a human’ and ‘takes 18 years to get here’ stuff like that.

I’m sure my bug eyes were out when I finally got it together to speak.

“So, you are saying, my mother is my aunt, my father is your old boyfriend who died when your people found out you were pregnant and that I’m an alien too?”

Jane laughed, but then caught herself. I think she could see I was just a tad overwhelmed.

“Yes, darling to some point. Because you are part human, you will be able to age, but just not as fast as others.”

I smirked. That didn’t sound so bad.

“You’ll also be safe. Because you are of age, my people cannot erase you as a ‘mistake.’ I loved your father so very much and after he was killed I couldn’t bear to see you harmed. So for our safety, your mother took you in and I returned to my planet.”

I could see that it was love that drove her to give me up. I wondered if I would ever possess such an unselfish and graceful quality. I realized it has always been there with me in my mom. Her patience and grace got me through the toughest times in my life and made me strong for what I would hear today.
“So what does my mom have to say about our meeting?”

Jane shrugged. “I have no idea. We’ve not spoken in nearly 18 years.”

Bug eyes. “So, how did you know if was me on the phone when I called.”

Jane smiled. “It will be your gift soon. Empathy with a touch of telepathy. You will experience an awakening of the people around you and feel a connectedness like never before. You and I will be able to communicate freely if you so desire and you will learn what drives the humans. This includes your mother who of course is driven by great love.”

All of my confusion, anger and attitude seemed to slip away the longer Jane and I spoke. The more I got to know her, the more I loved my mother. Isn’t funny how a total stranger could show me how much I am loved.

We talked for another hour until Jane touched her watch. It was time for her to go. And when I say go, I mean, not down the street.

“Blessings upon you Alyssa and you and I shall be together in the energy soon.”

Jane walked up to me and gave me an amazing hug, one like I’ve never felt before.

I watched her walk away and then I picked up my cell and called my mother.

Aurora-Borealis4_2116385bOn the Corner of 7th & Heaven©
by: Colette Calapristi Casey
copyright 2014

Bobby was known to all as the kindly shop owner of one of the most glorious places in the south end neighborhood. His shop was situated perfectly on the corner of 7th and Heaven avenues.

Bobby was a simple man who took pride in the collection of all things magical and mystical. He was a short bit of a man, only about 5’6 with a rotund physique and enormous smile. His voice was soft, his hair was curly and gray. A kind man who was married for a brief few years before his wife passed, with great sadness. Although humble, he did display proudly a recent achievement of being recognized by none other than the Queen. As such, He re-named in recognition of his award, his beloved shop to “Sir Roberts Magnificent Emporium of Mystical and Magical Treasures vs. The Magnificent Emporium of Mystical and Magical Treasures.

Bobby was a man of the world so to speak in that there could be something at anytime from anywhere in the world. In some cases, some particular items aren’t necessarily found anywhere in the world, but in Bobby’s corner of the world at best. But then life in Bobby’s world was anything but expected.

Whether you are in search of a flying carpet, a magical looking glass, or a curiousity that inspires dreams and goals, it can be found at the emporium. It was how he was known, it was how he lived. He lived dancing in the magic of the energy around him. Many talk of his mysterious birth to a kind and loving couple that were never able to have children of their own. One night on the rare occasion the Northern Lights appeared above London leaving the city speechless and inspired. It was from this event, they say that Robert arrived on the ribbons of the Northern Lights.

His childhood was not unlike any other, but he did stand out among the children. If a child was bullied, Robert would take the bully aside, whisper something in his ear and give him a friendly pat on the back as if a mate from birth. In his wake were smiles, laughter and hope. It’s just the way it has always been.

Bobby smiled as he flipped the light to his prestigious “Sir” sign and watched as the snowflakes appeared as falling crystals within its light. It was a lovely night. The best part of Winter in London, England. Snow fell softly on the streets until drifts began to form. His window panes clung tightly to snow coated corners while the warm glow of the shop invited in the curious and the cold.

“Hey mate!” In came Freddie, a long-time friend of Bobby’s before he was a “Sir Robert”

“Hello dear Freddie.” Bobby smiled sweetly. “Getting’ a bit of a chill out there is it?”

“Yeah, yeah it is. You got your meeting tonight? Any fireworks planned?”

Bobby smiled. “Maybe, you never know what will happen.” He said with a wink and a smile.

Every Sunday at approximately half past seven, Bobby played host to a large contingent of neighborhood children and their parents. They came for the ‘Sunday Magic’ presented by Bobby.

Each Sunday Bobby created something spectacular through reading circle, magic tricks or songs. The magic created would be the birth of creativity, a spark of imagination or the doorway to a whole new world of possibilities.

The bell above the door chimed and soon the air was filled with the voices of children and their parents laughing, chatting and quite simply in the process of warming up.

“Welcome Children! Welcome.” Bobby exclaimed. This was the highlight of his week.

A chorus of ‘Bobby! Bobby!’ greeted him.

“Helloo Children! His laugh was gentle, his eyes brilliant. “What you say we start with a story tonight?”

Again a chorus of ‘yes! yes!’

“All right children, gather ‘round now. Parent’s you too.” Bobby waved them into the circle that was forming on the floor where he sat.

Once settled, Bobby began.

“Gather round ye young children for a tale of woe and of glee,
for it is the story of the birth of Magical Mcgee.
McGee was a lad without splendor or shine,
An average child they say born before his time.
His mother was lovely
His father was brave
But their treasure, a child, they were left to crave.
That is my dear friends
Until one winter night
The winds came a howling and the sky lit up bright!
The mother, the father
And their good dog Gibbon
Looked up and they gasped
at the colorful flowing Ribbon.
The light danced in the sky
From hither to yawn
Swirling and flowing
Bringing with it a new dawn
The mother
The father
Looked down in their arms
And lay a fine baby
they would keep safe from harm
They laughed they cried
They thanked heaven above
For this child was theirs
which they promised to love
A child of light
A child of love
Born of pure magic
Gentle as a dove
And now I will tell you
A special surprise
For I have now found
A treat for your eyes
Look closer my loves
And hope you will see
Born on the magic
Of wee little McGee

Bobby took three rubberbands in his hands and locked them together in a circle. He then showed each child the circle.

One explained, “Hey that’s me! I’m a doctor!!”
Another one gasped, “I’m a teacher!”
And yet the youngest, “I’m helping children in Africa!”

The rest of the evening continued on as each child revealed a potential never imagined. The parents were astonished but not surprised, for they knew of Bobby’s way with the world.

And then Bobby did something they didn’t expect. He brought the circle to the parents. As he past it around, each parent gasped and smiled and the look of a hopeful child came over their faces.

One explained, “Can I still do this?”
Another one gasped, “It’s not to late?”
And yet the youngest parent, “I’ll be brave enough?”

Bobby smiled at them all and collapsed the rubberbands back into what they once were.

The evening conversation then pursued with talks of hopes and dreams yet to be filled.

By the end of the night, hugs were exchanged and joy was abundant. Bobby closed up the store and shut off the light and in the moon light snowflakes looked like crystals.

“Lenny”

three_cups_gameLenny
By: Colette Calapristi Casey
© copyright 2014

The grab was supposed to be easy: No witnesses, no yelling, neat and tidy with a bow pulled tight around it like a noose. The drop was to take place and Grand Central, no cops, no worries, and the payout my boss said he was owed.
The day started out all right, I tagged Lenny coming out of the Concord apartments on schedule. Lenny would walk that sissy dog, yappin all the way I gotta say, got the coffee, then back up to the digs.

I scoped out my spot by the newsstand and paid the guy filling in for the owner an easy 100 to let me hang out to be able to record the tones on the keypad of the door so I could let myself in. Lenny liked to use the side entrance after getting coffee I guess for the exercise of running the stairs. Geez. No wonder this guy was so skinny. Must have been real ugly too, cause he always had his cap pulled low over his weasel face.

This was my life for 6 weeks. Dog. Coffee. Stairs. Then watching Lenny grab a cab to work. I didn’t know much about this job other than Lenny was in deep with the mob and had to pay up. Over the six weeks, I couldn’t see how the hell the money Lenny supposedly took from the mob was spent. Lenny lived a pretty basic life, no big spending, no clubbing, not much of anything else, just work, dog, repeat.

The day finally came when I saw Lenny leave the apartment. I had parked my car in the ally outside the side door and entered they key code I had Joey the keymaker translate for me. I had been in the stairs a couple times before to get a feel for the space and figured if I stand behind the door I could nail Lenny with the sedative.

Everything went off as planned, I shot Lenny full of the stuff and he started acting like a drunk. Perfect, I could carry his sorry in debt ass out of the building with not so much as a blink from anybody watching.

The hold point wasn’t far from where I snatched him, but it was far enough. A couple blocks over there was this office building getting some renovations and with it came a new parking garage. Boss wanted to find the dough that Lenny had lifted, then once he got that, it was just a matter of a cement bodysuit that blended in nicely with the new garage.

After we get the dough then we did our drop at Grand Central.

I tied up Lenny nice and tight just the way the boss wanted him. But something seemed strange about this guy. I know he looked pretty damn thin but figured he was just a wiry kind of guy what with runnin’ all those damn stairs. Wait a sec. Oh shit. This guy is way to thin for moobs. I felt around again and as soon as I felt ‘em I felt sick, which usually would not be the case on a normal day.

Holy shit, holy shit, holy shit. This Lenny guy’s a chick. Holy shit. How was I supposed to know there were two Lenny Jascowitz’s in NYC.
My luck I snatched the wrong one, not the one with the dough or the…you know. Yeah, who knew?

My boss knew and expected me to know the same-know what I mean?

“Oh…my…god…what is going on.”

Okay, that’s a chick’s voice for sure. I took a step back into the shadows. If I ran, I’d be leavin’ her here for the boss, but that ain’t right, cause she didn’t do nothin’, it was me, it was my fault.

“ohhh…..”

Shit, more groaning. This chick is vocal. I had to think quick ‘cause the guys were expected me to let ‘em know the scoop on the dough.

“Where am I…”

Okay, well hell, she’s coming out of it. I had to think quick and I had to act fast. I reached into my pocket and found my back up syringe. This would buy me some more time, ‘cause I sure as hell needed it.

I came up behind the Lenny-chick and gave her one more boost. I guess with everything that was still in her system, she went right out which was good for me.

Her head fell into the sunbeam and her cap fell off her head. I could finally get a good look at her face. “Holy Shit, now that is the face of an Angel.”

Yeah, I said it out loud. What a knockout. She must be a model or something cause she was gorgeous. Her hair was short, I guess that’s what threw me off and yeah, the whole name thing.

I figured I had to move fast and threw her over my shoulder to get her downstairs and back to her neighborhood.

Lenny-chick was still pretty knocked out but I still had to make like a couple of drunks staggering down the street so’s I could get her back home. I looked at her again. Yeah, Angel face was still there.

It seemed like forever until we got back to her block, but we made it. I set her down by the Park that I used to watch her walk that little dog.

I put on a little act and laughed it up patted her on the back and yelled a drunken goodbye. She would be safe, but I wasn’t so sure about me and boss man.

It was a solid week before I started making my normal rounds again. I knew I had to face the boss man soon and I guess it had to be sooner rather than later.

I came up on his street and walked over to the Midnight Café, which was open 24 hours. The sun was starting to set and I knew the boss would be in back.

I walked past the diners and my favorite waitress Helen. A gorgeous gal, or I be see was like 40 years ago.

“Hey there handsome—haven’t seen you for a while.” Helen and her smokers voice, made her all that much more sexy.

“Yeah, been working a job. He back there?”

Helen nodded. “Sure is. He’s waiting for you.”

I am sure he was. I went into the back room and there he was sitting at his table, with Gus and Vince watching him and me for that matter.

“Where the hell you been?”

“I was working the job Boss, but something happened.”

Boss man started laughing. “yeah something happened. You pinched the wrong guy!”

Well, that’s it. Been nice knowing you folks.

“Yeah, I did Boss. I didn’t know there were two Lenny Jaskowitz’s in the same New York Burrough. “

Boss man started laughing. “Yeah, neither did we! And one was a dame!”

By now, Boss man, Gus and Vince were busting up laughing.

“You know Boss, I tried to find the other Lenny, but he vanished like a ghost or something. Here’s the money you gave me. I can do any other job you want, you let me know and you don’t even have to pay me.”

Boss man looked up at me and smiled. “You know, your mother was always good to me and she raised a good boy with you. But, I gotta tell ya kid, I don’t think your so good at this line of work. What you say I put you in one of my shops. I think you would fit better in that line of work.”

Was I hearing correctly? Boss wasn’t gonna wipe me out? I could still work for him and not screw up?

“Yeah, yeah boss, anything you say.”

Boss man smiled. “You know kid, you come from good stock. Your mother was a saint and stepped in for me after my blessed mother left this earth. So you my friend are what we call a brother from another mother. Now get outta here.”

I thanked him again and headed out the door with nothing but relief written all over me.

First I was going to Ma’s house and giving her a big hug and a kiss. Then I was going to get a good night’s rest. In the morning, I’m getting up, heading over to a coffee shop where a girl named Lenny walks her dog.

Prompt: “You work for the mob and you kidnap the wrong guy.”