What gave that dumb bitch at the checkout counter the right to be so damn uppity with him? Her with her secret smiles and sly looks at the woman in the checkout line behind him; so what if all I bought was a girlie magazine? I'd bet her next paycheck she'd sing a different tune if he gave her a good diddling, same thing for that bitch in the line behind me.
John was filled with rage and hate when he heard them giggling as he walked out of the drugstore. The bitches were all alike; they had a pussy and they knew they were sitting on a gold mine.
What kind of God made men like pussy so much? Why did some men attract women like flies to honey? Why did he seem to always be at odds with the opposite sex? The biggest question was; why couldn't he perform with a strange woman and get a little strange pussy? Questions like these occupied an inordinately large percentage of John's thoughts when he was on the road.
A picture of a rounded belly in an advanced stage of pregnancy above a thick bush of black hair flashed in his memory and sent his arousal index off scale high. A little twinge of guilt leavened his awakening desire.
John Elder had grown up with his older sister, his mother, and various boyfriends who had drifted through his mother's bedroom as family. He wasn't really sure that Elder was his father's name; that had been the name of one of his mother's lovers about the time she had gotten pregnant.
His stepsister's lineage was no more certain than his; she was the daughter of the only man his mother had taken the time to marry.Mary was added baggage that came with the husband and she remained after he was gone. Mary's father had come out on the wrong end of a knife fight in a barroom brawl and John's mother had become her guardian. His mother would have ditched them both in an orphanage if they hadn't provided a reason for a fatter welfare check. John and Mary had been his mother's meal ticket guaranteeing almost endless welfare checks for their support.
His mother had worked in a hit or miss fashion here and there as a barmaid or waitress until she got drunk one time too often and was fired. When his mother's drinking exhausted the job possibilities in a town they would drift to another and she would start the cycle anew.
He learned early in his life that if he caused his mother no problems he could do pretty much as he pleased. If he remained invisible she paid him little attention but if he had done something that required a visit to his school or brought an irate neighbor to her front door he had to pay with a severe beating. Discipline was either nonexistent or so violent that he suffered for days. Whatever he did he was very careful and made sure nothing came to his mother's attention. He learned to be secretive and devious at his mother's knee.
His half-sister had been another matter altogether. She sometimes used him as an outlet for her frustrations and at other times recruited him as an ally against their mother. He never knew which role she would play until it was too late to turn back. When she had done something to earn their mother's harsh punishment she would take her anger and frustration out on him. At other times she would be intimate and loving if it suited her or was in her best interests. While he was smaller and younger his stepsister used or abused him as her whims dictated. As they grew older and he got bigger her abuse stopped. About the same time she discovered boys and why they were interested in girls.
School had been a real pain. His mother's semi-nomadic lifestyle shuttled him from one school to another. Dressed in thrift store and hand me down clothes he had trouble fitting in with the rest of the students. Before he could work past the prejudice generated by his mode of dress he had to change schools and start all over. Life was simpler if he just kept to himself, the odd man out, the loner.
John would have quit school when he was sixteen but an unsuccessful stint at shoplifting had delivered him in front of a judge. He had missed going to Reform School by a whisker but his probation had been a tough pull. He had washed police cars nearly every Saturday for a year to fill one requirement.
The judge hadn't stuttered when he told John that he would have to attend school until he was eighteen or graduated. John would have to maintain passing grades or his probation would be revoked. He had applied himself to his studies with just enough effort to stay out of trouble. Along the way he discovered he had a passion for reading, especially adventure and detective stories.
AN EVENING ALONE
John stopped by a fast food restaurant and grabbed his dinner to go. Moments later he was parked in front of the TV watching the evening news. He finished his burgers and fries and when the news was over he took a shower. Afterward he alternated between watching TV and browsing the new magazine neither of which proved to be very interesting. Time to get some sleep; perhaps his dreams would be more exciting.
Lights out and snuggled under the blankets John drifted toward sleep. Half asleep he drifted in a fantasyland with thoughts and memories running free. He was transported back to a time and place long ago and far away. . .
. . .Mom had lost her job again and they were almost broke. They were living in a tiny two-room apartment in the poorest part of town. Welfare didn't allow for any luxuries. They had oatmeal for breakfast and beans with rice for most other meals. Other economies included turning off the heat at night while they slept.
Mom slept in the tiny bedroom at the back and he and Mary huddled together on a pallet in the front room sharing body heat against winter's cold. In the winter they longed for summer and warm weather; in the summer they longed for relief from the unrelenting heat. They had spent most of their lives in small airless apartments in crumbling old buildings.
It was a very cold Saturday night and Mom was out somewhere trying to hustle a boyfriend to pay for her drinks. He and Mary had spent many, many nights alone wondering if Mom would come home with a friend or alone, and drunk or sober.
They lay huddled together under every spare blanket they could find trying to keep warm. They would alternate sides cuddling up to each other's back until they generated enough heat to warm up their bed.
John had copped a feel from his stepsister occasionally and she had always responded with a slap or a well-directed fist. No matter, when the mood struck he would do it again. He had noticed that at fourteen Mary was developing quite nicely in the breast department. He wondered what price he would have to pay to find out how much she had grown. The bed was warming up and soon she would move away from him and go to sleep so he put an arm around her and hugged her even closer to him. Slowly with random little movements he began to move his hand toward one of her breasts and to his surprise she offered no resistance.
Emboldened by Mary's acquiescence he cupped a breast in his hand and gently kneaded it like soft dough. "Mmmm that feels nice," she whispered. Her breasts were barely a handful like half oranges and felt soft and warm through her flannel nightgown. He managed to get his other arm under her head and slipped his hand under her gown until he could touch her bare warm flesh. He fondled first one and then the other breast as he wondered why Mary allowed him to touch her.
He still had a hand with nothing to do so he explored further down her body. Just before he could get to his objective she grabbed his wandering hand and firmly returned it to a spot above her waist. "That's enough," she said and removed his other hand from her breast and rolled away from him ending a pleasant moment. John fell asleep with memories of his sister's warm soft breasts.
TWO DAY'S WORK
The next morning John took stock and realized he was soon going to be short of cash. He had known that sooner or later he would have to go back to work but had been procrastinating. He had been in one place long enough so it was time to get busy. He had a full day ahead.
His first stop was at a shopping mall to get running sweats and a pair of sneakers two sizes too large. At a different mall he purchased a pair of dark sunglasses and a baseball hat. After having lunch at a fast food restaurant he stopped by a drugstore and bought peroxide, cotton balls, hair dye, and a box of latex gloves.
He stuffed a pair of the gloves in his pocket and found an office supplies store. He spent a few minutes wandering around and stopped at the typewriter display. When no one was around he slipped on the gloves and typed a note on a sheet of paper he lifted from a pad of bond nearby. His preparations were almost complete.
A drive around town completed his afternoon. In his random drive he checked out an industrial parking lot and three banks. Tomorrow morning he would steal a car from the parking lot and hold up one of the banks. During the preceding weeks he had carefully checked out each bank within several miles and had found three to his liking; circumstances tomorrow would determine which bank he chose.
He made a supermarket stop and stocked up with food and drinks. At a nearby service station he filled both gas tanks and his water tank. Both propane tanks were full so the van was set.
The van was his pride and joy. He had bought it used several years ago and converted it into comfortable living quarters. Inside it sported a sofa/bed, complete kitchen, chemical toilet, TV, and a tiny gas heater. There just wasn't enough room or he would have put in a shower; sponge baths had to suffice when he was on the road.
The van had started life working for a contractor. The contractor had gone bankrupt and he had bought it from the dealer where he had been working as a mechanic. He had rebuilt the basic van from the ground up. The interior had been salvaged from a wrecked custom van with a few things added to suit his tastes.
On the outside, at first glance it looked like delivery vans painted off white like so many that are ubiquitous on the streets. Underneath the skin it sported a huge V-8 engine, automatic transmission, heavy-duty suspension, fat tires, and an interior that was luxurious. It suited John's nomadic lifestyle.
When he arrived back at the residence hotel he informed the desk clerk that he would be leaving early the next morning and asked for his final bill. They chatted about this and that as the clerk totaled up his tab. John mentioned that he was going to go to New Orleans to investigate a job offer. A little misinformation just in case anyone looked for him.
Back in his room, he packed up his few belongings and put them in the van. Afterward he had dinner of cold sandwiches and soda. After dinner he bleached his hair and beard to a very light blond. Tomorrow night he would be clean-shaven with his usual dark brown hair.
Before he went to sleep he thought about Charlie . . .
. . . Charlie had drifted into his life when he was about fifteen; just another of his mother's many boyfriends. Charlie had been different; he had struck a chord with John and took the time to get to know him. Charlie also treated his mother well and seemed to truly like her. Some of her boyfriends were one-night stands and others were abusive; not Charlie, he acted like everyone was his family.
He would stay with them for a few months and then drift away for a few months only to turn up again. Sometimes he would work as an auto mechanic and other times he would do nothing at all except party with Mom. He always seemed to have money to spend and bought John and Mary clothes and presents.
When John had gotten in trouble shoplifting Charlie had taken him under his wing and gave him some good advice. The advice had been a college degree in how to be a successful crook.
Charlie had done time for a stupid holdup of a liquor store. While in prison he had listened to his cellmate talk about robbing banks. Five years with nothing to do but listen he had filed away every bit of information he could glean from his fellow prisoners. One thing he learned, it was always some little detail that got most criminals caught. Most times it was sheer stupidity but if a person took care of the little details about the only way they would end up in jail was bad luck. His cellmate had walked out of a bank into the arms of two cops who had stopped to cash a check.
Charlie had taught John how to use simple disguises and alter his appearance. Keep everything simple and there was less to go wrong. By the time he turned sixteen he had two birth certificates and he took the driver's test twice to get a license in each name. He could be James Williams or John Elder. James Williams had died at age two and there had been enough information on his tombstone to get a birth certificate.
Charlie had taught him how to drive, to be an auto mechanic, and how to rob banks. When he turned eighteen he had gone with Charlie on one of his trips and been indoctrinated into the bank robber's guild.
They had worked together off and on for two years when Charlie had the bad luck to run into a nervous bank guard who got trigger-happy. When things cooled off the guard had mysteriously disappeared and John finished what Charlie had started at that bank.
John always remembered Charlie when he had work planned. Charlie was the closest thing to a father he had known.
The alarm went off and jolted John from a deep sleep. He hit the snooze button on the alarm and tried to get a wink or two more sleep before the alarm went off again. The excitement of the coming day proved too much and he sat up and turned the alarm off; he might as well get started.
As the water heated to make coffee he dressed in jeans and a sport shirt. He put on the new sneakers using foam rubber pads to make them comfortable and snug. If he left a footprint the police would be looking for someone who wore shoes several sizes larger than he did. He carefully combed his hair using a little oil to make it appear scraggly and unkempt. He used a little gel in his beard and combed it out fluffy to make his face appear fuller. Just before he went into the bank he would stuff cotton balls in his cheeks to fill his face out even more. With the sunglasses he would look like a completely different person but not someone suspicious. Ski masks were for cowboys who like to wave guns around. He would look like an ordinary customer and if he had to pull his gun out he would be using it.
He sipped his coffee and thought about a job he and Charlie had pulled off long ago. One or the other would be a "mole" inside the bank. It was his turn to be the mole and he had gone in a few minutes before Charlie to check the place out. If everything was OK he would stand by the service desk pretending to fill out a deposit slip; if not he would leave and Charlie would simply get change for a large bill. When Charlie came in he would time Charlie's actions and go outside just in time to cover his escape. Everything had gone smoothly until a guard decided to run outside and chase Charlie. John shot him as he came out the door. Charlie's note to the teller had said count to 100 before coming outside. Enough musing about the past; it was time to go to work.
Later that morning he parked in a lot at a mall that was on a bus line to an industrial plant. He packed a shopping bag with tools to steal the car, a canvas bag, a small 38 revolver, sunglasses, latex gloves, cotton balls, and the running suit. Satisfied he had everything he carefully locked the van and walked to the bus stop. The bus was late but he had plenty of time and it was almost full. Crowds covered his movements and hid the man in the baseball hat. He got off close to the plant and walked to the parking lot.
He walked purposely down the rows of cars until he spotted one he liked. He stopped behind it and pretended to tie a shoe as he checked the tires. Everything looked good so he stood up and looked around, no one in sight. It was a few seconds work to put on latex gloves, get the "Slim Jim" out of the bag, and unlock the door. Once inside he got out his slide hammer and fitted the expanding jaws in the ignition switch. A couple of sharp blows pulled the core out and a screwdriver started the engine. He drove out of the parking lot as if he owned the place.
This story is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents either are products of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events or locales or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.
Mr Double's Palisade A MrDouble Production:
Changes last made on: Saturday, August 21, 2010