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What You Don’t Know

Previously On Bad Blood Bandits: Jackson and Grant had struck up an unlikely partnership over the distilling of spirits in Grants room. However, the newest addition to the staff at the Home was a hopeless tool and somehow got it into his head that Charlie, in one of his bouts of seclusion, had taken up the same hobby as the other two.

Every possibility of why Josh would want to tell him exactly what his game was with Charlie ran through his head a hundred times. Josh knew full well the history of the two of them at the home and their status as partners in crime. He was a smart kid: he had to know full well that Jackson would tell him absolutely nothing about what was going on with Charlie even if he knew and whatever tidbits he did tell him would be misinformation. The only way to get Josh off his back would be to give him some truth to keep him distracted from Charlie and there was only one thing he could give up that would be good enough to distract the bloodhound detective on Charlie’s trail.

First, he had to do some sleuthing of his own which, fortunately forJackson, meant much less trouble for him than for Josh. As soon as the nosey attendant had left his sight, The old man made straight for Charlie’s cell (room) making sure to not cross into Josh’s sights again. He checked over his shoulder without directly looking behind him as he made his way down the hall and gave the door as quiet a knock as he could while still demanding the attention of the occupant.

Jackson heard nothing: no hurried sounds of cleaning and concealment, no “can’t an old man go to the toilet in peace!” nothing. He announced himself again with the same result. The third time he felt like he heard someone on the other side but nothing specific. It wasn’t someone trying to walk around without being heard, it was much softer than that. It wasn’t someone trying to breath inconspicuously, it was much more fleeting than that.

“I know you’re in there Charlie.” He heard something, it was barely anything.

“And I know you’re not asleep.” A slight and carefull rustling was heard on the other side. The fear that maybe, no matter how unlikely it was that the both of them were independently involved in the same clandestine activity, Josh might have been right.

“Fine! Who is it!”

“I don’t have to answer that”

Charlie opened the door guardedly and it occurred to Jackson for a moment that maybe, after all this time, Charlie still didn’t trust him completely. The thought sprouted when Charlie let him in to see that there was nothing to see inside. No makeshift still, no spare bottles, nothing.

“Where the hell have you been?”

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Papillon: Part 2

Previously on Bad Blood Bandits: We saw Jackson’s very first  feeble escape attempts thwarted by an attendant (guard) named Luke-affectionately dubbed “Luke-cifer by Charlie whom Jackson met shortly after his first attempt. We left them sitting down in the dining hall where a highly amused Charlie was, much to Jackson’s annoyance and in a very animated and excited fashion, trying to get him to attempt a third escape while they had momentum.

Seated at their dining table with outstreched legs watching the kitchen attendants set up for lunch the bandits sat stewing in their recent defeat. Jackson had long since drowned Charlie’s incessant ramblings about causing trouble. This was long before Charlie’s condition had advanced and he had turned to narcotics so it was more common for him to be this animated and aware later in the day. It was no wonder of course that the Warden allowed him to keep his grass when he did discover it because he caused much less trouble when he was high.

Jackson, on the other hand, whished to God that Charlie was high so that he would shut up until his sulking was interrupted by Luke who was walking past them in an attempt to eavesdrop on what he rightfully assumed to be their plans for escape (or in this case Charlie’s ridiculous ideas) when he tripped on Charlie’s outstretched leg and ran headlong into one of the attendants carrying juice –one of their few vices- to the lunch tables spilling water and juice  all down the front of his neat button-up shirt landing the two of them in a pile on the floor with a clank and clatter ruining his perfectly groomed, model like hair.

As soon as Luke  got up and collected himself he warned the two of them that if they made any more trouble that day he would take special care that they would be the subjects of cruel and unusual punishment: exclusion from any of the games or movie nights that were sparse and infrequent enough.

Jacksonlet out a chuckle and Charlie said something about if he could see that in the morning it would be so much easier to get out of bed and that got Jackson’s attention because it sparked in him divine inspiration which he would put into motion at dinner.

The plan formed in Jackson’s head was slowly extracted by Charlie’s incessant badgering as Luke, who was more worried about any lasting damage to his shirt than whatever the two of them were cooking up. Come dinnertime he would wish that he’d stayed and made sure they weren’t planning any mischief.

Jackson gave Charlie a part in his master plan (although grudgingly) and made sure the two of them made sure they were at the same table at dinner nearest their exit of choice and when, as soon as they received their coffee (served at dinnertime to make sure the inmates didn’t fall asleep in the common areas out of boredom) Jackson tried to get Luke’s attention by subtly acting suspicious like acting nervous. Charlie, on the other hand, chose the less subtle method of flicking peas at him with his spoon.

“You think he’s made yet? I was aiming for his stupid haircut” said an anxious Charlie, giddy at the though of escape or trouble or both. Jackson kept his cool as the assaulted guard approached them.

What happened next Jackson could not have planned. As Luke leaned over the table to warn the two troublemakers of their imminent punishment Charlie, in his excited state quite accidentally knocked his scalding hot coffee on the front of Luke’s neatly ironed shirt. Jackson moved as quickly as he could to catch it but knocked his own coffee in the air in somersaults spraying it on the table and Luke.

The two of them seized the opportunity and left Luke clutching his face in pain. They were out of the door before too many people congregated around the scene but as soon as they made it to the parking lot they saw Bill, the large and lazy looking guard sitting on the bench taking his second lunch break who noticed the truants and confronted in his own slow way forcing them back to the home.

“Oh that’s great”Jacksonsaid with his voice simmering with sarcasm. “We have another boy scout on our hands.”

“Luke-cifer’s” face still retains a small burn next to his nose that, if you ask anyone in the Home how he acquired it, you will get a vast array of stories sometimes violent but always with an air of pride that one of their own took matters into their own hands that day; not that any one of them besides these two would do so themselves.

This was the first of many but they were not the inseparable pair you see today. That, however, is a story for another day.