Tag Archives: God

Pride Will Always Refuse Love

Previously on Bad Blood Bandits: After snooping around Grant’s room due to boredom induced by an absentee Charlie, Jackson had found a still. Grant caught the snoop and the two struck up an uneasy partnership.

Grant had come from a long line of moonshiners so there was a perfectly good reason for him to remember the name of Eliot Ness. During Prohibition, his family kept mostly to themselves (Their mistrust of the Irish went back as far back as the Old Country) and so avoided the unwanted attention of the FBI.

It was Josh, the new attendant, whom Grant and his newfound partner had to avoid now. Avoiding attention was much easier when the guards genuinely didn’t care any more than they had to in order to avoid getting in trouble with The Warden but this one needed skill at avoiding authority. Jackson, having spent years around Charlie, was well-versed in the art.

The pair had only one insight about Josh: that he cared- or at least pretended to care for some sick reason- about all residents, or “raisins” as they were called by the other guards (attendants). He would spend his breaks listening to their stories or passing out what little mail the residents received. They usually only had mailers or credit card offers but even so, it had become an unspoken competition between them to see who had the most mail because somewhere in their decaying minds the idea that mail equals love or at least a demand for attention and, even if it was a credit card company, someone in the world wanted them for something.

The problem for Jackson and Grant was that, with all the attention Josh was giving the “raisins”,he would even sit down at each of the tables and talk with them and if he didn’t have a chance to talk with everybody, he would walk them to their room (something Grant found out the hard way when he tried to avoid him the whole meal and ended up with Josh almost in his room) so it had become harder to sneak fruit back to the room without him noticing, much less using it as the subject of a poor attempt at conversation. He could tell that these two wanted nothing to do with conversation and he had heard so much about Jackson and Charlie. With Charlie gone hermit, Jackson was his only victim of curious and awkward conversation.

What made Josh even more desperate was their constant evasion of him. They were like the one sheep worth leaving the other flock. Nothing makes someone more desperate to give love than someone who will not receive it.

This, the two bootleggers discovered, could be used to their advantage. It was agreed that one of them would distract Josh with some bogus story about their past. They were careful to keep playing hard to get with him to keep him interested so the other could sneak out to the still with what ever fruit or sugar they needed for their science project.

It worked well until one day, Josh confided in Jackson. “I think your friend Charlie might be making alcohol in his room.”
Tune in next week for some good old-fashioned backstabbing…
…or maybe even just regular stabbing!

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Feuds and Flues

Part 1 of The Child

            An appearance by his son was rare but when it occurred, Jackson was usually intoxicated with spite for weeks. Charlie was more than a little annoyed by this but, unfortunately for the home (with the exception of Charlie’s patience) there was a small series of colds making the rounds and so most everyone avoided contact with each other.

Janine of course was the exception; taking this, of all times, to be plaguing everyone with her desperate cries for attention. It was probably her fault that these colds were so well spread and no one flinched at the opportunity to blame the Banshee.

By the time their forced hibernation had come to a close, Jackson’s sharp bitterness had run its course-the way your body recovers from poison- and he was ready to spend time with people again without being too much of a prick.

Charlie usually, by the simple nature of his day-to-day mischief, dragged Jackson out of his snappy gloom but this time he was preoccupied with something and stayed in his room.Jackson knew better than to bother him; if he wanted to be left alone he was to be left alone and no one was going to argue with someone who will spike your drink with a vengeance.

It was another trickster that broke the monotony.

Grant was never much of a people person. He kept to himself and, except for moments of wrath directed at Chesley (the two of them had an incurable feud since Grant was every bit of a Yank as Chesley was a Southern gentleman), was usually quiet. Since those moments were the most anyone ever saw of Grant doing or saying anything out of the ordinary no one really had the desire to approach him. Even if they did, their expectations would be well rewarded.

Because Chesley was so easily annoyed by Grant, the latter usually stayed as long as he could after his breakfast was done for the sole purpose of getting under the southerners skin.

It was this and the presence of a new guard that caught Jackson’s attention. Not once as long as Jackson had been there had he witnessed the arrival of a new attendant so it goes without saying that this was of particular interest to him if he had not given up his duty to attempt escape.

What demanded his curiosity further was Grant’s odd activity after meals. Jackson noticed it when the flue had died down and everyone had resumed dining together again. At first he just thought it was a little strange seeing Chesley sitting alone at the table towards the end but when he’d managed to get glimpses of Grant sneaking away from the table not long after everyone else had been awarded what the cook called food.

Normally this wouldn’t raise any red flags since Grant was a loner but it was well-known that one of the few people he liked being around, as strange as it might sound, was Chesley.

When someone is a glutton for spite and bitterness, whether they will admit it or not, the people they love to be around the most are the ones that feed their appetite.

This distraction needed immediate attention and it didn’t much matter whether it was to cure his inflamed curiosity or his sedentary boredom, he absolutely had to know what Grant was up to that could possibly make him surrender his favorite pastime.

Join us next week for the usual mischief, mayhem and mythological archetypes!


I My Pot Runneth Over

(Part 2 of I Wanna Be Sedated)

Previously on Bad Blood Bandits: During a yawn of a bingo game, Jackson, being thoroughly bored at the lack of activity (trouble, din, mayhem or whatever you prefer), helped the officiating guard (Donald) keep his foot warm by setting it on fire with Charlie’s zippo.

 Not long ago, Jackson and Charlie held a bet whether Donald (the guard whose foot was burned in last week’s story) looked more like a goat or a jackass. The general consensus was that Donald was as ugly as his temper no matter what animal he looked like so neither of them won and Charlie somehow ended up with the money.

There was nothing left to study in the Warden’s office except the Donald’s goat face because the office was all too familiar to Jackson. Every item had been investigated thoroughly from the chair opposite the Wardens from the many times he was made to wait for her to arrive for his scolding after an ill-fated escape attempt. Unfortunately for Jackson, the goat face, shaded by his black hair, stared back with an angered and reluctant humility underneath a spiteful smirk. Everything from his face to the smirk on it was a fire under Jackson’s simmering rancor**. There was nothing in the office that could distract him from the aching in his jaw.

The Warden walked in with a small glass carrying only a little water* and plopped down in her chair. She dropped her elbows on the desk like she was in school, demanded to pay attention.

“So, there’s no fire and yet I have been called here interrupting my peaceful and quiet evening at home.” The reason she had even been called in was because a brand new member of the staff had pulled the fire alarm at the first hint of burning rubber.

“Hasn’t stopped you from bringing your “peace and quiet” here.”Jackson nodded at the glass of clear liquid. The Warden ignored him with obvious annoyance and turned to Donald expecting an explanation. Jacksonhad feeling he might be paying for that later but it was a relief to let out a little of his spite even if it pained his jaw to do so.

“He set my foot on fire.” Donald stated, expecting capital punishment.

“Really? He set your foot on fire.” The Warden was quickly loosing interest and took a swig of the “water”. “You couldn’t have just confined him to his room for the next day?”

This was a standard punishment when Jackson or Charlie escaped or caused any sort of great ruckus.

“Then he hit me.” Donald quickly added. And the smirk on his face broadened a little.

Jackson’s jaw clinched and a scowl covered his face. In the mayhem caused by the burning rubber and the fire alarm, Jackson tried to retrieve the lighter and when he did, he was met with Donald underneath the table investigating the cause of the burning sensation in his foot. When Donald realized why Jackson was after the lighter he, as rage were his reflex,  gave Jackson a crack on the jaw.

The proud old man could take any punishment given for something he did but this heated his simmering to a boil.

“Assaulted one of my employees? Hmm, Jackson, you’ve had back trouble before correct? You may assist Luke in cleaning the bathrooms this week.” The Warden’s face perked up a little and she killed the rest of what was in the glass.

…continued next week

*pronounced: Vod-ka

**Bitterness, not to be confused with the monster in Jabba’s basement.


Fire In The Hole!

(Part 1 of I Wanna Be Sedated)

The smell of burnt rubber still lingered in the air and Jackson suppressed a well-earned chuckle. The Warden would be furious, especially having been called in from home, but there was a certain pride that accompanied her anger like a shiny badge on Jackson’s pride-swollen chest. The more outraged she was, the shinier the medal.

The cause of this disturbance happened during the night’s bingo game which had been more than usually peaceful. Jackson was still a little sulky from his last botched escape attempt and Charlie was well medicated (at the Wardens request) and so was much more docile and less mischievous. Aside from the occasional outbreak from Janine or fight between Grant and Chesley there had been almost no activity worth mentioning at the Home until that night.

Bingo night was a particularly special torture. No one had anything better to do so it seemed a good idea as any to stave off the boredom but since whatever unlucky attendant was being punished with the responsibility of officiating the game usually had a magazine open and called out a number whenever they felt it was too long since the last time they had done so. It was slow enough to make even Nodding Oscar (who was known for being a little slow) a little antsy and Jackson was beginning to feel a little of the old disquiet set in although he would have preferred to sulk. Charlie was so baked, or medicated or whatever you want to call it, the game was keeping his attention

Normally these things were buzzing with restlessness: Janine’s discontented murmurings would usually be punctuated by shrieks of horror at her bingo chips being mismatched, Grant and Chesley would be sparing and Charlie would be up to no good. Tonight, however Janine was bedridden (most likely in some grasp at attention), Grant and Chesley had been separated and Charlie was content to practice tricks with his zippo and play the game in peace.

“B” the attendant paused before releasing the second half “twenty-four”.

Charlie slowly and sedately moved a chip on Jackson’s card, the latter having lost interest in the game entirely and was doing his best to keep a sullen face when his body was being charged like a battery with restlessness. In the absence of Charlie getting into some sort of trouble Jackson felt a vacuum because instead of perpetually planning mischief his partner in crime was contentedly mischiefless.

The silence and peace was eerie unnatural and dissonant. The calm and lethargic call of the next letters burst the reservoir of static in Jackson and after a second to calculate, he slipped his hand into Charlie’s pocket and with a fluid motion snapped the lighter on and tossed it perfectly underneath the bored attendants’ still and statuesque feet.

Within a minute, amongst the smell of burning rubber and the screams of the attendant Jackson was at peace again in the midst of the chaos although it was him, not Charlie that induced it.


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.



Papillon: Part 1

Whether or not Jackson ever made it out, his first real attempt with Charlie had become the stuff of legends in the Home.  Of course, the first few attempts don’t count.  They were like a teenager deciding to become a rockstar and then realizing it would actually have to take some work.

After a year of sitting around in a miserable state and snapping at anyone that talked to him the moronically simple thought occurred to him (with a little help from the Steve McQueen) that if he hated his life in the home so badly then he had the responsibilty to escape -this, of course was the inspiration from  the motorcycle-riding escape artist mentioned above with an assist from Richard Burton.

At first he thought it would be a simple matter of observation and timing. He soon realized it would be easier to break out of Hell although Hell probably had better bingo.

The first breakout he ever made seemed easy enough; no one paid him any mind. Why should they have? To them  he was just a tired old prune going about his business so it wasn’t too hard for him to leave his breakfast with the perpetually burnt and scalding cup of coffee to sneak out the first time until he met Luke, one of the guards, in the parking lot who then interrogated him on his purpose.

“Are you going somewhere?”

“Do you think you’re in movie or somethin? No I’m not going anywhere I’m sitting here talking to your ugly mug.” Luke was not used to Jackson’s abrasive retorts but eventually he brought him back inside after a great amount of name calling on Jackson’s part and when the fledgling escape artist was finally made to sit down was the first conversation he ever had with Charlie.

“Where did you go?” Said a distracted Charlie slouched over in his chair.

“Out for a walk.” Jackson replied much annoyed.

“I didn’t know they let us have walks! Im gonna go have one.” Jackson didn’t correct him because he could tell as long as Charlie was around he wasn’t going to have any peace or quiet so he let him go and try to take a walk. When “Luke-cifer” as Charlie called him brought the vagrant back inside Jackson was about ready for a second attempt.

He made sure Luke had left the room and walked in the opposite direction in search of an exit. Unbeknownst to Jackson, he was being followed by a formerly bored Charlie and the two of them were met by “Luke-cifer*” doing his rounds.

“Don’t tell me you’re both out for a walk again.”

“Well that doesn’t give us a whole lot of options then does it?” Charlie said to Jackson when then released a slew of curses assuming that it was Charlie’s presence who foiled his attempt.

As soon as they were thrown back into thier prison Jackson was attempting a different escape, this time from Charlie who was following him around like a puppy about to be fed. Jackson, who was still angry at him for ruining his last attempt just wanted to sit somewhere and sulk until another opportunity arose but Charlie kept following him saying “c’mon man, we were just getting Luke-cifer  all riled up! It’ll be fun!” but Jackson would have none of it until Charlie did something to demand his attention…

To Be Continued

*A play on the name Lucifer who, according to tradition, is the pricipality associated with the deadly sin of Hubris (or pride).