Tag Archives: Life

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!


The Proper Use Of Gunpowder

Previously on Bad Blood Bandits: Jackson, worried that his son might be leaving his wife went to the Warden armed with vodka to extract information since it was she who had the conversation with his son in the first place. We learned that his son was not leaving his wife but rather that he was an ass. We did not learn what Charlie was doing to distract the guards to enable Jackson to have this little chat and that is why we are here today…

 

Finale of Our Father’s Sons

…After getting the information he needed from the Warden, Jackson waited for her to descend into a drunken stupor slip out of the office. As much as a relief as the slight truce was, he would have preferred not to spend any more time with her than he had to.

Charlie, on the other hand, had been quite enjoying himself. Having acquired an assortment of party poppers, he’d distributed them to the vegetables (the residents of the home who were losing their minds in one way or another) and since each one discovered what the string was for, the guards were quite occupied by the sporadic pops and showers of confetti.

Jackson found the old trickster in what was at one time a somewhat comfortable chair in the corner of the common area from where he could enjoy his handiwork; his face glowing with accomplished contentment.

“Considerate of you to include the vegetables.”Jackson said after he had lowered himself to a wooden chair.

“Hmm?” Charlie turned to Jackson as if he were distracting him. “Oh, well all they need is a little opportunity.”

“You still have some on you?” Jackson nodded to a vegetable whose party popper had somehow avoided confiscation.

“Yeah, have at it.” Charlie dumped the remaining few in Jackson’s lap

“I’ll hide these before they start looking for the source.” Jackson discreetly stashed them in his pockets and raised himself out of his chair.

“Suit yourself.”

It wouldn’t be safe to say that Jackson was particularly happy. However, after witnessing Charlie at his best and hearing that Genevieve, one of the few bright lights in his sons life, was not being forced out of it he did feel a measure of peace.

The Wardens vodka probably didn’t hurt either

Peace is always short-lived. Tune in next week for more chaos.


The Hell With John Galt, Who’s “Geneva”?

Previously on Bad Blood Bandits: With more than one opportune distraction provided by the usual trickster, Charlie, the usual escape artist, Jackson, made one more attempt the convalescent home only to be foiled by a guard. On his way back in he saw a familiar middle-aged man.

Since he had been awake most of the night,Jackson was eager to get to breakfast if only to do something other than sit in his room. Normally he would have made his usual post-breakout attempt sulk in Charlie’s room but this time his mind was much too occupied.

He attempted to cure his busy mind with coffee since he was the first at the table. Coffee, however, does not calm the mind, it only excites it as if a slew of bumper cars were given a boost and everything rumbles around for a while.

The pot of muddy liquid at the table was halfway gone by the time Marilynne sat down kitty corner from Jackson. She didn’t mind much since she was the only one at the table that drank tea. She did mind that Jackson had not noticed her.

“Lars won’t be happy when he sees that coffee almost gone.”Jackson made no move. He only sat there staring at his cup.

She tried again. “Who was that man talking to Cameron* last night? You looked like you knew him.” There was another long pause. At this point he had, in fact, heard Marilynne but his thoughts were scrambled enough by the coffee he had taken mostly out of boredom and didn’t need any more distractions; especially since Charlie and Lars were bound to be interrupting him soon enough and there was no ignoring them.

“He must have been very confused, he thought he was in Geneva . I mean, he must have since he said he was leaving it. Do you think he was The Cameron’s crazy son?” Jackson didn’t really hear the rest of her rambling and what she said hadn’t fully sunk in until it was too late and the other two joined them.

“There you go again Charles! What did you do this time to perturb the attendants enough to only give us half a ration of coffee.”Charlie hated it when Lars called him “Charles” and Lars knew it.

“Lars, buddy, ya gotta start talking to people like they’re at least part human. Who knows, maybe they won’t treat you like a stuffed shirt.”

Jackson hadn’t completely heard what Marilynne said and, if it was what he thought it was he would have to do something perhaps as horrifying as confronting Janine: talking to his son.

 Next time on Bad Blood Bandits: drunkenness…that is all you need know.

*the Warden’s actual name (psst! she hates it and woulnd much rather prefer “Cam”)


The Absolution Of Sins…Bandit Style

Previously on Bad Blood Bandits: Inspired by the spite that comes of being wrongfully accused and therefore wrongfully sentenced to clean toilets, Jackson spiked the Warden’s coffee with particularly strong hallucinogen. This being Charlie’s signature move the Warden responded by cutting off Charlie’s supply of narcotics. Jackson began to feel a little guilt at causing his friend to be deprived of the one thing that made this hellish place bearable.  

Part 5 of I Wanna Be Sedated

Not everyone who seeks redemption will find it but anyone
who seeks forgiveness can find redemption.

            Admitting fault was not a habit Jackson’s. Neither was helping anyone acquire narcotics yet there he was, sitting in the tattered and uncomfortable couch staring at a pair of Charlie’s grandchildren brainstorming for ways to smuggle narcotics in under the Warden’s nose.

Of course, he could have just walked into the Warden’s office and explained his guilt but since he was already in the doghouse after being falsely accused of assaulting an attendant, this was far from an option. As far as the Warden was concerned, he was getting off easy with cleaning very one of the 60-plus toilets in the building despite his bad back. A second incident in a week would bring untold retribution and chastisement on the old man not to mention admitting guilt; a fate worse than whatever damnation would be inflicted upon him.

He was still left with the problem of absolution –absolution, as far as Jackson was concerned, simply meant making the sentence for the crime null and void. Yes, Charlie was being punished for something he had no part in but if Jackson were to find a source outside of the Warden’s control the punishment would be irrelevant and therefore the crime would be nonexistent. The problem was,Jacksonhad absolutely no idea how or where to acquire drugs of any kind. Even a pharmacy to him was an abomination to the human immune system.

Absolution however, was taking a backseat in Jackson’s mind. The front seat was occupied by Charlie’s grandchildren ages 14 and 16 who seemed to be enjoying themselves too much. The two of them had stopped by most likely because they were bored and thought it was amusing to see Charlie struggle with memory. Sometimes they brought a friend to show off their patriarch like a zoo exhibit and, although there was much snickering had by whoever came to see the show, they usually seemed much too out of place to be having fun probably because they weren’t causing some sort of trouble. They had inherited Charlie’s knack for finding it even though it skipped their parents.

To move in any closer would be obvious and the last thingJacksonwanted to do was interrupt what seemed to be scheming. He knew the look on Charlie’s face when he was on to something and it was even more frightening to see it reflected in the children of his offspring.

His curiosity was pumping adrenaline through his veins. He tried to put his head back and pretend to go to sleep so he could focus on their voices and drown out the ambient noise of the Home but he could barely make out any words and just trying made it worse. To the untrained eye he might have looked serene and peaceful all the while a tempest was brewing in him with every word that he could not hear completely.

The voices tapered off and Jackson opened his eyes quickly and looked around as if he had been startled. Charlie was saying goodbye to his grandchildren with a warmth that was not there before although there remained some vestiges of awkwardness as there usually was in abundance.

Charlie hurried over to Jackson and tapped his shoulder like an excited child.
“My grandkids are brilliant! Who’d have known they came from such prudes!”
“Are you gonna tell me about it or just spout cryptic and uncalled for compliments about your grandchildren at me?” Jackson replied. Charlie looked around uneasily as Lars entered the room.
“Not here.”

As soon as they were in a safe retreat from any eavesdroppers Charlie explained that he could get his usual supply of opiates from his “brilliant” grandchildren who were in more trouble than Jacksonhad imagined and were most certainly Charlie’s decendants.

It would have been better forJackson to have found the solution himself- at least it would have made him feel better- but the result was the same: the punishment was averted and so the crime had ceased to exist.


The “Uncle George” Maneuver

(part 3 of I Wanna Be Sedated)

Previously on Bad Blood Bandits: After the burning of a guard’s foot Jackson is assigned by the Warden to clean toilets despite his bad back.

To the untrained eye, Charlie might have seemed erratic and unstable. While he was most certainly unstable, there was usually some sort of order to what seemed a mind of chaos. Jackson learned before long that Charlie used the same names for the same usual “operations”. For example, if he was talking about a breakout he would say something about a “Bronson” which probably had something to do with The Great Escape. If something were about to go missing you could hear him referring to the Rat Pack.

Most of these were references to movies except for the reliable “Uncle George”. It’s probably no surprise that Charlie had an uncle so happened to be named George and this uncle could always be seen carrying around a flask to “enhance the flavor of the drinks” and sometimes he “enhanced” other peoples drinks as well.

It was an Uncle George that Jackson decided would be his tool of vengeance and spite to teach the Warden not to give a bitter old man a job to do where he is left to stew in wrath and retribution.

After a week of carrying out his sentence he put his pieces into motion. Charlie moved on instinct, he had to since he couldn’t remember any of his plans and so he had vague ides of what would and wouldn’t work and when he saw an opportunity he took it. Jackson had to put his chess skills to work instead.

One night after dinner when and the Warden was working late everyone was engaged in their usual activity of staving off the boredom,Jacksonsaw his chance. Janine was working on her usual craft at a small table in the corner obscured a little by the fake ficus tree and got up for some reason with a mission. AllJacksonhad to do was rearrange her work space to get the desired result; it didn’t take much to set Janine off.

Meanwhile, one of the attendants was preparing the Warden’s coffee so when Janine’s return was announced by her screeching and wailing, all the guards in the immediate vicinity responded to the alarm in hopes to make it stop. This was the moment forJacksonto tamper with the coffee.

When everyone had miraculously persuaded Janine to calm down a little, the attendant in charge of coffee returned to his duty and all Jackson had to do was wait. It felt like the same kind of eternity as waiting for a pot to boil but soon enough there were panicked and surprised shouts coming from the Wardens office. Jackson could hear her yelling something about the lamp stand turning into a snake.

Jackson stopped by the kitchen to thank Virgil, Charlie’s narcotics contact, for scoring such a strong hallucinogen but thought it would be better not to acknowledge the relationship.

After all this time it’s a wonder people haven’t learned to watch their drink when “Uncle George is brought up.

Tune in next week to see who takes the fall for the Warden’s unexpected trip