Tag Archives: literature

Vodka Is A White Flag Of Truce

Previously on Bad Blood Bandits: A middle-aged man showed up provoking a feral reaction from Jackson and was overheard by Marylinne saying something about him “leaving Geneva”. Jackson, having failed to get any more information out of Marylinne has had to resort to a conversation with the only other person to hear the conversation: the Warden. Who revealed that the middle-aged man is his son.

Part 4 of Our Fathers’s Sons

Bottle in hand, Jackson slowly made his way to the desk and sat opposite the Warden as he had done so many times after attempting escape. This time he felt almost an ally since both of them had to tolerate Jackson’s son in their lives.

“I saw he came to visit last night.” Jackson said, knowing he couldn’t play dumb to the Warden, especially when it came to his son.

“Yeah well you must have done a number on him to have him turn out that way.” The old man tensed a little and waited for her to take a hit from her glass.

“Well that’s why I’m here right? So I can dump my kids on you.” Jackson replied, careful not to antagonize her. He would have to get used to her making jabs like that, they only get worse as the bottle empties. She poured him a much smaller drink than hers and pushed it over to his side of the desk. He never drank that much but he knew better than to refuse a temporary peace offering drink from a somewhat functioning alcoholic.

“And somehow he seems to think he’s making YOUR life miserable.” She shook the glass in tight circles before taking a hit.

“Did he mention Genevieve?” Jackson asked directly trying to avoid the elephant in the room that Cam had staggered up against.

“Genevieve? Who’s that?” The Warden looked like she was being dragged out of her buzz to be made to think.

“His wife.”Jackson replied and kept quiet and still, letting her mull it over a little.

“Oh yeah, he did mention her. You’ve not a bad memory for a raisin your age.”

“You remember a bit more when you’re sober, or so I hear.” Jackson tilted his head back and killed the drink in the glass; better to get it over with all at once than to drag it out. He made sure to keep the glass close so she couldn’t refill it.

“How’d she end up with him anyway?” Cam went back to shooting the breeze.

“She was a girl then. Something about being married to an ass makes you grow up.” Jackson waited for the conversation to lull again until he tried asking again. Did he say anything about leaving Genevieve?” Cam thought for a second.

“Yeah, something about leaving her with the kids and having to get back to her. Like he really cares.” Jackson was relieved. He had what he had come for: his son was not about to leave his wife as the information from Marylinne seemed to suggest.

Next week: See what sort of mischief Charlie has been up to. I’m pretty sure there was gunpowder involved.

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Marinate, And Interrogate

Previously on Bad Blood Bandits: Jackson tries to escape and is yet again foiled by an attentive guard. On his way in he seems to have recognized a middle-aged man. The Next morning at breakfast Marylinne mentions something about hearing that middle-aged man say that he was “leaving Geneva”. Charlie and Lars arrive interrupting any attempt Jackson might have made to find out who Geneva might be.

Part 3 of Our Father’s Sons

The relentless leisure-bickering between Lars and Charlie had preventedJackson from getting anything more out of Marylinne and after breakfast wasn’t much better either. He ambushed her as soon as Charlie and Lars parted ways in amid amicable verbal abuse.

She was surprised at Jackson being any more interested in what she had to say. He didn’t normally care about gossip and so this sudden and enthusiastic interest made her a little uncomfortable. She only liked to talk about the goings on at the Home and was quite content to stay out of them.

“It just looked like you knew him and so I thought you might know what he and the Warden were talking about.” Her eyes darted everywhere but Jackson’s face.

“But did he say anything else!” Marylinne backed away from Jackson’s inquisition and stuttered “I-I didn’t hear.”

The moment was gone. There was no chance of Jackson getting any more out of Marilynne than he already had even if she did hear more. The only person left that heard the conversation was the Warden and she was not exactly on friendly terms with the old escape artist. This would need a certain finesse with the aid of Charlie

The mission: data extraction, the method: intoxication, the mark: Warden Cameron AKA “Cam” Haight. That night Jackson requested two things of Charlie: a distraction and a bottle of Stolichnaya-a particular favorite of The Warden’s.

It wouldn’t be hard to convince the Warden to imbibe in a certain grain beverage. The hard part for Jackson would be to deny his pride.

Charlie did his job causing some sort of distraction involving what sounded like party poppers. Knowing Charlie, he would have the creativity to ensure the complete irritation of the guards on duty. This left Jackson with the difficult task of feigning remorse.

He opened the door to her office without knocking but held out the bottle first as a white flag.

“You cant bribe me with what I can get myself now get the hell out.”

“I came to apologize.” You would never know the burning angst inJackson’s chest at not only having to admit wrong and by proxy, defeat.

“Well it’s nice to know I’m not the only one driven to drink by a visit from your kid. Siddown and open the bottle before I remember who brought it.”


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).