Tag Archives: people

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!


Detective Jackson Taylor

Previously on Bad Blood Bandits: Jackson, having been deprived of his usual bitterness detox (Charlie was thoroughly occupied in his room for some reason) noticed peculiar activity from Grant and went to investigate.

Jackson’s naturally curious nature had gotten him in trouble more than many people much younger than he could count but some people (meaning Jackson) have to learn things the hard way unless, like Jackson, they are to stubborn to learn them at all.

It was really none of Jackson’s business what Grant was up to and anyone with even a small sense of other people’s privacy would have backed off but between being around Charlie-who had absolutely no sense of privacy- and being bored almost to death (boredom was a close second to dementia for leading cause of death in the Home) Jackson would by no means let this go.

He tried to follow Grant to his room but couldn’t get a peek without the rugged old man noticing. He even tried questioning Chesley once or twice but the southerner genuinely did not care about Grant any more than he had to. It would seem that for Chesley, apathy was the sincerest form of hate.

After about a week and a half of patiently obsessing over Grant’s newfound activity, shadowing him in every room he visited, asking as tactfully as he could about any clues Jackson finally had an opportunity. It was during lunch and there had been an outbreak from someone other than Janine. Most likely it was some poor raisin with dementia who actually needed attention but that didn’t matter to Jackson. What mattered to him was finding the room keys on the floor after the scuffle. He snatched them up as quickly as he could and slipped them in his pocket like he was returning a pocket watch.

As usual, before the meal was over, Grant left to his room. Jackson scoured the Home for a magazine or a book and found an old Better Homes and Gardens. It wasn’t his type of magazine but since anyone read anything to pass the time in there it would be hardly out of character to read a publication of any kind whether it was The National Enquirer or Teen for that matter.

After finding his prop, Jackson stationed himself in with a view of Grant’s room or at least as close to the hall so he could note his passing. He had resorted to actually reading about a third of the articles before his mark had begun to move. It was almost dinner time. As soon as the mark was far enough not to notice Jackson was down the hall and turning the key to get in to Grant’s room.

What he found was severely disappointing. He had been left to his imagination for so long that anything short of a secret rocket ship would be disappointing but as it was, he would have to content himself with finding a copper wire spiraling out of a crock pot and the smell of yeast.
Tune in next week for bootleggers, thieves and overall banditry!


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 Well’s Gone Dry

(part 4 of I Wanna Be Sedated)

Previously on Bad Blood Bandits: Jackson, in spiteful rage at having been wrongly accused of assaulting a guard and subsequently been sentenced to latrine duty in a place of alleged comfort and relaxation, showed his appreciation for the Warden by spiking her drink with a very strong hallucinogen procured from Charlie’s supplier.

 Since the Uncle George* (see last week’s episode) when Jackson slipped a certain “perception enhancement**” into the Warden’s coffee Charlie had been surprisingly sober due to a sudden drying up of his narcotic source and an incorrigible hellion.

Please understand that a completely sober Charlie was a grim reminder why he needed to be medicated in the first place for the sake of everyone else’s safety and especially in this manner. A saturated Charlie was a crime to deprive the home of its most vibrant personalities so a moderately buzzed Charlie was best but by no means sober.

He had no idea why he was so suddenly cut off from his vices and since he had been in a haze for the last few weeks. What memory he had was even foggier than usual so without a reason for being hung out to dry and a growing restlessness Charlie was left to find other outlets for his creativity

Hell hath no fury like a sober Charlie.

Janine was the first target-a substitution of salt in her special store of sugar at her table- followed by Luke who was the subject of a slew of chewed gum pieces finding a home in his very carefully styled hair followed by many of the kind.

None of his creative outbursts were enough to garner the attention of the aloof and largely apathetic Warden but were quite enough to bait the attention of his dining companions whose curiosity was relieved one breakfast when Charlie arrived late and spewing a long string of curses directed at the Warden.

“Already fighting? But you were so in love!”Jackson said as a painfully lucid Charlie sat down. “You were goin’ strong for how long now?” Charlie answered with a glare. For once he was in no mood forJackson’s sarcasm. “Well alright then, what’s gotcher goat?”

Charlie explained in colorful and abrasive language very unlike his usual relaxed self how he confronted his source about the lack of drugs and how it was explained to him that he was under strict orders from the Warden not to supply Charlie with anything and that he, Charlie, would know perfectly well why.

Jackson was starting to feel guilty since it was him that spiked the Warden’s coffee and so Charlie’s forced sobriety was his fault.

Lars was going on about how it was good to be free of those sorts of things and something about a body and a temple and normally Jackson would be in some agreement with him (he never really liked that Charlie was always baked) but this was different; he would never have wanted Charlie to be this kind of sober and since it was his fault he was left with the responsibility of finding Charlie a new source for the good of everyone.

*a maneuver involving the spiking of drinks

**hallucinogen


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.