Tag Archives: Pride

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!

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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.”


It Runs In the Family (It Practically Gallops)

“Pack and get dressed, before your father hears us.
Today we escape.
We escape.”
-Radiohead “Exit Music (For A Film)”

Part 1 of Our Fathers Sons

Images of Russian Gulags and Communist guards populated Jackson’s moderately furnished cell-sized living quarters and disappeared when he closed his copy of A Day In The Life Of Ivan Denisovitch.

His son had given the book to him “for his birthday” in the summer (Jackson’s birthday is in January). Jackson assumed he did it out somewhat out of spite but mostly as a way of rubbing his current incarceration in and never thought his father would actually read it so, out of spite, Jackson read it. He didn’t read it right away because that would give the impression that he was bored and in need of entertainment (which he was). His son really wouldn’t know when he read it or even if he read it at all but made all the difference to Jackson. It was a matter of pride.

What necessitated the closing of the book was the frantic entrance of Charlie in his room. The boyish satisfaction in Charlie’s face and the screams of what sounded like a Banshee emanating from down the hall told Jackson enough. Since his mischievous friend had discovered a new source for contraband, he had seen Charlie receive much more unusual items than mild narcotics. In this case, his teenage grandchildren delivered unto him a small rodent of some sort which he promptly planted in Janine’s room once his delinquent descendants had delivered said contraband. This was the source of the Banshee screams.

It was a few moment when Jackson’s instincts kicked in and he saw the ordinary Charlie prank as a small opportunity. Since most of the guards (attendants) were occupied the delicate task of getting Janine to stop screaming they were likely to have left the parking lot surrounding the Home unattended. The front door would still be too heavily populated so he would need Charlie to serve as another distraction.

“Charlie, we’re in business.” The boyish satisfaction graduated to a devilish glow. The two of them rooted around the cell for a pinch of salt and made their way to the dining hall.

Luke was patrolling the last obstacle between Jackson and freedom. The large space of the dining hall being empty would make it hard for him to cross I unnoticed. This was why he brought Charlie and the salt. Luke would surely have no mercy on either of them since they had marred his good looks on more than one occasion. This was exactly what Jackson depended on. He directed Charlie to make sure Luke saw him slip the powdery white substance.

The vain attendant played into Jackson’s hand like the idiot he took him for –no doubt he assumed Charlie was attempting an “Uncle George”) and while he was busy interrogating Charlie Jackson made his move past the vacant lobby and out the doors to the smell of fresh air.

His small taste of freedom was cut short by a fresh batch of jackassery from none other than Donald who was faithfully standing guard outside the entrance and promptly stretched his foot out to trip the old escape artist.Jackson’s leg collapsed and Donald collected him from the cold concrete.

The defeated old man was marched back inside holding his wrist, bloodied a little from the fall. He recognized a well-dressed but rugged looking man in his mid forties on his way in. At the sight of him Jackson covered his wrist and straightened himself up. His new gait suggested that he had nothing better to do and he ignored the rugged middle-aged man.

…to be continued.

*A prank of Charlie’s that was well-known among the guards involving the spiking of someone’s drink.


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.


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.


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.