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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!


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.


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.”


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.