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Beverlyn L. Elliott
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rationalsounding.jpg
Art by Lonni Lees 2012

RATIONAL SOUNDING, IRRATIONAL PLANS

 

by Beverlyn Elliott

 

          I told Marty it was a fucked up idea from jump, but he ignored me, as per usual. Whenever he was jonesing to get high he came up with rational-sounding, irrational plans to do shit that invariably left somebody or something fucked up.

 

          "You know that last weed we bought from Bones was junk, right Brad?" Marty's eyes were wide like they get when he was indignant and trying hard not to look like it.

 

          "Yeah..." I drew it out like I did when I wasn't sure I was ready to agree with him just yet.

 

          "And we’re broke until next Friday when we get paid, right?"

 

          "Right." I agreed with him immediately that time because it was the truth, with a capital "T."

 

          We worked at a fast food restaurant in the Food Court at Governor's Square Mall, a minimum wage job that didn't include tips. We'd done this since we'd graduated high school, after which we declared our independence and moved into one of those apartments with a common living area, and each person--in our case persons—occupied their own pods, complete with a locking door and private bathroom.

 

          This had been another one of Marty's “good ideas." He said we'd share the room until we got better jobs, then move into a proper two-bedroom apartment. We'd been cohabiting three months before somebody squealed. Now we had until the end of the month to get separate pods or we were both out, and the Manager was riding our asses hard to make sure we wouldn’t flake out on him. If we didn't smoke so much expensive weed—also Marty’s idea—we could’ve afforded a pod of our own in the beginning.

 

          "A'ight," he said. "This is what we're gonna do. We'll go back to Bones and tell him how displeased we were with the merchandise last time. As management of a going concern, he should want to make sure he has total customer satisfaction. He'll give us another bag of weed for goodwill."

 

          "Bones has done ten in the big house, Marty. You think he gives a flying fuck about goodwill?" I spluttered.

 

Bones is a tall skeletal-looking dude with ink over 75% of his body, most of which he got while enjoying the hospitality of the state of Florida's correctional facilities. He settled in Tallahassee when it got too hot for him to live in Miami anymore, scaled back to selling just top-quality weed, and doing his damnedest not to go back to jail.

 

          "I'm telling you, it's gonna work. Come on; just follow my lead, okay? If we don't come back here with some weed, I'll buy next weekend."

 

          I nodded and we took off to Bones's place just off King Street. The crack whores looked with expectation into the tinted windows of my Honda Civic. The bolder ones were always the ugliest. We were horny young men, but we knew too many girls willing to give it up for free to risk an STD from those skanks. We were there to procure that other whore we enjoyed on a regular basis.

 

          We got through Bones's lookout slash bouncer and entered his lair. I don't know about Marty, but I was always fascinated by the sheer volume of activity going on there. Invariably, the music was thumping, several flat screens were playing the bawdiest triple-X porn known to man, and bodies were in various stages of making out, getting high, or both. I always felt like I needed to shower when we left.

 

          We were green-lighted into Bones's private quarters and, uncharacteristically, he was alone. On the table in front of him was a shoebox full of weed he'd already bagged, a mountain he was prepping, a gun, and what looked to be about two grand in cash.

 

          "What can I do you for?" Bones asked. He rolled the cash, rubber banded it, and dropped it into the pocket of the jeans sagging off his narrow ass. His tatts rippled as the movement flexed his muscles. There was a bandage and a splint on the ring and little fingers of his left hand. "Time is money'n I've got other business."

 

          Marty explained our situation. Bones listened impassively, until Marty was finished, then busted a gut. "Is he serious?"

 

          I shrugged like a fucking mute. Bones never talked to me, always Marty, and it took me off guard.

 

          Marty pleaded. "Come on, Bones. We're good customers and you said yourself you'd had better. Customers like us deserve a hook-up. Our praise will assure other customers your product is on the up and up."

 

          Bones moved so quickly I was stunned. Marty was in a half-nelson before he uttered the last "up."

 

          "You think I'm running a charity organization, Marty…huh?"

 

          Marty gurgled, unable to breath, let alone speak. I froze. After what seemed an eternity, Marty grabbed Bones's splinted fingers. Bones let out a yowl and released Marty, who dove for the gun on the table. He pointed the gun at Bones, still nursing his re-injured hand.

 

          Bones tied up in his bathroom, we made it out of there with a pound of weed, twenty-five hundred dollars cash and a used Glock. I was shaking so hard, I couldn't drive. Marty tucked the gun into the back of his pants like we'd seen bad-asses do on TV and took the wheel.

 

          "Bones won't turn us in. He owns up to the weed, he’s on his way back to prison. You think he'd want his Miami contacts—anyone to know we took him for anything?" Marty was certain this plan was foolproof.

 

          The police came for us the day we were supposed to be moving into separate pods. Good thing all our shit was already boxed up.

 

          Last time I saw Marty, he was bawling like a baby at our sentencing. We got twenty years mandatory for Armed Robbery. The pot wasn't mentioned once during the trial. So much for rational-sounding, irrational plans.

 

 

Beverlyn Elliott rekindled her passion for creative writing a few years ago, but has an MBA and has written business contracts most of her life. She currently workshops with a great group of writers at Zoetrope.com, has completed one novel, and is working on another. Flash fiction and short stories have become a near obsession. Elliott lives in the Florida Panhandle with her husband. They have three children who are old enough to know their mother spends most of her free time living in a fantasy world.

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