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Short Fiction – Another Quick Hit

Framed. Rocco felt Stevie framed him. That’s the only thing he could square with the fact that he got busted by the cops. No one else knew what he was up to that night, only her. And now, he sat on the steel throne of the county lockup, doing his business in front of 20 hardened strangers.

“What are you looking at?” he growled at the one prick who didn’t bother to look away. “Can I get some privacy, here or what?”

“You do realize you're in jail, right?” the prick replied. He motioned with his bad arm, busted up in a sling, pointing to the rest of the goons in the room.

Everyone else was either sitting on the floor picking their noses, or hanging onto the bars for dear life. One poor sap was curled up in a fetal position, rocking back and forth mumbling to himself. Either he was baked out of his mind on who knows what, or he’d never been in jail before and went catatonic from the experience.

Rocco thought back to his first time, though he surprised himself by being able to remember back that far. He’d just turned eleven and got busted with some friends for stealing packs of baseball cards from Walgreens. It was a stupid dare, though he never backed down when one was brought up to him. The rest of his friends scattered and made it out, but Rocco slipped on his way to the door and knocked himself out. The clerk found him with pockets full of cards and half-eaten pieces of the stale gum from inside.

It was his rotten luck that the clerk had reached the boiling point and was fed up with the punk kids coming into her store. It didn’t help that the city was gripped by a brutal heat wave with 100-degree heat for days on end. Everyone was at the breaking point and it proved disastrous for Rocco.

His parents thought it would teach him a lesson so they allowed the cops to book him for shoplifting. He about pissed his pants right there in the store when the cop, a fat old grandfatherly type with a bushy gray beard and breath that reeked of garlic and onions, slapped the cuffs on him and shoved him in the back of a squad car.

His friends showed up just as the car drove away, feeling the coast was clear for them, though way too late to save their buddy. Some friends they turned out to be. He squirreled around in the back seat and turned to see his friends waving out the back window.

He felt a tap on his shoulder and slammed back into the present, drawers around his ankles and his bare ass on the cold steel seat.

“Hey, McDreamy, I gotta take a leak, you mind hurrying it up there?” said a wiseacre fellow with a reedy voice. Rocco looked up at the guy as he hopped from foot to foot, a neat visual cue that he did indeed need to go something bad.

“Sorry, pal, I’m busy,” he barked. The tap dancer squirmed back and forth while the prick kept his eyes on Rocco.

A sudden urge to pummel Mr. Prick surged through Rocco. He gave a quick shake and pulled up his pants, glad he hadn’t needed to take a shit. They never offered toilet paper in the holding cells so he’d have had a mess on his hands, or in his pants.

Just as he zipped up his fly, the tiny tap dancer shoved him out of the way to get a clear shot of the john. A firehose stream of urine arced into the bowl as he sighed in relief.

“Thanks! I thought I was going to have to pee all over you,” Tiny said. “And I really didn’t want to have to do that.”

“I’d a busted your chops if you’d done anything of the sort,” Rocco said. Mr. Prick still eyed him from the other side of the cell.

“What is your problem? Can I help you with something?” Rocco took three steps forward toward Mr. Prick and was about to take a swing when the parole officer walked by the cell.

“I wouldn’t do that if I were you, Rocco, you know what happened last time.” The parole officer glanced down at his notebook, before pulling a key from his pocket.

“Mr. Kildare? Is there a Mr. Kildare in here.”

Tiny Dancer finished his business and gave a yell. “I’m Mr. Kildare. Thank God, you arrived. I wasn’t sure you’d make it in time.”

Copyright © 2018 Chad V. Holtkamp.

All rights reserved.

Najib Kalil

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