Friday, August 13, 2010

Oak Cliff Confidential: Chapter 14

  Alejandro glared at Sharon. “I had nothing to do with the manhole explosion, you miserable woman. I was rescuing one of the ducklings who had gotten trapped in a barbecue pit by Building Number Two.” He turned and pointed in the direction of the fountain. “See?”

  The group followed the finger, and could see the three little ducklings huddled around a new avian arrival, his snowy feathers streaked with soot. His three siblings were helpfully trying to bathe him, whilst Momma looked at Junior with a disapproving expression. (This is what happens when you don’t listen to me. You get dirty, and people point at us.) Then all of them paused in their activities, and cast their eyes disdainfully on the quartet of humans. Well, except for Alejandro. They already worshipped him as a god, and were planning on the construction of temples.

  April made an exasperated noise. “Look, people, I really don’t care about the manhole or the stupid ducks. I have a fried turkey waiting. Can we go now?”

  Sharon glanced at April, knowing full well that she would have fired her if she had total administrative control of this situation. But such was not the case. “Sure. Alejandro, we’re going to some place called Grumby’s. Talk to Hexom.”

  Sharon climbed in the car and slammed the door. April, satisfied that things were now moving forward, raced around the car, and jumped in the door opposite Sharon’s, placing her butternut squash between them. This did not improve Sharon’s estimation of April, but she held her thoughts, choosing instead to shove the horrid vegetable toward April’s side of the car, pretending that she was looking for the seat belt.

  Hexom, still outside with Alejandro, would normally have protested greatly at April’s bold claiming of territory he felt was rightfully his, but he took another gander at Alejandro’s glistening wetness, and his hormones provided the necessary salve for his psychic wounds. “So,” he growled at Alejandro, “what do you need me to do to make you happy?”

  “Get in the car,” said Alejandro. “And put your tongue back where it belongs.”

  Well, then. So that’s how it was going to be. Hexom stomped around the car and slipped into the front passenger seat. These people were really trying his nerves.

  Sharon, in the back seat, had some words of wisdom for petulant Hexom. “Butch it up, May Ling. If you hope for any chance of success with Allie, you’ve got to lose the feather boa and the purse.”

  Hexom made a disgruntled noise. “I don’t DO boas. I have a short neck, and I really don’t need the extra attention.”

  “Excuse me,” said Alejandro. “I’m sitting right here. Do we really need to be having this conversation?”

   Sharon, digging in the remnants of the artfully-installed ice chest facing the guests in the back seat, hoping for something with a high alcohol content, shared this: “Alejandro, we don’t know WHAT you want. You can’t blame a girl, or a boy, or an animal, for trying. After all, you’re the one that insists on having large muscles and sweating so provocatively. Do we have any olives in the car?”

  Alejandro, maneuvering the car down Hood Street and approaching the intersection with Cedar Springs, ignored the intrusion into his personal life, and simply asked “Right or left?”

  Hexom, still not adequately butching it up, purred thusly: “That’s exactly what we want to know. Who floats your boat?”

  April, shoving the butternut squash back at Sharon because she really didn’t care for other alpha females trying to prove dominance, let out with this: “Can you people stop trying to hump each other for two seconds? God. I need to get me a turkey. If I don’t get there in time, they will sell it to somebody else, and I will cut every one of you.” She picked up the butternut squash and threw it on the floorboard, because it seemed like the situation called for such an action.

  “Right or left?” repeated Alejandro, because they were now at the intersection and none of these insane people had bothered to provide direction.

  “Right,” quipped Hexom, through tightly-clenched lips. “Then left on Oaklawn, right on Irving Boulevard, and left on Sylvan Avenue. And I hate you. Did you get all of that?”

  Alejandro calmly executed the right turn, positioned the car to turn left, and then said “Making an ass of yourself will not make me want you.”

  At this utterance, April rolled down her window and motioned to the writer of this blog. “Do you understand that making this story really gay is going to limit your page hits?”

  The writer, surprised by this sudden turn in narration, tried to defend himself. “But I have two straight women in the back seat!”

  April shook her head. “And you have two obvious queens in the front seat deciding who is going to be on top. Broaden your demographics. Or you will never get a major retailer to support your blog.” She rolled up the window.

  Taken aback, the writer made a few notes concerning plot development.

  April, provocatively adjusting a bra strap, leaned forward and caressed Alejandro’s left shoulder. “Hey big boy, if you need help making a decision about who you wanna sleep with, Momma’s here to help you.”

  April rolled down her window again. “Look, asshat, that’s not what I’m talking about. My character would never say that. Do you get any hits, at ALL, on your blog?”

  The writer pondered this. “Well…”

  April: “Exactly. Now, quit with the stupid queeny crap and let’s just stick to the story. Got it?”

  The writer nodded humbly. “Yes, m’am. Got it.”

  “Good.” The window closed again.

  “Oh my God,” said Sharon, getting back to the non-sexual developments in this tale as the car rolled south on Sylvan Avenue. “Did they close Tio Joe’s? Why are there no cars in the parking lot?”

  All four sets of eyes glanced to the right, where there did indeed appear to be a scarcity of cars in the parking lot of the tasty restaurant. As in, no cars at all.

  Sharon wept openly, having enjoyed many fish tacos and margaritas at said establishment.

  Hexom extended his arm over the back of the front seat and patted Sharon lovingly. “It’s okay, Dumplin’. I’m sure there will be other ethnic restaurants willing to take your drunken money.”

  The car rolled onward, with Alejandro smirking slightly as he purposely hit the railroad tracks just before Fort Worth Avenue with excessive force.

  Amid the jostling, Sharon glanced to the right, and noted the Belmont Hotel, a formerly run-down establishment that had been revitalized by industrious people who understood that if you take something old and make it new again, people will flock, because it’s the cool thing to do, whether you’re revitalizing or flocking. “I haven’t actually been there yet. I suppose I should. I understand the light fixtures are extraordinary.”

  April scoffed once again. “If you like fags bunched around a piano and singing.”

  Sharon turned to April. “You really ARE a bitter person, aren’t you? You cut hair, for God’s sake. Why would you use that word? What’s wrong with you?”

  April sighed. “I just want my turkey.”

  Conveniently, Alejandro turned into the parking lot of Grumby’s just then. April’s eyes lit up and she dashed out of the car. “I’ll be right back. Hold the phone.” She clattered across the asphalt and disappeared into the door of a dubious structure.

  Sharon pulled a tube of lip gloss out of her copious purse and began to apply. “This is one of those times when I really don’t understand how governments work. Why aren’t health inspectors shutting this place down? Look at the paint job on the building. There can’t be anything sanitary inside.” She clicked the tube closed and threw it back in her purse.

   Just then, there was a shout of confrontation, and April burst out the door of the establishment, lugging a box that was dripping grease. Clutching her left leg and being dragged across the parking lot was an Hispanic woman with copious amounts of now gritty hair. April deftly performed an exciting back kick, and the woman sailed through the air, slamming against the side of the building and sliding down into a disheveled heap.

  April leaped into the car and slammed the door shut. “Go!” she hollered.

  Sharon, kicking aside the damn squash so she could turn to April: “What have you done now?”

  April refused to look at Sharon, choosing instead to grip her moist box and watch for surprise assailants piling out of the decrepit building. “Nothing I haven’t done before. We’ll be fine. As long as we keep moving.” She glanced at Alejandro, as if his flight preparations did not appear adequate.

  Sighing, Alejandro popped the car into gear and sped out of the parking lot, careening west on Fort Worth Avenue.

  Two seconds later there was the bloop-bloop of a police car, which then proceeded to grow larger in the rearview mirror.

  “Great,” muttered Sharon. “What does a person have to do around here just to get to a cemetery?”

  “Well…” breathed Hexom.

Click Here to Read the Next Chapter.

Click Here to read this story from the beginning.


  1. BRAVO BRAVO BRAVO!!!!!!! Incidentally, I cant type today, so the first bravo came out BraCo, which ryhmes with Taco. I'm hungry. Why do you do this to me?

  2. What we've got right here is my favorite chapter so far.