George (Part Two)
by BJ Neblett
Another loud crash startled George. It came from within the yard and rattled the fragile wooden privacy fence. A cacophony of rising voices filled the night air. George could see most of the crowd was already gone. The remaining party goers had moved outside from the stuffy house. Now people were shouting and arguing. Through the gaps in the slats of the rotting fence, George saw his friend, the girl from the second floor, sitting in a corner.
She was crying.
“Get up!” a rough voice barked. “Get the hell up and do as you were told!”
The girl looked up, wiping a tear. “Please, you know how I feel about…”
Her words were cut off as a massive fist clamped around her thin bicep, viciously yanking her to her feet. “And you know I don’t give a shit! Now get inside!”
The girl from the second floor was half dragged to the open rear door and shoved through. Her assailant spun around glowering at the small stunned audience. The man stood six foot two inches, and was sharply dressed in black, with heavy gold jewelry. The sleeves of his stiff collared shirt did little to conceal bulging muscles. They were the kind of muscles that result from illimitable hours in the weight pit, trying to relieve the mind numbing tedium of prison life.
George recognized the burning malevolent sneer and cruel dark eyes. He knew the man, knew him well.
One Sunday afternoon, while napping in the shade of a friendly tree, George felt the sting of a pointed shoe against his ribs. “Freakin’ worthless bum…”
George jumped and found himself staring deep into a pair of dark, unforgiving eyes. The sight made George shiver. Since then, the unfriendly muscular man returned to the old blue house many times. He often traveled in the company of scary, serious looking men; scantily clad women, and obnoxious, vulgar music. George quickly learned to give him, and his companions, a wide berth.
“Hey, man, take it easy. Chill out,” a strained, high pitched voice called.
The muscular man took a threatening step forward. “You got a freakin’ problem, sonny?”
There was no reply.
He glanced around, dismissing the others with a curt wave of his arm and a harsh expletive. “You mama’s boys are polite enough when you want what I got, ain’t you?” He gestured with his head, beyond the wooden gate. “But out there, on the streets, you ass holes wouldn’t stop to piss on me if I were on fire.” Laughing out loud, he turned to his two buddies, “Self righteous bastards, with their college education and their yuppie attitudes. Yeah… but who’s driving the C-5 and flashin’ the bling, huh? C’mon… let’s blow.”
The inimical trio burst through the wooden gate, climbed into the waiting Mercedes and were gone. George watched the remaining visitors file pass him, unaware of his presence, to their cars. The stunned residents wandered back into the old blue house in silence.
With a sad heart, George glanced up. The light in the second floor rear apartment winked out.
The following Friday it was business as usual at the old blue house. People had been arriving since sun down, and George heard talk of a big end of semester blow out. It was spring, school was over, and the people of the old blue house were ready to party hard. George knew that could mean trouble.
Earlier in the week, he’d seen the girl from the second floor briefly as she emptied the trash. She looked sad and preoccupied. George tried to get her attention but she didn’t notice him. Despite the carefully applied make-up, he could see her bruised and swollen eye. Her right arm wore ugly purple rings from the steel grasp of the muscular man in the Mercedes.
Around midnight the party was at full volume, bigger, louder and more rowdy than ever. It spilled into the small back yard and beyond the wooden gate, to the street. The girl from the second floor was nowhere to be found, the lights of her apartment dimmed. At one AM the silver-grey Mercedes sedan rolled up to the old blue house, discharging the muscular man and a pair of tough looking thugs. He carried with him a small leather case and was greeted with all the revelry of a celebrity.
George knew what he had to do.