This is part 5 of Neeko and Trotter for the previous posts….search “Neeko and Trotter” with the search key.
Trotter pulls his head up from the ground. There is a knot on the back of his head from the gun butt that Rasta struck him with. He rubs it and checks for blood but there is none. He sits for a minute to gather his senses and decides he needs to check on the hangman. He did after all hit the button on his walkie talkie before he handed it over.
There were no signs of police and the apartment looked quiet. He headed up the fire escape and reached the window where he normally met him.
He knocked on the window the same way he did before.
The hangman spoke from behind the glass in a low, dry voice.
Was all he said.
Trotter opened the window and climbed under the blind. After entering, he looked up to see the hangman tied to the chair with a gaping wound in his chest.
Rasta sat in the recliner and smiled at the returning occupant.
“You got da big balls…fat boy…not only did u alert dis piece if crap but you come back afta I knock you out. Big…brass..balls.”
Trotter looked at him without emotion and made a few gestures.
He pointed at the dying man in the chair, then pointed to himself, then made the money sign by running his thumb against his first 2 fingers.
Rasta chuckled and shook his head then spoke,
“You come back for what is owed to ya? I like dat….Dats why I am here, too, mon. Tell me….what he owe you….”
Trotter put up his right hand and made a four then changed it to a five.
Rasta watched the child stare at him emotionless, seemingly without fear. Then looked at the hangman tied to the chair and shook his head.
He got up out of the recliner, walked over to the hangman and slapped him upside the head….HARD.
“Dis boy watches for you and you pay him $45? You steal from me and won’t pay him enuff to watch da grass grow? Dis is bad karma….bad karma, mon. Sit down boy.”
Trotter continues to stare at him and doesn’t move.
“I SAY SIT DOWN….BOY!”
Trotter does not take his eyes off Rasta, and slowly sits down exactly where he stands.
Rasta reveals a sly smile and begins to reach into his jacket pocket.
Neeko nears the address that Trotter had requested they meet at.
The closer he gets, the more uncomfortable he gets.
Big, long limousines line the streets. Men in expensive tuxedos, women in fancy evening gowns.
Walking through the crowd that smells of expensive perfume, cigars, and alcohol looking like the homeless child that he is.
He hides in the bushes just away from the address and awaits Trotter, still wondering what the heck he is doing here.
The time is 11:32
Rasta pulls his revolver out of his jacket. The chrome barrel glistens in the dim apartment light. He smiles as he turns it over in his hand. Then rests it on the table.
He reaches in again and pulls out a wad of cash.
He pulls out $45 and tosses it to Trotter.
“Dis is wot e owe you.”
Trotter glances at the money but does not pick it up.
Rasta’s sly smile gets larger. He goes back to the cash wad and picks out some more bills. Then walks over to Trotter and kneels in front of him and speaks,
“And dis is what a watcher dat works for me get. U take it. Is for having brass balls. If u want to work u come see me. Der be no more work fo da hangman…..only fo Rasta. Now go, I got to finish MY bidness.”
Trotter took the money from Rasta and picked up the $45 from the floor. He then stood up and backed his way to the window and climbed out without taking his eyes off Rasta.
Before he was completely out of the window he nodded to Rasta.
Rasta nodded back without the smile. A chill ran up his back and the hairs in his neck stood up. He shook it off and turned to the hangman to finish his business…..after he knew Trotter was out of the way.
Neeko spotted Trotter coming across the street. He came out from the bushes and met him.
They both looked at each other and almost at the same time pointed at the other and gave each other a concerned look.
Neeko had scratch marks from the cat and bruises from the old woman on him. Trotter just looked ragged and dazed.
Each shook there head, more or less confirming to the other that it was just another day on the streets.
Trotter led Neeko to the back of the enormous building and knocked on a service door at the back.
An old man in a janitors uniform answers the knock and looked at the 2 boys.
“Damn, quiet boy, you look like you been put through the ringer. Who’s your friend?”
Trotter pulled out his pad and pencil and wrote-
The janitor read the note and said,
“Well ain’t you just 2 peas in a pod….we don’t have much time before it starts. I’ve got new, clean clothes that were donated earlier today…probably some that would fit you both. Lets get you 2 to the back dressing room showers. But be quick…there is not much time.”
The janitor led them to a back dressing room and let them go through the donated clothes and got them in the showers. They probably had not had one in weeks.
When they came out they looked like different people.
The janitor looked at them, smiled and said to Trotter,
“I put an extra chair in your spot under the stage. It’s ready to go. Enjoy, young one.”
Neeko just watched. He wasn’t used to people being nice to him. He followed Trotter under the stage and sat down. He looked at him and frustratingly tapped Trotter and put his hands out and made a stern face.
Seemingly to say,
“Ok…what the hell is going on?”
Trotter pulled out his pad and started writing again. When he finished he handed it to Neeko-
The janitor used to be homeless. He likes to help when he can. He knows I like to come here because he brought me here when I felt like giving up. He lets me come sometimes. Tonight is special because its a midnight session. Just wait.
Neeko read the note. Before he could reply he felt a ruckus in his body caused by all the movement upstairs.
Neeko looked at Trotter in frustration and motioned
He pointed at himself
Shook his index finger
Pointed at his ears
“I CAN’T HEAR”
Trotter smiled and motioned back-
Shook his index finger
Pointed at his ears
Closed his eyes and pointed at his heart.
Neeko made a quizzical look then closed his eyes as the show was about to start.
He was startled by the initial vibrations that were sent through his body.
The sound waves awakened every part of their being.
As the movement continued the typically emotionless boys were both brought to tears…of joy.
2 homeless boys surviving endless nights, hungry days but finding inner peace with timeless music.