Sierra Court Blues-Chapter 1

Sierra Court Blues-Chapter 1

A Chapter by Lawrence Parlier

 pg. 1 





                           Chapter 1






   Anger pulsed through my veins like the slow flow of molten steel as I raced across the hot June streets toward dusk. The sun, as if rebelling against the coming night, stirred a vast magenta tide against the darkness. As it sank, framed before me inside my windshield, I stood on the accelerator.  Out, to escape the chaos left behind me at home.

  I didn’t feel like being out.  I was tired from a long workday in the heat and would have much preferred to be lounging on the couch in front of the T.V, but after another raging fight with my wife, Jade, I took to the road.

  I decided to visit my best friend and loyal band mate Jon at his new place.

  I had been putting it off.

  Jon’s life was even more chaotic and drama laced than mine so I tried to stay away as much as possible.  We were as close as brothers and like brothers he could really get on my nerves.

  I eased up on the gas after the first dozen miles and let my thoughts drift as I closed in on Jon’s new home. I took a few deep breaths trying to dispel the anger I was carrying. It had dawned on me that my relationship with Jade was rapidly deteriorating. I didn’t know what to do and needed a place to sort the whole thing out.

  It didn’t take long to arrive at the trailer park where Jon, and his girlfriend Angel, had moved.

The park looked friendly enough with wide, well paved, streets and a clubhouse with a fenced in pool.


 Pg. 2


   The local kids were out and about roaming the streets on bicycles and skateboards while their parents enjoyed the balmy evening from the comfort of their patio furniture.  The smell of charcoal and burgers wafted into the car from an unseen grill along my route. It seemed to be a very nice neighborhood, a snapshot of domestic bliss that I’d never associate with Jon and Angel.

   Jon’s street, Sierra Court, was the first to my right. As I wound my way around the gently curving street I saw Jon’s white Chevy truck parked on the left side of the cul-de-sac. I pulled up in front of it blocking Angel’s gun metal grey Camaro in the driveway. Two other cars were parked beside hers but I didn’t know who either belonged to.

   Jon’s trailer was big and blue and looked brand new with a small out building on the driveway side.  There was a concrete patio with fiberglass steps under an aluminum awning at the front door. All of the trailer’s skirting was already in place and the yard had been freshly mowed. Everything was in order.

   I was impressed.

   I walked toward the door and before moving ten feet I could hear Slayer’s “Seasons in the Abyss” wailing from the stereo inside. I knew I had found the right place.

   Like all of Jon’s other houses I knocked twice loudly then cruised on in. Immediately I was assaulted by the music and a wall of pot smoke about three feet thick.  There was a crowd of people milling around the living room, none of whom I recognized.  They all turned to look as I


Pg. 3


came through the door. Startled by the boldness of having welcomed myself in. I ignored them and scanned the room for Jon.

  “Bo! Hot damn, brother. I’m glad you finally made it. Do you want a beer?”

   Jon swooped in from the kitchen to my left and wrapped me up in a big hug.

   “No, I’m cool,” I said, reaching over to turn the stereo down so I could hear. “I like this place. It’s a lot bigger than I imagined.”

   The interior of the trailer was bright and cheery, carrying the blue motif to the décor. The carpet was a muted blue mixed with grey for a splattered effect. The walls were a brighter glossy blue with a tiny flowered pattern. That, coupled with Angel’s flair for decorating, had really made the place look nice.

 “Well, it cost enough,” Jon said. “It’s cool, though, because Mom and Phil are helping us out.”

  “So is everything good with you and Angel?” I asked.

   Jon rolled his eyes, “Same as ever. What about you and Jade?”

   I just shook my head and let out a long slow sigh.

  “Another fight?” Jon asked.

  “You know it,” I said, stress raising the pitch of my voice. “I really don’t feel like talking about it though, O.K.?”

   Jon reached over and gave my arm a squeeze. “C’mon, let’s get you that beer,” he said.

  “Yeah, what the hell. One’s not going to kill me.”

   I felt a little bit better just knowing Jon had my back.


Pg. 4


   As he led me toward the kitchen he leaned in close and whispered, “You remember that Laney chick I was telling you about? She’s here.”

 “The one you met at Bogart’s?” I stopped and looked at Jon amazed at his boldness. “Here? In the house with Angel.”

  Jon smirked and shrugged his shoulders, “They’re back in the bedroom sharing a bottle of tequila.”

  “Oh, that’s brilliant,” I said. “You just beg for trouble, don’t you? What in the hell did you tell Angel?  ‘I’m going to invite some random hot chick over to the house to party, baby.’ I’d like to have been a fly on the wall for that conversation.”

  “No, dumbass. I was telling Laney about how Angel designed all of our stage clothes and did the photography for us and Laney wanted to meet her. I told Angel that Laney was a model and wanted to see if Angel could throw together an over-the-top metal look for her and maybe take a few pictures for Laney’s portfolio. It’s a win-win. Hell, they seem to be getting along,” Jon said, reaching in the fridge and grabbing my beer.

   I looked in his eyes and saw the glimmer. He was absolutely kinetic with the potential for disaster.  That was one of the major differences between Jon and me. He thrived on drama and sometimes went out of his way to create it.  I detested big drunken scenes and maudlin displays.

  I couldn’t fathom why anyone would.

  “Whatever,” I said. ”I just don’t want to be here when the fight starts. I’ve had enough of that s**t for one day.”

 Pg. 5



  “It’s cool, Bo. Don’t worry about it. Laney’s got this modeling thing going on. She doesn’t want any strings. She just wants to party.”

   I rolled my eyes. I really wasn’t in the mood for a bunch of silliness. Of course, I should have expected it when I came here.

  “If you say so, Big Daddy.”

 “Look, it’s no big deal,” Jon said, “Angel’s been playing around again too. I don’t know with who but at this point I don’t care.”

  As his words faded his eyes betrayed the lie.

  Across the kitchen, the door to the back opened and Angel and who I guessed to be Laney came stumbling out. They both looked to be about half s**t-faced. Angel had the bottle of tequila in her hand. It looked to be about half shot as well.

  Angel smiled when she saw me and came right over all but falling into my arms trying to give me a hug.

 “Where you been, Bo? We missed you.”

  Her deep brown eyes swooned in their sockets. Her pretty little elvin face was pale like it wasn’t the first day of her present buzz. She was a beautiful girl but right now she looked awful.

  She lingered in my arms looking up into my eyes. We gazed at each other through the smoke of our own history.

  Jon ignored the little display and snorted, “He just didn’t want to have to help us move.”


Pg. 6

   I helped Angel back on her feet as Jon introduced me to Laney. It was certainly easy to see the attraction there. This girl was fine.

 “So, this is Bo.” Laney’s words slurred together like one long drunken note. “It’s nice to meet you. Angel was showing me pictures of the band earlier.”

 Jon stood there with his hand on the small of Laney’s back. It was a gesture that didn’t go unnoticed by Angel. She hooked her finger through one of my back belt loops and leaned into my side.

  I decided I might as well play along and put my arm across Angel’s shoulders.  Jon shot me a funny look. I stuck out my tongue at him.

  Then, I took a long second to stare at Laney. She was gorgeous. She was a tall brunette with coal black eyes and legs about a half a mile long. I found it amusing that she was standing there in a trailer park kitchen wearing a $200 dollar black mini-dress and stiletto heals. I had to hand it to Jon. She looked like she was worth the trouble.

  “Hey, where’s that little Cali chick that was back there with you?” Jon asked.

  “She’s in the bathroom crying,” Angel said. “Two shots of tequila and she’s back there bawling about some guy.”

  Angel rolled her eyes like she’d be damned if she’d waste tears on some mere ‘guy’.

  “Cali’s a friend of Laney’s,” Jon said.

  “Yeah, she’s still in high school. So don’t go hitting on her, Bo.” Angel said with a giggle.

  “I’ve got enough going on right now,” I said. “I sure as hell don’t need any more trouble.”                                     

Pg. 7  


  “Bo’s married,” Angel said to Laney. “He’s got the cutest little boy you ever seen. He looks just like Bo.”

 “What’s his name?” Laney asked.

 “Kirby,” Angel said, not giving me the chance to answer. “He just turned a year old last week.”

 “Wow,” Laney said. “It can’t be easy having a kid. How old are you?”

 “Nineteen” I said. “ It’s a trip but I wouldn’t trade the little guy for anything in the world. Now his mom, on the other hand, I’d trade for a bag of magic beans.”

 “You and Jade fighting again?” Angel asked.

 “ Yeah, that’s why I’m here, sweetie. I had to get the hell away from her for awhile.”

 “You need to get away from that b***h permanently, Bo.” Angel said.  “I don’t see how you put up with her. After that time I listened to her trash your parents and your sister, I couldn’t stand her. I mean your mom takes her in after her own mother sets her a*s on the street and she’s got the balls to bad mouth her. She’s a spoiled, ungrateful little b***h. I should have told her a*s off then but I didn’t want to cause you any trouble. I’m just glad she doesn’t come around anymore.”

 “Yeah, dude. I’ve seen how she talks to you. I wouldn’t put up with that s**t for a hot second,” Jon said. “She’s just so goddamned hateful, towards everybody. I can’t stand to be around her anymore, either.”

 “I know, “ I said.  “She can’t open her mouth without venom spewing out.”

 “You need to take that baby and run before she’s got him ruined,” Angel said. “You all could come stay with us. I’d love to babysit Kirby. He’s such a cutie.”

  Pg. 8


  The look on Jon’s face was priceless. The thought of having a baby around didn’t look like it set well with him. I had to smile to myself. The thought of children made his blood run cold.

  “Let me introduce you to the rest of the gang, Bo” Jon said by way of changing the subject.

  Angel leaned in close and whispered, “I’m not kidding. You can stay with us.“ She broke away from me and sat down with Laney at the kitchen table.

  I followed Jon to the edge of the kitchen. Everyone gathered seemed to be having a great time and didn’t pay any attention to the two of us staring at them.

 To someone on the outside it would appear that Jon made friends quickly. Friend was a tricky word in Jon’s vocabulary, though. Choice few of the dozens of people that passed through the endless party that was Jon’s life could be counted as a friend. He had a bad habit of playing people to his advantage. Most of the people I’d met over the years were there solely for his convenience.  They all had something he wanted even if it wasn’t always tangible, to him or to me.

 “Let’s see if we can work this out,” Jon said, resting his hand on my shoulder. “OK you see that old dude on this side of the couch? That’s Bill. I don’t know his last name.”

  Jon pointed to some hippie looking guy with long, stringy, black hair and goatee who was wrapped up in rolling a joint on the coffee table.

 “He came over the other day when we were unloading the band equipment. He’s been over everyday since to smoke weed and hang out.”

 Jon looked at me and shrugged his shoulders, “He probably wants something.”

  Pg. 9


  “Yeah,” Angel said from behind us, “He wants to join the band.”

  Jon shook his head, “Yeah, well, that ain’t happening. Now those other two hombres fighting over the Nintendo are friends of ours, Bo.  Bruce, the one with the glasses and the beard, is my cousin. His partner’s name is Mick. If you ever need anything to change your head those are the cats to see. They can get their hands on just about anything.  The girls playing darts here are their girlfriends, Nikki and Shana.  Shana’s the blond with the b***s. Nikki’s the one without.”

  Nikki heard Jon’s description and politely flipped him off. “That isn’t the part you guys are after, anyway.”

  Jon laughed, “No, Nikki, It’s just with you there are a lack of other options.”

  Bruce came over and put his arm around Nikki. He smiled as she was about to protest.

  “You know you can’t argue with him when he’s right,” Bruce said, prompting a slap on the shoulder.

 “I didn’t hear you complaining this morning,” Nikki said.

 “Whatever, woman,” Bruce said.  He reached out to shake my hand. “So you’re Bo. Nice to meet you, man. I played football in high school with your cousin Jim.”

 “No s**t? Nice to meet you,” I said.

 “Yeah, the next time he’s in town we’ll all have to get together,” Bruce said. “I haven’t seen him since he joined the Army.”

  My cousin Jim was the one who had introduced me to Jon back before we were even teen-agers. He had told me there was a guy in his new neighborhood that was as good a guitar player as I was.  Jon and I hit it off as soon as we met and the three of us were as thick as thieves all of the rest of the way through school. I spent more time in Batavia hanging out with them than in Bethel where I lived.


pg. 10

   “Hell yeah,” Jon said. “The next time he’s home we’re going to get him over here and get him completely f*****g wasted.”

   I looked at Bruce and Nikki as they stood there hand in hand. They were a good-looking couple. Bruce had long blond hair and a bushy blond beard. He had sharp blue eyes behind silver aviator glasses. It made him look like an oddly intellectual mountain man. Nikki was a looker, too. She was reed thin, small breasted but very attractive. Her blue eyes sparkled with life. I could tell she was a force to be reckoned with.

  “Sounds like a plan,” Bruce said. He got in the fridge and grabbed a couple of beers. He handed one to Jon.  “Last two.”

  Jon looked at Bruce and smiled. The pair, in unison, cracked the cans open and shot-gunned them. They drained them in a flash and slammed them down on the bar, “Beer run,”

  The words rang out like they had been well rehearsed.

  Jon pulled his keys out of his pocket and headed for the door with Bruce hot on his heels. Jon stopped and looked at me as he opened the door. “You’re drinking with us, right?”

  “No. I can’t stay that long. Some of us actually have to work for a living,” I said.

  “Piss off,” Jon said. “I’ll be back in a minute.  That’s what I like about living here. The beer store is right across the street.”

Pg. 11 


  “That’s what I look for in real estate,” I said.

  The comment drew a round of giggles from Angel and Laney behind me.

  “Whatever. Maybe we can crank out a tune when I get back.”

   “Cool. Works for me,” I said.

   I sat down at the table next to Angel as Jon and Bruce rolled out. Angel leaned her head on my shoulder then gave me a quick kiss on the cheek.

  “So what’s up, Bo?” Angel said. “How’s Kirby?”

  “He’s fine. He’s gone from barely walking to running like a sprinter. We’ve had to hang just about everything from the ceiling to keep him out of it. His new game is playing hide and seek in the kitchen cabinets. Which would be fine if Jade ever cleaned the damn house. Lately she doesn’t want to lift a finger to do s**t,” I said.

 Angel reached over and gave my hand a squeeze. “ You deserve better, Bo. As hard as you’ve been working to support the three of you the least she could do is keep the damn house clean.  What the hell does she do all day?”

 “Who knows?” I said. “I’m so frustrated with the whole situation. I don’t know what to do. I’m starting to think that we’d be better off if we just got the hell away from each other.”

 “It’s something you need to think about, seriously,” Angel said.

 Her eyes were glassy from way too much tequila but her advice seemed spot on.

  “I know,” I said. “But I can’t just leave Kirby. He’s the only reason I’ve stuck around this long.”


Pg. 12


  “Well, all of the stress can’t be doing you any good,” Angel said. “I know it sucks but it would be better for him in the long run if you two were divorced and happy than together and miserable. Trust me. I know what I’m talking about.”

  Behind us the door opened.  I turned around to see the hottest little brunette on Earth walk out. I was stunned. I found myself staring into the deepest set of blue eyes I’d ever seen.  For a full five seconds I was mesmerized.  

  “Cali,” Laney said, pushing her a chair out from under the table. “Are you feeling better, sweetie?”

  “Yeah, I’m fine. I’m staying away from that s**t, though.” She pointed at the bottle of tequila in the middle of the table.

  “Cali, this is Bo. I’m sorry, Bo. I don’t know your last name,” Laney said.

   I snapped out of my daze and replied, “Kineally.”

   “Bo, this is California Jones. We just call her Cali.”

   “Nice to meet you,” I said.  “That’s a pretty cool name.”

   Angel turned to look at me and kicked me in the leg under the table. I remembered. High School. It didn’t matter.  I still thought she was hot. It wasn’t like I was going to hit on her. For better or worse, I was still married.

 “Thank you,“ Cali said. “That’s where my parents met.” She smiled at me as she sat down. It must have been obvious that I was staring at her like a fat kid eyeing a cheeseburger. “You’re one of the guys in Jon’s band?”

  Pg. 13


  “He’s the singer.” Angel said with a hint of disdain in her voice.

   Angel poured herself another shot of tequila and slugged it back. She slammed the shot glass down on the table and shot me a wink. “You want one?”

   “No thanks, darlin. I still have to drive home,” I said.

   “Jon and Bo are going to jam for us as soon as Jon gets back,” Laney said.

   Cali looked at me as she replied. “Can’t wait to see it.”

   Nikki walked to the threshold of the kitchen still smiling her infectious smile. “Hey, Bill is about to fire up another hooter. Y’all want in?”

  “Sure, “ Laney said, then grabbed Cali by the arm. “C’mon.”

   Laney must have picked up on Angel’s hostility towards Cali. Plus, I think she wanted to warn her about my marital status. It was just as well.  One of us needed to keep me from making an a*s out of myself.

  “So what’s your problem, Miss Getty?” I asked after the girls left the room.

  Angel smirked and shook her head. “I knew you’d go for that Cali chick. I told Jon when she got here that she was just your type. That’s why I warned you earlier. I knew it.”

 “Well, that’s no reason to be mean to her. It’s not her fault,” I said.

 “I know,” Angel said, with a big long sigh. “So how long has Jon been f*****g around with that Laney chick?”

   I stopped cold.  It didn’t take her long to put that together. Even buzzed on tequila she was still pretty sharp.

 Pg. 14


  “I don’t know,” I said.

  “Bullshit. He tells you everything. I really want to know.”

  I looked at Angel and considered my predicament. I loved them both. I wanted the best for both of them but I hated being put in the middle of their relationship. They had both cheated on each other and fought and lied and broken up and gotten back together more times than I could count. I think I survived as their friend mostly because I refused to choose sides. That was the road I needed to stay on.

 “Don’t put me on the spot, Angel. You know I love you both, but I really get tired of this one up bullshit.”

 A look of surprise slowly registered on her face. “Is that how it looks to you?”

 “It has to be,” I said. “Anything else would make my brain melt.”

 “That’s not how it is, Bo. I love Jon. There’s just no passion anymore. F*****g Jon is like a routine for technical merit. There isn’t any emotion, not like there used to be.”

  “O.k. now my brain is melting,” I said.

  “You know what I mean, Bo. Jon doesn’t know how he feels about me. I can tell.  Whatever it is it’s not strong enough to keep him from boinking whoever he can charm out of her pants.”

   I really didn’t want to have this conversation with Angel but I didn’t want her to be depressed either.  I had a bad feeling things were about to go haywire again and I didn’t want any part of it.

  “So what about you, kiddo? What do you want?”

  Angel looked away from me and began fidgeting with the label on the tequila bottle.

Pg. 15 



 “I want passion, man. I want somebody that’s stupid in love with me and not afraid to show it.”

  She stopped and took a slug of tequila straight out of the bottle. “Something way different from how it is now.”

  “Those are some great lyrics. You mind if I borrow them?”

  Angel turned and smiled at me but I could see tears forming in her eyes.

  “They’re yours, baby doll,” she said. “No charge.”

  Jon and Bruce came in carrying a case of beer apiece. They strolled into the kitchen and Jon shot me a funny look finding Angel and I alone.

  “Hitting on my old lady, again? You really got to quit that s**t, Bo.”

  His tone was joking but I knew for a fact he was jealous of my friendship with Angel.

  “Aw, you know, Bo,” Angel said getting up from the table. “I flirt and flirt but I can’t ever get him to play along.” She grabbed the bottle from the table and disappeared into the bedroom.

  “What’s her deal?” Jon asked as he and Bruce started stuffing the beer in to the fridge.

  I thought about telling him that she new about Laney but I wasn’t going to take sides. I gave him a vague warning. He could choose how he wanted to deal with it.

  “I think she’s on to you, hot stuff,” I said. “You might want to check your game.”

  Jon looked at me and rolled his eyes. “She thinks she knows everything. I’m not worried about it.”

  “It’s your funeral,” I said to myself.

  “So are we going to jam or what?” Jon asked.

Pg. 16 


  “Hell yeah,” I said, hopping up out of my chair. “Where’s all of your stuff?”

  “It’s all in that bedroom in the front of the trailer. Go on and get warmed up. I’ll be back in a second.” He grabbed a beer and headed into the bedroom with Angel.

   I looked at Bruce, “You know about Laney, right?”

   He gave me a weird look then nodded, “Yeah?”

   I motioned with my chin toward the bedroom where the two of them had gone. “Don’t be surprised if the s**t hits the fan here in the next few minutes.”

   Bruce stared at me for a long second and took a swig of beer.  “Great,” he said.

   “Maybe we’ll get lucky and it will blow over,” I said. “If not you might want to be ready to bail. That way you won’t have to talk to the cops.”

   “I take it this happens a lot,” Bruce said.

   “Every couple of months or so,” I said. “They’ll have a big blow up. Fight. One of them will leave and then after a week or two they’ll be back together and all lovey-dovey. You can almost set your watch by it.”

   Bruce stood there staring at me like he didn’t know what to say. “I guess some things never change.”

  “How’s that?” I asked.

  “Jon’s parents used to do the same thing before they got divorced,” Bruce said.

  “I didn’t know that, but it makes sense. His mom was already married to Phil when we met.”


Pg. 17


   Jon appeared out of the back with a disgruntled look on his face. He looked at me and shook his head. “Are we going to jam or what?”

   “Calm down there, sugar. Is everything alright?” I asked.

   “It will be when she sobers up.” He looked back over his shoulder at the door. He sighed and ran his fingers through his ratty blond hair. “C’mon lets play.”

    I looked at Bruce and shrugged before following Jon out. “Guess I was wrong.”

   “Wait ‘til you see the front bedroom,” Jon said as I followed him down the hall, “I turned it into a jam room. I think the whole band could fit in there.”

   He opened the door to a nice size room.  He was right. We probably could fit the whole band in there. Lord knows we had played in worse places.  I didn’t think his new neighbors would be too crazy about it though.

   “Not bad,” I said.

   Jon had the mixing board set up on a small desk against the wall. He had our boom box already jacked in to it and the P.A. speakers set up in the opposite corners. My mike stand was plugged in and standing in the center of the room. It looked like he had it all planned out.

  “Where are our amps?” I asked.

  Jon grinned. “Check this out.” He slid open the closet door and nestled inside were both of our half stacks standing side by side. There was enough room for both of Jon’s guitars and one of mine to slide in on either side of the amps. I had to grin. It was way more organized than any of our other rehearsal spots.


Pg. 18


 “O.K. This is pretty cool,” I said. “But there’s no way we can practice here Jon. Your neighbors would go ape s**t.”

 “You let me worry about the neighbors. You just concentrate on looking pretty. OK?”

 “It is what I do best,” I laughed. “Well, hell, lets fire this thing up then.”

  As soon as we started making a little noise and tuning up, the crowd from the living room sauntered in.

  I loved playing in front of an audience, nothing amped me up more than strapping on my guitar and showing off for a crowd. Even if it was only one drunk slumped over in a corner I still gave it my all.

  Jon and I tore into one of the originals we had been writing over the past year. We had played them so many times we didn’t need our drummer for timing. We could play them in our sleep. As I sang I noticed Cali had set down in the floor right in my line of site. When I looked at her she grinned from ear to ear. I smiled then quickly looked away pretending to concentrate.

  I noticed Angel hadn’t come in with everyone else. It was no big deal. She knew the material as well as Jon and I. She could perform them if she had to. I just figured she’d have been right there to keep an eye on Laney.

  Jon noticed her absence as well. He kept looking toward the door as we played.

  We finished the song and garnered a round of applause. As soon as the last note faded Jon set his guitar on its stand and made for the door.

  “I’ll be back in a second,” he said.

Pg. 19  


  I knew it wouldn’t do any good to try and dissuade him so I just watched him go. He didn’t have sense enough to leave well enough alone.

  As I stood there trying to figure out what to do while I waited, Bill walked over feeling the need to talk.

  “That’s some wild stuff, man.” He sounded like he was completely burned out. He reminded me of a slightly younger version of Tommy Chong. “I usually don’t listen to really hard core stuff but that s**t is killer. Where’d you learn to sing like that, man?”

  “A long life of complete frustration,” I said, taking my guitar off and putting it on the stand.

  Bill shot me a look of total surprise. “Wow. I can dig it. It’s cool, though. Singing’s the best way to let it all out, you know.”

  I nodded. It was cool comment. He might have been burnt but he didn’t appear to be stupid.

  “It does help,” I said, “ a lot.”

  “You keep it up. You guys have real talent. I can’t wait to hear the whole band,” Bill said.

   “Thanks.” I said. “I’m sure Jon will let you know the next time we’re booked.”

  “He said something about you practicing here.”

   I looked at Bill and frowned. It was typical of Jon. He had made up his mind about it and everyone else was just supposed to go along.

  “Yeah, well, I don’t think we’ve made up our mind about that, yet.” I said.

  “I get it, man. Well, I’ve got to split. Hopefully, I’ll get to hear you all soon.”

  “Cool. It was nice meeting you.”

 Pg. 20


   “For real,” Bill said. “Later.”

   As Bill headed toward the door Laney and Cali came up giggling. They watched him as he walked away.

   “That guy is f*****g toasty,” Laney said. “He creeps me out. What’d he say to you?”

   “He seemed alright,” I said. “He was just telling me how he liked the song.”

   “Too weird,” Laney said. She bumped Cali with her hip. “I think Cali here got into it, too.”

   Cali’s face turned red. She smiled and looked at Laney. “Shut up.”

   “Go on, tell him what you told me, California. If you don’t I will.” Laney smiled a mischievous little smile.

   Cali looked at her and the embarrassment on her face was clear. “Chill out, Laney, please?”

   Laney looked at her and smirked, “You’ve got to get over the shy s**t, Cali. If you want something you’ve got to go for it.”

   I stood there staring at Cali, still mesmerized by her. I understood where the conversation was going. I thought it cute that she was shy about saying anything. At the same time I was disappointed that it could never lead anywhere.

   Cali looked at me, staring right into my eyes and smiled. “I told her you were the hottest guy I’ve ever seen.”

   “And?” Laney said.

   Cali looked at Laney and rolled her eyes. “And as soon as you started singing I think I had an orgasm.”

Pg. 21  


  Wait. What did she just say? I wasn’t even ready for that comment. It was my turn to be embarrassed. I didn’t have a clue how to respond.

   “I don’t know what to say,” I stood there staring at her like a complete idiot.

   “Well, if I were you, Bo. I’d tell her you could make sure she had one.” Laney said.

   I looked at Laney surprised by her boldness. She was Jon’s perfect counterpart.

  “If only,” I said. “I guess Laney didn’t tell you I was married.”

  “I did,” Laney said. “But from what Angel said you need to get out of it.”

   I started to answer when all hell suddenly broke loose out in the living room.

   I heard Angel scream at the top of her lungs. “F**k you, Jon. You brought the b***h to my house.” Then the door slammed.

   I looked at Bruce who jumped up off of the floor where he’d been sitting. We both bolted for the door at the same time.

  Jon had just run out of the front door as Bruce and I raced from the bedroom.  We ran out and down the steps in time to see Angel jump into a beat up Toyota pick-up. Jon was right behind her and tried to get his hand in the door as Angel closed it.  The truck took off up the street with Jon running beside it beating on the window and screaming.

  “I’m done with you, you lying b***h. I’ll kill both of you m***********s.”

  The truck accelerated as it came to the curve. Jon turned to try and jump into the bed of the truck. Instead, he hit the side and went down hard. He landed splayed out in the middle of the street.

  Pg. 22


   Bruce and I ran full bore to get to him. Jon had gotten up to his knees and was ramming his fists into the pavement of the street when we got there. 

  “Goddamnit.” He screamed. Tears ran down his face as he punched the ground in rapid succession.

   I crouched down and grabbed his arms. He jerked away immediately and put his head in his hands, sobbing.

   He was a mess.

   He had a bad scrape on his left elbow from where he’d fallen. His face was scraped on that side as well. His jeans were torn and I guessed he had road rash there too. If not, he was going to have a hell of a bruise. As he wiped his face I could see blood flowing from his knuckles where they had ripped from the impact with the pavement. The blood smeared on his face and mixed with blood oozing from the scrape there.

  Bruce crouched down on the other side and together we tried to get him up and out of the street. Jon resisted like an insolent child but together Bruce and I grabbed tighter and snatched him up and to his feet. He looked at me with huge tears rolling down his cheeks.

  “Who the hell was that?” Bruce asked. “Do you know the b*****d?”

  Jon nodded and sobbed, loudly. It sent a shiver down my spine.

  “It was Donnie Keller,” Jon said, his voice not much more than a whisper. “F*****g Donnie.”

  Bruce looked at me not recognizing the name.

  “He was a neighbor they used to hang out with in their old apartment,” I said.

Pg. 23 


  Bruce shook his head and secured his grip on Jon. “C’mon, man, let’s get you back inside.”

  I looked around and saw that a number of the people in the neighborhood had come out to spy on our personal drama. Back at Jon’s the whole gang had rolled out onto the lawn. They stared, not quite sure how to process what they had just seen.

  As we arrived we tried to guide Jon back into the trailer. He quickly jerked away and headed for his truck fishing the keys out of his pocket. I tried to get in front of him but Bruce was already there.

   “You don’t want to do this, Jon. Forget that b***h. Let’s go get a beer.”

   Jon stopped and pushed Bruce, hard, in the chest.

   “Get out of my way Bruce.”

   I saw Bruce’s face turn from intellectual to feral in a hot second.

   “F**k you, Jon. You’re not going anywhere. Give me those keys or I’m going to beat your a*s.”

  “You can try.” Jon said.

  Bruce took a step back and I thought for sure that he was going to knock Jon slick out before I could get between them. Just then Mick slid up and snatched the keys out of Jon’s hands as he was focused on Bruce.

  “C’mon, Jon, I’ll drive. You jump in shotgun. That way when we find them you can spring out on that m**********r.” Mick said.

  You could have lit a cigarette off of the light that dawned in Jon’s eyes. Without a word he ran around to the passenger side of the truck and climbed in.

  Pg. 24


  Mick looked at Bruce and I flipping the keys in his hand. “Don’t worry I’ll keep him out of trouble. I’ll feed him a few more beers and bring him back after he calms down.”

  With a grin Mick jumped into the truck and peeled out past us with Ozzy screaming from the radio. The smile that spread across Jon’s blood streaked face was unnerving.

  Bruce shook his head as we watched the truck go around the curve. “He’s a f*****g idiot.”

  “Yep. Most of the time,” I said. “I like how your buddy handled that. That was pretty slick.”

  “Yeah, Mick’s a good guy. I hope Jon doesn’t give him any s**t,” Bruce said.

   “I think once the adrenaline wears off, Jon’s not going to feel like giving anybody s**t,” I said.

   Bruce’s eyes widened, “I know. Man, he hit the ground like a ton of bricks. I thought it knocked him out.”

   I shrugged, “It sure as hell didn’t knock any sense in to him.”

   Bruce laughed and clapped me on the back as we headed back toward the trailer. “You’re right, there.”

   The girls gathered at the kitchen table as Bruce and I walked in except for Laney who was busy pacing around.

   “I don’t know why he’s chasing after that b***h. He said he was done with her,” Laney said.

    I looked at Bruce and smirked. He nodded and sat down with Nikki at the table.

    “Who did she run off with, anyway?” Laney asked.

    “It was a neighbor they used to party with at their old apartment,” I said.

    “So, she’s been cheating on him.” Laney said,

  Pg. 25


   “Beats the hell out of me, lady. I try not to get involved in this s**t. I’m just the singer,” I said.

   “Why would he chase after her like that,” Laney said, still pacing.  “She’s not right for him.”

   She stalked around the room mostly talking to her self. This chick was getting weird.

   I hopped up on the counter and when Laney had her back turned I circled my finger around the side of my head and made a funny face. Bruce almost spit out a mouthful of beer.  The girls tried not to smile except Cali, who laughed out loud.

  “I don’t think this is a bit funny, Cali.” Laney said. “I’m afraid Jon will do something stupid.”

  Bruce looked at me shaking his head, “I think that ship has sailed, Laney. The first stupid thing he did was bring you over here.  Now get over yourself and chill the f**k out.”

  The look on Laney’s face was priceless.

  "Whatever, I’m leaving. I’ve got to try and find Jon. Cali, are you coming?”

  Cali looked at Laney and shook her head. “That’s alright, sweetie. I think I’ll walk home.”

  Laney got a weird look on her face and appeared to be really upset, “Fine. F**k it.Whatever, Cali, I’m out of here.”

  She headed for the door as fast as her stiletto heals would carry her. She slammed the door on her way out and after a few seconds we heard her little Volvo race up the street.

  “That b***h is f*****g kooky,” Nikki said. “I know she’s your friend. Cali, but wow.”

pg. 26


  “She’s a major drama queen,” Cali said. “This is the height of romance for her. I wouldn’t be surprised if she told Angel something to get the ball rolling. She’s been known to start s**t like this before.”

  Just like Jon.  Great.

  If Jon even thought about moving that crazy b***h in I was done. I’d had enough of his drama to last a lifetime. With those two it could only get worse.

  “Well, I’ve got to go,” I said hopping off of the counter. “It was nice meeting you all.” My glance lingered on Cali as I said it. “Bruce, the next time I talk to Jim I’ll tell him you said hey.”

   “Yeah, do that. I’d really like to see him the next time he’s in. Jon’s got my number. Have Jim give me a call.”

   “No problem. I’ll talk to you all later.”

   As I headed for the door I could feel someone closing in behind me. I didn’t have to guess who it was.

   “Do you think you could give me a ride,” Cali said.

   I knew I shouldn’t. I should have said no and just walked away. Apparently, Jon didn’t have the market cornered on stupid.

  “I guess. Where do you live?”

   “I live here in the park. I just wanted to talk to you without everyone else around.” Cali said.

   That set off an alarm in my head. Talk. Make damn sure that’s all you do Kineally. Talk.


Pg. 27


  “Sure,” I said. “Why not?”

   I watched Cali as she walked around the car. She had on cut off jeans that made her hips look like the hood of a cobra. Her short brown hair faded to blond at the tips and as the wind caught it I just stood there breathless.

   Talk. That’s all you’re going to do.

   I climbed in the car and started it. Cali smiled at me as I did a quick U-turn in the cul-de-sac and then eased up the road straight toward perdition.

  “I’m sorry about Laney,” Cali said.

  “It’s not your fault, honey. Jon was the architect of this whole mess.”

  “I wouldn’t put all of the blame on him. Laney has a bad habit of playing people to get what she wants.”

   I looked at Cali and knew exactly how she felt. She was as burdened by her friendship with Laney as I sometimes was with Jon.

   “Jon is exactly the same way,” I said. “I guess those two make a hell of a pair.”

   “It won’t last long,” Cali said, rolling up her window a little against the night air. “Eventually, she’ll get bored and move on.”

   “A lot of turnover?” I asked.

   Cali gave me a strange look then eased into a grin. “Well, that’s not exactly how I’d put it but, yeah. She does get around. I just feel sorry for Angel. I really liked her when we met earlier. She just seems so sad.”

  Pg. 28



    “I know,” I said. “Angel and Jon have the most screwed up relationship I’ve ever seen. I think it eats at both of them. They’ve screwed each other over more times than I can count. Angel can be vicious, too, though. When she goes off she goes for the throat. Like tonight.”

   “Why would they keep putting themselves through that?”

   “Beats the hell out of me,” I said. “I can’t figure it out. I just observe the madness and referee occasionally. I refuse to take sides. It’s sure as hell never boring.”

   “So has Angel ever set her sights on you?” Cali asked. “When she was talking about you earlier, before you got there, I got the feeling that you had been close.”

   “We’ve thought about it once or twice over the years, but we’ve never done anything.”

   “Why’s that?” Cali asked.

   “I’m one of Jon’s oldest true friends. I’d never do anything to betray him. Even if I feel like punching him square in the nose sometimes I couldn’t do that to him.”

   Cali looked at me as I cruised around the empty streets of the trailer park. I couldn’t guess what she was thinking but I knew I had to get her out of my car before I did something stupid.

   “You’re a good man, Bo. It’s too bad you’re married. I could go for you, like, right now.”

   “The feelings mutual, believe me. More so, now that I’ve had a chance to talk to you a little. Smart chicks are sexy.”

   Cali grinned. “Well, I don’t know about all that.”

   “I do,” I said. ”Being in a band you get to meet a lot of bubble headed bimbos, trust me, honey, you aren’t one of them.”

 Pg. 29 


   I stopped at a stop sign and looked at Cali.

   She was gorgeous.

   “Well, thank you.” Cali said, opening up the car door. “ I guess I better let you go so you can get out of here. I really just wanted to let you know where my head was. If you ever want to talk or anything, look me up. I really enjoyed meeting you, Bo.”

   “Me too, California. I’ll be back around after this whole thing blows over. If you hear us jamming, cruise on in, OK?”

   “Cool.” Cali said as she climbed out of the car. “Count on it.”

   I waved as I pulled away from the stop sign. I felt elated, frustrated and aggravated all at the same time.

   Now, I had to go home.

© 2012 Lawrence Parlier

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Author's Note

Lawrence Parlier
The formatting and left margin are crazy from the cut and paste. I tried it to fix it but it changed again when it was posted. I hope it's not too distracting.

My Review

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Featured Review

Well, Lawrence, I'll be quite frank, I'm frantic for more of this. This is one of those books I felt like I could sit down with for a day and just burn through. I don't even feel that way with the classics. 
The intro though, surprised me. It wasn't anything especially catchy or unique. I did not expect the genius that followed to be the product of the opening statement. 
At first I felt like you were narrating a bit too much, but you really got a feel for all of the plot and characters as you picked up and started to show instead of tell. 
And I have to say, from the male perspective of a reader, this first chapter is simply astonishing. It, in all sincerity, spoke to me-- the jagged ledges in the fall from love, the love of a child being the only solac in the pitless drop, the combatting of lust on the blooded shores of beauty(especially), the stringent web of friendship and the impossibilities laced within. 
My interest, now, is your main character. What is he going to tell us about the world? Will he light the straight and narrow with heart fire, or will he be the fallen angel that dictates the de-evolution of all of man? 
In all, write more, Lawrence. I greatly anticipate the read.

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.


Suspense sets in situation you've wrote...keep's going well...:)

Posted 11 Years Ago

Well, Lawrence, I'll be quite frank, I'm frantic for more of this. This is one of those books I felt like I could sit down with for a day and just burn through. I don't even feel that way with the classics. 
The intro though, surprised me. It wasn't anything especially catchy or unique. I did not expect the genius that followed to be the product of the opening statement. 
At first I felt like you were narrating a bit too much, but you really got a feel for all of the plot and characters as you picked up and started to show instead of tell. 
And I have to say, from the male perspective of a reader, this first chapter is simply astonishing. It, in all sincerity, spoke to me-- the jagged ledges in the fall from love, the love of a child being the only solac in the pitless drop, the combatting of lust on the blooded shores of beauty(especially), the stringent web of friendship and the impossibilities laced within. 
My interest, now, is your main character. What is he going to tell us about the world? Will he light the straight and narrow with heart fire, or will he be the fallen angel that dictates the de-evolution of all of man? 
In all, write more, Lawrence. I greatly anticipate the read.

Posted 11 Years Ago

1 of 1 people found this review constructive.

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2 Reviews
Added on March 12, 2012
Last Updated on March 12, 2012


Lawrence Parlier
Lawrence Parlier

Bethel, OH

I'm a poet/writer/musician working on my first novel and a brand new poetry collection. more..