A fun little Interlude? Well, the character of Elgin, with his incredible wit and candor, may amuse people somewhat, but hopefully you’ll get the sense of foreboding that his behavior and the situation merits. Why?
Because this is a portentious piece - an aside which will eventually become the crux of the novel.
There - I hope I’ve intrigued you. Now, on to Interlude 2, featuring my brother Daryl and my other brother Darrell (seriously).
A War Between States Part 20:
“What we doin’ way the fuck out here?”
Terminius Green drove his white Mustang down the gravel path which the road sign had said was County Maintained 51. The road had two lanes, with barely discernible yellow streaks indicating the divide between northbound and southbound. But Terminius wouldn’t quite call them lanes — they were so narrow they could barely accommodate his car, and the endless washouts and potholes on either side forced him to drive right down the middle. Streaks of morning sunlight danced across his car as they came through the periodic gaps in the pines which lined either side of the road. It gave him the impression of someone turning a light on and off, on and off. The rhythm of the light, the dull roar of his tires as they cracked on the gravel of County Maintained 51, and the fact that he wasn’t used to getting up so early would have lulled him to sleep, except for Elgin Blalock beside him.
Elgin was used to getting up this early. Elgin barely slept anymore, on his diet of Red Bull, rum, amphetamines, and cocaine. Terminius figured the man, barely in his twenties, had maybe two good years left before he’d OD or have a heart attack.
He wouldn’t die in a car accident, probably, because he’d already lost his license three years back, and he never drove. Strangely enough, it was a rule he took seriously.
“We jus’ doin’ what we told,” Elgin said. He fidgeted in the bucket seat beside Terminius, twisting this way, then that. He undid his seatbelt, and then, when he caught Terminius’s sidelong, uneasy glance, he put it back on — but not without offering a little verbal abuse.
“Fuckin’ fuck. Fuck yo’ old stupid fuckin’ rules about yo’ fuckin’ car.”
“They ain’t my rules. They my mama’s.”
“Fuck yo’ mama.”
Terminius let his foot off the gas and the car slowed. He reached into the pocket of the car door beside him and felt the handle of the .22 there. He’d use it, by God, if this asshole beside him gave him any more shit — especially about his mama. He dared not slam on the brakes the way he wanted to — not on the loose gravel, not in his new car. But he’d stop the car and take care of Elgin.
Elgin noticed the car slowing and grinned.
“I’m jus’ kiddin’, man,” he said. “Don’t need to slow down and start no trouble. I o-pologizzze.” The zzz was accompanied by a huge flash of Elgin’s gold-plated front teeth.
Terminius grunted and accelerated, accepting the o-pology. For now.
“‘Sides,” Elgin said, still grinning,” I’d fuck yo’ ass UP!”
Elgin didn’t know about the gun in the car door.
They came to a place where County Maintained 51 veered off, banking steeply against the rows of pines. An unpaved road of red clay dirt continued straight ahead. The pines also lined the left side of the dirt road, but an open field filled the space to the right. In the middle of the field stood a lone, off-white trailer on the top of a low hill that started at the dge of the dirt road and plunged away out of sight. A rough driveway led from the trailer’s grassless yard to the dirt road, and a forlorn pole with a transformer clinging to it towered over it all. Wires hung low over the driveway, connecting the transformer to the power lines on the side of County Maintained 51.
“Turn in there,” Elgin said and pointed at the dirt road and the driveway.
“What’s that?” Terminius asked.
“That there is a little white trailer in the middle of a fuckin’ field out in the middle of bumfuck,” Elgin said and flashed his teeth.
“I can see that. But why are we here?”
Terminius slowed down again, pulled onto the dirt road, and then onto the driveway leading to the trailer. Rocks crunched under his tires. He was glad it hadn’t rained recently, or he’d have to wash his car.
Elgin popped his seatbelt loose before they stopped, opened his door and tumbled out before Terminius had a chance to shift into park and turn off the car. He strolled quickly across the barren yard, his skinny legs looking strikingly black in contrast to his ultra white shorts. Despite all the money Elgin had, he refused to wear shorts like Terminius — baggy, with lots of pockets, just like their heroes on BET. Instead, Elgin wore super tight coach’s shorts, kind of like the ones Coach Williams sometimes wore. Only Coach Williams’s legs always looked especially large and more muscular in his clothes. Elgin’s just looked… funny.
Terminius climbed out of the car and clicked on the alarm with his keychain. A beep let him know it was armed. He followed Elgin to the trailer, mounted the steps, and entered the door that Elgin had left open.
Inside, the trailer was musty and devoid of any furniture, save a fold-out card table in the front room and two matching chairs. Elgin was already in the kitchen, his movements echoing through the empty trailer. Terminius walked into the kitchen to find Elgin opening the cabinets and pulling out stacks of plates and glass after empty glass.
“What is this place?”
Elgin chuckled. “It belongs to one of Coach’s girlfriends. She don’t live here no more, though.”
Then Elgin pulled out an airtight brick of something wrapped in green plastic. He reached into the cabinet and pulled out another one, this one wrapped in black plastic.
“What’s that?” Terminius asked.
Elgin smirked. “What the fuck you think it is? That,” he said, pointing at the green package, “is smack.” He pointed at the other. “That… is crack. Smack and crack. Crack and smack. What the fuck you think?”
- Terminius Green - Darrell Collins
- Elgin Blalock - Daryl Funn
- Narrator - Will Kenyon