SKY

August 23rd, 2014 by George Martorano

The cold November rain disliked Bobby Green so much that it brought along a harsh friend, wind. The two focused more on Bobby Green’s bent head and face than the thin jacket he wore or the rest of him. The street he walked on was as gray as the day, gray and bleak as Bobby Green’s thoughts.

When he got to the corner of Marshall and Fitzwater, he eased his head up to look in each direction. His eyes showed concern, fear. Quickly he moved up Marshall, a narrow back street. When he got to the vacant lot, he paused. He paused to watch a soaked alley cat dart around debris and mud puddles, its dark hair matted and sticking up here and there just as Bobby’s was.

Bobby darted across the lot, leaped for the bar, and began to climb the light pole. Once on the backyard fence, he tight-rope walked the top to the second floor roof, then hauled himself up onto it and he was there. He was in front of two separate windows to a run-down flat, in a run-down building.

Though he kinda felt it, his mind absorbed the warmth. Heat radiated from inside. As he stared, he heard the sounds–two, no three: music, the whack of hands, and low grunts. He was going to knock, but he didn’t, only stared on, wet faced, through wet glass.

There was a rough hole knocked out on the leak-stained ceiling. There was a rope attached to the wooden beam, and swinging from it is a patched-up leather body bag. It was being hit by a handsome figure with short, pushed-back, blond hair, wearing a soiled T-shirt and baggy pants. Blue, blue eyes were blazing with rage as the person pounds away.

A large old radio beats out an up-beat tune in time with the wallop of landed blows upon the leather. Bobby’s eyes widened, seeing blood begin to show through the dirty hand wraps the pounder wears. With a hard left hook, the pounder’s hips jerk, and the pounder sees Bobby’s reflection in the side of an old toaster on a nearby table.

A grin slowly cuts across the pounder’s face, yet the pounder doesn’t acknowledge Bobby’s presence. Suddenly, the wind whips up. Bobby tried the window, pulling hard, but it wouldn’t give. Quickly he goes to the other window. The pounder grins more but keeps throwing punches. At the other window, Bobby’s face strains, pulling and pulling…..then the window shoots up and Bobby flies backwards with a yell. He just catches the edge, the rain gutter, and dangles there.

“Sky! Sky!”

Sky is at the open window now. “Ya shoulda used the door, noodle brain.”

“Give me a hand. I’m, I’m…..”

“I ain’t getting wet. Either climb up or drop in the mud.” Sky’s smile broadens, hearing the grunts and groans as Bobby slowly pulls himself up. Sky remembers the round face, brown curvy hair and large round eyes, the way Bobby looked as a child along with the funny faces he was making now. Sky turned from the window, seeing that he was making it, and began unwrapping the soiled wraps.

“Shut the window.”

“Oh yeah, Sorry.” Bobby was in now.

“Why the roof, kid?” Sky asks, but he knows, has heard things.

“Mean Louie lookin’ for me. Ain’t ya heard what happened ain’t ya?!”

Sky didn’t answer, instead went to the old small fridge, took out an orange juice bottle filled with plain water.

“It wasn’t my fault, I swear, Sky.” Bobby went on. By Sky’s expression he knew Sky had heard about it. “All me and Maggie was doin’ was having a beer, and, and…..”

“Why the Ward Club? You know it’s Mean’s place and Saturday night, too, when Mean’s the most drunk, him and those scumbags he controls.”

“I know, I know. We was sittin’ on the school yard steps, next thing I know she was thirsty. Mean’s place was right around the corner. Sky, Sky, I didn’t, I mean Maggie didn’t even look his way. He comes right over and starts, puts his hands on her, Maggie…..Maggie was dating his brother. She dumped ‘em.”

“What ya expect, him drinking in front of those guys, creeps.”

“Sky, he’s gonna get me. He’s already been around my house, pushed my old man around.”

“You cut ‘em bad with the beer bottle, Bobby,” Sky’s voice softened. “Maybe you better hide out down in Atlantic City.”

“Hide out? I just got the job at the Daily News, a union job. It’s all I got, Sky. Sky, you can straighten it out. You–”

“Not me, kid, Those stories you heard ’bout me are bull. You better–”

“No, no. Why me, why always the little guy? The nobody’s gotta run, get killed. That’s what he’s gonna do, Sky, bury me, for, for bustin’ his head in front of his guys, for standin’ up for myself. Sky, you gotta help. Please, Sky, plea–”

“Shut up! You hear me, shut up!”

Bobby backed until his wet jacket hit the wall and he slid to the floor, bowing his head in silence. Sky moved to a chair by the table, sat, and stared at him for some time…..

“Go find out where he is.”

“…..what?”

“I mean Mean’s, go see if he’s at the club.”

“He’s always there.”

“I said, go see. Afterwards steal a car and another license plate. Park the car up Climber Street and come back here, through the window,” Sky pointed.

“You’re gonna do it? Help? You’re gonna…..” Bobby swallowed.

“Just like I said, and fast “.

Bobby stood, looked at Sky sitting there quiet and easy-like, thinking. It was true; the stories he’s heard growing up, about Sky and the mob….. Slowly he backed for the window, turned, yanked for the ledge and was gone.

[ to be continued ]

By: George Martorano
Copyright:12973
8/22/14

FOURTH WORLD

August 23rd, 2014 by George Martorano

The Fourth World

SCENE: The stage is dark…..Yet, there is a shot of light upon a single steel door; a prison cell door with a small window with a piece of cardboard blocking it, one can not see in nor out ; the number ’49′ is on the door….. Then, a strong, attractive prisoner in prison garb of stripes, enters the somewhat dark stage…..He walks to the lingering light; he stops in front of the cell door 49.

PRISONER: [Looks up at the Heavens, exhales, shakes his head from side to side, as if to say, ' what have I gotten myself into' ] “Hey, WarZone , you in there, yo WarZone, it’s me Asa, want to talk”

V. O. :[some one speaks through close door ] “You sure, got things in here”

ASA : “Yeah, comin’ in…..”

SCENE: Asa begins reaching for the cell door to enter….. Then, the stage and theater goes completely dark…..

SCENE:[ continues in moments ] Now, the theater and stage brighten, there is no more cell door. No, now up on stage is a nice size prison cell. In the cell are: a double bunk bed made of steel, a sink, a toilet, a small table with food and soda cans upon it, table is accompanied by two chairs…..There are three prisoners besides Asa: WarZone with long hair and a tank top and with muscles covered by tattoos, there is his partner in prison crime, Otto, he is large, mean looking ,yet , has stupid look to him, oh, and Otto is holding a prison blade….., there is a captive prisoner too,he’s blonde,wearing thick glasses,has that John Boy appearance. Also he is duct taped to one of the steel support bars of the bunk, he sits with his mouth duck taped secure too. His name, Tommy, he’s really sweating allot through his prison clothes ; he is frightened out of his mind, with large eyes watching all…..Asa, at this point is just standing there just taking the situation all in.

ASA : [Points to the table, the food] “Hey, havin’ lunch” [Asa just picks up a can of soda.....drinks. WarZone and Otto look at each other, so does the captured Tommy]

WARZONE : ” What’s up Asa, like I said, kinda of busy here”

OTTO : [ chimes in, staring at Asa hard ] “Yeah, got somethin’ going down Asa, you better go !”

ASA : “…..better, you tellin’ me ,better”

WARZONE : [cuts in, doesn't want any trouble with Asa] “No no Asa, shut up Otto but this scumbag” [ points to Tommy ] “Gotta send some money today or he’s fuckin’ dead”

ASA : [His eyes still linger on Otto] “I hear lots of things but right now I’m hungry” [and Asa just sits, begins to eat]

OTTO: [talks to WarZone, motioning towards Asa] “You believe this guy , he’s fuckin’ nuts, hey Asa how’s bout you get the fuck out of here!”

WarZone : “Shut up Otto, just shut up…..!”

WarZone : [continues, talks to Asa] “How bout we catch up in the yard later. Soon as Lips brings the cell phone he’s got stashed. This punk makes the call, money should hit fast. You know the deal Asa, ain’t nothin’ new, he’s gotta pay, that’s prison rules, prison rules”

ASA : [points to Tommy] “I hear this guy you got kidnapped here, works in the chapel, he ain’t no low life. This is a wrong move WarZone. The prison heroin got you all upside down, you ain’t thinkin’ straight. Who knows, maybe you’re losin’ it”

OTTO : [getting nervous] “No no, we don’t owe no dope bill; we just want our five grand, I mean ten, yeah ten grand. So we’s snatch this guy, he pays, everybodys happy” [Otto smiles all around, after all Otto ain't to bright]

ASA : [talks to Otto,funny, with an added smile on his face] “Let me hold that blade Otto boy, need to cut this cake”

SCENE : nonchalantly Otto hands Asa his prison blade…..Asa holds it, grips it tightly in his hand, braces himself and now faces WarZone and Otto sternly…..As if to say, look what I got suckers.

WarZone : [concern,jumps! ] “Jesus Christ Otto, you fuckin’ idiot, you know what you just did !? You gave Asa a blade, Asa no less, Asa! ”

[to be continued]

By: George Martorano
Copyright: 12973
8/9/14

FOURTH WORLD FINALE

August 23rd, 2014 by George Martorano


SCENE : Tommy sees hope, moves some, mumbles some. Yet Otto knows his big mistake, he’s looking around crazy, shifting on his feet……Then! in one quick move, Asa stabs Otto in the knee!

OTTO : [Yells in pain, falls] “He stabbed my knee, ooh it fuckin’ hurts, my knee my knee!”

WarZone : [stares at Asa] “Shut up Otto, shut up!”

SCENE : Suddenly all seems quiet, still. WarZone holds his knife, still staring at Asa. Asa staring back holding his knife, as if a Mexican standoff…..Otto still on the floor, decides to get away from Asa and WarZone and a kinfe battle . Slowly moving , blood around his knee …..He slides on his butt backwards, in much pain, up against the cell wall……And poorTommy’s
eyes enlarge….. still hoping…..

WarZone : “We know each other a long time Asa”

ASA : [shakes his head yes] “Long long time Charles, Charles McKay, that’s your name WarZone. Cept you ain’t that guy anymore. I don’t know what you are. Do you know?”

WarZone : “This was my business Asa, not yours.”

ASA : “You lost your way Charles, that needle in your arm everyday, no honor in you anymore”

WarZone : “Charles is dead and what honor, we’re both doing forever, we were first-time just drug cases, gonna die in here. Besides my back my back [ he points to his lower back with the blade ] is all busted up, doctors don’t do shit in here. Can’t take the pain, the fuckin’ pain so I need the fix…..”

ASA : [cuts him off] “No no, back pain bullshit, you went wrong Charles, you went beast”

WarZone : [stares a bit, silent] “So, it’s me and you then”

ASA : [shakes his head yes] “Charles, I’ll stop you fast you’ll be dead next to this scumbag” [Asa points to Otto]

OTTO : “Kill em, kill em!”

WarZone : [Moves quick, kicks Otto hard in the head knocking him out] “I told you to shut up!”

ASA : “Well…..” [stares at WarZone as if to say now or never]

WarZone : “…..well what?”

ASA : “make your move Charles make you move…..or the kid and I are out of here”

WarZone : [calms] “Asa, Asa this ain’t no good, no good” [Sits at the table, motions to Asa to sit] “Sit down Asa, sit down”

SCENE : Asa, cautious yet sits…..Now we have two convicts at a little table, a little food on it…..and both staring at each other holding knifes.

WarZone : “Some life hey Asa, dope-sick all the time and dyin’ in a stinkin’ bunk” [he points to the bunk and poor Tommy shifts some]

ASA : “Yeah, but it’s what’s inside ya that counts” [ Asa points to his heart]

WarZone: “But what for Asa, what for, why should it count, we’re low-life convicts doin’ forever, are souls doin’ forever, why should anything count……why? Ain’t nobody care ,no body ”

ASA : [pauses] ” …..cause you gotta care for something Charles, even if it’s just a swallow, just a swallow of somethin’ good ”

WarZone : “…. swallow?”

Asa: “that’s how it’ll all start for you again ,just a swallow of kindness ”

SCENE : Asa lifts himself some…. reaches across the table, caresses WarZone’s shoulder……doing this touches Warzone lost soul …..WarZone,then, bends his head down low…..the arm holding the knife succumbs downward, just hanging there…..then,the prison blade loosens from WarZone’s hand, falls….. clanging when it hits the cell floor…..Now, Asa
stands, comes over near WarZone, pauses, then hugs WarZone…..WarZone begins to weep, tremble and weep…..

WarZone : [ a complete sadness, speaks lowly ] “Asa…..?”

Asa:”……yes”

WarZone:”……I can’t hope any more, can’t no more”

SCENE :And Asa does not know how to answer him ……As WarZone continues to weep…..Asa goes over to the bunk; cuts Tommy loose and discards the blade on the bunk……Tommy stands on shaky legs. Then, Asa slowly pulls the duct tape off his mouth…..But, Asa motions with his finger to his own lips,for Tommy to be silent and motions for Tommy to just go, get out of the cell…..Tommy steps around Otto and the table….and out the cell…..Tommy quickly exits the stage and is gone…..Then, Asa takes a step to leave…..pauses and hugs WarZone one last time…… caressing an old friend that was lost but hopefully now found……As Asa exits the cell, the stage…..the stage slowly darkens……and, we only hear the weeping of WarZone, and ……a lingering moan from the slow waking Otto.

[ The Finale ]

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Afterword

‘ The cell bunk and the blanket toss upon it…..tis loneliness. I, the writer in place ;live within the fourth world,prison; America’s creation; there are millions of us . My job is to instill hope. To those free, your job is ….. To laugh and run with the children and never, never stop bringing flowers to those you love.’

By: George Martorano
Copyright: 12973
8/16/14

A Poem In Mix

August 3rd, 2014 by George Martorano

Fresh Alley

I jail I breathe, I do not love
I jail I breathe, I look at stars above
I jail I breathe, I create it so, places and memories
…..God, I have no where to go

Fresh alley,fresh alley, think of death, think of life.

Perfume wrist, comes as mist
Fight in the day, kiss in the night
Fresh alley, fresh alley…..There, you dwell,
against all love and hell

It is a wide alley you see,
Swept clean by an old lady who be
A place of gangs, with hate in their eyes,
the force, the flow of blood…..
twist and tug…..fist and run !

Then, with dark, the stone benches do wait…..
Come, exploring younth wanting to lose
they touch they gaze, at self at moon
…..taste of lips,my, a shallow bliss

Fresh alley, fresh alley
The decades you own…..
where lost and lust sing,
where many dare,oh teens beware

I jail I breathe, I write through the night.
Fresh alley in my belly
Fresh alley comes to tell,
Tell of an old lady’s broom,
Tell of some lover’s womb

Can it be, the alley beckons so,
Ground of slate, grey to-date
Beneath snow,beneath rain.
The summer heat, the city’s beat

‘Thee’ alley, a dream in my life,
it waits….. patient and sad
In time will my feet enter its’ gift…..

Then, I shall not move just drink a heart’s full
Fresh alley, fresh alley…..My kiss can still !
…..Soft to the touch and all that wills

By: George Martorano
Copyright: 12973
8/1/14

Backstreet Part III

August 3rd, 2014 by George Martorano


She reached behind her, reached hard, stretching out for her metal crutches. Gripped them in her hands, locked them beside her wrist. Got up and moved, moved to the rear of the car. Felt the hot exhaust on her leg. Moved as her eyes darted to Grandmother Combs’ yard door. Nervous Jarret would now appear, she now stood face to face with the door handle…..Paused. Then, her arm lifted and she pulled the door open.

Getting into the car, she had to face out and back in. She did this. Now, she had to sit, place one crutch on the floor, she did that. Now, reach for the door…..

“It’s too far, it’s…..,” and her eyes began to water from fright.

“You can do this…..,” she heard herself say. She bent forward, reaching with all her might. Watching her finger tips extend. Her mind saying a ‘little more, a little more…..’ There, the tops of her fingers grasp the silver handle. Her back hurt as she pulled and pulled. The old heavy door came slowly at first, that rushed, hurting her legs. She wanted to cry out, but, she did not.

Now, she placed the other crutch on the floor in front of her and closed the door.

“There, there now…..,” she spoke and felt the moisture of sweat from fear under her arms.

“Oh my God,” she snapped.

The crutches were where he could see them. Quickly, she reached down to place them in the back. Moving so fast the hard grip part of the crutch jammed into her cheek. Pain raced across her face as she forced, twisted her torso towards the backseat. All these tense moments, unknowing her olive brown eyes darted to that back yard door. All these tense moments, her mind also adding a prayer.

She finally heard the thump of the crutches hit the floor. Turning, she noticed the mirror, she positioned it upon her, toiled with hair, face. The eyes starting to tear up again. For she had no purse, imagine. A young lady on her first date with no womanly wares.

As she did the best she could; eyes were upon her. Sad eyes, hidden behind a yard door.

For Jarret was there. He saw all. Saw the painstaking task she went through. You see, he purposely left her alone. Knowing her all his life, the reading of her eyes. He thought it mainly-best she get in the car herself. Yet, he had to watch from the crack in the door. Hiding himself from her and his Grandmother.

He also grew sad with every trying second she tried, really tried. His nose so close to the green, chipping paint. The chipped paint making a pattern of islands before his eyes. The smell of the old wood he inhaled…..

With her struggle, his eyes watery too.

He swallowed, cleared his throat and stepped back onto the narrow side-walk, his step lively and a smile on his face.

Once in the car, the radio was kind and a lively tune commenced. And; the were off…..

They drove in silence for the first few blocks. The boy thinking things deeply. The girls deep thinking was short. The newness of the passing neighborhood taking her mind off love for a few moments. For Roseanne didn’t get to venture out much.
Just the seeing of a bus, a store’s door opening, boys running after one another and she was enriched…..As he drove.

In time…..Jarret crossed town to a large, rich green place. A place called the Lakes, where children play at day and lovers parked at night. Where soft canals of brown water entangled here and there. Where large, trees reached down to auburn paths. Where ducks never left come fall, or summer. No, not a far place, but, a place she had never been to.

Jarret parked the blue chariot under an old oak tree. It’s wide trunk had many hearts and names written within.

With the windows down, the warm breeze eased up their short sleeves and danced across their hair.

Now, the end of dusk did it’s colorful finale before their eyes. Growing darker as they talked and as the music played…..

“Jarret…..?”

“Yes…..?”

“Could you sit closer?”

He moves nearer to her…..She places her head on his shoulder…..He holds her hand…..

Jarret smells the loveliness of her hair, skin. His chest rose and fell. He turned towards her. They looked deeply into each others eyes. Eyes that have known each other since early childhood.

“Kiss me Jarret,” and he does, wanted to for so very long now. With the long kiss, they pressed up against each other.

“Jarret?”

“…..Yes?”

“I’m a whole woman Jarret, really, I am…..”

That night, a poor, hurt, beautiful girl from a nothing back street …..loved. Yes, she loved and found the whole woman in her for forevermore…..

[the sweet end]

By: George Martorano
copyright: 12973
7/25/14