Chapter 2 (Draft 1)
When Push Comes to Shove
After a lovely stroll down Javelin Avenue I found myself back in the Slums that I had grown acquainted with. DeFranco was leaning against a billboard which showed an advertisement for Paramount, it depicted a man flexing his muscles and lightning shooting out of his eyes. I never much cared for advertising, I know it helps products sell, but they always do a good job at making me feel like I am missing out on something. As I continued drifting along, Defranco eyed me up and down.
“I see this time the Mayor went easy on you”. Defranco said mockingly.
“Yeah, how could you tell.”
“Well usually you got a little something on your shoulder…” I stared at Defanco blankly. “Ya know, his acidic marshmallow fluff”. Continued Defranco.
“Ohhhhh, well I just kept my distance today, typically he tries to get me to open my mouth and…”
“You know what, let’s not talk about it okay” Defranco cut me off just as I was about to tell such a magnificent story. “I just had a bit too much to drink and this post here is the only thing keeping me from falling over and emptying my stomach.” Defranco’s face had begun to transition to a pale green.
“You know what Defranco” I began, “ this morning I woke up with my face down in something that smelled a bit like kimchi mixed with horseradish.”
“Eevan, you shut your goddamn mouth right now.”
“Come to think of it I have had diarrhea for the past couple days, all I have been doing is spritzing pond water and dehydrating myself.” I somehow managed to keep a straight face as Defranco covered his mouth and turned away.
“Alright Defranco, I’m sorry that’s just cruel, I’ll stop it.” Defranco managed to pull himself together briefly. “Look man, I need your help.” I said lowly. Defranco looked at me, and kept his hand over his mouth but gestured a water mill type motion with his free hand. “ I am going to get out of this hell hole, it’s been far too long… rotten cricket intestines… and I really need a friend to help me come up with a plan.” Defranco fell to his knees and began purging. I walked up and patted him on the back looked towards the sky and continued. “First I am going to need some supplies, probably a gun some ammo, a rucksack with food rations and booze, and some medical supplies. I’d say about enough to last me two weeks to get started.” I continued brainstorming out loud over the sounds of Defranco’s heaving. “To be honest I could probably use some company out in the wastes, who else is better than my good ol’ drinking buddy.”
Defranco leaned back and wiped his mouth, “You’re a dick”. He said while looking like a rabid bulldog.
“Come on man, you know this place is going to get boring as hell without me around. And besides I know you’ve grown sick of this place too, you’ve managed to keep up with the same amount of moonshine I’ve been downing, and that has been increasing ten fold within the last couple months. You want to escape this place just as badly.”
“Eevan, without me the Paramount supplies won’t get delivered, do you know how many pissed of psychopaths would be hunting us down. Come downs are one thing but straight up withdrawal is a death sentence for anyone keeping the junkies from their preferred substance of choice”. Defranco was now climbing his way back up to meet with me at eye level.
“Look man…” I responded, ”don’t worry about that, we’re gonna be long gone way before people start to notice. The only people who know we even exist is Ray and Rusty. Ray is just trying to keep his bar open, and Rusty is about as aware of his surroundings as a two year old in a bazaar.” I paused for a moment. “Don’t you want to know what else life has to offer? Don’t you want to set up someplace we don’t want to drink our lives away at? Don’t you want to be able to walk around buck naked and not be confused for a homeless person, but instead as some ape in dire need of at least a banana hammock?”
Defranco coughed and turned his head for a moment with the side of his fist over his mouth. He turned back at me and said, “Fuck it I’m in, I could always go for a new banana hammock.”
“That’s the spirit! So we need to work on our plan now… I was thinking something with explosions, or fireworks, or explosions and fireworks.”
“I thought the point was to get out of here without anyone noticing” Defranco pointed out.
“Hmm I guess I was hoping for some dramatic get away… but it does defeat the purpose… let’s mull this over a drink at Ray’s.”
Defranco smiled, “I think you’re gonna be a great partner if you keep thinking this way”.
Both us of began walking towards Ray’s saloon. I couldn’t help but look down to be sure I wasn’t going to step in Defranco’s previous lunch. “I hope you ate something with a fair amount of hotsauce”.
Defranco followed my gaze, “Nope that’s definitely my blood”.
“Is that going to be a problem?” I asked legitimately concerned.
“Nah, I’d say that happens at least one or two times a week, nothing some water and crackers can’t solve.”
I shrugged and continued walking. I was definitely looking forward to escaping Jai Jack. I did leave out the parts where my goals were to ultimately find my family and then come back to Jai Jack to tear it down. Even though Defranco was plastered I knew he would laugh at me, especially with the thought that my family is still alive somewhere out in the wastes.