Breakfast Special, #28, “Fair Trade Creed Reads,” pt. 2 ~ Stealth

Once they found a place up on flat part of the roof that allowed a view of the moon and kept the wind’s sharp bite off them, Anton and Sarge hunkered down shoulder to shoulder with their backs to the brick chimney. Sarge waited in silence before Anton started talking in earnest. “You ready for me to read some serious Lily creed, Big Man? You got any doubt, say so right now. Cuz where we goin’ ain’t no return ticket.  Later you got to lay this intel in a deep quiet spot until Lily drop it on you herself. Can you do?”

“Yeah, Anton, I can do that.”

“One more thing, I expect fair true value creed trade. Don’t dish me no shit. I had a full plate of that today already, and then some more. Even my ghost got a too full belly of bullshit. You fair warned now. ”

“I can do on both counts, Anton.” Sarge nodded as he turned up his coat collar.  “If you want, I’ll lay my trade out first so you can decide if you think you’re getting a fair deal or not. If nothing else, you’ll know what I’m trying to figure out how to get straight with Lily without making a big mess of it. If that’s even possible.  For all I know, I’m deluding myself on that score.”

Anton worked his parka hood into place in order to create as much warm air space around his head and face as possible. “I got trust. My bones say you ain’t playing bait and switch. I worked up a load of steam today needs release this way I blow off some first. Help get my ears clear for your intel. We got a good spot here for ear work, so I’m gonna get to it. Later, when she share with you, Lily wrap it her way, but info still the same. I’ll try to drop my chimes, make Lily story easy for your ears. You set?”

Sarge leaned slightly forward and sideways in order to better hear Anton without asking him to raise his voice. “Yeah, I’m good. Don’t sweat your chimes. If I lose your tune, I’ll call a time-out. Read at will.”

Anton stretched his arms out and rested them on his knees. He took a deep breath and blew it out slow and easy watching its cloud of warm air dance in the cold before dissipating. “Alright, Anton read hard now:  Lily’s people hardly had any truck with any city folk ever. They got eyes and ears on them, but they keep their space wide away. Got no use for what they see city folk do. They do their life dance same as always, best they can. Then Stealth drop a bomb smack down on them. They don’t get no red alert. But Lily’s Gran, her bones were talking to her loud and clear before it drop. She had no idea what was coming. Still she knew some bad shit on the way. See Lily’s Gran had a loud and clear two-way Ma Bell intel phone line running between her and her bones. Her bones send their own red alert and she was on it. She was waiting with eyes and ears wide open for anything. Gran the only reason Lily, Peter and herself not blown to little pieces by Stealth. Gran felt Stealth  coming and went to see what she could so as to warn the others. When she see that black Stealth high up in the sky, she know right off what her bones been talking about right there.

*

*

*

*

She try to do her warning thing, but Stealth fly too fast for Gran when she make a run. Lily and Peter were hanging with her when bomb blew everyone else apart. Lily figures they plain damn lucky they not in pieces too. From what Lily say, Anton  think they be in about best place on that land they could have been when all science intel read its creed.”

Anton took a deep breath and stared at how the clouds were playing around the moon.  He felt the bigger man next to him waiting patiently, the body heat coming off Sarge warming the space between them.  “After bomb do it thing, it just Gran, Lily and Peter doing their thing until Air Force come back trying to figure out what went wrong with Stealth cuz they got their own intel. Air-Force take a shit-storm pounding from Gran. She don’t hold back even though her English need serious work. Some Air Force Man work enough guilt to try to make something right. Air Force haul Gran, Lily and Peter to Anchorage. Set them up. Not much, but enough. Gran got mad serious survival skills and she work them overtime cuz of Lily and Peter. Otherwise she just go back to where she came from and finish her life dance there. But  she know that not quite right for Lily and Peter, so Gran do her best to read this new landscape. She do real damn good too. She old, but she rock solid love motivated. She figure out fast that top line for kids be  school.  She follow new creed hard. For a time things go fine. They all miss home places, but work best they can with all these new people, new life-way creed.”

Things go along okay until Gran’s bones start sounding an alarm she don’t know how to read. That a first for her. Thing is, Lily’s bones start trying to talk too. She and Gran figure out something not right with Peter. But they got no sure clues cuz he trying to be a man and keep them safe. Peter about twelve, a few months more by Lily’s reckoning. She be about a spring younger than him.” Anton went quiet while rubbing his gloved hands against each other and  thinking about the next part of Lily’s creed. He glanced at Sarge sitting with his legs drawn up to his chest, arms wrapped around his shins, and chin resting on his knees.

“One day at school, this a church school that supposed to be top line where they living. One day at school, Lily’s bones start yelling at her. She don’t know what’s up, but she know she got to find Peter.  So she turn on her home skills so she can track him down at school. When she find him, she know nothing is right even though she don’t rightly understand what she sees.”  He hesitated and shot a quick look at Sarge.  In the course of their conversations he’d picked up intel regarding the man’s Catholic upbringing which caused him to briefly wonder how the next part of Lily’s creed would go down with him.  Seeing that he was still in solid listening mode, looking straight ahead while slightly leaning sideways towards him, Anton resumed speaking.

“But she knows these two priests are putting a serious hurt on Peter in this back room next to the garage. Lily sees what’s going on, but they so intent on Peter they don’t see her. She work up a damn big load of steam in the time it take her to go into the garage and grab the fist tool that looks like it do some damage. Turn out that be a tire iron. She take that iron back into that room and she lay it on them two priests like she the devil herself before they even know who’s hitting them where no man don’t want to be hit ever. After they laid out cold, she and Peter high-tail it out of there direct to Gran. They don’t hit their foot brakes for anyone or anything between school and home.

When Gran gets this low down creed, then she know why she couldn’t read her bones about Peter. Her people don’t have much history with this sort of shit. Gran ain’t about to let these priests off the hook. She does them like she did  Air Force. Only one problem—they got no guilt. No remorse, no sorry. They stonewall her. Gran figures she take this mess to Air Force. Now some Air Force Man, he get his back up too. Gran figures this all gonna get sorted now. And it might have. But neither Gran nor the Air Force Man count on how wrong these priests be or how fast they move. They like Stealth. By the time Gran sees them coming it’s too late. Another priest comes around and makes a big sorry play on Peter. He get him just enough out of reach for just long enough, so that by the time Gran and Lily find him, Peter swinging from his own belt around his neck. Then Gran don’t stop for nothing cuz her bones are screaming so loud she know she got no time to waste. She got to get Lily far out of their reach. She get her home skills and new city skills working hard together. In no time flat, she and Lily are out of Anchorage and out where Gran can hear and see everything and anything that might come after them from any direction. Gran keep it that way for a long time.”

*

*

Gran knows there are still a few other people like her and Lily, so she decides to make some hookups until she find a safe place to settle, cuz she know her time running out and she don’t want to leave Lily all on her own. They make their moves checking out folks and moving further up north as they go along the coast and in land. Finally they get to a little place where Gran and the people there know each other on sight. All seems good until Gran eyes a white man these folks call ‘Priest.’ He got no other name. Gran is not liking this at all. But she notice a strange thing: her bones are not yelling red alert. She stash Lily out of sight with folks she know are right, then Gran go to get a look at this Priest up close and personal. When they face to face, Gran’s bones start singing and dancing like they ain’t done in a long time. She know this man from another time. She know they been together somehow. Maybe they been bears together. Maybe they been wolves together. Maybe they been seals in the sea together. It don’t matter which. It just matter that it be true and he be a good man in this life no matter what they call him. Priest, his bones dancing and singing too. He know same things Gran know with just they looking at each other with no words.  Gran now knows this the place and people to settle with and do things right for Lily.

Turns out, Priest was one of those Jesuit types. He got a head full of hard-core mind skills and hell more. When Church sends him to Alaska, he do what they call ‘Going Native’ in no time flat. Church tells him to haul his ass back home. Priest tells Church to go burn in their own hell. Priest never going back there or anywhere, but where he damn well wants to go.

Priest and Gran make a plan to do what their bones tell them is right for Lily. Gran keep on teaching her all her home people skills. Priest goes to work on her head skills. He knows just what she needs to eat the oyster he say the world should be for everyone. Lily takes it all in like none other. She don’t fight either one of them cuz all this making her bones dance and sing too.

Meanwhile Priest, he start working on checking his reach. He got some years on him from another life before Church get hooks in him deep. He find out he got more pull than he thought. Time come when Priest and Gran know they got to get Lily on her own floe cuz neither got a lot of time left. Priest put a light sweet touch on people he know from time before Church. They come through. Next thing Lily knows, she knocking the shit out of every test they throw at her head skills. Priest’s people learn the score about Lily. Everybody put their heads and bones together until their bones sing about Falls. Only thing left is for Lily to get to Falls. Then a funny thing happen. Out of nowhere comes Air Force Man who got his back up about Peter. He thrilled to find Gran and Lily safe and sound cuz he worried a long time after Anchorage PD find Peter. But they never find Gran and Lily. Air Force Man scared same thing happen to Lily and Gran. Man pulls his own strings. Next thing Lily know, she learning the landscape in Falls and everywhere around and between the little college here and the big Uni in M- and way beyond.

Priest, his people, and Air Force Man worked up some money so Lily beholding to no one while she knocking the shit out of school. It don’t mean she rich, but it enough that it last as long and far as she care to stretch it.  Stretching it is how she hooked up living with us all in the Flats. She say when she meet Esther, Rosa and JJ, her bones sing and dance so much she don’t give a damn what people tell her about living in the Flats. She know that’s where she need to be cuz they all good people. They all heart strong women like Lily and her Gran.

The folks in the Flats got strong wind of Lily when some of the kids she was helping with their head skills let on to her what Father John was doing. This time she knew how to read what her bones were telling her. The way she went after Father John she may as well have had a tire iron in her hand and beat him with it. She got in so tight with Father Richard so fast that it made folks who in-the-know heads spin. She don’t hold it against him none that Church smacked him down when he tried to do the right things. Lily knows Church creed damn well. She also knows there more than one way to skin and gut a seal as she say. She gave folks in the Flats ideas about how to shut down St. Luke’s and Father John and send a message to the Church that tied Father Richard up in knots. Some parents liked her ideas and gave them legs to run with.

Now you know why no Neighborhood Watch snow crew go anywhere near St. Luke’s or Father John. They say if Church love Father John so much then they can keep him. We don’t want him. We are going to pick our own priest and our own Church from now on. Screw your parish boundary lines. Ever since they found Father Timothy, he be the only priest they deal with. Father Timothy be a damn good man. He make everyone’s bones sing and dance. He not perfect, but he always does the best he can. That’s all anyone can ask of another human being. Most important to parents, he love their children like children ought to be loved. He do all he can for them and everyone do all they can for Father Timothy. It took Lily going after Father John to get folks and Father Timothy hooked up right and tight. Now, Sarge, you still think this dark shit of yours more than Lily can deal?”

~~~

FYI:  Top Bomber B-52

**

~~

Breakfast Special, #28, Fair Trade Creed Reads, part 1, Les Mis:

https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/breakfast-special-28-fair-trade-creed-reads-pt-1-les-mis/

~~

Breakfast Special, #28, Fair Trade Creed Reads, part 2, Stealth:

https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/breakfast-special-28-fair-trade-creed-reads-pt-2-stealth/

~~

Breakfast Special #28,  Fair Trade Creed Reads, part 3,  Just Two Guys On a Roof:  https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/breakfast-special-28-fair-trade-creed-reads-pt-3-just-two-guys-on-a-roof/

~~~~~~~~~~

~~~music uploaded to YouTube by Niels Ovlla Dunfjell

Sámi artist Berit Margrethe Oskal singing/yoiking “Eamifámut” (English: “Ancient Forces”).

Music video by Niels Ovllá Dunfjell.

Lyrics (Sami):
Eamifámut, eaminiegut
Ealli jurdda, ealli doaivva
Eat mii vuollán,
eat mii goarrán

Lyrics (English):
Ancient forces, ancient dreams
Living thoughts, living hopes
We will not surrender,
we will not disappear

All rights reserved © & ℗ 2010 MÁTKI RECORDS
Order all her music her: http://www.beritoskal.com

Breakfast Special, #28, “Fair Trade Creed Reads,” pt. 1 ~ Les Mis

Fair Trade Creed Reads

Sarge stood with his back against the Ranoli’s living room wall watching the television special news report about the extended state of emergency declared for Falls and the surrounding areas. It was standing room only in the second floor apartment and the volume had been turned up high for those who were unable to see the images on the screen. The aerial videos of roofs that had collapsed under the weight of accumulated snow were the best recruitment tool for the roof clearing crews that they could have wanted. Esther had passed out volunteer sign-up sheets and a number of the younger men and teenagers, including several girls, who hadn’t put in any roof shovelling time were adding their names to the lists. The smell of cinnamon bread baking in the Ranoli’s little oven wafted through the air adding a touch of comfort contrasting sharply with the tensions created by the news report. The single piece of positive information was that, at the moment, no further winter snow storms appeared to be forthcoming in the next twenty-four hours.

The fact that there was a single main road open for traffic through Falls was little comfort to the Flats neighborhood which was too far away from it to benefit anyone, including the stranded parents of the children still in Rosa’s care. The phone had been in use nearly constantly with calls to and from parents still unable to reach their children. Rosa’s ability to maintain a positive, healthy atmosphere day after day for twenty-five children, Ricardo, and herself under the current conditions continued to amaze Sarge. It also strengthened his resolve to get not only the materials needed for the foundation support from Kozy, but to get Kozy himself to assess first hand what was needed for creating some solid long-term stability.

All in all, the dangers created by the weather included, Sarge was feeling pretty damn good. He’d already decided that nothing was going to get in his way of maintaining this positive state of affairs even after the physical environment of Falls returned to its usual state. Certain aspects of his life had finally taken a turn for the better.  For a long time he’d wanted a serious relationship with a woman, one that did not begin and end in bed and go nowhere in between. With Lily he saw that was a real possibility.  If he played his cards right, and if he was really lucky, she just might give him a solid chance. If she gave it to him, the last thing he wanted to do was to make her regret even thinking of giving it. Knowing full well that he’d never before dealt with a woman remotely like Lily, nor for that matter, Rosa, Esther, JJ and several others he’d recently met in the Flats, Sarge felt a need to find out as much as he could about her as soon as possible or he might miss some important signpost along the way and screw everything up via plain and simple ignorance.  If there’d been an instruction book for dealing with all things Lily, he’d have read and committed it to memory.

Hoping that his recent conversation with Anton regarding the job offer in M-  would get him some traction with the man, Sarge decided to see what serious information regarding Lily, he might be willing to share. Considering the unexpected wild card of Anton’s future employment at Irish Lace, Sarge knew it was just a matter of time before the other man would learn some things about him that he might not much care for and probably would not hesitate to share with Lily. Sarge knew he would do so if their roles were reversed. At the moment, Anton had no idea what intel was coming his way, unless his bones were already whispering about it. Sarge’s own intuition told him that might very well be the case. After all, very bad things often come in very big packages. As far as he could see, his only recourse was to gain as much insight regarding the woman’s mind in order to figure out how to best come  clean with her without having telling the truth blow up in his face. Women had sent him packing often enough for considerably less serious offences than being honest. Sarge O’Mara had set his sights on going with Lily where he’d never been before with any woman and he was painfully aware that he had no idea how to actually play this particular field and very little time in which to learn.  He knew he needed help and the Neighborhood Watch-Maker, Anton  DeWitt was the obvious choice among male sources for all things intel concerning the object of his steadily growing affections which were already in uncharted waters as far as Sarge’s realm of experience went. Still, he was willingly swimming into the deeper end of the emotional ocean without hesitation.

Once the cinnamon bread was cooling and everyone, except another elderly couple who’d stayed to visit, had cleared out of the Ranoli’s home, Sarge went downstairs to the first floor in search of Anton. Finding him would be the easy part. All that required was taking a few extra steps into the immaculately clean stark white kitchen where the man sat on a table chair, out of sight, but still well within hearing range of the people busy in the info hub and other  “sun rise” rooms; legs sprawled out, one hand on a yet to be opened book cover, his other rubbing the back of his neck, with an expression on his handsome features that was closed tighter then the lid on fifty-gallon drum of diesel gas. Getting the currently tightly wrapped Anton to read some Lily creed would require making a serious effort to get past whatever was putting a strain on his mind. Even in the comparatively short amount of time he’d spent in the Flats, Sarge was well aware of just how much time and energy Anton put into mediating all sorts of private and public disputes in the neighborhood.  He also knew better than to make inquiries regarding this apparently never-ending stream of mediations as they often entailed private issues and required confidentiality. He decided the first step was to get Anton’s mind off whatever seemed to be trying to give him an ulcer or two.

Noticing the thick paperback book under Anton’s hand, Sarge put it to use. “Hey Anton. What’s that you’re reading?”

“Take a load off, Big Man. Relax some after that nasty tv news.” Anton’s long fingers spun the book on the table towards Sarge. “This here is Les Miserables by Victor Hugo.”

“Reading that is not exactly giving yourself a break from the dark side of life.”

“You read this, Big Man?” When Sarge nodded as he sat down, Anton shook his head. “There’s some serious moral shit stirring in this ink, you read me?”

“Yes, there is, Anton. I do read you.” Sarge recognized the expression appear on Anton’s face which signified he was now processing this new piece of information and leaving behind what had been troubling him.  He decided to freely give Anton more to process. “Reading that book changed my perspective on the code my dad tried to beat into me. See, he doesn’t much appreciate most of my more, shall we say, antagonistic questions.  I knew early on that he and I were not living mentally on the same page, and, unless one of us changed drastically, we never would. After reading Les Mis, I knew I didn’t want anything more to do with my dad’s code and that I needed to follow my own; keeping in mind that there would be consequences all along the way.”

Anton considered this intel while his fingers slowly twirled the book on the table. “I get the feelin’ no love lost between you and your father, Big Man.”

“Indeed, there is not. You read right.” Sarge watched the book moving under Anton’s fingers while considering how far to take the sharing.  His goal urged him to open up further.  He looked away from the book cover and caught Anton’s black eyes watching him with a restrained cold hard intensity.  Sarge leaned back and rocked his chair on its back legs. “Love is not a word I would use in any context with the man. My old man, there is no polite way to say this, he is one evil, low down, manipulative bastard if there ever was one. In his mind, his ends always justify his means. I have yet to discover anything he will not do in order to get his way with people. I am not proud to be his son. As far as I’m concerned, he and my brain-dead brothers can go f’ themselves until doomsday comes and then some.”

“That’s damn cold heart talk, Big Man. Damn cold.” Anton’s fingers ceased spinning the book and rubbed the cover thoughtfully. “How all you say play with your mother? She still in the wearing his name game or she move on?”

Sarge looked up at the ceiling and shook his head and laughed.  “Oooo, Anton, I truly hate to say it. But I am having some serious doubts regarding my mother. Up until recently, I thought she and I were square. Thought she had my back like I had hers, especially when it came to my dad. But now, I am not sure about that and a whole lot of other things. Before this monster snow hit, I made a couple of plays to test a theory I do not like even having walking around in my own head. Whatever moves my mother makes after she gets what I put in the mail will tell me just about everything I need to know about some serious dark shit that’s been flowing my way for a very long time.”

It was not lost upon Anton’s sensibilities that this was the most amount of personal information, Sarge had divulged.  Although they’d talked at length about books, various issues in the Flats, “sun rise” and other subjects, until this point in time, Sarge had said very little about his personal circumstances, though he’d never dodged a direct question from anyone.  Despite the negative tone of both the man’s voice and his words, something of which he’d had an over-full plate of today from others, Anton decided to encourage him to keep talking   “Big Man you stirring my curiosity pot big time. Got to ask what you slip in the box slot that have so much pull. Even my bones are dying for this play you made.”

After shifting his chair so that his back was now to the kitchen entrance allowing him to look out the kitchen door’s window, Sarge wondered if he was doing the right thing by going down this particular conversation road considering his goal was to learn more about Lily rather than to discuss his family issues.  Unexpectedly he saw quite clearly how the two fit together and he said, “Anton, this sort of shit your bones may not want to know.  I don’t want to know it. But I have to deal with it before it messes up my head so bad that I blow any chance I might ever have with Lily.”

Anton  picked up Les Mis and gestured with it as he spoke. “Why you think this shit mess with what’s brewing between you and Lily? You think she too weak to deal with it? If so, you better take a step back so you see how strong she be, Big Man. You got no idea what ugly shit Lily deal with in her time.”

“I read you, Anton. I know Lily does things in her own way and in her own time.” He glanced over his shoulder toward the voices in the hallway.  “Ever since she let slip a little intel about her home and her brother, Peter, I have been racking up the questions. But I know better than to push her buttons by asking them. She might pay a visit to my head with her Old Reliable Jack Hammer if I do.” Sarge noticed a change come over Anton but had no sure idea what exactly had brought it about. “Anton, tell me how to read you, because right now I have no clue. Should I duck and run for cover?”

Anton made a point of listening to the voices from the hall and other rooms for a moment. He leaned towards, Sarge and whispered. “Lily dropped Peter on you?”

Sarge shook his head. “Just his name and that he would never grow up. I figure that means he’s dead. Am I right?”

Anton nodded. He sat up straight and thought about how Lily had been behaving since Sarge and the snow had appeared in the Flats. He tuned himself to his bones for a few moments while making no effort to conceal the hard looking over he was giving the man watching him warily in case he’d just pushed a seriously wrong button in his quest for information. Sarge wasn’t the first man to come to him trying to find his way in regard to his friend, but he was the first whose Anton’s intuition and logic both encouraged him to help understand the young woman.  “He dead alright. But there ain’t nothin right’ about it.” He stood up and took his parka from the hook on the wall next to the kitchen back door and waved his arm at Sarge. “Get your coat.”

Sarge wasted no time in retrieving his long wool coat from a hook in the hallway.  Still feeling over-warm from the time upstairs spent watching the news with two dozen other people, he was reluctant to put it on unless it was necessary to do so. “Where we headed, Anton? Basement or outside?”

“Put your damn funky coat on.”  Anton waited for Sarge to comply then tossed a flashlight to him and pointed at the door behind him.  “We goin’ up on the roof for what Esther call a serious heart to heart. This shit ain’t for most ears. Now get your ass movin’ up those stairs.”  Sarge made no argument about this choice of venue as he opened the door, flipped on the flashlight and lead the way up the chilly inside stairwell to the roof.

~~~

Breakfast Special, #28, Fair Trade Creed Reads, part 1, Les Mis:

https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/09/26/breakfast-special-28-fair-trade-creed-reads-pt-1-les-mis/

~~

Breakfast Special, #28, Fair Trade Creed Reads, part 2, Stealth:

https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/09/27/breakfast-special-28-fair-trade-creed-reads-pt-2-stealth/

~~

Breakfast Special #28,  Fair Trade Creed Reads, part 3, Two Guys On a Roof:  https://47whitebuffalo.wordpress.com/2013/09/28/breakfast-special-28-fair-trade-creed-reads-pt-3-just-two-guys-on-a-roof/

~~

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