Another story from Eric Stringer, my strainge-fiction persona……

So this idiot kid looks right at me an’ says, “You gonna be my lawyer?” an’ he stresses the “you,” y’know, like he’s got all the attitude in the world an’ the moxie to carry it aroun’, you know what I mean?

So I mumbled, you know, an’ I said something like, “Yeah, well, I guess it’s my turn in the barrel,” you know, or somethin’ like that.

An’ the kid says, “What?” real sharp like. An’ he says, “I didn’t hear you, man.”

So I said, “Yeah,” you know, “My lucky day,” that sort’a thing.

An’ right away this kid looks at me an’ says, “Yeah? Well you gotta have some respec’ for me if you gonna represent me.”

I swear to god I thought I was gonna lose it right there. What a dweeb this kid is, right? Respec’? C’mon, this kid wouldn’t know respec’ if it crawled up his leg and drew a face on his pecker, am I right?

So I put my briefcase on the table an’ I open it real quick, you know, so I got somethin’ to hide behind so he can’t see me holdin’ back the laughter. Also I was tryin’ to keep  my hands busy so I wouldn’t smack this little smartass.

So I finally look at him over the top of my briefcase an’ I say, “Yeah, well, you know, why don’t you tell me the story an’ then we’ll see whether I think you’re worth respectin’? How would that be?”

An’ he just looks at me for a minute, an’ then he says, “Yeah, a’right, man.”

I waited but he didn’t say nothin’, so finally I said, “Okay, so tell me a’ready.”

So he says, “A’right, man. See, there’s this ol’ bitch waddling down the sidewalk, you dig? So I runs up to her an’ I says, ‘Gimme that fuckin’ purse!’ An’ I said it real hard an’ quick, you know, jus’ like that ‘cause, you know, you gotta scare ‘em a little bit. Otherwise, they don’t give you no respec’, right?”

I nodded, you know. An’ I said, “Yeah, yeah.” An’ I aks him, “Yeah, so then what happened?”

An’ he says, “That’s when the trouble started.” See? The trouble didn’t start with him tryin’ to rip her off. The trouble started when she jerked her arm away. He says, “So she jerks her arm up real tight to her side and kind’a clamps onto that purse. Tight, like a damn vise or somethin’.”

So I aks’d him did he grab her arm, an’ he says, “Hell yeah, I grabbed her damn arm!” Then he says she got no call to act like that ‘cause he just wanted some “damn money, you know?” It was all I could do not to slap him outta the chair.

So I took a breath, you know, an’ I aks’d him, “So is that when the police came?”

An’ get this. He grins an’ he says, “No, man. That was later.” Then he said if I stop interruptin’ him he’d tell me what happened,” with emphasis on “tell” you know, like he’s tryin’ an’ I’m just there to trip him up or somethin’.

So I just nodded or maybe I said, “Okay” or somethin’.

An’ he says, “I grabbed her damn arm an’ I kind’a pushed her toward the buildin’, man.” Little creep kept callin’ me “man,” you know, like we’re familiar with each other.

So he says, “I pushed her pretty hard an’ she stumbled an’ hit her head on the corner of a door entrance thing. You know, on the bricks.

“That loosened up a little bit then, so I pulled her back a little an’ smashed her against it again. Then she got real loose all over, so I thought it was all done, you know. An’ I grabbed her purse, but she was just foolin’. I mean, damn if she didn’t clamp down on it again! An’ this time she grabbed the strap with her other hand too. She was a strong ol’ bitch, man.”

Again with the “man.” The kid was gettin’ on my nerves. So I aks’d him, “So when did she hit the window a’ready?”


An’ he says, “I was gettin’ to that, man.” See? Again with the “man” thing. Anyway, he says, “When she grabbed the purse again she kind’a turned an’ pulled it away from me, man, an’ it burnt my fingers. Plus her nasty ol’ head bumped my cheek an’ she got blood on my cheek and my chin and my shirt. That’s when I got mad.”

Are you kiddin’ me? That’s when he got mad? So I’m thinkin’, what was he before, glad to see her?

Well, he says he grabbed her head with both hands an’ slammed her against the corner again. I guess the two times a’ready wasn’t enough.

An’ he says, “Then that’s when I pulled her back an’ throwed her against the window. I meant to hit that middle piece, you know, ‘cause it’s made out of steel or somethin’, but I missed. An’ that’s when she went through the window.”

An’ get this. He says to me, he says, “Hey, I never meant to break out ol’ Beakman’s window neither. He always been good to me. Now he’d be all pissed off at me, too, if he hadn’ died. But I had to cut him, shit. He should’a minded his own damn business.”

Good kid, this guy, eh? So I told him to go on, an’ he says, “It wasn’t my fault, what happened. When I throwed her she kind’a turned and went through head first. She kind’a bent over the bottom of the window. Then I grabbed the purse off of her. That’s when she screamed an’ I kicked her.”

He kicked her, this kid. So I said, “You kicked her? You sure?”

An’ he says, “Yeah, I kicked her! An’ I told her to shut the fuck up, too! It was all confusin’.”

Ah, see. He was confused. That was the problem with this kid. He was just confused. So I aks’d him, “You were confused?”

An’ he says, “Yeah, ‘cause when she screamed the first time, ol’ Beakman came runnin’ out. He yelled at me an’ I stuck him hard in the chest. Then I kicked the old woman dead in her ass. Then I looked back for Ol’ Beakman, but he was on the ground holdin’ hisself so that was okay.

“But I kicked her ‘cause I was tryin’ to push her on through the window, but she was kind’a stuck at her waist. That’s prob’ly what killed her was gettin’ stuck in the belly like that with that glass. She shouldn’a gone on through that window. When I kicked her she screamed again an’ jerked real hard, then kind’a wiggled for a minute.”

So I said, “Wait, wait a minute,” you know, an’ I was wavin’ my hands side to side just like this, an’ I said, “I thought you said you pushed her into the window.”

An’ he says, “Well, yeah, I sort’a pushed her, but it was her own fault. She should’a give me that damn purse. She done fucked up my life just ‘cause she would’n give me that damn purse. She made me fuck up Ol’ Beakman, too.”

An’ that’s when I finally understood, you know, none of it was his fault. So I said, “Hey, maybe she was just reacting. You said you wanted to scare her. Maybe she was just scared.”

So he says, “Whose fuckin’ lawyer are you anyway?”

You hearin’ this? Kid still thought I was his lawyer.

An’ before I could say anything to him, he says, “Quit makin’ excuses for that ol’ bitch. ‘Sides, you know how it is, man. Them damn old people just ain’t got no respec’.”

An’ you know, I was thinkin’ “Yeah,” you know, “that’s the problem. Old people got no respec’ for two-bit morons in a fifty-cent exchange.”

An’ he just kept goin’. He says, “Anyway, that’s when the cops came, right after she screamed the second time. An’ they was rough on me, man.”

An’ I was thinkin’, “Yeah, they weren’t as rough on you as the should’a been.”

He wasn’t payin’ no attention to what I was doin’. He just kept rattlin’. He says, “They pushed me up against that wall an’ they was yellin’ at me an’ shit. I kept aksin’ ‘em did they see me do anything, but they just told me to shut up an’ then they put them handcuffs on me.

“They jerked my arms real hard, too. An’ this one cop kept on sayin’ ‘Look at all this blood,’ an’ this other one kept sayin’ I killed that old bitch an’ ol’ man Beakman, an’ how I was goin’ to jail.

“Them damn cops, man, they didn’ show me no respec’ at all. It ain’t fair, them tellin’ me I got rights an’ then treatin’ me all rough like that for nothin’. I mean ‘specially since none of ‘em seen me do nothin’. None of ‘em seen me do shit. They just rousted me ‘cause I was there, man.”

So anyway, you know, just to be on the safe side, I aks’d him, “But you did do it, right?” An’ I pulled my gat outta my briefcase, you know, an’ I already got the silencer screwed on it, right? An’ I’m pointin’ it at him.

An’ I swear to God, he frowned, an’ then he says, “Yeah, but you can’t tell nobody else that, you bein’ my lawyer. If that ol’ bag would’a give me that purse everything would be cool, right? It’s damn rough out there when nobody gives you no respec’.”

Old bag? Now I aks you, is that any way for a punk to be talkin’ about a guy’s mother on Mother’s Day? ‘Specially after he just killed her? I don’t think so.

So anyway, you know, I just grinned at the guy an’ said, “Hey, when you’re right, you’re right.”

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