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"Russel" (standard:Psychological fiction, 2944 words)
Author: StraybulletAdded: May 11 2007Views/Reads: 2098/1328Story vote: 0.00 (0 votes)
Visit your grandmother damn it!


by the Straybullet 


"So there we were lost in the middle of nowhere, we had already left
Salt Lake City by then, and Russell so wanted to watch the 
Nixon/Kennedy debates. He always has liked politics you know. What year 
was that anyway? Hmmm? Mark? Do you know Mark?" Mark looked up at the 
mention of his name. Lord knows how long the old broad had been 

"What's that?" He asked nervously scratching his nose with his free
hand. He hadn't heard her, never did and he didn't think it mattered 
much anyway. Not so much interested in conversation in the traditional 
sense, all that Alice wanted was someone to talk to. Every week the old 
lady needed someone to carry her groceries and to listen to her while 
Mark needed the money he got for being that somebody. An easy twenty 
and all he has to do is put himself on autopilot and walk. It beats 
standing out with a sign. 

"Mark, I was asking you if you knew what year Kennedy got elected, I was
talking about the Nixon/Kennedy debates, didn't you hear me Mark?" He 
looked at her as she turned to face him. Tired green eyes peered out 
from behind a mask of makeup; her frame broad shouldered and tall 
especially for an elderly lady and stacked on top of it all was a ball 
of pink colored hair like cotton candy. After he shook his head in a 
response that was more ambiguity than ignorance, they returned to the 
walk ahead and Alice picked up the story more or less where she left 

"Oh well I guess you're a little too young to remember. Anyways my
Russell, he used to be involved in all kinds of politics. Why, he even 
ran for the school board over in Hartford County..." The shakes were 
coming a little stronger now, Mark knew. An involuntary twitch ran 
through him. It had been two days since his last hit. He switched the 
paper brown grocery bag to his left arm and scratched at the back of 
his head. Alice, a few feet ahead of him was droning on about whatever 
it was she was droning on about. 

"Christ that lady can talk." He said to low to be heard. "I mean she
could have a fucking four hour conversation about dirt. I don't know 
how she went from a camping trip to Salt Lake City to Kennedy and now 
something about her twenty-fifth wedding anniversary with Russell. 
Always fuckin' Russell." 

The three-story brownstone apartment building that Alice called home lay
not too far away in a part of the city where the houses first start to 
have little, green lawns. Pepperwood Court is neither the best nor the 
worst neighborhood more of a neutral area for middle aged folks who 
never found their way, mild tempered young adults just starting to 
whittle out a living and the ones like Alice who would live there until 
the day they died. 

The first part of autumn had passed and the once fiery leaves that
brightened the neighborhood had fallen slowly and died an oily brown. 
They now filled black bags that now lined the streets waiting to be 
picked up and burned. Without leaves the trees, which had been planted 
at regular intervals in the sidewalk, now looked completely skeletal. 
Winter emptiness now permeated the city, the wind swept undaunted 
through the streets and alleyways. A chill had settled into the very 
bones of the world, haunting every doorway, soaking into every crack, a 
seasonal depression that Mark could certainly relate to. In the belly 
of January it's hard to believe that spring will ever come and these 
things, now dead, will once again be teeming with life. With these 
thoughts in tow, the two trudge along, Alice with her cotton candy head 
bobbing lead the way, ousting a constant stream of words and Mark a few 
paces behind, shaking, scratching and wondering about his next hit and 
how soon he could get it. 

"Russell was never one to fight, but this guy...he really had him mad.
Russell pounded his fist on the table and pointed his finger 'listen 
you SOB' really Mark I couldn't believe it." Mark rolled his eyes much 
as he did the first time he'd heard this story. Russell. Always fuckin' 

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