Wolves Hollow? That’s an odd name for a street. Is a hollow like some kind of name for a road, something fancy, Blues thought. Vito had found this AirBnB in one of the classy inner ring burbs. Drumming the solo to Rush’s Tom Sawyer on his steering wheel, Blues sat in his rusty 1999 Chevy Caviler waiting for FedEx. He looked at the nice stone house. There were two stories with big windows and shutters. There was a wraparound porch and the attic had those little Amityville Horror windows that always made Blues think those kind of houses were smiling to him. Blues surveyed the street with its daffodils and irises wishing he could walk up it, get a pricy coffee from the cafe in the town square and walk back to drink his coffee on his own sunny porch. In his mind, Blues was nodding his head to his neighbors walking along the street. A FedEx truck was up the block.
Crap, Blues sprinted to the stone house and walked onto the porch. Purple sweet smelling flowers were in a flower boxes. Blues tried to think of their name as he lit a cigarette and acted calm. The FedEx truck pulled up in front of the stone house. The delivery man, a hot chick actually, climbed the porch stairs.
Blues gave the hot delivery chick an appreciative look over and took the package. She gave Blues a thank you without making eye contact and was punching in info and climbing back to her truck in a fluid movement. Blues took two more puffs until the truck turned the corner. Overly casual, Blues sauntered over to his Chevy and pulled away from the curb. He flicked his cigarette out onto the pretty tree-lined street.
Blues was a delivery man, too. He picked up packages at ArBnBs and hotels. Seven or eight drops a week is easy money. He drove them home and took his cut and then delivered them to his boss Vito at Vito’s club or one of his girls’ places. Vito took his larger cut and sent the rest of the cash over seas. Blues didn’t know if it was an electronic transfer, or if Vito used foreign currency or cryptocurrency. Blue knew the money went to India or Indonesia or some place on the other side of the world. It wasn’t his business to know. Blues did know where the money came from but he didn’t like to think of the grannies and old dudes tricked and bullied out of their life savings. Thinking of his one hundred dollar cut per box, he pulled into his complex’s parking lot and spat nicotine on the tarmac. Blues popped gum in his mouth and sprayed the Axe body spray that he kept in his glove compartment on his hoodie.
Holding the package under his arm, Blue entered his home, his grandmother’s row house. He beelined for the basement, since Grandma had trouble with stairs it was the only room she didn’t visit.
“You too grown to speak,” Grandma said.
Blues rolled his eyes. “Good Morning.” He turned the basement door knob. She huffed. Blue ran over and gave her a quick peck on the cheek.
“Your plate is in the oven. And you better quit smoking or get better cologne.”
Grandma pushed his forehead away from her. Blue took his package downstairs and then ran up for his breakfast, grits and eggs with bacon extra crispy like he liked it.
In the basement properly stuffed Blues carefully opened the package. His camera was filming because Vito didn’t trust anybody. Blues didn’t think of the scammed or the scammers. Blues thought about the new kicks waiting in cart. He was just the delivery man.
The moment he saw what the chest contained he wished he had never opened it. But it was too late now. Some times it was an envelop filled with cash, or a book with hundred dollar bills in the pages, or a foil-wrapped package. Once it was a bible with a note in a spidery hand asking for forgiveness. Sometimes the old people thought they were returning money given to them by mistake and they were rushing to return losing their life savings doing the right thing for the wrong people. Blues was the wrong people.
Today the package contained a small square metal chest. When he lifted the lid the sides flopped open revealing a camera and a GPS and a tag that read: Property of the Pennsylvania Bureau of Investigations. Grabbing the tracker, Blues ran up the stairs, ran out of the townhouse, ran from his Grandma’s startled questions, ran to not see the look in her eyes when he gets taken away again.
Wow! I was on pins and needles until I read the ending. I love it!
Me too! I was surprisingly sad for Blues. Thank you for being a loyal reader.