|Epilogophila: The Prince of Fat City
Author: owlcroft PM
A little talk about the help some young men need and where they find it.Rated: Fiction T - English - Words: 531 - Reviews: 6 - Favs: 1 - Follows: 1 - Published: 12-30-08 - Status: Complete - id: 4754117
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
A/N: First published in the final STAR for Brian zine.
Epilogophilia: The Prince of Fat City
Judge Hardcastle takes on the supervision of Harold "Death Ray" Thomas, a former gang leader now being paroled. Harold's old gang attempts to kidnap him from Gull's Way to regain possession of incriminating tapes they've been using to blackmail a psychiatrist and his patients. Harold helps the judge and McCormick trap a murderer, the gang is rounded up, and Harold turns over a new leaf.
Epilogue -- Owlcroft
"So, you think Harold's gonna be all right?" McCormick held up the distributor cap and squinted at it dubiously. "Gonna tread the straight and narrow from now on?"
"Yeah, why not? He's a smart kid. He knows the score now." The judge leaned over to get a closer look at the distributor himself. "You need to replace that?"
McCormick shook his head. "Nah, just needs to be cleaned. So you think Harold's one of those kids you always talk about? Somebody who just needs 'straightening out'?"
"Sure. Don't you?" Hardcastle passed over a clean rag. "I thought you two were getting along okay after the brawl under the basket." He lifted an eyebrow and smiled a bit at the memory of the two exhausted combatants after the epic hoops battle.
"Yeah, yeah. We're fine. He's a good kid . . . for somebody named 'Death Ray'. I was just thinking, there are probably lots of kids out there. Kids who need a hand up, or maybe just somebody to talk to." Mark blew softly on the distributor and wiped it again. "I know I did. Guess I was just one of the lucky ones."
The judge wrinkled his nose and cocked his head. "Ah, think nothing of it, kiddo," he said in a modest tone.
"Not you!" sputtered an outraged McCormick. "Flip!"
"Oh," said Hardcastle, visibly taken aback. "Flip, sure." He shrugged. "I know he meant a lot to you." He wandered off to the side of the garage.
After a few minutes of uncomfortable silence, Mark muttered, "Well, okay, maybe you think you're giving me a break, here. Maybe you are. Maybe." He stared down at the distributor and turned it slowly in his hand. "But I was thinking about all those other kids. Even some of Harold's old gang. A few of them are going to juvie, but the rest . . . those guys have already started on the long downhill slide."
The judge nodded thoughtfully. "Yeah, I know. Oh, maybe some of them will get some help and make a new start. It happens, sometimes."
"Not often enough," said McCormick quietly.
"Maybe. But we're doing all we can, ya know." Hardcastle strolled back over to McCormick's side of the garage.
Mark sighed. "Yeah, I know. But we're gonna keep an eye on Harold, right?"
The judge reached down and took the distributor cap from McCormick, held it up and eyed it closely. "'Course we are. You trying to convince me you're worried about him?"
"Hell, no." McCormick held out a hand for the distributor cap. "I just want to get my jacket back!"