Us in the Barnstomer in the Magic Kingdom. May 30, 2017. A ride Christopher shut down years ago.
June 9, 2017
The abandoned house sits on a decaying street that has seen better days before it became riddled with crime. Kids no longer ride their bikes up and down the street because it is too dangerous to play. People don’t go out and greet their neighbors because they are too scarce and few in-between. The block isn’t slowly dying. It’s been dead and ignored for years.
Inside the partially boarded up house there is a woman. She lies on the floor of a roach infested domicile while she recovers from her last hit of heroin. She used to be someone’s loved one but now is part of the forgotten few who roam the streets like zombies. You don’t need a brain disease to be amongst the walking dead. You just need a quality syringe and liquid food to feed your drug addicted appetite.
Two men wade through the tall grass and over grown weeds. They walk up the 3 concrete steps and squeeze through the partially broken front door in order to get to the female.
“Get up bitch,” A man says.
She doesn’t move. Her drug-riddled body is down for the count. Her brain isn’t functioning properly. She’d rather sleep and dream of candy lands and fantasy then face where she now spends her time.
“He said get up bitch,” the other man said.
He leaned over and lightly slaps her face. She groans and moves a little and turns her head. He slaps the other side.
“This bitch?” He says astonished.
His partner walks out the back door. He grabs an old water bottle with holes in it that was once used to smoke drugs from. He plunges the bottle into the murky, green water that is filled with algae, tadpoles and mosquito larva. The pool has long been forgotten. It was once a homeowner’s oasis. He hurriedly walks back inside the house before the water drains out and douses it on her face.
“We said get up, bitch.”
She sat up from her slumber.
She is too weak to wipe the water off her face. Her purple tank top is filthy. Her body is dirty. Her hair is unmanageable. Tattoo’s of her past are forever scarred on her body. The splash of water is the only bath she has had in weeks.
“We goin’ to make you some money. Come with us. We got food for you.”
She follows them out to a waiting car that is parked in an old fire zone. These guys don’t fear the police because they know the cops no longer work this area. The neighbors peek out their tightly covered windows. A cover that shields them from what lurks in the streets. They don’t dare get involved. They simply cover the windows more tightly and go back to their television sets. The TV is this generation of relief from their own reality. It’s like that old pool at the abandoned house. The television is an oasis for those people who live in this part of the ghetto. The TV allows them to forget about life for a while.
All 3 get in the car. He demands that she sit in the driver’s seat of this rented vehicle with a stolen license plate.
“Eat this,” he said. Handing her an Egg McMuffin.
“We got this check. It’s for $2,997.00. All you gotta do is go to the bank and try and cash it. If they do then you keep $300.00.”
The girl eats her sandwich. Her face is partially covered by the sandwich packaging. Her one unobstructed eye is staring at the check scanning every inch of it. She won’t ask questions. The deal is to good for her to pass up. She puts her sandwich down and flips the sun visor to access the mirror. She reaches in her pocket and pulls out an old handkerchief. She dabs the handkerchief on the condensation from a 40 ounce beer bottle that is in the cup holder. She begins to dab her eyes to wipe away the 10-day-old mascara.
She starts the car and drives.
“Go up here to this bank,” said one of the men pointing out a bank. “Park at that store but not up front. Away from the cameras.”
She parked about a block away. The men get out of the car. Before they go they remove a stolen identification out his pocket.
“Told you it looks just like her,” he said grinning.
“Bitch, if this works out we got more where this comes from.”
She takes the identification from his hand and stares at it. She looks at the girl in the picture. The girl in the photo is 15 years older then her but due to her drug use, sadly, no one could tell the difference. The person in the driver’s license photo has pretty hair and facial features. For a moment the woman imagines the life of this lady in the identification. The great things she is doing right now. The fun her life must be. The 2 men are talking to her but she zones out. She is fixated on a life that she has never known but will pretend to have for at least 2 minutes in order to score $300.00.
“We will be here watching you. Our Boy is in a car some place else with eyes on the bank. If you run with that cash I’ll kill you. If a thought of leaving with my money, I’ll blow your brains out. Point blank, dead.” He pressed two fingers against her head mimicking a gun and slightly pushes her head to left.
The push to her head wakes her out of her trance. She peers over the driver’s license and nods her head in agreement.
“Now drive your ass to the bank and get that money. I don’t care if you go inside or drive up. Just get that shit.”
“Welcome to Banking American Style. How can I help you”? The bank teller happily states.
The woman smiles at her without saying a word to the bank teller. The girl’s teeth are yellowed. Her lips chapped and peeling from sun damage due to her long walks in the sun. Her skin is rough.
She decided to use the drive up window closest to the teller. She hopes that the teller will assume that since she parked so close she had nothing to hide. She presents the fraudulent check, stolen identification and places it in the metal drawer. The drawer closes.
She sat staring forward. He black sunglasses masking the fear in her eyes. The woman scans the parking lot and store to see if the men were still watching her. The thought of the police hasn’t crossed her mind. She sits and she waits.
The teller looks at the identification and enters the name in the computer data base. The computer sends back a message: FRAUD. Now the teller knows that the woman in the car is trying to use a stolen identification to cash a check. The girl in the identifications name has been used in 3 other banks. The bank is on to the scheme.
“Ma’am,” the teller says.
Her head never leaves the headrest. She simply turns her head to the left.
“This is a lot of money. I just need to get approval from my supervisor. Just wait a moment.”
The woman turns her head and looks forward. The bank teller calls the police and tells the dispatcher what she has. The police dispatcher understands how dangerous check frauds are. Check frauds almost certainly leads to a fight or a foot chase but calmly she dispatches the information to the police in the area.
An officer gets there and walks up on foot. Another officer arrives and she waits on the south side of the building. The 3rd officer gets there and he sits in his parked car beyond the drive through.
The woman begins to get nervous. Too much time is passing. How long does it take to cash a check? She wonders.
The woman looks over at the bank teller. She lifts her arm and points to her wrist implying she can no longer wait. She has to go. The bank teller reassures her the check will be cashed. The woman begins to look around her surroundings. She is looking for cops. She looks to see if the men who made her do this are coming to get her. Her heart pounds and the adrenaline begin to take over. The cars around her seem to get larger and the running motors begin to get louder. The paranoia begins. She thinks everyone is staring at her.
“CHECK FRAUD, CHECK FRUAD,” she imagines the people mouthing to her from behind their rolled up car windows.
She no longer can wait. She knows the cops will be there. She is going to run. She wants to escape.
“Put the fucking car in park and don’t move!” A surly cop says to her. A gun directly in her face extended out by the cop. She follows the barrel of the gun up to the wrist of the cop, up the officer’s arms, crosses his shoulders and looks directly in his eyes. She knows he means business.
Should she run away? Fight him? What should she do?! Her whole life is down to this moment. One poor decision after another, will she willingly give up? Will the 2 men kill her who put her up to this?
We will never know. Those 2 men fled at the first sight of a police car pulling into the bank. Those guys are long gone.
On the training grounds. A place where I excel as a trainer. May 8, 2017.
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