Cemetery Street (Chapter 3, page 1 of 12)

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Chapter 3

Shannie led me to a secret place. We slipped through Fernwood and under shade trees that dotted the ridgeline. To our left, traffic raced along the Expressway. We followed the ridge until we came upon a huge maple tree, its base so thick that each of its four limbs could have been a separate tree. Leading the way, Shannie climbed atop the base. I stopped myself from reaching up and boosting her butt. Instead I eyed it. I forever compare other's to hers. "Take a look down there. That's where we're headed."

"A junkyard?" Behind a hedgerow were piles of old refrigerators and stoves, washers and dryers. Beyond was an auto graveyard. Shannie called the place gi-normus. "It's more than a junkyard - it's a treasure chest. You never know what you might find. And we, my friend, have the keys - sort of." Mischief fell over Shannie's face. "Count and I can get in and out whenever we want. No one else knows."

"Let's go."

"Hold your horses. We're meeting Count. He kind of has tickets," Shannie said.

"Tickets" Why do you need tickets? I thought you get in whenever you felt like it."

"We can. But, it takes a bribe." Shannie curled her brow. "I'd hate to see the dog have you for lunch. It knows me and Count. You're new blood."

"Bribe him? With what? A can of ALPO?" I asked.

"We're not. You are Just James." Shannie patted my back.

I leaned against a limb. "With what?"

"A steak. Count's getting one at Friedman's market."

Oh shit, I thought. "What kind of dog?"

"A big, mean one," Shannie teased.


"A word to the wise, don't come here alone. He know us. You have to grow on him. Kind of like a fungus."

"What kind of dog?" I repeated.

"Rottweiler "

"Shit," I mumbled studying the heaps of junk.

"A big mean one. A big mean hungry one," Shannie continued. "A big mean hungry one with a taste for flesh."

"Fucking Friedman's," Count rumbled as he approached. "I had to dumpster dive to get a decent piece. You'd think with the business we give them they would save us decent scraps. Damn Jews."

"They're German" Shannie said.

"Jews, Krauts." Count waved his hand. "They're all the same."

"You're such a redneck," Shannie said.

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