THE CHASE

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Humor  |  House: Booksie Classic

So this is what happens right after Joey throws the errant rock at the Finnegan's Gang boys - and it instead shatters the Cumberland Farms window...Fat Jim runs out, gets Joey in a bearhug - and bizarrely enough - a cop car shows up right then!

So this is what happens right after my misguided rock hurl misses the Finnegan Gang guys and shatters the Cumberland Farms window! Fat Jim comes running out, gets me in a bear hug, and bizarrely enough - a cop car appears RIGHT then!

 

I didn’t have to be a soothsayer to predict what’s going to happen next.  I give Fat Jim a mighty kick in the shin with the back of my foot, escaping from his grip. Scramble toward the back of Cumberland Farms, hurdling the chain link fence which separates it from Quigley’s Auto Repair. Deftly, I avoid the snarling fangs of Buck, the Vietnam trained-to-kill German Shepard, who is fortunately on a short chain.

The scream of the siren, and the screech of rubber on pavement ensue - the chase is on! Running through backyards, I hop the half-finished Berlin Wall-like fence being constructed by the Goulashes, the family of Slovakian refugees whose kids all resemble sparrows, for some reason. The cop’s got his lights on, in dogged pursuit. I try to clear the Maloney’s barbed-wire barrier but miss, opening up a jagged gash on my left thigh. Stumbling over the various bows and arrows, spears and targets scattered all over their backyard, I finally smack into a cannon from, like, The Civil War. Blood spurts like champagne as I collapse to the cold dirt. The cop car skids into the driveway, shining the spotlight in my face, as I try to cover up with my sweatshirt.

“Halt!” he commands from his bullhorn.

Halt?! I mean, c’mon, who am I? The freakin’Fugitive?

Now though, the energy buzz really kicks in, and I know there’s no way this cop’s gonna get me.  Nobody in Roselle is more of an expert on the backyards and passageways around here, garnered from years of experience playing Star Trek with my cousins. I surge through a series of backyards - the MacGregor’s, the Parrishes, the Lusciouse’s. Juking and faking out the howling neighborhood dogs, like Mercury Morris in the open field. Front porch lights flick on; people come out to see what all the commotion is about.  The copper is still on my trail though, screeching and turning with what he probably thinks are clever maneuvers. It’s lovely chaos.  But now it’s the end of the backyards. I’m in the last one before the street. Columbo thinks he’s got me - boxed up in that yard.  Ha! What he doesn’t know is that I have an ace that he’s not even aware of – the forgotten passageway! A narrow, jagged strip that I think used to serve as some sort of drainage pipeline a long time ago. It’s back the other way, towards the Gumper’s backyard. It not only runs adjacent to all the backyards on both sides of the street, but it runs under the street also - leading to Amsterdam Avenue - and the parking lot of the Willowbrook Apartments. I don’t think even my cousins knew about it! That’s how I would always evade them in the Star Trek games, leaving them completely baffled. Overgrown with thick weeds, prickly bushes, and thorns, I belly crawl through the gauntlet of glass and rusted tin from decades of broken beer bottles and cans. It’s tearing up my clothes and arms. After about ten minutes of high intensity squirming, I emerge in the parking lot of the apartments. I hear the siren a couple of blocks away and smile. Burned that copper! I sit and rest in the shadows of the complex for a minute, very self-satisfied, counting my wounds. At the same time, as I’m reflecting on my victory, a pang of sadness arises.  Esperanza.  I never did get to call her tonight. Damnit! The thrill of my conquest turns bittersweet as I half-limp, half-walk down the alley, to the other side of the buildings.  Out of one of the windows, Peaceful EasyFeeling, by the Eagles, sweetly serenades me.  I stand there for a while, leaning against the side of the wall, taking it all in.

And I want to sleep with you in the desert tonight

With a million stars all around

Cause I got a peaceful, easy feeling

And I know you won’t let me down,

Cause I’m already standing on the ground…”

 


Submitted: November 09, 2021

© Copyright 2021 Joe Montaperto. All rights reserved.

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