Brewer and Leonora

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Flash Fiction  |  House: Booksie Classic
Please read my short story, Brewer and Leonora.

Submitted: January 06, 2014

A A A | A A A

Submitted: January 06, 2014



Leonora was full and voluptuous with tree trunk pelvis and legs. She liked to read. Evidence of this was, she wore spectacles, apparently from straining her eyes on lots and lots of words.

“That Brewer,” she said – next to her on the little wooden table was a big, thick book – “is a scoundrel. One day he felt up a teen girl's stockinged legs on the bus and got caught, the cops incarcerated him and, then, at court he got off on mental health reasons.”

I looked at that book and then looked at her thighs. She looked down at her legs wrapped in a skirt as if checking to see what I saw. She brushed her skirt with her palms.

“I cannot see why mental health reasons are even an acceptable subject of business at a courtroom. That Brewer is a scoundrel.”

I said, to Leonora, “but, what if the person was so crazy he committed the crime within his psychosis? Arr well, I don’t mind old Brewer, even if he is eccentric. Actually, I plan to visit him tomorrow because he is dying to show me some figures on his giant and ancient computer.”

“Stay away from that Brewer,” Leonora repeated. “His apparently involved in a credit card skimming scam – not with a social niche of a crime gang, ar, no, not for him. His that solitary, eccentric type, working in solitude – yes, his in a credit card skimming operation. I can hear his crazed laughter – his window is just below the window of my bedroom, he lives in the flat below me – at all hours of night and in the smallest hours of the morning – they say it’s always darkest before dawn – laughing, laughing terrible fits of crazed laughter, probably laughing cruelly, at his victims, the ones whose credit cards he has skimmed,” Leonora said.

I had heard the laughter, too. But I knew Brewer. I did not think he was a credit card skimmer. I am perceptive I think, perceptive? Aren’t I? I would be able to tell if Brewer was clandestinely running a secret criminal business.

** ***

The next day I woke up. I walked over to Brewer’s. Brewer opened the door. We exchanged good mornings and got strait down to business.

“I’ve proved ‘The Theory of Spheres’,” Brewer said, as we walked over to his computer. “Come and look at these numerological figures on the screen.”

The computer was ancient. The actual box was one meter by one meter, in measurements, and it took two men to carry the actual box, and the computer ran on old fashioned, ancient, obsolete ticker tape; it was a ticker tape computer, which used little holes in thin strips of ticker tape to do its computing.

“I’ve proved ‘The Theory of Spheres.’” Jumping up and down.

Brewer was a short, hunched over sort of individual, eccentric and solitary. The curtains in his unit were never opened. Dust settled on everything; books no one had ever read, in the history of time, littered this dusty house, collecting dust themselves and, nautical journals. There was an old nautical steering wheel. Brewer had a cough, spluttered at intervals of thirty seconds. I assumed because of the oppressive dark and dust.

The ticker tape mechanism made the sound of an old printer. From the computer box a thump was heard occasionally, some mysterious inner workings of the computer.

Brewer roughly scuffed his scalp, dust came flying out, coughed his small frame. He had quick movements, blonde hair.

“I’ve proved ‘The Theory of Spheres.’” He was raising his eyebrows, as if aroused.

A bare bulb provided hardly any light; must have been a forty watt bulb. There was scarce light, oppressive dust.

I scanned the supposed proof of ‘The Theory of Spheres’; scanned those numerological figures. I studied them, and studied them, trying to see proof in them. Would there be proof of ‘The Theory of Spheres’?

I studied and studied.

And, indeed, Brewer had proved the theory of spheres. I could not believe he had actually done it. It was complex mathematics required to prove this theory; ‘The Theory of Spheres’.

** ***

There was a room in Brewer’s unit, which, as far as I was concerned, was uncharted unexplored territory and had the makings of the room, in which, all this credit card skimming, Leonora talked about, took place.

“Let me, dear sir, please be excused… to use the, um, restroom… dear sir,” Brewer said, like a child reading in class, a hard passage of text. What a clown he was. He spoke like Victorian people.

This was my chance to explore the room. I sneaked in through rainbow beads. They made a noise.

“I heard that you scum.”

Brewer rushed out of the toilet in a storm, still pissing, tripping over his pants, penis hanging out. “Don’t go into my secret room.”

Brewer, pissing all over the carpet, and over my leg, ejected me from his house.

“Fuck you, Neville,” he yelled.

** ***

Leonora was over at my unit visiting me. She has expensive glasses with gold frames. She was an archaeologist by trade. When you thought of Leonora, you thought of waves of curly black hair on cheek, only, there beauty, accentuated by cute nerdy gold framed spectacle.

Leonora was on the couch. I was on EBay on my laptop.

“Brewer is a scoundrel,” Leonora said. “If he is credit card skimming, he won’t get away this time on mental health grounds.” She folded her glasses together and rested them on her denim black jeans, shook her black curls.

“He is a petty criminal. But credit card skimming is in a different league. I say with warning, Brewer will go to jail if he gets busted.”

I put a skull and crossbones ring on my watch-list. I was still on E-bay.

“Maybe this Brewer credit card skimming scam is non-existent –“

“No,” Leonora interrupted, “everyone in the whole housing development thinks his skimming credit cards –“

“- that’s all hearsay,” I said.

“Regardless, Brewer is a bad character,” Leonora said, heatedly, “one day this Brewer will get his deserts, one day he’ll be exposed as the unsavoury criminal he is. How can he get off on mental health grounds… is there no justice. He has proven his a serious criminal – his a scoundrel, a little man, a low life, he should, like all people who are unfit to live among us, in society, be within some walls that allow him never to walk the fair and pretty streets and celebrate milestones among free citizens.”

“Ha, ha, Leonora, aren’t you getting ahead of yourself… listen, hear me out… one, you have no proof, two, and this is where I am going to contradict your premise, I am a little left-wing you see, what you say sounds fascist.” I listlessly clicked through E-bay. “You see, there is a reason why they put mentally-ill criminals in a different category. It is unfair to discriminate against a person because they have an illness.” E-bay had a set of owls on a branch ornament for $24.99 – watch list!

“The justice system is an evolutionary thing. It involved this way, so it could be fair. It is unfair to put a low-level offender in prison.”

“A low level offender, hog wash, do you call credit card skimming,” and Leonora through up her hands, “a low level offence.” But she quivered and winced, in what seemed to be an involuntary way: a pang of quickly changing conscience.

“You’ve changed my mind,” Leonora said. “I think they should be nicer in court, too.” Then an image of the object of her anger must have passed through her mind. She was red.

“But I still recon Brewer’s a hound, stealing people’s credit card details, all so he can fund this hair-brained ‘Theory of Spheres’ research.” Then just as quickly:

“But maybe he shouldn’t go to gaol if he gets caught. Maybe he deserves leniency. He is trying, you know, he is very enveloped in this ‘Theory of Spheres,’ that would, if it would be proven, make the world a better place. Anyway, Neville, I’m off, it is idle chatter this, pure waste of energy and time, see you soon, Neville.”

I noticed 20 friendship bracelets on E-bay for twenty bucks. “I won’t see you out, Leonora, too engrossed in this e-bay… you know.”

** ***

Leonora had left.

“What’s this,” I muttered to myself. “A stuffed black cat for only twenty bucks!”  I thought for a second. The highest bid was fifteen dollars. I didn’t want to risk losing this stuffed black cat, with a starkly contrasting red tongue, sticking out. “Buy now, Buy now,” I stammered furiously clicking.

By and by, I got to the page, where it said, “Please enter you sixteen digit credit card number.” I reached into my pocket for my credit card. Fumble, fumble! Panic, panic! The credit debit card wasn’t there.

** ***

Leonora was back, after a quick phone call, explaining the disappearance of my credit debit card. It was late afternoon.

“Call the cops,” Leonora said.

I am not sure Brewer took the credit card yet,” I resignedly said.

“I am certain of it. Call the cops,” Leonora said.

I called the cops. They said they would be over in twenty minutes. The idea of bringing down a credit card skimming scam really peaked the cop’s interest; busts like that didn’t come along every day.

This is what went to pass on the phone call to the cops:

“There is a rumour going around our group of flats, that, Brewer, a shady, solitary, troublesome, character, is involved in a voracious nariforious scheme, credit card skimming. And, now, my credit debit card, after a visit he paid, has gone missing,” I complained to Ray, the cop.

“This sounds very serious,” Ray said, “credit card skimming, you might say, is a victimless crime, but let me tell you, credit card skimming is the lowest of acts, and it leaves victims, a trail of victims.” Ray was a poet, a man of art, and streams of poetic monolog; a man of inspiration, pretty prose presenting itself in his gift of the gab.

“Credit card skimming,” he said, “is a betrayal to the stars - on a lonesome, tree silhouetted, branches towering, like arms of great druids - lonely night.” What poetic words! What strangeness, a cop speaking so beautifully! I didn’t expect to ever find that a cop could speak so adeptly.

“Brewer,” I said, worried that I’d got Brewer in trouble, worried that they would not see Brewer as a gentle inherently good being, “is a decent bloke.” And then:

“He just gets a bit carried away.”

And it was true, Brewer was a crazed scientist, not a criminal. I felt sorry for him, choking on the one inch layer of dust, which coated every surface, of his unit.

“Don’t go hard on him.”

“That is not in my hands. That is in the power of the justice system. I act with impartiality.” And then, he added, “Oh, these hands, the impartial hands, oh, the law. It is a solemn gift to practice partiality palming power in its lined palms.”

I was worried for Brewer. That short, hunched over, greyed by dust fellow. And this poet cop was a bigot, a poet bigot.

** ***

Ray and Ted wore utility belts with weapons. Tasers, capsicum spray, police radios, torches, a utility multi-purpose knife and a gun.

“To Brewer’s house!” Ray said. “Brake in a perambulating trot towards Brewers.”

“Come Neville, Leonora, my friends! Ever see a man get tasered?” Ted said.

“He has form. He is a pest.”

“Tase the bugger,” Ted said. “Tase the bugger.”

“Aim for the heart!” Ray said. “Smite the love that lacks from his heart. Smite with taser his cold credit card skimming blood-red heart.”

We knocked on Brewer’s door. The group that entered Brewer’s unit were Leonora, Ray, Ted and I.

** ***

“No,” said Brewer. “Don’t go into my secret room.”

Leonora was concerned.

“Don’t go into his secret room,” she said.

“Don’t you need a warrant?” I said.

Brewer blocked the way to his secret room.

“Please don’t go in. I am ashamed of my operations in that room. It’s isn’t in my nature to credit card skim. I feel ashamed,” he said.

The cops, Ray and Ted, roughly removed Brewer from the doorway. They recklessly pushed their way into the credit card skimming room. Leonora and I went in after them.

The room was full of mechanical stuff.

“Credit card skimming scum,” Ted said.

The room was spotless. It shone with cleanliness. Brewer, you can keep a room tidy. What a contrast. There were five laptops in all. All laptops connected by LAN network cables.

The room’s curtains were open. The bright sunshine streamed in, which hurt our eyes after being in the dark main room.

“You’re under arrest for credit card skimming,” Ted said.

“Arrest, arrest, to place under arrest, is for a copper – a rest.” What a twat.

They put handcuffs on Brewer and led him away to the paddy wagon.

** ***

Three days later we went to the court to see Brewer’s case. Would Brewer get off on mental health grounds this time? We severely doubted it. Brewer had gone to a different, more serious, higher league of crime, this time. He could get twenty years.

The judge called out, “The case of Brewer Brewerson.”

The prosecution were the first to speak. The prosecution lawyer was a young man, with a flat stomach, behind an obviously expensively tailored suit.

“Brewer,” the prosecution lawyer said, “has proved his a menace to society.” His suit shirt fluttered in the breeze from a nearby pedestal fan.

“This crime is an anti-social crime with real victims. He has cost the tax payer money. Considering the amount of presence of mind needed in the hard to learn skill of credit card skimming I believe Brewer cannot be pardoned on the grounds of mental health.”

Then Brewer’s lawyer spoke.

“Brewer was in a state of crazed mania when he committed this crime. He is like an ingenious crazed scientist, an alchemist, in medieval times – crazed by mercury,” said the lawyer. He continued: “I am not saying Brewer has not moved on to a more serious class of crime but, I plead to you, judge, please remember Brewer is a mental-health patient, was under a crazed mania when he undertook this credit card skimming scam.”

The judge looked sort of nice. She looked like a gardener. She would go outdoors on a Sunday morning. She looked like a person who owned a wheelbarrow, a trowel, a watering can and made a beautiful garden. “I know,” An idea jumped from the recesses of my agile mind, “I’ll look at her hands. Oh, I was right, dirt under the fingernails. That is proof she is a gardener.” It was a given this judge was a gardener, but, the truth, about those fingernails, can never be fully known.

“I have sifted through information for, and against, Brewer Brewerson,” she said. “I have thought deeply about what is the best way, punishment or rehabilitation. I can see in Brewer’s face that he isn’t an entirely bad bloke. I thought, maybe punishment would best make the exclamation to Brewer that credit card skimming isn’t an acceptable past-time to undertake. I weighed up all these things. I have come to a deliberation. Brewer is sentenced to two hundred hours of community service.” Brewer looked relieved. There was a gasp from the gallery. The gardening judge, continued:

“I think this is the best outcome, for the reason that, Brewer has to pay back the community.” Then the judge addressed Brewer directly. “Brewer, now it’s your turn to make it up for the crime of credit card skimming.” The judge banged her gavel. All the witnesses in the court gallery languidly made their way out.

** ***

Brewer started his community service work. Brewer began to like community service work. He liked giving back to the community. Slowly he worked on getting the dust out from his flat, too. Brewer had a new lease on life. His former crouched continence became proud – his chest stood proudly out – and Brewer’s cough had went away. All his credit card skimming computers, he used to set up a website warning young males to stay away from credit card skimming. These websites he set up explained that credit card skimming leads nowhere. Brewer really did get better. Just the sight of Brewer, walking proudly, puffy chest, purpose, is a transformation. A web designer was what he was, making a great service to other young men, that might be led down the dark paths - that sometimes trap them, like a bounding bunny into a wire-looped snare.


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