Fiction Saturday – Untitled Story – Part Eleven
I knocked on the door and I heard the same dog bark and the same male voice yelling at the dog that I had heard the first time I went down to Pulaski Street.
The dismal future answered the door.
“Hi, mister. You again? What the hell you want?”
“Same as last time. I need to talk with your mother. Is she here, or is she at work?” The filthy, foul mouthed tyke looked back into the room. I could hear his mother yelling at someone and another female voice yelling back. I recognized both of them – the Sisters Tumulski. They were going at it about money.
“That’s all they fight about, Mister. I still haven’t had lunch,” he sighed. I’ll get a beer when they’re done.”
“That sounds like your Momma and your Aunt Gita.”
“Yeah, every time she comes here.” The voices inside were growing louder.
“I’ve had it, Gita. I don’t care about the money any more. I don’t want to end up in prison because of the two of you.”
“Oh, shut up, and put that away.”
“Uh oh,” said the little boy. His eyes were wide and he looked scared.
“Uh oh?,” I said.
“Momma’s pulled her knife.”
“Out! I want you all out of here. I’m tired of being everybody’s slave. Get out! Now!”
I heard what sounded like a hard slap to somebody’s face, then more yelling – a male voice.
“Keep it down out here, we’re trying to have a meeting – and get me a beer.”
That did it for me. I’d already told the police what I thought was going on here. They’d be here soon. I hoped it wouldn’t be too late.
“Move aside, Junior. I’m coming in to join the party.”
I pushed my way past the little boy and went through the door. It took me a few seconds for my eyes to adjust to the dingy darkness, and then it became obvious that I’d walked into the middle of a family argument. I heard the word “Money” several times from both of them. Sally who lived there holding a can of beer in her hand, ready to hurl it at her sister, Ginger (aka Gita when she went to the old neighborhood). Ginger had her fists clenched. They didn’t even notice my arrival on the scene.
“Excuse me! Ladies – Hello?” I might as well have been sitting in my car. “Sally, Ginger! It’s a raid!” That got their attention.
When they saw me standing in the middle of the room they both looked like they had seen a ghost. Ginger turned and looked at me with daggers in her eyes.
“What are you doing in here? How did you get in here?”
“I bribed your doorman.”
“Get out! Get out – now!”
I felt a tug on my sleeve. The dirty boy looked up at me and said, “Can you make all of those people leave? All they do is fight. I’m damn tired of it.”
“All those people? Who?”
“In the dining room. They come here and then all the grownups fight with each other.”
Both women looked at the boy – Ginger with hatred and Sally, his mother, with some hint of an instinct to protect him.
“Shut up you little dirtball,” yelled Ginger.
“That’s my baby, Gita. You shut up!”
That was enough for the two of them to fall into a cliché cat-fight. Ginger threw a punch and Sally grabbed a handful of Ginger’s coiffed hair.
Risking my new suit, I picked up the boy. He put his arms around my shoulders like no one had ever held him before.
“What’s your name? You’ve never told me.”
“Adam. Adam Tumulski. My middle name is Buckshot, but you can call me Adam.”
“OK, Adam. Tell me – are there people in the dining room now?”
“Uh, huh. A bunch of them, old guys, all dressed up like you, only better.”
“Well, Adam, let’s go take peek into the dining room and see what’s happening. I bet it’s quieter than here.” He smiled. That was the first time I’d seen him do that.
Still carrying my little friend, I stepped over empty beer cans and newspapers, and grabbed the knob on the closed door. I hadn’t seen any weapons in the house, so I went ahead and opened the dining room door and walked in like I was the Guest of Honor.
Seated around an expensive looking table, more of that ugly French Provincial stuff, sat six men in suits. They were all looking at me and the boy in my arms. Several had panic in their eyes, one looked like he was about to be sick.
At the far end of the table was an old man, he looked to me to be at least 70, seated in a wheelchair. He had only one arm and was wearing a robe and slippers. My guess was that it was his voice that I had heard yelling at the dog. They weren’t saying anything, so I figured that I’d break the ice.
“Hello, gentlemen, I know who some of you are – Mr. Cauley, Mr. Jankowski, a couple others. You are well known figures in this city. All members of the Board of Directors at Pyramid, if I’m correct. This young man in my arms is Mr. Adam Tumulski. He lives here. You don’t.
“Adam, do you know any of these men?”
“No, they just come here to talk with my mommy, Aunt Gita, and my Uncle Adam. That’s him there,” pointing to the man in the wheelchair. “He was in an accident. I’m named after him.”
“It’s a pleasure to finally meet you, Mr. Cream.”
Before I could say anything more, Adam Cream spoke up.
“I guess our little diversionary act didn’t work. Let me explain why we are meeting like this.” It was my turn to interrupt him.
“Oh, I already know why. I’ve known for some time. My only question is how long did you think you could get away with this fraud before it all fell in on you?