He was in a crime-ridden neighborhood and ready to fight. Borrowed to the Bone.
May 3, 2013
A VG Serial: Borrowed to the Bone
Willy’s feeling of wealth lasted until he stopped in front of his home. Colleen and his daughter and son slept safely inside the small shack that Willy had great plans for when he bought it. He had thought of Mesquite as a high class suburb of Dallas, the dividing line between urban crime and rural tranquility.
But he soon accepted the fact that Mesquite still had crime-ridden neighborhoods and the house he bought because he liked the big lot sat in the middle of one of the worst. Dwarfed by the giant oaks and pines that had attracted him to the place, his unpainted small house looked like a neglected weekend cabin, a piece of trash that offended the regal oaks. The entire lot was covered in a lush layer of pine needles, pine cones, acorns, oak leaves . . . and trash.
But he soon discovered that the rural-like area also attracted people who wanted to be ignored by the law. He learned that his neighbor across the street was a coyote who illegally transported aliens from Mexico into the country for a fee. And the illegals seemed reluctant to go out into the world.
His own lot became a picking-up-and-dropping-off place for the coyote who smuggled them in. His neighbor even had a bold sign in his yard proclaiming his stock in trade—Rent-A-Mexican.
Mexicans loitered under the shade of his old trees day and night. Willy’s anger grew into hatred for them. More than once, he had fired a shotgun at their feet and over their heads. But each new batch of illegals had to be retrained not to set foot on his private property, causing Willy’s head to feel as if it were about to explode.
A group was there when he pulled up with his car full of treasure. He had intended to stash his loot close to home where he could watch it day and night, but the Mexicans’ presence made him realize he could neither unload the cache into the storage building and shop on the back of his property. He couldn’t even bury it, so he drove to the only other place he could think of.
Willy sat by the shore of White Rock Lake just close enough to watch Trez’s house without being seen. There were no lights on that he could see, but that did not mean that Trez was not there. He tried to plot a strategy that just would not come as he watched for signs that would tell him whether Trez was home.
His car was not there, so Willy knocked loudly on the door. Trez did not answer, but he still could not be sure. Trez had a habit of ignoring his doorbell or loud knocks, especially when he had a woman upstairs or suspected the doorknocker might be a bill collector. Willy pushed open the dog door Trez had cut for the Pitbull puppy that had lasted a few weeks before a car ended his short life.
Trez was known to go out drinking with friends and regularly leave his keys locked inside the house, so he had installed a magnet inside the dog door for a magnetic key holder. Willy found it easily, opened the door and walked quietly inside. He shouted Trez’s name. No answer. He walked up the stairs and into both bedrooms before being satisfied that Trez was not home.
He backed his car up the steep driveway and stopped in front of the antique garage. The garage door was barely wide enough to accommodate today’s cars, so Willy knew that Trez had never used it. He found the key to the side door at the back on a nail beside the door. But it wasn’t needed. There was nothing but junk in the garage, so Trez never locked it. He had even joked that he wished someone would steal everything in it.
The stacks of boxes filled with used clothing and appliances that no longer worked were exactly what Willy needed. He could hide his boxes of treasure in plain sight with the other boxes. He stashed some in a refrigerator and more in an old washing machine. Neither Trez nor any visitor would even notice the added boxes of junk. He would, however, have to lock the door and take the key. He kept the jewels next to his belly. He could not bear to part with them. He drove two blocks in the dark before hitting his car lights.
Willy stopped his car and watched a Mexican urinate on one of his majestic oaks and others meander around his lot as if they owned it. He pulled his .410 shotgun from the gun rack behind him and fired a warning shot. They scattered, flinging Spanish curses in his direction.
Colleen was on him like a hawk on a field mouse when he walked in the door. Both kids were screaming their lungs out before she finally stopped her tirade. Willy usually fought back with more vigor than Colleen could muster, but he sat quietly, fingering the sack against his belly while she screamed. When she and the kids finally went to bed, he started his second poem.
With my eyes still burning from the fire and smoke
With my wife screaming till her I could choke
How loving a woman could be such a curse
And having two children making things worse
Willy stashed his sack of jewels in a pair of boots he never wore, turned out the lights, and went to bed.
Chapters of the serial are published on Friday.
You can learn more about Borrowed to the Bone and other titles by Jim H. Ainsworth on his Amazon Author Page.