Tuesday, September 10, 2013


Mr Triliegi is a Multi-Disciplinary Film Maker & Artist
living and working in Los Angeles for over four decades.
His first screenplay was a finalist for the Sundance Writers
workshop. He is a published poet with an upcoming book of
short stories, numerous screenplays, feature documentaries
and is currently creating this new serial novel as a spec
sampler for his interest in The Television Series Genre .
The first Twenty Two Chapters represent a sort of Pilot.
Mr Triliegi is The Founder of BUREAU of Arts and Culture.

They Call it The City of Angels

A New Serial Novel by Joshua A. TRILIEGI

All National & International Copy Rights Reserved to the Author

Chapter Thirteen: Fred

Fred was not his real name, but like a lot of immigrants,
he had wanted to represent America, by becoming a real
American and so, he started going by Fred. You know,
like Fred McMurray, he would say to people. He knew
three different guys from his region who had taken the
name Sam. You know, like Uncle Sam, they would say.
Mostly unaware that not everyone in America in the late
sixties & early nineteen seventies related very much to
either Fred McMurray from the television show, 'My
Three Sons' or Uncle Sam, who had just sent thousands
of young men to their deaths in Vietnam. But, these new
immigrants had to believe in America, and they did.
Many bought property, businesses, and encouraged their
first born to join the armed forces. Fred and one of his
partners from back home had invested in a liquor store
located in the center of Los Angeles. When they first
purchased it, they had both been working in the local
factories in the day, and by night, they held jobs as
security guards. Full time all day, part time all night,
for about a decade. Finally, they bought the store, put
up a big neon sign, Fred & Sam's Neighborhood Market.
Since the initial purchase the neighborhood had changed.
Los Angeles had grown into the proverbial melting pot
that is always talked about in Sociology classes at big
universities. In the old days, its was New York or Chicago
that was often used as the example of a new America, now
it was Los Angeles and Fred was happy to be a part of it.
That was until Sam had a heart attack and Fred was left to
not only run the store full time, which meant he often had
to pull all nighters, but also keep the books, order the product
and find a way to either, buy out his dead partners in-laws,
who knew nothing about the store or business in general or
continue to cut them checks. He was in a quandary and more
and more the relationship between he and his wife became
strained. Losing Josie was the beginning of a chasm that
only deepened in time. On somedays, they worked in tandem.

When Fred got word that Louis Junior was to be released
from prison, he started thinking of ways to deal with it.
Imagined the worst things he had ever imagined, that he
would like to run him over, shoot him, stuff like that. It
was terrible, he knew it. The boy had been locked up for
years and had paid his debt to society and still Fred was
unable to forgive. Every thing he had ever been taught,
philosophically speaking, had been thrown out the window.
He just couldn't get over it and it began to gnaw at him.
The liquor store was situated in a part of Los Angeles
that bordered three different groups of people and within
those three groups, there were sometimes factions between
the groups themselves. There might be three rival territories
for one particular group. Which meant his customers were
sometimes clashing over issues he had no knowledge of.
For instance, The Strolling 40's might come into the store
at say, 1:30 AM before closing, to buy a case of Cold Duck
for a Ladies Night party that just wouldn't quit. Well, if it
just so happened that some dudes from the 12th Street crew
were looking to buy a pack of blunts and a tall sixer of Malt
Liquor, 'Don't let the smooth taste fool you' , the advertising
stated just above the register, with a half naked woman who
had probably been paid less than a months rent to bare her
body for the sale of this fine, cold beverage, than, there might
be a problem. One night, just before closing, a Chevy Impala,
full of locals, rear ended a group of kids in a VW, while one
of them was exiting from the back seat through the drivers
side door. The VW was thrust forward and the door slammed
shut while the kids arm was still in its path, so he was standing
outside the car, but his shoulder was pinned between the window
and the door jam. No matter what they did, the door wouldn't
open up. The kid is screaming, the dudes in the chevy don't want
to stick around to meet the man, and all this is happening in
Fred's parking lot. What could he do about it ? Nothing.

These incidents became more and more frequent and he
became well schooled in the ways of street life in L.A.
He had left his country to get away from things like this
and here he was in the middle of a territory not at all unlike
the very place he was brought up in. Killings in his region
were rampant, there had been fields of dead bodies eventually
discovered. Sometimes he would get home and have nothing
to say, just plain numb from the day, didn't even want his wife
to know about what was going on out there in the world.
Eventually, he was forced to buy bullet proof glass, cameras
and a permit to buy a gun. Then he had to learn how to shoot.
On Saturday mornings, from eight to ten in the morning, he
went to a local shooting range and slowly began to meet some
of the local cops. When he told them where his store was
located, they started to fill him in on a few inside tips. Fred
learned about 'sweep days', certain days of the month when
local cops scrutinized certain areas. He learned about quotas,
and which days would be especially, what they called on the
streets, ' HOT '. Fred had heard his customers talking about
these things through the years, but it was like a code he
didn't understand, now he was in on it. Fred was wising up.

Through the years, Fred would be forced to call the police.
He knew there was a code and yet there were times when
he absolutely had no choice but 'call the man'. He had met
a bunch of these guys in the parking lot of his store in the
early days and later would see them at the shooting range.
Fred and Chuck became friends outside of their official
business and realized that they both had things in common.
Namely: Louis Junior. It was a high profile case, Chuck
was a witness, but Fred had been in shock, he didn't really
remember the faces of his lawyer, his judge or even Chuck.
The only face that stuck in his mind during that entire ordeal,
was that of his dead daughter, "Daddy", he could hear her say.
There was nothing comparable to losing a child to Fred. He
had lost a piece of himself. That child, to him, was his Mother,
his Grandmother, all the women in his family, it was his
future and all of it had been taken away, over nothing at all.
Fred called Chuck at his home office the week before Louis
Junior was released. He thanked him for the good work he
had done and expressed that maybe they should talk some
time soon. When Chuck got the message, he remembered
the scene that night, thought about his own daughters and
realized that no matter what, he still had to follow through.
Chuck got in his car, drove downtown & requested a wiretap.
He couldn't go directly to a judge, but he went to his pals at
the division and they put forward a formal request. On the
way back home , he exited the 110 freeway and walked into
Fred and Sam's Neighborhood market, he was in plainclothes,
" I got your message and don't worry, were working on it. "
Fred smiled for the first time in a few months, said nothing.
He didn't charge him for the soda pop either. It was a 'HOT' day.


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