Tuesday, September 17, 2013


They Call it The City of Angels

A New Serial Novel by Joshua A. TRILIEGI

Exclusively for Readers of BUREAU of ARTS and CULTURE and
our Three sites in Los Angeles, San Francisco and New York City
All National & International Copy Rights Reserved to the Author.
Translate into language needed at our three blog spots links below.

Chapter Eighteen: Hole

Fred hadn't been home in days. He had no reason to be.
Running the store on his own now was his only purpose.
When he did go home, it was just a reminder of what
once was, a daughter and a wife that he had survived.
Fred had set up an old army cot in the back of the store.
It was easier to just stay there, especially since he had
begun to smoke and drink. He hadn't been golfing for
over a month and his pals began to get concerned. He
was a great golfer, the best in his circle of friends. They
all owned shops along the central portion of Los Angeles.
Serving the community by supplying liquor, furniture,
toys, glass, sporting goods, all kinds of small businesses.
Fred's ex-partners in-laws had been pressuring him to buy
them out. But he had no way of keeping the store together
and buying them out at the same time. He would either
have to sell his house or sell the store to do so. Fred and
his wife had never been particularly close to his ex-partners
family. Through the years and especially since her death,
his relations with them had gotten worse. He had no idea
how desperate they had become for money. They had a
bunch of grown children who knew that if Fred would buy
them out, that they could put down payments on their own
homes. One of the young men was especially distraught
about his own dilemma, he had recently gotten engaged
and was expecting a child in the next few months. Every
one in their house seemed to blame Fred for their problems.
The young man had been hearing his mother & uncles talk
discouragingly about Fred ever since their dad had died.
The young man had been rummaging through his dead
dad's legal documents for the past year, thinking of ways
in which he could get Fred to buy out their partnership.
They had made a false complaint a few years back, which
got Fred audited by the Internal Revenue Service and only
ended up hurting their own income. His books were clean
and in the end, he proved to be an upstanding and loyal
business partner. When the young man came across the
insurance policy, he noticed that they had full coverage
for theft, disaster and for fire. Strangely enough, the policy,
which had originally been drafted way back when, also
included the parking lot as well as any living creature on
it's premises. That would include a security dog, which they
once had, back when the store first opened and the giant
palm tree which was not like the other trees that were
planted along the sidewalk. Those trees were owned by
the city. Their palm tree was situated behind the store,
it had cost them a pretty penny to trim it once a year
and in itself had raised the value of the property by about
fifty thousand dollars. The insurance on the tree would
give Fred enough money to buy out the partners, or so
thought the young man, who was not entirely educated.
He heard about the famous 'Palm Tree Burnings' in the
papers and on the news and got a bad idea in his head.

Fred was awoken by the rattle of the chain link fence.
It was four in the morning. He took out his pistol, climbed
the ladder in the rear supply area & unlocked the skylight.
He could see a young man pouring water all around the
base of his palm tree which sat just feet away from the
cinder block store and inches away from the power lines
up above. He shouted to the figure, "Hey you, what are
you doing there?" The young man lit a book of matches,
tossed it on the ground and the entire base of the tree
lit up in flames. Fred was a perfect shot, he could have
easily, taken the life of this person, but instead, he shot
him in the leg. The bullet passed through the young mans
calf and entered the palm tree. The young man ran toward
the fence. Fred climbed back down the ladder, opened the
back door and ran toward the young man, "Stop right there."
Fred ripped the hat off the young man's head & recognized
him right away. He was the splitting image of his dead
partner Sam. "What are you doing ? Why would you do
this ? Why ?" The young man had no proper answer.
The roar of the fire was immense, it was reaching the top
of the palm tree and was beginning to melt the power lines.
Fred opened the padlock on the back fence and instructed
the boy to leave. He owed it to Sam, who had been a life
long friend, to take care of the boy, even under this type
of circumstance. " Don't go to the hospital, you'll have to
just sweat it out. Don't tell anyone you were here either.
Don't even leave your house until you hear from me.
Understand ?" The young man said nothing. "Understand?"
Fred repeated, the boy was now openly crying, he shook
his head, yes, that he understood and limped down the
side street out into the darkness, leaving an orange orb
of light that could be seen from miles away, it lit the sky
like a giant torch, by now the power and phone lines were
on fire and fred had to run across the street to call for help.

By the time the fire department showed up, all the power
lines had been downed and half the block, including the
street lights, had gone dark. Fred explained what had
happened in all it's detail, except for the last part. There
was a police report. Several detectives were assigned
to the case. Because it was a part of the famous, "Palm
Tree Burnings", he also had, not only the Feds, but a local
reporter for The Weekly, which had been following the case
since it's original inception. She had solved a series of cases
through the past ten years and got the sense that something
was different about this particular burning. Fred didn't get
to sleep that entire next day and the store had to remain
closed for the next few days. Of course, all the news teams
came out and it became another item for conversation.
When the insurance investigators came out, they asked
to view the video. Fred had installed three video cameras,
one inside, at the register, one out front and one out back.
The cameras took stills every ten seconds or so. Fred could
only hope that the power lines had been severed before he
had opened the gate and let the boy run to safety. When
he finally got back inside the store, he looked up, there
on the wall, was a picture, it was a snap shot which had
been enlarged and framed, a smiling image of both Fred
and Sam, with cigars in their mouths, wearing sports shirts
out on the golf course. They had both been so hopeful of
their new enterprise. Fred looked closely at the picture,
Sam seemed to be looking at his partner from the grave,
saying, "Thanks." Sam had always been lecturing Fred
about this new generation. "You have to believe in these
kids Fred, their the future." Fred thought to himself, 'If
this was the future than were in a hell of a lot of trouble.'
Little did he know, that this was the future and yes, he
was in a hell of a lot of trouble. He closed up and for
the first time in a month or so, he went golfing.

Fred hadn't golfed alone for years. But he was in no
mood to talk to the other members of his unofficial
golf club. He would have to lie to them and didn't feel
like acting. He had done so over five times since the
fire and hadn't the energy to do so over a game of golf.
He had repeated the story to the fire department, the
police, the feds, the detectives and the insurance guys.
Later,he had the choice to talk to reporters & had a
feeling that the lady from The Weekly knew her stuff.
Maybe it would be good for business, he figured that
he would do as he had always done. Go with the flow.
Fred had always prided himself on only needing three
clubs while playing golf. He used a putter, you had to
have a putter, a Three Iron, for Bogies and the like &
a Nine Iron. He had an awesome swing that seemed to
utilize all of his frustrations and anger and loss into a
single guided focus that harnessed his concentration.
He had been called a lot of names through the years.
The kind of monikers that people gave to foreigners.
Things that had enraged his friends only solidified his
resolve to be successful, to be good at what he did, to
be what he considered a good American, a good father
and in the case of Sam's youngest son, to be a good
partner. His pals were enviable. Fred was not the
jealous type, if a guy was better, he would simply
study his technique. The sun was setting, Fred was
the last guy on the course. He had the green all to
himself. The course was peppered with palm trees
and he had to laugh, otherwise he would have to
cry, he laughed and laughed and laughed. If anyone
was there with him, it was the spirit of his pal Sam.
They had been golfers from the first week they came
to this country. It was the thing you did in America.
They had seen it in the movies and on television. All
great business men in America played golf. Business
deals all went down over a game of golf, everyone
knew that. They had decided to buy the liquor store
together at this very golf course and had made a pact
that they would get the hell out of the warehouse
together. He stepped up to the Eighteenth Hole,
the sunset glowed, the sky seemed to speak to him.
Fred swung, he watched the ball as it hurled toward
the green. It landed in the hole. The flag shook for a
second or two and settled. He slowly and methodically
walked toward the green. Fred was an American.



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