Pawn Takes King part 29

Fuck no. Donny pauses and looks at Jessie, in mid-chew, with a pickle hanging from his lips. Jessie scans the restaurant with his hateful eyes. Then he spots Donny. An amused expression emerges on Jessie's worn face. He sure looks like he just got out of jail, which fits his character, considering he also always appeared as though he was headed right back into lockup.
    Jessie saunters over to Donny, wearing the same sheepskin-collared aviators jacket that was his trademark. Donny swallows with difficulty, the sandwich getting stuck halfway down. Donny coughs and sips his soda to help in his intake of food.
    "You should try chewing sometime," Jessie says, "I hear it's a lot easier than gulping things whole."
    "I hear your mama likes to choke things down, too." Donny says, in retaliation. Jessie's subtle grin disappears altogether. His eye twitches.
    "If anyone else said that about my mother," Jessie says, with a petulant voice, "I'd have to curb-check their face."
    "I feel special," Donny says sarcastically, "does this mean we're pals?"
    "What you been up to, Donny?" Jessie asks, with a surprisingly warm voice,  "I ain't seen you since that thing we did together."
    The robbery. He was referring to the pharmacy job.
    Donny ducks his head, unwrapping his second sandwich.
    "I left Iowa City," Donny mumbles, "I've been down here mainly, since then."
    "Me, too," Jessie says, "I got the fuck outta dodge, and I've been hopping back and forth between IC and CR ever since."
    That's too bad. IT meant that both cities likely had an influx of theft and violent crime, since Jessie was there to continue his foul ways.
    "well, enough catching up," Donny says boisterously, "you got what I called about?"
    "What's the matter, Donny?" Jessie asks in a mocking tone, "ain't you glad to see me?"
    Donny's only answer is the slurping sound as he finishes off his soft drink. He returns Jessie's mad-dog stare with one of his own. There is no love-loss between these two. If Donny had his way, Jessie would still be behind bars. Donny was no rat, but he suddenly wondered if testimony against Jessie would settle the matter of Jessie's freedom once and for all. Then again, Donny might be sucked into it because of his own involvement.
    If Jessie knew what Donny was thinking, the crazy bastard might kill him.
    "All right then," Jessie says abruptly, "I've got 2 dimes,  and 3 dubs. What'll it be?"
    "A dub," Donny says, indicating a twenty sack of weed.
    "show me the money," jessie demands.
    Donny pulls out a wad of bills, and slips it under a napkin. He then slides it across the table to the psychopath.
    Jessie searches in his pocket, then leans under the table. Donny blindly waves his hand, and bumps into Jessie's clenched fist. Jessie's grip slackens as he passes a cellophane wrapper over. Donny has the irresistible urge to wash his hands now, after greasing palms with him. Jessie then snatches the napkin, money and all, and jams it into his pocket.
    "I'll be seeing you, Donny," Jessie says hurriedly, making to stand up.
    "Wait a second," Donny says forcefully, "what the fuck is this?!?!"
    Judging by the weight, and look of the bag, there was far less than 20 dollars worth in his palm.
    "That's what you asked for," Jessie counters, "it's fluff, and it's seedless."
    "I can SEE the seeds," Donny says angrily, "it looks like a fucking bean-pod. What're you trying to pull, man?"
    Jessie glances around at the restaurant. It is lunchtime, and crowded. Across the way, an obese couple watches intently, while stuffing their faces. Jessie eases back down into the seat, not wanting any attention drawn.
    "I want my money back," Donny says, tapping one finger rhythmically against the lid of the cup.
    "This ain't Wal-Mart," Jessie retorts, "I ain't givin no receipts,"
    Another staredown follows this. Donny has zip to bargain with. He has nothing. $20 is everything in the world to him. Jessie is unflinching.
    "You're a punk bitch, Jessie," Donny says, biting into his other burger.
    "What's that?" Jessie says, pulling the coat away from his midsection. A gun is shoved downward into Jessie's waistband. "I couldn't hear you, Donny. Speak up."
    Donny stares at the pistol. It is a revolver, and very old, from the looks of it. Jessie must've scrounged around some dirty places to get it. The criss-crossed design of the wooden handle is almost worn smooth. Black electrical tape covers most of it. Donny wonders what the serial number of the revolver would bring up, if put through a police database. Nah, forget that. The serial numbers were probably filed away long ago.
    "I said you're a punk bitch, Jessie," Donny says stoically, "and you've got some bad mojo headed your way."
    "doing any drug robberies lately?" Jessie asks with a sneer, "I was planning another heist. You want in?"
    Jessie zips up his coat, obscuring the gun. Donny is relieved.
    "I don't do that anymore," Donny says dully.
    "C'mon, it'll be just like old times," Jessie insists, in a playful sing-song voice, "I'm gonna knock over this shop. There's a fat tub of guts that turned me in to the Po-Po, and I mean to get even."
    Donny stops chewing. Fat man? could it be?
    "what kind of store?" Donny asks, faking indifference.
    "It's a pawn shop," Jessie explains, "i think he might also cash payday checks, but he's pretty hard up for money now. I think his store is going under."
    Jessie grins, displaying his yellow, crooked teeth.
    "He's already been robbed once," Jessie cackles, "this time I don't think he's gonna come out of this one."
    Jessie was talking about Greg. There was nary a doubt in Donny's mind. Donny knows Jessie is flying solo and wants no part of it. It occurs to Donny that Jessie was most likely involved in the first robbery of the Pawn and Payday. It fits to reason that Jessie was building up funds to commit such a caper. Hence, the shorted bag of weed. Jessie must be desperate, crazy, or both. Donny wasn't about to let this happen to Greg. The fat man's kindness was well-remembered by Donny.
    "I told you," Donny says evenly, "I'm not into robbing folks. I'm clean."
    "You're about as clean as a shitty diaper," Jessie rebukes, getting to his feet again. Donny is already planning how to warn Greg in advance. All it would take is a simple phonecall.
    "You're awful quiet, Donny," Jessie notices, "Whatcha thinking???"
    "You want some of my fries?" Donny offers, changing the subject.
    "No." Jessie says.
    "you're wasting away," Donny says. He was being truthful. With Jessie's gnarled blonde hair, he resembles a mop, he is so skinny.
    "Look who's talking, you look like a fucking end-stage AIDS patient, mother fucker!!" Jessie says with venom, and storms away. Donny picks at his food. He has lost his appetite.
    "Hey Donny," Jessie calls out. Donny looks up, just in time to see a small object thrown his way. On reflex, Donny catches it. It is another cellophane baggie of weed. Jessie really must be nearing the limits of his self-destruction, by risking exposing his drug dealing in a public place. Jessie gives Donny an odd look. Its' the kind of look two close friends give each other when departing for a lengthy stretch of time.
    Donny would rather not have the extra sack of weed. Jessie screwed over everyone, at every turn. The fact Jessie was compensating for the skimpy bag meant that Donny was held in a certain high esteem in Jessie's eyes. Donny was apparently in Jessie's inner-circle. Jessie never would have given details about another robbery unless Donny was trusted. They were thick as thieves.
    Despite being full, Donny's stomach turned. Jessie walked casually out of the Burger King without another word.

Uploaded 01/11/2013
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