Pawn Takes King part 30

    Donny wheeled the mongoose back to the gazebo. He had purchased a can of WD-40 from the same hardware store where he got the tire patch. Wal-Mart was too far away to walk, and besides, Donny liked the relaxed atmosphere in the little mom and pop shop. It was quiet, unhurried, and you always got the help you needed. Compare it to Wal-Mart, where everything was hyper and unexpected. Donny liked this little place. It was like the last bastion of American enterprise. Who knew if this place would stay open, but it was here now. At least until the bankers, or other criminals in white collars, would strangle those blue-collered ones.
    Donny had weed. It made him happy to know something could liven up his hours. Donny was bettering himself. Buresh had lit a fire under his ass. Look at what Donny had done over the course of months. He felt as though everything was getting better, bit by bit.
    Donny pulled out Greg's business card. Greg had enthusiastically given it out after the painting of the store was completed. Donny used the payphone, and called the number printed on the card. On the other end was a disconnected notice. Donny frowns, hits the coin return, and dials again. The same message comes back and repeats.
    Someone must not've payed the bill. Donny wonders if Greg's finances are in order. Jessie seemed to have in-depth knowledge of Greg. Something told Donnie that the world would soon be rid of Jessie Baxter. If Donny could help engineer this demise, by warning Greg, then so much the better. Donny might even back up Greg, fighting alongside the Pawn star. But first, he had to get across town to the Pawn and Payday.
    Donny phoned Eugene. It was a shot in the dark, and was futile. Eugene's phone was still off. Donny called Chase, but the dude didn't answer. Donny thought about riding the bus, but the schedule wasn't set to come around until tomorrow morning. It was late, and getting dark. This was important. Donny had nothing else to do. It wasn't like he was being called in to work overtime, or anything. Donny thought about calling Steve, but decides not to. There was no use getting Steve involved in Donny's unscrupulous dealings. The only other person Donny knew who had a car was Gus. But Donny couldn't exactly telegraph into the blazer. Donny didn't have enough for cab fare. If he had only bought a dime bag of weed, instead of the dub, Donny could've gone that route.
    Donny continues to plan, as he shoves the bike underneath the gazebo sideways. Well damn, if he just fixes the tire tonight, he can ride the bike over in the morning and talk to Greg then. It is decided. The rest of the night, Donny diligently works on the bike patch. First prying loose the nut that holds the back wheel on, Donny removes the tire. He then carefully takes the chain off the sprockets, and pries the tire off the rim with a flathead screwdriver. All his tools were found on his swiss army knife, which he had kept for a long time. It was a gift from his dad Ronald, and still served Donny well.
    Donny had marked the hole with a pen from the gas station counter. They wouldn't miss a cheap writing utensil. Using scissors found on the army knife, Donny cuts a circular shape from the patch provided in the repair kit. Using the remaining superglue he used to patch up his elbow, Donny pressed it firmly against the hole in the tube. At last done, Donny reassembles the back wheel, making sure the chain properly turns the tire. He felt a sense of accomplishment. He cold now rescue Greg from certain danger.
    Making a temporary pipe from his tin-foil stash, Donny eases back and basks in the dying glow of the sun. It was supposed to snow tomorrow, but Donny was ready.
    Upon waking, Donny wheeled the bicycle over to the nearby gas station. Once it was aired up, Donny was raring to go. He hopped on the bike, a foolish grin on his face. He was coasting down the hill, towards where he wanted to go. It was so much better than walking. So much better, and easier, and awesome.
    He peddled hard, making up time. Get ready, Greg. Your enemies approach, but your ally is set to form a war party with you. The weed made Donny sentimental.
    There was a problem.The bike was bucking back and forth, and Donny heard a heavy thwap, thwap, thwap sound. He hit the screechy handbrake, and stopped. The rear tire was flat. Donny could hear air hissing out. WTF? Goddammit. Donny was never allowed anything. He felt as though a bolt of bad luck had sought him out, striking incessantly, causing misfortune.
    Perhaps he could fix it? Nope. The air was coming from the edge of the stem, the tube was now ruined.
    "Motherfucker." Donny says, picking up the bike and hurling it downward, towards the riverbank. It crashed against the rocks, vibrating with kinetic energy, and finally coming still. Donny sits down cross-legged beside the bike path by the riverside. Donny kept shaking his head imperceptibly, denying it all.
    How could this be? Did God want Greg to die? Fate was like love, it operated on opposites. Donny wanted to die, yet would not get his wish. Greg wanted to live a normal life, with plentiful goodness. So, in that case, Greg would die? It all came back to questions surrounding  this grand and noble being. Donny was alone, and there was supposedly God, right beside him? Seeing all, and doing nothing?
    "I hate you, God." Donny says through clenched teeth. He shakes his fist at the bike. He did not count his blessings. He did not see the tire as only a temporary obstacle. It cost Donny about 120 pop-cans to buy the tire patch kit. And it only fixed part of the problem. Now, through Donny's anger, it causes more issues with the bike. When Donny threw the Mongoose, the chain busted a link. As Donny hauled it back to the trail, he heard the chain dragging on the ground, and this only increased his woe.
    Donny wished he was dead.
    'Cause Greg might get injured now. Donny felt as though he owed the fat man. Thanks to Greg, Donny had known a peaceful sleep in a warm bed, inside the Motel. That was really something. It meant the world to Donny, because happiness was a commodity short in supply and high in demand.
    Not knowing what else to do, Donny calls Ben. His old boss. A kind man, Ben might be willing to give Donny a ride. The phone rings several times, and DOnny is about to hang up when the line picks up.
    "Hello?" Ben asks. Donny recognizes the voice, although the phone distorts it somewhat. Donny opens his mouth, but no words come out. A window of time passes.
    "Hello, hello? Anyone there?" Ben asks, getting annoyed.
    Donny hangs up. He cannot face Benjamin Masters. He is too ashamed. With an expression of defeat, Donny retreats back to the Gazeebo, where he stashes the bike. Donny thought about riding the bus, but he wanted to smoke weed. Not wasting anymore time, Donny grabs a couple small nugs, along with his makeshift pot pipe, and starts walking.
    He feels somewhat better as he inebriates himself on tea. As people pass him, Donny holds in his smoke, which is fine. It will get him even more baked. Having inhaled all of his delectable plant, Donny crumples up the tinfoil pipe and tosses the wad of metal into the bushes. It takes Donny an hour and 15 minutes to cross downtown Cedar Rapids. But, maybe Donny is just being paranoid. Jessie was bound to still be accruing funds to fulfill his plans. There was plenty of time.
    As Donny approaches the store, he sees it. Oh no. A police car was parked length-wise across the street, preventing any vehicle's passage. There was also an ambulance, a news van, a firetruck, and a partridge in a pear tree. It was really happening (minus the bird, of course).
    "Fuck," Donny says in anguish, "please, no. Aw, shit."
Uploaded 01/17/2013
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