Don't Box Me In

Submitted into Contest #4 in response to: Write a story based on the song title: "Beside The Sea"... view prompt



Tongo and Louie were arriving back to the apartment when Albert peered out of his window. He preferred sitting at the picnic table, as he enjoyed watching the passersby. He would wave, and often get a wave back. Occasionally, he would make a new friend! The simple things that most people never think about were very important to him. He understood that he was mentally-challenged, and it was the parade of passersby that served as an ongoing lesson in how an average person would look, dress and socialize. It was his method, and that's that! He could mimic!

Albert ran through the front door of the house that held four small apartments.

"Hi Tongo! Hi Louie!" Albert yelled. "I have a message and present to give you."

"A present?" Tongo inquired. "What is the occasion, Albert?"

"I don't know. The tall man with the big nose and the fat man with the small mouth were here about an hour ago. They scare me! I don't like them. You never told me how a big, fat man can have such a small mouth?" Albert accused. "I'm supposed to tell you not to open this box. The big, fat man told me that would be best. He still smells bad. Albert held his nose.

"I don't like the sound of this," Tongo said as he studied Louie.

"Don't know anything about it," Louie implored without hesitation. "Albert, they didn't wait for us?"

"Something about 'get out of Dodge'. Said they would come back one day soon.

"Great, just great," Tongo said with no hesitation. The look on his face informed both Louie and Albert that he was not happy. "You promised me no more nonsense, Louie, and you're gonna tell me that you know nothing about this! Wanna tell me that the Pope is not Catholic? Do I look like the village idiot?

"Tongo, c'mon. Be respectful here," Louie demanded. "Let's go down to the end of the street and grab a beer at "Rick's" Tavern. We need to sort this all out."

"Louie and I are thirsty, Albert. We're gonna walk down to Rick's," Tongo said. "You can't come, though. It's for us adults, only."

"I understand," Albert replied.

Albert really did not understand. But, he had promised his parents that he would never go in to "Rick's".

Tongo and Louie began their walk down to the corner of the street.

"Tongo, I don't think you look like an idiot," Albert yelled.

Tongo only glared at Louie.

Once at "Rick's", Tongo and Louie compared notes. Neither got mad. It was a sincere effort to put together a puzzle with very few pieces. Both agreed that something diabolical was in the works. Both of them were still on parole. Both of them had met Big Nose and Small Mouth once before, and were fully aware of their lousy character traits. Tongo and Louie had previously been dangerously set up for the benefit of evil. So then, what was all this about?

Nine days passed. It was an average morning. Light early morning rain and then the sky cleared for the afternoon. Louie was still at his restaurant job. Tongo checked the mailbox before entering the front door. A sealed, white envelope, addressed only to 'L and T' was there by itself, no stamp on the envelope. He placed it on the kitchen table and proceeded to sit down. He slit open the envelope to view the typed print.

"Dearest friends, we both deeply appreciate your cooperation with helping to keep our box safe. We knew that we could count on you. You are proving your worth well. Soon, your initiations will be over." There was more.

"Initiations," Tongo wondered out loud. "Initiations for what?"

"First, we must arrange for the box return. We will plan a drop point. We will be able to see you make the drop, but we shall be hidden from your view. We trust that all is in order!"

The message was clear and to the point. It was very mysterious, as well. Tongo and Louie were once again curious as to the contents of the box, but had agreed not to open it. They wanted to be as ignorant as possible of the shady activity that they found themselves enmeshed in.

Louie returned from his job at the usual time. The card and envelope were waiting for him on the kitchen table. As he approached the refrigerator door, he spotted both. With a cold beer in hand, he sat down to further study them.

"Say, Tongo, looks like Big Nose and Small Mouth intend to keep their promise. As soon as we get the drop details, the box will be out of here. It was a good idea not to open it. I wonder why they didn't just come here to pick it up?" Louie questioned with a calm undertone in his demeanor.

Tongo and Louie had their plan in place. Louie had his own plan, as well. Louie would go out of his way to keep Tongo cool and collected. Once his yelling started and his blood began raging, his composure would suddenly be lost!

Albert was sitting at the picnic table on the following day. He watched as Big Nose and Small Mouth sauntered over to him. They carried themselves as casual and relaxed.

"Hello, young man," Big Nose said in a comforting tone. "I'll give you two dollars if you do a big favor for me. We're in a rush. Would you please walk over later and give this note to either Tongo or Louie? We must be going now, right away. Thank you, young man."

"I'll take the two dollars to the bank tomorrow morning, and buy a $2 bill. The nice lady that Tongo takes for ice cream, well, she saves the $2 bills just for me," Albert blurted out without hesitation.

"I'll give you two more dollars. Might help you build your collection. Maybe she will have more than one. What bank is it?" Small Mouth asked, forcing a smile.

"It's next to "Rick's".

"I forgot to write something in the note. Would you just tell them for me?" Big Nose requested. "Just relay the message?"

"Sure will!" Albert spouted.

Their charm had suddenly become apparent to Albert.

"At the very, very end of this street, the street stops. There is a wall there to stop the sea. The wall runs along beside the sea. This is very important now, so listen closely. At the wall, they must leave the box beside the sea at exactly 12:00 noon, and then keep walking for two more streets. Then they can go home," Big Nose winked. "Can you remember this message?"

"Yep, sure can!" Albert promised. He tried to wink back, but he simply couldn't get his muscles to cooperate. But, one day, maybe...

The encounter made the day for Albert. The excitement of visiting the bank tomorrow was hard to control. Big Nose and Small Mouth walked briskly away and jumped into a car. Whoosh, off they went. A few minutes passed before Albert knocked and gave the note to Louie.

"Hey, Tongo," Louie said as he approached. We've got our assignment. Albert just gave me this note and delivery instructions, as well. Tongo read the note, and listened to the "dump" details. Both agreed that it would be simple, easy and clean. No problem. All the note said was 'counting on you guys...'

On the following day, Louie volunteered to deliver the box. Tongo had an appointment at the fancy hair place. He walked the eight streets to reach the end of his own street. There was nothing unusual in his perimeter. On the corner, at the wall, stood the Zito Motel. In the center of the open courtyard there was the big stone letter 'Z', their logo. Nonchalantly, he bent over and placed the box beside the big 'Z'. He then stood up straight and lit a cigarette, using both hands. Still nothing unusual, no one unusual. He checked the time on his phone. It was 11:59. He waited for thirty seconds and then walked down two streets beside the sea.

It sure was easy!

Albert, Tongo and Louie sat at the picnic table sharing a Domino's pizza. Pepperoni. Tongo and Louie were happy to be rid of the box and Albert was the proud holder of a pair of $2 bills. All was well.

On the next day a new note reached Tongo and Louie. It was in the mailbox. Louie opened it.

"Gentlemen, where's the box?" the note read. Again, it was typed.

All hell would break loose shortly when Tongo returned from his workday!

August 30, 2019 05:23

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