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Dumpster RabbittZ part two - Fiction Serial by Bryan Higby and Ricky D. Snyder

Read Part One Here

Chapter Two

Rob Wash removed a joint from between his thick brown lips as he ran one calloused hand through his graying nappy hair watching those two fellas, John Friend and the local DJ cat, Randy Bliss, push open the front door to The Bateman. It wasn’t often that Rob lit the weed inside but tonight his arthritis was acting up something furious. He was going to need a toke or three off that strong weed to finish mopping the lobby floor. He watched the two white dudes waiting at the elevator, took two puffs off the joint and then replaced it in the brim of his beat-up old Fedora. Following this, Rob lifted the mop from the bucket, dropping it into the ringer. Squishing out the excess water he dropped the mop head onto the black and white checkered lobby tiles, feeling the pain in his joints go mad on him.

“Hey,” Randy said when he saw Rob mopping.

Rob grunted. He didn’t care much for the guy’s bright colored sweaters and white boy afro. Maybe it was a built-in hatred for the 1980’s that Rob Wash had inside of him. His time in the military Rangers... oh hell. Rob just shook his head trying to repress what memories might have cropped up from those long-ago times again. Those military memories were coming back more and more lately. Rob wasn’t sure why. He’d lived the life of a civilian for a decade now. Bliss and Friend stood silent waiting for the elevator to arrive. These boys was awfully quiet all right. Strangely so. They looked like their best friend had just taken a bullet in the old brain pan. Something about their stillness kind of creeped Rob out.

“Somethin’ wrong?” he asked the two men.

Randy glanced at John, whose tall lean figure just stared down at the unwashed floor tiles. John Friend was a tall mother, Rob thought, maybe six four, or six five. Anyway, he was almost a foot and a half taller than that DJ cat.

“Ah, there was a death tonight. Out at the old Golf course...” Randy started to say as the elevator beeped and the doors slid open.

“Golf course? The CarLowDen Golf Course?”

“Yeah,” Randy said but John was already stepping into the elevator pressing the button for the third floor. Randy seemed like he wanted to say more but instead stepped into the elevator before the doors closed.

Rob held the mop handle in his hands for a minute, and remembered his joint. A death at the old abandoned golf course, eh? The black janitor lit the joint and took a couple more puffs. He waved away the scent, not that it mattered in this dump. Man could smell things worse than weed in The Bateman. Rob dropped the mop back into the bucket. His arthritis was killing him and it was late. Who really gave a fuck if the lobby tiles were cleaned tonight anyway? Most of the residents of The Bateman were welfare losers who couldn’t give a fuck about keeping their place neat. All a man had to do was visit the top three floors to see the mess. Garbage bags overflowing outside people’s apartment doors. Rats lurking in and out of those bags. The Bateman was not fit for man nor beast, Rob thought as he pushed the hot sudsy water bucket back into the janitor closet and switched off the light. After all, it was late, way past midnight. Besides, Rob had a whole case of Budweiser sitting in his icebox.

He walked to the back stairs, which were dusty as all hell, and made his ascent to the third floor. He lived in the back of the apartment complex where no one bothered his black ass. Rob smiled thinking how well those Buds were gonna slide down his parched throat. The manager, asshole named, Eddie King, hated his janitor’s private residence in the back of the apartment complex. Said he should double charge Rob for the extra rooms. Rob told Eddie that the asshole could hire himself another janitor at the slave wages he paid old Rob Wash. King shut up on that one. At least that racist prick couldn’t pull the old green card out from under Rob Wash’s planted feet. No sir! Rob Wash was a decorated Vet by God.

Rob reached his apartment door and removed his key chain, a chain that had a copy of every apartment door lock in this dump, and found his key. Unlocking the front door, he switched on the kitchen fluorescents. He glanced around at the small kitchen. Spick and span. He looked around again for his cat.

“Hey Tabby, you here sweets?”

Rob dropped his keys on the counter next to the second-hand microwave oven. The ice box was calling to him now. He glanced around for Tabby. Not seeing her, he just shrugged and snagged three beers from the ice box. Checking his wristwatch, he noticed that it was later than he thought. Almost two in the damned AM.

“Shit man. Working to the bone,” he mused.

Rob walked to his customary spot. The leather Barcalounger in front of his thirty-two-inch Zenith. He plopped down and removed his jungle boots and unbuttoned the front of his green camo pants. His belly was starting to expand, man. Looking at the three beers in their plastic six pack rings Rob shook his head again.

“I deserve this,” he moaned cracking the top of the first beer and guzzling about half the can in one swallow. “Better be somethin’ good on cable tonight.”

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