The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer, Part Four – The Brewer 15

erudite fiction

Serial Fiction

 

The Brewer’s thoughts were calm and steady humming with the voice of pleasure.

He spent the next few hours going over hundreds of vans-for-sale ads. He picked the three most promising and fitted to his pocket. For his budget had shrank after the Mustache Store. That little financial detour was a necessity (I like to think). A reminder of art’s poetic justice. He called them all and made appointments for the same night. He felt in charge.

The low prices, cash only, same day deal, led him to one of the gritty corners of town. He took the train and as he progressed on his voyage he felt more and more overdressed and out of place. He attempted to keep his demons as visible as possible, as a defense mechanism. This method had been working well for him. He reached his station and headed for the address. He noticed the beyond subtle differences in the neighborhood. They had the same things like any neighborhood but different. Dirty windows, more litter, peeling paint, overflowing garbage bins, broken street lamps, people there were busy surviving on the most basic level. They did not have time to spare on culture and appearances. One day they would though. Their turn in power would come one way or another, he thought.

He got to the address. It was a pre-war building. It was just off the busier streets and the block was cleaner and neater, there was hope. It overlooked something that reminded him of a park. There were vegetables growing in the little flower gardens in front of the buildings. Nativity statues with burned candles were common garden dwellers. Tasteless and cheap curtains peeked through the windows. It was a poor hard working class family neighborhood. He made it for the door and rang the bell. He waited the customary minute and pressed the button again.

A middle-aged barefoot man dressed in a tank top and blue jeans opened the door vigorously.
‘I am coming, I am coming! There is no need to wake up the dead. Are you here for the van? Are you?’ He was like an edgy paranoid squirrel.

‘Yes I am, how are you doing!’ The Brewer had mild policy.

‘Good, good, good! Come around to the garage I’ll meet you back there!’ He twitched with speed.
The Brewer backed down the few steps and through the driveway door navigated to the back of the two-family house.

‘My name is Carlos, how’re you?’

‘Good thanks. Let’s see the monster.’ He tried to joke.

‘There are no monsters here.’ Carlos shut him off. He was religious.

‘The van I mean.’ He retreated to neutral mildness.

‘Yes the van, the van is right here.’

He opened the garage. The Brewer briefly inspected the van with a stare and then asked permission to look in and under. He started the monster. It sounded good. It would do the job, he thought. Lastly, he examined the papers he made a point to familiarize himself with all paperwork involved in a car transaction.

Everything looked fine.

He felt uneasy. As he pulled the money out of his zipper jacket pocket he started to feel bubbles running through his blood. It was because the van made it official, there was no turning back because this was the biggest investment he had made so far into this enterprise. He could still turn back but it got times harder after this point. He tried his best to bottle those feeling deep inside. Carlos stared at the hard currency. Paranoia bloomed inside the Brewer’s heart. He composed himself as he counted the money. Simple mechanical tasks always calmed him down, not for too long.

He was the skeptic owner of a van.

 

Stay tuned for next week’s installment of The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer – Tuesday, May 3.

previous chapter: The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer – The Brewer 14

all chapters: The Baker, The Butcher and The Brewer

more by PETER ODEON

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