Donnie knew that this was a dangerous mission he was on. Tanker was no push over and he would be a tough adversary. The other kids who hung out with Tanker only did it to feel protected in the streets. They knew how tough it was to survive alone, so the best way was to attach themselves to a guy like Tanker, who knew all the angles of street survival, after all he has been a homeless victim for several years, after having been put out by his family.
The streets had their stories to tell and much of it is ugly and nasty, drugs, prostitution, homosexuality, pimping, stealing, brutality and yes even murder. Many kids who fell victims to the dealers and gangs ended up totally under their control and demands. If you didn’t play the game that they made for you, then you had a pretty good chance of being found dead somewhere.
Donnie was a survivor; he walked the walk and talked the talk. There were times he was taken advantage of and he knew it, but he also got even in his own way. It may mean waiting a spell for pay back, but it came and god forbid that person or person’s who crossed his path to do him harm. He never wanted to hurt anyone, but he also knew the only way to survive in the streets, was to take the stance and attitude of being a non-forgiving SOB and that he was when his hand was forced.
A limo pulled up beside Donnie as he was walking down the lane-way, electric window rolled down and Troy popped his bandana clad head out with a smoke stuck between his chapped lips a bellow of smoke twisted through the humid air. Hey Donnie what’s up? I have a gift for you brother; do you want to see what it is? Donnie snapped back a gift for me? And why would you be giving me a gift you pimp. Troy’s come back was because I am looking out for ya bro.
Troy slips a brown bag out the window to Donnie, you may need this if you’re going up against Tanker, I just want you to have an equalizer, here take it. Donnie opens the bag and pulls out a Magnum 357 with a box of shells in the bottom of the bag. What do I owe you Troy? Hey man no sweat, I like your style and street smarts, hate to see you get blown away by this Tanker dude and his gang. You can do me a favor someday, and you know I will call on you for that at some time. You have never let me down yet man, so consider this an offering, a gift of some kind.
The limo pulls away slowly as a billow of cigar smoke sneaks through the closing limo window. Donnie takes the bag and stashes it between his left armpit under his hoodie and keeps walking to a dark lane way away from the busy night traffic. He empties the bag of its contents and loads the chamber of the magnum. Throws the bag away and stuffs the remaining bullets into his patch pocket in his jeans. Then he tucks the magnum between his belt and his lower back and covers it with his hood. He is hoping not to have to use it, but if it becomes a matter of life or death, then he vowed to use it to try to stay alive.
Donnie knew that he would be up against not only Tanker but also his followers, he couldn’t drop his guard for a minute, and he would have to have eyes in the back of his head and use his instinct always. He knew that Tanker would be ready for the face off as well. Donnie already knew that he carried a knife and he felt the sharp blade nick his cheek. He didn’t know if he carried a gun, but wouldn’t be surprised. Donnie knew this was going to be an ugly fight and someone may just get killed.
Fighting in the streets was not the same as boxing in a ring controlled by a referee. Donnie was good with his fists, he had fought in a golden gloves championship bout and won, knocking out a well-known middleweight fighter on the island of Montreal. He had the moves and the fists to match. He knew this would be an advantage for him going up against Tanker and his lot. He had to outsmart them and beat them to the punch. He also knew this would be an all out war and it was him against at least five that he knew of for sure. Although he did have Randy his faithful and scrappy pit-bull to help him throw a scare tactic out with his fearsome growls and lockjaw bite, should he have to attack. He didn’t feel entirely alone.
Donnie knew that Tanker and his crew hung out at an old abandoned Scrap yard on Jarvis Street. It was filled with old rusted cars dating back to the forties. It was a place where they crushed the scrap and used the metal for recycling. It was also a poorly lit yard at night and a good place to hideout in. He decided he was going to get there early in the day and wait for Tanker to show up, he usually does in the evenings.
A scrap yard was a perfect place for Tanker and his side kicks to come out to drink their booze they stole and smoke up their joints to keep themselves high all night. Donnie wanted to catch them with their guard down, so he did not drink or smoke anything that day. He scoped out the yard before entering and found an old Cadillac in a place that would be an excellent vantage point for Donnie to watch them enter the yard. It was early afternoon when Donnie and Randy laid their heads down on the back seat of the Caddy for a little shut-eye but with one eye open and one ear on constant alert to any sound of movement.
Donnie drifted off and dreamt he was in a better place. Laying on the beach and listening to the sea gulls as they circled and dipped themselves into the ocean for swimming prey. The sun rays reflected off the ocean cover and twinkled like diamonds as he listened to the waves rush to the shoreline and recede as quickly as they came. It was peaceful and very soothing for Donnie, then suddenly he was awoken to the low growl of Randy, he was jerked back to reality.
He heard voices in the distance and he knew this had to be Tanker and his boys; this would be the chance he was waiting for to even the score and leave one of them standing. The voices were getting closer and closer. Donnie lifted his head above the door and took a peek through the back window. He saw Tanker and three others walking through the center of the yard. He knew he needed to take action as soon as possible. He slowly opened the door and squeezed through it, being ever so careful not to make a sound. Randy was right behind him.
Donnie felt the magnum still stuck in his back belt and felt some comfort. He also felt for his switch blade in his trousers pocket. This was the time of confrontation that he knew was going to be the test of his young life. He stepped out in the open to make him and Randy visible to the foursome. He felt a drop of sweat sliding down the left side of his face and his mouth was very dry. He looked at them and they stood in shock at what they knew was going to be a rumble.
Tanker yelled out, what the hell do you want punk and what are you doing in my yard? Donnie shot back, I’ve come to settle our differences and I am here to do some business. I have no cause other than to tell you that I am joining your group and if you get in my way, then you and I are going to finish it. Tanker yelled back, we don’t want scum of your kind in our yard.
Donnie quickly reached behind his back pulling the Magnum from his belt and raised it shoulder length and pointed it directly at Tanker who was standing about 15 feet in front of him. Tanker yells out what the fuck man are you doing, ya gonna shoot us all? No Tanker just you if I have to. Donnie yells to the other three guys, now is your chance to leave us two alone and save your lives, if you stay here they just may get lost. The other three say no way we don’t want any part of this, we are leaving you two to fight it out and settle your score.
They scatter running into the night like the scared cowards they are, leaving Donnie and Tanker alone. Hey Tanker it’s you and me. I’ll tell you what; I will put aside my rod if you take yours out and toss it over there beside that scrapped engine, savvy. Tanker slides his right hand down his pant leg, pulls up the bottom to show an ankle holster holding his gun. He pulls it out slowly and tosses it in the direction of the engine. Donnie does the same with his Magnum. He yelled to Randy, boy go lay down and stay, ya hear me. Randy whimpered and laid down and didn’t make a move, his round black eyes darting between the two of them.
They both approach one another circling slowly. Like a lighting bolt, Tanker throws a left punch that sends Donnie to the hard dirt floor and he feels a boot in his ribs as Tanker let’s go with a flurry of kicks to his upper and lower body. Donnie’s nose is bleeding and feels a burning sensation in his stomach. Just as Tanker let’s go with another kick, Donnie blocks this steel toed boot with the cupping of both is hands, twist’s Tankers foot and sends him to the ground. Donnie get’s up and kicks Tanker in the face knocking out his front teeth, blood gushes from his mouth.
As Donnie is bending down to pull Tanker up to give him more, he feels a blade go ripping into his left shoulder, Tanker had stabbed him with the hidden switch blade he had under his belt and it came out in a flash and stuck into Donnie’s shoulder. Donnie winches in pain and quickly pulled away and at the same time yanked the blade from his shoulder. Donnie lost his mind now and went berserk on Tanker with a flurry of kicks to his groin and as he bent forward he let Tanker have another snap kick to his face and this send Tanker flying backwards on his ass. Donnie jumped on Tanker straddling him and punching him one after another till his knuckles were raw and both Tankers eyes were closed shut. He laid there unconscious.
Just as Donnie was about to get off him, two cop cars came screaming into the yard with their sirens on, dust flying in all directions from the screeching of the tires. Four cops jumped out of their cars with guns pulled and leveled directly at Donnie. They yelled hands up, hands up, NOW. Donnie raised his hands above his head and put them clasped together behind his head. They then jumped on Tanker and flipped him over and slapped handcuffs on him. Pulling him to his feet they shouted you are under arrest for the rape and murder of Shannon Lucas. Donnie’s mouth opened and he cried No you rotten SOB and murderer.
Two cops had to run to Donnie and block him from attacking Tanker again, this time with intentions of killing him if he could. Thank goodness they jumped in front of him. The cops lead Tanker to one of the cars and placed him in the back seat. Tanker was done for now, he would be charged with murder and be put away for a very long time and possibly given the death penalty.
Two cops approached Donnie and told him that he was free to go; they did not see the two guns lying in the shadow of the engine on the yard floor. He was warned to stay clean and offered a ride to the hospital to have his knife wound tended to. He said no thanks, I will take care of it myself, and I hate the smell of hospitals.
The patrol cars pulled away and left Donnie standing in the center of the yard. All Donnie could think of was the loss of Shannon and how sadly she would be missed in the streets not only by him, but by other caring homeless friends. Donnie picked up both guns from the yard and tucked them into his belt and slowly walked away holding his left shoulder. He called to Randy come on boy, let’s go.
The streets would be safer without the likes of Tanker, but he would miss Shannon so much. She gave him the strength to go on every day in the mean streets of Montreal, she inspired him with hope and kindness she showed him when they met. She didn’t deserve to die like this in the filthy streets and under the hand of Tanker. As Donnie walked slowly from the yard he bowed his head and cupped his hands to his wet eyes and said a silent prayer to God and prayed that Shannon would find peace in his grace.
© Copyright 2010 by Vincent Moore. All rights reserved