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Published May 20, 2008

    The fire Jimmy the Chief built was small and delightful. Johnny was shocked that the old man was able to get the damp kindling to ignite. "It's an old Indian secret", Jimmy explained, "patience." But, to Johnny, it seemed as though the wood wanted to burn for them. The smoke billowed thickly off the fire as the flames battled the water still retained in the sticks. Jimmy stood up reverently and raised his arm to the sky. As if on cue, the Old Indian was lit up by a powerful spotlight, his long, black hair shimmering and reflecting like a halo. From behind the unseen source of the light a booming, yet nasal voice spoke, "THIS IS THE POLICE. YOU ARE IN VIOLATION OF CITY ORDINANCE...UHHH, CITY ORDIN-SHIT!" They heard a car door open and close, "DON'T ANY OF YOU MOVE!" And the light went off. As Johnny, Mac, and Jimmy the Chief adjusted their eyes the short round silhouette of the police officer quickly came into focus, "What the hell do you think you are doing? You can't just build a fire ANYWHERE!" The cop looked right at Jimmy, "This is not the reservation you old drunk." Johnny stepped between the cop and the old man, "It was my fire." The officer looked closer at the boy, "Hey, aren't you Johnny Virgil?" The cop stepped back in surprise, "You are aren't you?" Johnny nodded, barely holding in a smile as the officer's lazy eyes googled around behind his thick, thick glasses, "Yeah, and you're Noodles the Almost- Cop." The short, fat officer of the law suddenly grabbed the boy and violently attempted to pin him to a tree, "My name is OFFICER NELSON, and you should learn some respect. You're not gonna be big man on campus for much longer you stuck-up little shit!" Johnny looked down at  the round policeman and said, "That's the plan." But no one was paying attention to him, they were all staring at the cop wondering what he was gonna do. Even Officer Nelson was looking around nervously, as if he were expecting someone else to appear and do...something. Noodles dragged Johnny over to the cop car and pushed him over the hood, arms spread out wide. "This isn't a good spot for you, pretty boy", Officer Nelson sneered at Johnny, "I can get you in a lot of trouble." Johnny remained silent. Noodles, who frusterated quite easily, pulled his hat off and threw it at the reticent boy, revealing the dynamic blond afro that earned him his nickname, "Don't you care about what i could do to you!", Noodles was screaming, red faced, which only amplified the pasta bowl look of his hair. His physical appearence did not help in his quest for respect. The cop grabbed Johnny by the back of his head and pulled their noses together, "I could make your life Hell", the fat man snarled, veins straining under his crimson flesh, his eyes rolling around like a chameleon on speed. Johnny couldn't hold back the laughter. The cop threw him to the ground and shrieked in a voice only meant for witches and banshees, "YOU DON'T LAUGH AT ME! YOU DON'T LAUGH AT ME! YOU DON'T LAUGH AT ME!"  Johnny realized this outburst was no longer being directed at him and Noodles was having some sort of psychotic break. Johnny took the opportunity to get up and make a dash for the car, "Come one guys, I don't want to be here when he re-joins reality." And the trio was heading back to the car. They left the fire burning and Noodles screaming at the empty night air as they drove away.

    Jimmy the Chief was singing quietly in the back seat as they made the last turn out of town. "Stop here for a second", Johnny said as he quickly pulled a black cannnister out of his duffle bag. Mac stopped the car on the edge of the highway as Johnny got out and headed for a large "Welcome to Town" sign behind them. Mac saw what he was headed for. Underneath the generic welcome message was a smaller sign. It read, "Home of All-State Quarterback Johnny Virgil!" The boy walked up to the sign and without any hesitation he spray painted the word "FORMER" in  black. Putting it in front  of the words already there. He stepped back to look at what he had done. An uncontrollable anger welled up within him and his leg suddenly shot out and kicked the sign. The boy kicked it again and again, smashing each word with his foot, malice, and indignation until the wood gave way and the sign broke in two. Johnny's body heaved from exhaustion and, surprisingly to him, sobs. It was the sobbing that brought Mac running from the car. She closed in carefully and slowly wrapped herself around him. Almost reflexively, Johnny held her close, his tears dropping onto her hair. No words passed between them as she led him back to the car. But their arms and hands and eyes spoke volumes. "If you guys are gonna fuck right here, i better get to watch." Jimmy broke the beautiful silence, returning them all to the impersonal comfort of vulgarity. Mac looked at her knees as she put the car back into gear, "No fucking", she whispered, "not yet." Johnny nodded and cracked the window for a smoke. The girl pulled the car onto the highway and they were off. Jimmy the Chief resumed singing quietly to the stars.


end of episode 1


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