Guns, Gangs, Drugs, and Bugs

Tina Douglas and Jenny Travis remain very close friends, if you get my drift. Four years have passed and the girls had advanced toward achieving their career goals. It’s the end of July, and with their twenty-third birthdays behind them, they look forward to the next chapters of their lives.

Their friend, Sylvie Harris, had a stroke two years before, and Tina, now her companion, lives with her. Fortunately for the girls, Sylvie is a super progressive person despite her age and has no problem in accepting Tina and Jenny’s relationship. Its July 29, 1989, Tina and Sylvie, Jenny’s parents, Charlie and Beth, and Jewel and her now fiancĂ©e, Erik the Red Gagnon have planned a celebration to recognize Jenny’s acceptance to the Canadian Armed Forces officer candidate school.

Sally, Sylvia’s aging Springer Spaniel, greets the sound of the thump of the Saturday Progress against the door with a “Woof, woof,” followed by the jingling sound of her dog tags as she moved to stand by the door. Tina gave her head a shake to clear the morning cobwebs from her brain and trundled out of bed to retrieve the morning paper and get coffee going.

“Good girl, Sally,” said Tina, and Sally responded with a soft “Woof”, a wag of her stubby tail, and a gentle head butt to Tina’s outstretched hand. Tina retrieved the paper, tossed it on the side table next to Sylvie’s preferred morning landing spot where she takes her coffee and peruses the news. The paper lay open to the front page, but the small but prominent two column article in the bottom right hand quadrant of the page escaped her attention because she heard Sylvie moving around upstairs.

“Sylvie, would you like a half or a whole bagel for breakfast?” she called up to her friend and spiritual mentor.

“I’ll have a half this morning, with a little cream cheese, dear,” and Tina hustled off to the kitchen with Sally following close behind.

“Geerrr, creak, squeak, clunk, ding.” Sally’s ears perked up at the sound of Sylvie’s chair lift descending and parking itself at the bottom of the stairs. She toddled toward the foyer to greet her, stubby tail beating time to the excitement at seeing her mistress. Tina could hear the tap of Sylvie’s cane as she moved to the sitting room, and continued preparing their coffee and toasted bagel.

Tina carried the tray with their traditional Saturday morning breakfast to the sitting room but stopped in her tracks, because she saw Sylvie sitting, eyes fixed on the front page of the newspaper, her face drained of all color.

Sylvie looked up at Tina, face sagging with shock. “I can’t believe this, Tina. You had better put that tray down and sit.”

Tina moved quickly, placed the tray between them and sat, “What Sylvie?”

“Tina, there’s an article with some terrible news on the front page.”

She picked up her cup and asked, “What’s it say?”

“Local man, Robert Aloysius Crawley will be released from prison on August 1, 1989 and integrate back into the community. He will return to run his motorcycle repair and modification business established at Bob’s Garage several years ago. He was released on parole two years earlier than the term of his sentence for good behavior. The RCMP will keep Mr. Crawley under…”

Tina’s hands trembled and she put her cup down on the side table before she spilled, “Oh no! Holy shit Sylvie. Holy shit.”

That’s the teaser. [Guns, Gangs, Drugs, and Bugs is a work in progress]

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