Alabama Island is a collection of 12 short stories, including the featured story, Alabama Island…
I had walked by the mouth of the alley twice and both times I saw the old Ford sitting there in the deep shadows… Heard the soft murmur of its engine running: Some guy and some girl, I thought or some guy with some guy… or boy who knows what. It was downtown. Shit like that happened all the time. They didn’t call this area the meat market for nothing, but I thought after the second time that this guy must be trying to set a record. He’d been there for fifteen minutes by my watch, not that it was my business, all the same fifteen minutes is a long time for a trick. Or to shoot up. Fifteen minutes could bring a cop. In the street world it was just too long for almost anything. In fifteen minutes you could get your thing on, your drug of choice, your sex of choice, cop that stolen watch, and be a half mile away and have forgotten all about that last little space of time. So why was this guy still there?
And that was the street part of me that was not gone. The street part of me that was still looking for trouble. And I found it…
The third time by, which was just a few minutes later, I was too curious. My evening had bought me some excitement. The drugs: I could see the flow all over the avenue. Easy to see if you knew what to look for. The ladies were calling too. I knew what that was about. I didn’t look at them like they were whores or something less than human. It was a line I couldn’t draw, had confused many times so I came back fast to see what this was. That Ford was calling.
I had stopped at the mouth of the alley. Same Ford. An old one; like a classic. Nice shape to. Maybe somewhere in the sixties, but I wasn’t good with cars like that. I only knew old, classic, nice looking.
Nobody around. Of course that didn’t mean there was no one in the car. I hesitated for only a second, and then walked quietly down the alley, staying in the shadows as I went.
As I stole silently up the driver’s side of the car I found the Mexican slumped over behind the wheel. Blood dripping down the side of his head. What looked like a 45 on the seat beside him. Another guy was slumped over into the floorboards on the passenger side: That one was dead for sure. A large, bloodless hole on one side of his chest. An even larger hole behind that shoulder I saw when I reached over to move him.