Friday Evening

Albert’s keys jangled as he set four deadbolts and locked the bars in place.  Most Brooklyn corner-stores didn’t close at 7pm, but he stood at that damn counter from 7am to 7pm every day.  They could buy their drinks next door for all he cared.  A brisk November breeze whirled through a gap in the buildings and sent a few pathetic brown leaves and torn newspapers fluttering down Pitkin Ave.  His stomach grumbled beneath an old Yankees jacket and a threadbare undershirt.  Leroy would have his order waiting; hot and crispy.

He kept his head up as he walked.  Broken glass, beer cans, and cigarette butts clinked, clattered, and smushed against his steadfast soles.  The streetlights were out, again.  A broken sidewalk stretched ahead, lit by the warm yellow glow spilled from open doorways.

Albert didn’t much care for this Notorious fellow.  Anyone who said they were “ready to die” clearly hadn’t followed the right path.  But these whippersnappers still played “Juicy” on repeat.  All.  Damn.  Night.  It became Brooklyn’s Anthem.  And you couldn’t walk past a wall without seeing that fat man’s face glowering at the world from the twilight.

He had lived in the city his whole life.  Long enough to differentiate between the garbage smells that thickened the air.  Dirt and grime wasn’t too bad, but the foul stench from the vacant house on his right nearly knocked him into the street.  The rain hadn’t cleared the air in any noticeable way.  At least that fitful breeze blew past the restaurants.  Hamburgers, french fries, and most importantly; fried chicken.

[May 12 DP Writing Challenge]

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