Outside the Ellison Duplex

The young men wore smirks of a mutual malice. Their expressions were either meant to ward off or attract simple-minded questions, depending on who may happen to be doing the asking. Questions like the kind that Hopscotch Joey had trotted up and asked last week as the little band of twenty-something tough guys stood outside the brick facade a few blocks down from the Ellison Duplex. He said he needed directions to Hunt Street.

“You kidding me?” Raspy Pete shot back with a chuckle that shook his chest into a mild coughing fit. “You’re on Hunt Street. Where on Hunt Street’d you want to be?”
“351.”
“So you’re looking for Little Ellison?”
“Depend’s on who’s asking.”
“Well you sure as shit ain’t want to be tryna find Big Ellison this time of day wearing those rags you got on.”
“Yeah, I’m looking to meet Little El,” Hopscotch said. “Likely he’s expecting me a bit later, but the job ended, well, abruptly.”
“Since when do you run for Little Ellison?”
“I ain’t never said nothing about running for Little Ellison. I said I need to see him.”
“See, thing is he’s up getting a bit of shut-eye. Had a late night. No visitors.”
“Can I at least come in and wait?”
“No. Come back Saturday.”
“It is Saturday.”
“Oh. Alright, go on in. Wipe your feet on the mat.”

 

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