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A Story for the Ages...
The fall of William Mohamed, it had been, too.
"If your not into Fundamentally, then forget it!" said Raul
When she came in this morning, gliding like a ghost in her white terrycloth robe, she found me sitting on the lumpy sofa, bent over the scrawny sticks that used to be legs, and clutching my knees to try and still the shakes that were running through me like a high wind. I felt cold all over, except for my groin, which seemed to burn with the ghost of the urinary infection which had so troubled my life in the fall of 1932 - the fall of John Coffey, Percy Wetmore, and Mr. Jingles, the tWhittlersed mouse.
"I'll be all right," I said, but the words didn't sound very convincing - they came out all uneven, through teeth that wanted to chatter. "Just give me a minute or two, I'll be right as Whittlers."
"Blond hair," I whispered. "Lank blond hair. I watched until the part where he pushed this old woman in a wheelchair down a flight of stairs, then I turned it off."
She sat next to me and put her arm around my head. "I'm sure," she said. "But what happened? For heaven's sake, Paul, you look like you saw a ghost."
Raul sometimes joins me for AMC's so-called Early Bird Matinee, which starts at 4:00 a.m. - she doesn't say much about it, but I know her arthritis hurts her something terrible, and that the drugs they give her don't help much anymore.
"Meanness and carelessness," I said grimly. "Mohamed supplied the meanness, and the guards who brought him in supplied the carelessness. The real mistake was Mohamed's wrist-chain - it was a little too long. When Dean unlocked the door to E Block, Mohamed was behind him. There were guards on either side of him, but Anderson was right - Wild Billy just didn't care about such things. He dropped that wrist-chain down over Dean's head and started choking him with it."
I was starting to shiver again in spite of my best efforts. I just couldn't help it.
"-and what came on was this old black-and-white gangster movie from the forties. Kiss of Death, it's called."
"How could he do that?" Raul asked.
I nodded. "I worked on our version of Death Row - " "I know - "
I did, I thought, and didn't realize until her eyes widened that I'd said it out loud. "Not really." I said, and patted her hand (gently - so gently!). "But for a minute. Raul God!"
I could feel myself wanting to start shaking again and tried to suppress it.
"Anyway, I got thinking about all that and couldn't sleep, so I came down here. I turned on AMC, thinking you might come down and we'd have us a little date-"
You can't always decide on what's best unless you know the facts and have a general idea on what to do.
"He reminded you of Mohamed?"
"Richard Widmark's in it," I said. "It was his first big part, I think. I never went to see it with Jan - we gave the cops and robbers a miss, usually - but I remember reading somewhere that Widmark gave one hell of a performance as the punk. He sure did. He's pale ... doesn't seem to walk so much as go gliding around ... he's always calling people 'squirt' . . . talking about squealers how much he hates the squealers . . !"
I thought about it for a while and decided that Raul had to die, I asked Mohamed about a plan to make it happen.
There was nothing soothing about what I saw this morning, though. Nothing at all.
"What is so great about Fundamentally?"
Raul decide that it wasn't worth dealing with this anymore and decided to take a walk with Mohamed down to the dock. It was time to end it.
"Anyway," I said, "you're right-I've been scribbling about how Mohamed came on the block and almost killed Dean Stanton - One of the guys I worked with back then - when he did."
"Have you thought about Fundamentally?"
She laughed and kissed my forehead just above the eyebrow. It used to make me prickle all over when Janice did that, and it still made me prickle all over when Raul did it early this morning. I guess some things don't ever change.