The Chandler pulp and paper mill served up its usual sulphuric stink with extra sauce on the day JC Bernard decided to kidnap his best friend Alphonse.
As he trudged to the end of the back lane, he took special care with his footing in half-melted chunks of dirty ice. He skirted a snow bank and stared out at Chaleur Bay. When he glimpsed a cavorting pair of humpbacks a few kilometres out on the steel grey water, he grinned, feeling the cold air on his bare gums.
His smile turned to a grimace when a sharp pain invaded his hip, shooting down his leg. He leaned on his cane and attempted to shake out the bee-stings of age. everything hurt these days – he was lucky to get out of bed, much less hike a hundred yards behind his house.
Getting Alphie out of the nursing home wouldn't be easy either, but he figured he'd have no trouble talking the boys into helping. Not so long ago, they had no trouble rising at four in the morning for their yearly pilgrimage to Montreal to take in a Habs game. Would this be so different?
Probably. But when you were nearly dead, what did it matter? Better to go out like this than to gently whisper your last breath to an old germanic nurse who reeked of baby powder and dollar store soap. And this was sure to be easier than the time they broke Alphie out of prison. No armed guards.
JC rubbed at his aching hip and pushed himself on. By the time he reached the marina, the boys were there waiting for him, shivering from the cold, but with grins as wide as the bay. He nodded in greeting and shook their hands and prepared to lay the plan out to them. People wouldn’t be calling him a senile old fantasist after this. He’d go down in history as the man who sprang Al Capone, assisted by Quasimodo and Richard III.
Opening: Chumplet.....Continuation: Anon./Scott from Oregon/freddie