One Night Out Stealing

One Night Out Stealing by Alan Duff Read Free Book Online

Book: One Night Out Stealing by Alan Duff Read Free Book Online
Authors: Alan Duff
tossed to the wind. No different, Sonny in an instant reminded, from a borstal minister putting to his youthful, incarcerated audience, Would there be any sound in the case of a piece of ice breaking from a main body if there were no ears to hear it? Really got them thinking. And flummoxed. Stumped the lot of the dunderhead boobheads. Then one dude, Moomoo Jacobs was his name, asked: Whassa fuckin difference? And everyone laughed away their confusion. Sonny still had occasional ice dreams. The break-offs sounded like rifle cracks.
    Flash of silver out front and Jube swinging for it. Too late. No thud of impact. Hey, what’s a frog doin out here in the middle of the night? Dunno, Son. Maybe it couldn’t sleep – HAHAHAHA!
    Cans getting warmer. So drinking for effect, not the pleasure of ice chill in mouth, against throat. Just effect. To shut out the whatevers they permanently were with people like them. And don’t forget the smokes: that need to suck, to satisfy sumpin of the mouth.
    I ever tell you that poem I wrote got printed in the Star ?Yeh, ya did, lotsa times. And not as if it was printed, man. Was the Memorium column and you paid for it. Okay, okay, I wasn’t saying it was a normal poem. But I still made it up. None a that copycattinglike other people do in the In Memorium. I composed it all by myself. Wanna hear it? If you insist. But you slow down a bit first. Why’s that? So I can concentrate. Okay man, a deal. The engine went instantly quieter. Ya ready? Come on, man, get on with it. Well I’m sorry, Mr Mahia, don’t want you late for your appointment with the Prime Minister now, do we? Here we go:
    My mate Ace, remember the V8s?
    Them were the days, weren’t they, mate?
    Rums and bourbons, washed down with Coke
    Hey, givus another bottle, along with some smokes.
    You drove the meanest V8 in town.
    Had to be you Ace, stead of some clown.
    But now you’re the All American boy in the sky …
    Hey, Ace weren’t American. Jeezus, Sonny! you interrupted me – and I never said he was American. Yes ya did. No, ya spoon, that’s just a saying, it’s a – You wouldn’t understand. You gonna let me get on with it?
    But now you’re the All American boy in the sky.
    But we’ll always remember you for giving us those highs
    Our day’ll come, old buddy of mine,
    When we’ll be cracking a bottle – No, make that nine.
    And we’ll toast to speed, and to thrills.
    Only wish to God it was me, not you, got killed.
    So farewell, dear friend. Your turn came too soon.
    But Jube’ll see you again, on the dark side of the moon.
    Silence. And the car still at its reduced speed. (I can hear his heart thumping. He thinks he’s on the tv, in the movies. He’s sucking on the emotion like a kid on a last bit of lolly. He thinks –) Makes you feel, don’t it? Uh well, yeah. Guess it does. Guess it does. But did it, like, sound okay to you? Yeah, it did. Ya sure? Sure I’m sure. Not having me on, are ya? No way. Thanks, Son. I, uh, preciate that. You know? Yeah, I know. As the speed gradually increased.
    The shifts. Beer shifts. Of mood, and perspective. Now attitude as Jube went Huh? at an oncoming set of lights not responding to his foot tap of dip to full to dipped beam. A pause of his anger coming up, then: Give me full beam, ya cunt – wrenching the wheel over, taking them to the other side of the white line. Nowmuthafucka, see what ya made of. Through his clenched teeth, Sonny could hear it even over the constant roar of powerful engine, the shift in Jube’s mind. From ten, fifteen kilometres back of getting all sentimental over his late pal Ace killed himself in his V8, to this: Come onnnnn! and the floor dip switch a staccato hammer of Jube’s foot hitting it. COME ONNNN! Sonny’s eyes opening and closing about the same rate as Jube’s foot was going on the dip switch. (We’re gonna die.) Jube? Come onnnn, muthafucka. Jube! Come – HAHAHAHAHAHA!! Sonny opening his eyes to see the victory of the other car

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