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by Christopher Davis

Bobby Trujillo often figured life imitated art, or at least that’s what his old high school teachers would have had him believe, if he had bothered to pay attention that is. There were so many examples of actors dying in horrific car accidents after starring in a similar role, musicians passing like someone in a song and on and on, but Bobby never listened.

Trujillo, of course, didn’t waste his time with classrooms or teachers or lessons, he had bigger fish to fry. It wasn’t like the boy wasn’t focused or anything. Little Bobby Trujillo ran crack for an unlicensed pharmacist on Penn. The money was good. By his second year at Reading High, Trujillo was bringing in enough money to support his aging parents, an unemployed sister and her four kids. The family counted on the boy and encouraged him to excel in his chosen career. Bobby did well.

“You better watch it Bobby T,” one of his street buddies told him once, “motherfucker catch you skimming his shit, you going to wind up dead.”

Trujillo blew the comment aside. “Fuck that old man,” Trujillo said, smiling. “He ain’t shit.”

The boy had dreams though, plans and aspirations. Once his aging parents passed, and only then, Trujillo wanted to pick up and move west. He’d take his unemployed sister and her four brats and head for California, Hollywood maybe, where the beautiful people lived. Little Bobby had taken his lessons from the cold city streets and had done well rising to the top of his class. It wouldn’t stretch the imagination to realize that he could get a fresh start, maybe run his own thing out there.

Money and making people happy, that’s what it was all about. Never mind two bit street thugs and dirty cops or his neighbors wasting their minds smoking the crap. It was all about money and making people happy. Bobby did that well.

Trujillo continued to take his cut from the top. He didn’t care if the boss knew, it would force the old man to recognize.

One cold morning early in January, the authorities discovered Bobby Trujillo dead on a forgotten sidewalk behind the tallest of the city’s buildings. It looked as though the boy had lost his mind and fell from the Berks County Courthouse, 22 floors to a receptive icy concrete below.

The dead boy resembled one of the paintings by Van Gogh his teachers had talked about, notable for its rough beauty, emotional honesty and bold color. As the morning sun rose ever higher into the cold morning sky, the remains of Bobby Trujillo lay in brilliant reds, shining black and gristly bone white. His tormented expression frozen forever in horror across a fractured face, one eye here and one eye there, life does have a tendency to imitate art.

Christopher Davis is a central California native and grandfather of three rambunctious little ones. When not tending the herd, he’ll try his hand at writing Civil War, Western and crime fiction, some of which can be seen in Shotgun Honey, The Big Adios, Near to the KnuckleYellow Mama and David Tyson’s Ghosts Anthology. Find out more at www.christopherdaviswrites.com.