Little, Brown and Company

Hachette Book Group

237 Park Avenue, New York, New York, NY 10017

Visit our Web site at []

ISBN: 978-0-316-05044-9

The ?Little, Brown and Company? name and logo are trademarks of Hachette Book Group, Inc.


blue lightning


shift, shift, shift

what would you do?

a day in the park

the mugger

that smell

walkin' the dog

mookie kid

moving on

rascals in the cane


blue lightning


t first he thought the trill and bleating note was part of a dream. A sweet note so high it had to be the angel that Aunt Bellandra said the blue god sent, ?to save the black mens from fallin? out the world complete. He got a real high voice like a trumpet an? he always come at the last second, after a fool done lost his job, his money, his wife, his self-respect and just about everything else he got. Just about dead,? Bellandra proclaimed, clapping her hands together loudly, ?an? that's when the angel sing.?

Back when he was a little boy, Socrates feared his tall and severe auntie. But he was also enthralled by her stories about the black race in a white world under a blue god who barely noticed man.

?When he almost gone that angel just might make his move,? she'd say. ?And when a black man hear that honied voice all the terrible loss an' pain fall right away an' the man look up an' see that he always knew the right road but he never made the move.?

Again the high note. This time strained a bit. This time a little warble in Socrates' sleep.

?But not everybody could hear it. Some dope fiends too high an' some mens hatin' too hard. Sometimes the angel is that much too late and his song becomes a funeral hymn.?

Socrates jerked himself upright in the bed, opening his eyes as wide as he could. He was afraid that the music he heard in his dream was really the dirge of that tardy angel?that he'd died in the night and it was too late for him to make up for all the suffering he'd caused in his evil years.

He sat up on his fold-out sofa bed. There was a slight whistle in his throat at the tail end of each breath, a whistle that blended into the high notes of the trumpet playing somewhere outside.

The music was like crying. A long sigh breaking down into a cascade of tears and then gasping, pleading notes that seemed to be begging for death.

The luminescent hands on the alarm clock told the ex-convict that it was three thirty-four. In less than an hour and a half he had to get up and get ready to go to work.

He listened for the song in the notes but the horn went silent. Socrates let his eyes close for a moment, then opened them briefly only to let them close for a few seconds more. He was considering putting his head back down on the couch cushion when the horn sounded again. This time it was playing a slow blues; a train coming into the station or maybe just leaving.

Socrates' sleepy nod turned into appreciation for the music. He swung his feet over to the edge of the bed, stepped into the overalls that were on the floor and stood up, pulling the straps over his shoulders. He slid his feet into the large leather sandals he'd found in a trash can on one of his delivery runs for Bounty.

Leather slapping against his heels, Socrates walked out of his apartment door and into the small vegetable garden that led to the alley. The black dog raised up on his two legs and dragged himself to his master's feet.

The horn song was coming from the left, from the lot where a warehouse once stood. The warehouse had once

Вы читаете Walkin The Dog
Добавить отзыв


Вы можете отметить интересные вам фрагменты текста, которые будут доступны по уникальной ссылке в адресной строке браузера.

Отметить Добавить цитату