Sometimes when wandering around the neighbourhood one can find oneself on the "wrong side of the tracks". Such was the case recently when I came upon a bad-boy establishment known as "The Rock Pile", just next to those very tracks.
Local tough guys (introduced below) hang out there and this is an account of one afternoon in their company.
There are the two brothers, Dekay and Brownie who pretty much dominate the place - lounging about wherever they please. Then there's Spider, a wannabe tough guy, who cozies up to Dekay every chance he gets. Jumpy, Spider's cousin, is too afraid to get so close but sits on the outskirts watching the action.
While I observed the goings-on, Dekay made a sudden move which sent Spider (who had been at his side) bolting across The Rock Pile and running smack into Jumpy. Jumpy, being … well … jumpy, panicked and likewise bolted. Once the action all settled down, the various hangers-on came crawling out to enjoy a few vicarious thrills. There was Beetle Boy (a derisive nickname bestowed by Dekay) who got his kicks by walking all over Dekay daring him to react; then there was Woolly Bear who liked to live on the edge; and finally Tiny whose biggest thrill was to get right up in Brownie's face!
The most memorable moment of all was when a stranger arrived on the scene. Tall and lanky but with a fierce glare, he surveyed the place and looked for potential prey. Dekay and Brownie were passed out at this point so there were no major skirmishes on that front but everyone else became fair game as the stranger (known as The Preyer) advanced slowly and methodically. His attention became focused on a member of the Grasshopper Gang who frequented the place and I was transfixed by the unfolding drama. I was expecting a rumble!
All of a sudden the whole place was subjected to a violent rumbling as the afternoon freight train passed and all the inhabitants scattered. In a matter of seconds the place was deserted, the train was fading away in the distance, and I turned and walked away.
Just another afternoon among the denizens of The Rock Pile …
Cast of characters: