I’m plowing my through the second draft of Confessions of a Hallway Hustler. I was hoping to be done with this draft a couple weeks ago. But you know how it goes. Most chapters are taking longer than expected to work my way through.
I still haven’t decided on names for the characters, apart from the protagonist, who I’m calling Anton. So, for the time being, I’m using the names from the Scarface script.
Here’s the second draft of Chapter 26:
Elvira looked around, her eyes lingering on the row of pinball machines. “Did you really get all this just for a clubhouse?”
I shrugged, trying to play it cool. “Well, a king needs a castle, right?”
She couldn’t hide her smile. “And what’s with the trophy?”
“It’s not just any trophy. It’s the Piston Cup.”
“Never heard of it.”
“From that animated film about race cars.”
“I don’t watch kiddy movies. And I don’t like racing. Bunch of guys driving around in circles, guzzling gas, polluting the air.”
“It’s not about the racing. It’s about the winning.”
She snickered. “You like to win?”
Elvira shook her head. “Only you, Anton. Only you would turn an old storage shed into…whatever this is.”
I puffed out my chest, feigning offense. “It’s a sign, Elvira. A sign of my greatness.”
She laughed, taking a seat on one of the pleather couches. “You never cease to amaze me, Anton. But I have to admit, this is pretty cool.”
I grinned, joining her on the couch. “I knew you’d like it.”
We sat in comfortable silence for a moment, just taking in the ambiance of the room. The hum of the fridge. The glow of the neon signs. The pallets stacked with Snap. It was all so…perfect.
I broke the silence. “What’s gonna happen to Lopez? You talked to him? Since…”
“Since he showed up at school to find his whole garage ‘office’ set up perfectly on the front lawn?”
I chuckled. “Yeah, since then.”
“We broke up.”
“It just didn’t make sense anymore. What with him getting expelled. I hear he’s moving. I hear his mom got a new job. In another state.”
“You hear a lot, for someone who hasn’t talked to him.”
Elvira reached out and put her hand on mine. “It’s over, Anton.”
I wanted this moment to last forever. Suddenly, her face lit up with an idea. “You know what this place needs?”
She jumped up, racing towards the fridge. “A toast! To the king of Jerburbia Middle. And his castle.”
She grabbed two tall cans of Infarction and brought them back to the couch.
I was about to chug mine down when she stopped me.
“No, that’s not enough. We need something more.” She went over to the pallets and tugged out a case from the middle of a stack. Clawing the case open, she handed me not one but three packets and took three for herself.
“Wow,” I said. “You like to go big.”
She ripped off the tops of the three packets. With the packets raised in one hand and the energy drink in the other one, Elvira stood up and declared to the room. “To Anton Montana, the craziest guy I know.”
She slammed her can against mine. Fizzy orange liquid sloshed all over the couch.
She laughed. Then she tips all three packets of Snap into mouth. Then she tipped the can back and filled her mouth with a big slurp of energy drink. The popping and crackling was loud. It filled the room.
I followed her lead. The giddiness hit me like a slap to the face. We fell back on the couch, the Snap fizz frothing out of our mouths. I was giggling uncontrollably. So was she. We slumped on each other, shoulder to shoulder.
I clinked my can against hers again, bits of Snap flying from my mouth as I spoke. “To a future so bright…”
We cracked up.
“I dunno,” I mumbled.
Elvira rested her head on my shoulder. I breathed in the scent of her drugstore shampoo. Paradise.