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 Missing Chronicles: City Kids (1 of 2)

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PostSubject: Missing Chronicles: City Kids (1 of 2)   Missing Chronicles: City Kids (1 of 2) I_icon_minitimeThu Jul 18, 2013 12:40 am

Joe puffed on his cigarette as the sun went down before he went back inside to keep the old gym clean. As the custodian of the building, Joe tried to keep from letting the youngsters see him smoke or even swear. He was a bit looser around the older boys, but he still didn't like them to see him smoke. It was a crisp and cool Monday night as the seven teenagers entered the gym to play some basketball.

The neighborhood itself had seen its fair share of crime and gangs. Joe hoped these boys would be different as they were all at the age in which many would join gangs. They were aged fourteen to seventeen and were quite athletic. The boys changed in the lockerroom and smiled at Joe as he made sure they didn't have street shoes on to scuff up his floors. They knew better, but Joe made it a habit as some new ones didn't learn the rules.

It was a fall day in 1976 and the leaves were yet to start changing. It was quite cool to have to wear a jacket and soon the leaves and fall rains would come to change over to winter. But it was quite nice as school was in session and the gym not so busy. The boys themselves were regulars and knew Joe and the staff by heart.

They played their game aggressively like most teenagers do. Some swearing would be heard and Joe would remind the boys their grandmothers could walk in that door and hear those words. "And you know your hides would all get tanned no matter who swore." Closing time was ten o'clock and Joe figured the boys would take their time showering so he would let them know he had to lock up soon. The boys handed the ball to Joe and headed toward the lockers to shower up as Joe did a quick dust mopping of the floors and made sure everything else was locked up.

It was fifteen minutes later and Joe heard the showers going and the boys laughing as he walked down and told them to hurry up a bit. "I get paid only until ten, guys. They can't afford overtime, so when you horse around I am an unpaid babysitter." The boys smiled and commented they weren't babies now and could lock up themselves.

"You all maybe six feet and taller, but I bet each one of your Momma's would beat your asses to within an inch of your life. Now, I also know I can't let you lock up as they would fire me over that one." Joe laughed as he knew teenaged boys could be the worst when it came to preening and dressing. Sometimes they could do it in less than a minute, but get a group of them and it takes them an hour. They were all finished in half an hour and left the building as Joe smiled and waved at them.

"We are gonna be at the hamburger joint, Joe. Come on and have a bite with us." Joe took the boys up on the offer as it was one of the few places that had freshly cooked food. Joe watched as each of the boys walked toward the direction of the diner which could be seen from his building. Joe also did not realize it but he would never see them again.
Joe sat at the diner's bar and asked Mary if the boys from the gym had been their and gone. "No, they never arrived here. Usually they are hungry after playing a game and each one has a bit of money to buy a burger and fries. You know I give it to them if they are short as they do pay it back in a few days." Joe became a bit worried as he had been hearing about the gang shootings in the area.

"I had better call Kelvin's Momma as I sort of look after him at the gym to see if he is home." Joe went to the payphone and called up Phyllis to ask her if her boy had returned home yet. Joe then had an upset look on his face as he kept telling Phyllis to calm down and just call the police.

"It seems Kelvin has not been home yet. Poor Phyllis is worried sick as she knows a child who was shot dead not more than three blocks from here. I told her to call the police so they can drive around. I'm gonna look around the alleys and see if they are getting into any trouble. They might try to hide it from their Mommas and Daddies, but they won't hide it from me."

What Joe didn't know was this was going to be the beginning of a long nightmare.
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