Shorty & Morty
An Extraordinary Homeless Couple
He screeched out - carefully – “Is it necessary to stink my pad up too?”
Hollywood hills and backstreets…
Pikey Pram Pusher was on a savage rampage – shredding cardboard condos – tipping shacks and lifting cars trying to locate his girlfriend – E.M. Fredric’s Early Works DVD Demo that he had kept hidden and cherished in his prized Pram. Enraged by the theft – he stenched on. Methed out – Forearmless Jake was clammering over and under tossed debris in Pikey’s wake while yappin’ – “Pikey! Pike! We’re gonna find her but if you destroy all the homeless pads you’re gonna get attacked by our people… and the cops! Please ya gotta lissen to me… I oughta know they blew my arms off in a stand-off over a minor drug deal – it was bah-zerk!”
Pikey continued onward from the freeways into the hillsides – his stench flowing with steam from his nostrils’ pores. Jake tucked his nose into his armpit– twisting his body to see ahead. Razor stopped packing his boxes of pancake mix and Mrs. Butterworth that he had lifted from the Hollywood Census social worker’s car – lifting his shirt to cover his mouth and nose. “Christ – Pikey’s mad at somebody.” He yelled out carefully – “Is it necessary to stink my pad up too?”
The Pram backtracked as Forearmless slammed into his rear – he stared at the Shrekian homeless regular with eyes ablaze. Razor put his hands up – “Whatever it is? I didn’t do it!” Forearmless Jake piped in peering out from Pikey’s posterior – “Someone stole Pikey’s girl! Dat wouldn’t be you would it – Mister Raze-HER?” Razor was flabbergasted and terrified – “No! No way would I steal his girl. That’s suicide – man! Either some really stupid dipsh*t took her or a kid did it and found her by accident. Aww come on man ya gotta believe me…”
Pikey stared as Jake watched Razor slowly and protectively backing up to his domain’s door – “What ya hidin’ behind you? Come on… let’s see.” Pikey started to step towards him and Razor quickly lifted his door-hood to reveal the flapjack boxes. He whined like a little boy – “Ahh please don’t take ‘em! I know I shouldn’t have taken them but I couldn’t resist… and the candybars on the floor of his car…” he drooled. Jake shrieked – “You stole that from the social worker?” Razor nodded with false humility. “F^^kin’ ay – you’re okay!” Razor’s face lit up like a cherry bomb. Then the two moved on towards Runyon Canyon. Yesiree.
Onward and upward.
Hollywood Boulevard at night…
Silent Nick smirked while listening to Hollywood’s most private club. He had many years to reflect on about his ever not-so-changing country. It just grew larger. The British had come with their Aussie counterparts long after the Japanese – or the Mexicans – hoping to grab more of Krazytown’s entertainment cash – yet the Chinese were the new flavor. This had lead to the opening of the floodgates to many countries from around-the-world in Nick’s time. America Lost was being reinvented - like the wheel – again.
Foreigners by the thousands were being sworn in with little or no knowledge of the country gifting them their citizenship – their subsidized housing and/or businesses. A precedent had long been set– a foreigner could come and get almost everything for free. The Americans born and bred – worked hard for the money and harder to keep up appearances. Silent knew the drill – keep everyone off-balance and in fear. Religion was the game and war was its name.
Citizens were told they could keep gardens on their rooftops to grow their own food – the urban way. Many parroted the idea until they realized their shingles weren’t really theirs or had fallen off. Silent Nick was outside on the street watching and he knew America lost her way but her sons and daughters were outside of the iris of the kaleidoscopic storms-to-arms. There was no left or right – plenty of wrongs and monies to aid or abet and some of the few who knew why it had to look good were labeled the mentals or the homeless or misbegotten – never the public. Silent Nick smiled – it was too easy to be true.
No one would dare lie to them when it came to building the metro and tearing up streets at the oddest times of year and most inopportune times for the masses as the gasses were at record breaking highs. The news kept telling them and their “trusted leaders” how it was all for the best to bring more jobs and tourism. Like when North Hollywood was just a sleepy affordable burb – the metro quickly plunked the city’s funds into a higher rent district – hiring artists to adorn the exteriors of businesses and dough plus paint for a select amount of homeowners to make their pads appear more valuable than they were. The shell of the egg– sans the yolk.
It was the perfect solution for a community shocked by an enormous earthquake – move in when they’re not looking. Arts were the pitch and a new drug haven where postal carriers delivered more than just the mail had been created – was the hitch. They had all forgotten about that expensive and narrowly escaped lawsuit years ago – the sixty foot sinkhole – on Hollywood Boulevard in front of the new metro station cutting off three blocks as the MTA determined soil stability – construction ceased until the concrete mixture with sand and water filled and dried.
The homeless wondered if any of their missing people were in there – Pikey knew what happened to “Sam the Can” but Silent Nick knew more. LA had to have a transit system even if it didn’t make sense – the sense was controlled and voted on. No person or event could’ve halted that – not even new sinkholes. Those savvy business folks with good souls couldn’t create enough places to save a puppy let alone their own kid – but saving babies was for other countries not – Krazytown.
ALL ILLUSTRATIONS OF THE HOMELESS CHARACTERS BY DYLAN BOCANEGRA
Save the ‘inner city’ kids was a safe fallback – even when the dividing lines were erased decades ago and the new gangs far surpassed any gangsta mentality. They were taught to kill in elementary school as their indoctrination and owned parts of the Krazytown as well as entire sections of many other burbs. Familiar discussions – about how they would send the next shockwave of fear into the minions– were commonplace and treasured by most of the elitist crowd – a few had their hearts and money in the right pockets – yet they were outnumbered by power – alone. Greed was but an afterthought – like a condom with a hole. Silent shook his head before the ache set in.
Hollywood Bus Stop…
Mr. Weldon the social worker slowly stepped off the bus first with Krazy Kate yammering in the background – “We’re back… we’re back! I’m so happy to be in Krazytown!” Michel delicately and well-heeled placed his toe down first and swished off the bus as he held up Sock Puppet to the bus driver – “Bye-bye handsome driver. Your bus stinks but you’re amazing!” Then he turned to Kate – “Katey dear it’s your fault that we got dropped off by those horrible police officers in the worst part of town.. thank God for mister big black man here or we would surely have been raped or killed.”
Stopping Mr. Weldon in his tracks – “Listen Michel – I have had it with that prissy a$$ mentality of yours and will not be disrespected. Next time you’re in my office you’re not getting’ no tokens for six months!” To himself he muttered – “Damn people have no idea how hard I work with these people… half-man half-woman and I almost go to jail… what’s wrong with this country?! Leave a brother alone…”
The trio continued bickering as they headed up the boulevard towards the hotel. Katey smiled and giggled in her own mind – no one knew about how her mother had died of alcoholism in front of her then young daughter. Bled to death and little Kate was never the same. Shuffled from house to house and then placed in mental institutions until she found a ride to Hollywood and stayed as a grown woman forever embedded with her youth. Katey thought she struck gold because her mental illness didn’t force her to hide anymore. She blended right in.
Michel turned to the social worker – “We may find your flapjacks but Razor lifting those is nothing compared to what Pikey Pram Pusher is going to do to you when he finds out you have his girlfriend.” The social worker cried out – “I didn’t take her! She was left on my desk in an envelope! Why am I answering to you?!!!”
“Yeah try that story on him. Will he believe you?” Michel posed thoughtfully with his lacey black skirt gently blowing from the traffic whizzing by – “I think not. You’re a dead man.”
The social worker shook his head as buckets of sweat flew off.
Runyon Canyon at night…
Celine wiped her eyes as she sat legless on her colorful socked stumps and yelled when a miraculous moment occurred. Her 4’6” dwarf boyfriend – Morty – awoke in time to hear her call out one more time. Clearing some dirt and brush from his mouth he shouted her name.
Stunned – she heard a muffled or scratched word: “Celine.” Her name carried up with the wind as if part of a nocturne. She stopped and listened – unsure if she was imagining or in shock. It came again like a serenade – “Celine… Celine? Please! Help me… I need you…”
Shocked – momentarily – her limbs came to life like venom on ice – she scampered back to the cliff’s edge and peered down. “Morty?!” She called out. “Yes… Celine help me back up! I’m stuck on this ledge – I pulled myself up through the brush.”
“You’re alive!” Celine elated began to do cartwheels on her colorfully socked stumps – dancing to a lilt only she could hear. “My man’s alive!”
The wind’s pavane carried her joy as Morty’s frustrated and dirty face yelled up – “CELINE! Hand me your crutch leg so I can get back up.” Celine laughed and rolled over to the edge and squealed – “Morty! I’ll put my legs back on when you get up here – I want to dance!” With crutch leg extended Morty pulled himself up to the rim and lay exhausted next to Celine who wouldn’t stop kissing him and tickling him. “Stop… Stop… I’m wiped… “he laughed. “I just am checking to see if you’re really alive or if I have to hit the boulevard to have the man in the machine read my cards!” She joyously exhaled.
Celine snuggled up next to Morty as they hugged and looked at the sky. Morty explained how dirt had lodged in his throat as he held for onto the brush on the canyon wall until his footing found the ledge. Her calling out to him had saved him when he felt he couldn’t make it. Morty shook his head – “That a$$ Nesser is gonna get his when I clean up. He ruined our bench.” Celine nodded in agreement adding – “But he can’t touch our love.”
Celine placed a gianormous kiss on Morty’s cheek. “Ouch toots… that smarts.” “Better hurt than dead luv and don’t doubt for a moment that drongo wouldn’t have suffered a slow death for killing you.” She chimed with sincerity. He hugged her tightly. “Go on now – what’s wrong?” She continued in her British accent. The dwarf didn’t know how to express the fear he felt from almost meeting death and how inadequate he felt against the bulldozer and a drunken Nesser – Morty ought to know having been a sot himself not that long ago. He mustered up – “Nothin’. Let’s go home.”
So – they did.
To be continued…
I love these characters, their Krazytown nieghorhoods they reside in with the other misfits, tourists and has been or wannabe - "bluebloods." This journeys beyond the films or the in-character interviews. I hope they will bring you as much pleasure as I had creating them!