Saul was incandescent with fury.
“So. So. So! This is what you fuckers are tellin’ me…”
“Oh my God, duuuuuuude! Look at Righteous Abe losin’ his shit at the boss!” snickered Benny Turpin.
“Never mind Righteous Saul! Tell me why you are keeping this boy h…”
Marta Caponata put down her lipstick. With a deft flick of her jet-black locks, she raised a seductive eyebrow archly at Saul.
Immune to her charms (for now), Saul stubbornly clenched his fist and glared at the rather more elegant chief of police.
“Hate crime is a hate crime,” she smirked.
Saul glowered at her resentfully.
“I would be dead if it wasn’t for that poor kid,” he grunted.
Marta’s fluttered her stunningly precious Italian-American eyelashes and drily remarked, “Wow. I guess the preservation of a mere individual life matters more than the good of society? So we should let hate crimes go, just because a mere individual benefits from ’em? Stay woke, bro! You really don’t know how this stuff works, do you?!”
Saul nearly spat his teeth out in amazement.
“The… the fuck?!” he practically shrieked.
Marta coyly shook her bosom and remarked, “Guess you’re still using this privileged straight white guy libertarian logic.”
Saul blubbered for a moment, almost beside himself with anger and bewilderment.
“Hey, duuuuuuude!” Benny’s inane drawl rang out yet again. “Let me take you to him, the guy is pretty freakin’ cut up. Guilty conscience, huh?”
Marta stroked her pale white cheek, eyeing Benny with all the seductive glamor she could muster.
“He should be guilty. A hate crime is a hate crime. Cain Ingershill identifies as a living Tibetan lama. The law says we can’t discriminate against the Transracial community.”
Saul could barely believe what he was hearing.
He stood and puffed, and panted, and puffed again.
Eventually mastering himself, he managed to squeak out:
“The guy… is obviously white. He is not Tibetan. He’s just fuckin’ with ya, with all this here PC Transracial horseshit. I mean, fuck! Is that even a thing?”
Benny and Marta burst out laughing. They rocked and swayed, helpless in their metropolitan mirth.
“I don’t see what’s so frickin’ funny!” Saul roared, once again beside himself with fury.
“Listen… lis… lis… listen here, you privileged white guy,” Marta laughed. “You’re out of your dep… dep… dep-dep-dep-ha-ha-ha-ha-haaaaaaa! Get outa here!”
Saul lunched for the desk and grabbed Marta by the throat.
All of a sudden, he woke up with a start.
Gasping in horror, he fell all of a tremble. He cautiously inched his way towards the alarm clock.
So… that was it.
From all he had heard, this was precisely the time little Jephtha was to swing.
Too exhausted to cry any longer, Saul hugged the pillow.
The eyes of his soul traveled to the cell.
He saw little Jip trembling with terror and remorse.
“Ohhhh, Aunt Mary!” Little Jip was shaking all over.
“That was such a daaaamn stupid thing to do. Your little Jip is so damn stupid, that’s what I am! I only meant… I only meant to stop the poor lil Jew boy from gettin’ killed!” Jephtha cried and cried and cried. The blubbering by now was so incoherent Saul begged some Higher Power to take him away, if such there was.
“I know you told me I should take care o’ Cain Ingershill cos he does crazy stuff,” wept little Jip. “I didn’t know he was gonna try and kill that poor lil Jew guy, I swear to God, Aunt Mary, or the poor Chinky guy who offered us the nice stuff. I felt real, real bad, Aunt Mary, I swear to God, I felt real real bad to be so damn nasty to that Chinese guy. He didn’t no nothing to us, I swear, I swear. I only thought Cain Ingershill was gonna do some real stupid shit and mess around and teach that guy some damn manners, but he lied to us, I mean, he lied, he lied, I didn’t want anyone to get hurt, I mean well not really, well just a little, oh but Aunt Mary, I’m so afraid to die, I am just so damn afraid to die you just have no goddarn idea,” little Jip wept.
Tears streaming from his face, Saul stretched out his hand. But his compassionate hand was like that of a ghost.
“Am I gonna go to Hell, Aunt Mary?” little Jip wailed. “I ain’t ready to go to Hell, Aunt Mary. I want to go to be with you and all the good folks. I never intended to end up in that place. Tell me I’m gonna be OK, oh Aunt Mary, please, please, please, please, tell me I’m gonna be all OK,” Jip cried again; this time, the ensuing torrents of sobs and shrieks was so heartrendingly horrific, Saul was utterly stupefied. He could no longer beg to be taken away from this awful sight.
The next morning, when he woke up, Saul was still crying.
He couldn’t bear to get up the rest of the day.
“You’re not going to Hell, son,” he prayed and prayed.
“Over my dead fuckin’ body are you goin’ to Hell, son.”
It felt fake.
But it wasn’t.
Saul’s fear seemed greater than his love.