“So…do you have, ya know…the stuff?” Billy G. whispers, bowing his head behind the stop sign at the corner of our street.
“At the right price,” I cooly answer. I lead him into my backyard, and into a rotted tree fort.
“You have got to be trippin’, Mikey J.! This cannot be yo’ location of operation!” he twists his blonde dreads tighter into his bandana.
“Boy, ya ain’t seen nothin’!” I punch a knot in the tree and a fake plate of bark slides down to reveal the hollowed out trunk that serves as a tunnel.
“And you said I was trippin’– follow me, fool!” I slide down the chute and into the dimly lit bunker underground where our… operations are headed.
“This,” I announce, once Billy has tumbled down next to me, “is where the magic happens.”
Two rows of tables are set with numerous glasses and beakers, exuding excessive amounts of steam. It clings to surfaces and crawls lethargically across the floor; a shallow pond of smoke that we wade through.
“Ah! It’s burning my eyes!” Billy exclaims.
“You’ll get used to it. Ain’t nothin’ stronger than this stuff,” I take a deep breath of the lemon air, and exhale, “Best lemonade in all da hood.”
*click* “And it’s about to be the first one to go bust, Mikey J., ” Billy growls, his words startling me. I feel the barrel of a Crossfire press against my skull– the standard Nerf dart pistol of the Suburban Police Department. “SPD! Down on the ground!”
“But I trusted you, Billy! We stuck gum in Susie’s hair together!” He prods me with the gun, “You know the sacred Squarepants EVIL commandment: Every Villain Is Lemons!”
“Alright, alright!” I seethe, clenching my eyes shut while kneel on the ground. I drop the street-talk act. “Look. I really like you Billy. And I don’t want to go to time-out, so why don’t we… compromise?”
There is a stillness in the air as Billy contemplates. He paces around me so we can see each other face to face. The gun is still raised.
“What kind of compromise?”
“Well,” I smirk, “Lemonade sells big on the market, and there is a lot of revenue– especially for a single profiteer. So, why don’t you pretend to be Billy G. again, and continue to make the 50/50 deal we had before?”
He pauses. “I thought you said we would split 60/40, your side heavy?”
“With the current circumstances of my situation, I believe I have to bargain a little.”
The officer sighs. “Alright– but off the record. I don’t want my mama finding out.”
“That’s just perfect. Know what else would be perfect? If you could take that Crossfire out of my face.”
“Oh, sorry,” he says as he holsters the weapon. Seeing my opportunity open, I seize it.
“Freeze, dillweed!” I command, my own trusty Maverick REV-6 aimed right between the dirty-cop’s eyes. I raise my own badge emblazoned with FBK. “Federal Bureau of Kids has been investigating your department for corruption, and you have just confirmed our suspicions. I have more than enough evidence to book you.”
“Gosh darn it!” Billy spits as I swing his arms around to cuff them. Once the plastic rings click onto his wrists, I forcibly shove him up the chute we came through. He starts to cry.
“You most definitely are going tell my mama now, aren’t you?” he sobs.
“It is the law. And quit crying, or you’ll get me in trouble too!”
“But– I– I– can’t– st-st-stop!” he stutters.
“Of course you can! It’s not like you’ve made a previous offense to get you grounded.”
Billy gives me a telltale look.
“Oh come on! What was it then? Crayon graffiti? Not eating your peas?”
“Ah! By Barney and Spongebob above, what has child-law enforcement come to these days?”
Through reddened eyes, Billy says “We’re only kids– immature is what we do.”