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After making their way up 117th in the direction that Ben and Steve had already come from, Steve commented on where they were going.

“We already came this way,” he said, “Where are your boys at?”

“They’re at work,” the woman answered, “By the way, my name is Freda, sorry I didn’t mention that before.”

“Isn’t Freda more of a Spanish name?” Steve asked with a snort, “You look pretty white.”

“Steve,” Ben said in a warning tone.


“Oh he’s right hon,” Freda said, patting Ben’s left arm affectionately, “Freda is in fact Spanish in origin, it’s a variant of Frida, but my parents had a strange sense of humor apparently. As for my boys, they’re out of school right now so they’re working for a local contractor that does various work, and only one of them is mine, well, he’s a stepson anyway, but I love the kid to death all the same. The others I call my boys because, well, they’re around often enough that I tend to take care of them too.”

Freda took a turn onto a side street that led down towards what looked like an apartment complex, the tires of the suburban positively humming along the wet pavement as they sped along.

“You guys on work crew then? Or were you working around here somewhere?”

“How did you guess work crew?” Steve asked, “Do we look like criminals?”

Freda chuckled, “Most of the guys I see standing at that stop either don’t have a car and are off trying to find jobs, while others come from work crew since it’s one of the closest stops to Mabry.”

“We were on work crew,” Ben admitted, “Punishment for doing something stupid.”

“Well, we all do those things from time to time,” Freda replied, “It couldn’t have been that bad though since you’re out and on work crew.”

“Those your guys?” Steve asked as they pulled up to the front drive of the apartment complex. Three very different individuals were standing just outside the front office, and for one reason or another, neither Ben nor Steve could take their eyes off of them as they approached the vehicle.

(to be continued)


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