White Trash Picture Show
cVc’s Double Wide(Harlan, KY)
The scene opens up in the bathroom of Chance Von Crank. He is on his back bunched up in a small bath tub. Chance’s head is poking out of the water surrounded by floating ice. The Shock N’ Rolla continues to nurse his injured shoulder. In front of the sink stands the Crank family pastor, Preacher Gibson. He is shaking his head in disgust at Crank.
“You are damned now. There is nothing I can do for you. You will goto hell, Chance. I know you don’t find this urgent but it is.”
Chance has his gaze locked on the light bulb in the center of the ceiling. Doubt has crept into the Trailer Park Prodigy. Close matches and this new injury has left him questioning himself for the first time in his career. He shifts around in the tub, wincing slightly from pain before he answers.
“It was all a gag. I did all that shit to get in my opponent's head. You bought it just like the rest did.”
Chance shakes his head at the gullibility of his “family” pastor. Crank being an open atheist causes this visit to be all the more unsettling. Preacher Gibson continues with his concerns.
“A gag!?! Blasphemy is what it is. What about the mark of the devil and black book, Chance!?!”
cVc again attempts to submerge his shoulder underneath the cold water. Crank continues to shift in the water desperate for relief. He sits up in the tub and reaches for the black book suddenly. It is sitting on the back of the toilet. He nabs it and tosses it to the pastor. He then extends his arm out exposing the scar.
“This is no mark of the devil. When I faced Santa, I walked too close to my pyro’s coming out of the curtain. It’s just a burn, stupid. That book is Heart Shaped Box by Joe Hill, Stephen King’s son. My agent is a complete idiot that bought it hook, line, and sinker. I would fire him but he would sue me for breach of contract.”
cVc rolls his eyes at the success of his latest troll. The pastor looks away as Chance stands up out of the tub and reaches for a towel. Chance gets dressed slowly from being so sore. The white shirt he pulls over his head causes intense pain.
“So how is Charlene, Chance?”
There is a large hole in the wall located just underneath the towel rack directly in front of the toilet. Preacher Gibson can see through it but cVc now has his back to it. The hole shows into Chance’s bedroom. His wife, Charlene, is all spread out on the bed wearing next to nothing. She is working it for the preacher unknown to Crank. cVc notices the pastor’s gaze at the hole.
“I don’t know. You tell me, Preacher Man.”
Preacher Gibson turns his gaze quickly away from the hole after the comment from Chance. cVc stands in front of the sink positioning himself to push the pastor on out the bathroom door. Gibson takes the hint as Chance centers himself in front of the mirror.
“I better be going, Chance. I am so relieved to know you didn’t really do all that.”
Chance refuses to answer. Preacher Gibson walks a short distance down the narrow trailer hallway towards the back door. He is still within Chance’s sight, however. The pastor opens the door as he continues with his goodbyes. The top two concrete blocks that complete the back door steps are missing. They are currently in Chance’s living room propping up the christmas tree. The pastor unaware of this, totally misses the steps and falls flat on his face just outside the back door. Chance watches on laughing all the while. The pastor jumps up quickly acting as if nothing happened. Chance suddenly hears a voice from behind him.
“Our youngin’ has a new hero… Haha.”
cVc turns around to see his wife standing at the hole from the opposite side. Her head is almost through it looking into the bathroom. Charlene slurs her words in a daze of suboxone abuse. She mocks Crank with little remorse. Unknown to cVc, she has been sleeping with a migrate worker two trailers over for months now. She trades sexual favors for his suboxone while her husband is on the road. Chance wipes his face with a towel then places it on the rack covering the hole and Charlene’s face simultaneously. She takes another quick shot from behind the towel..
“You don’t have it anymore.”
The comment furthers the decline of the Shock N’ Rolla. He now slumps forward when he walks and the circles around his eyes indicate many recent sleepless nights. Chance can feel the cigarette burns on the carpet during his journey towards his son's room. The small burns scratch and irritate the soles of both feet. The burns from so many dropped cigarettes leads Chance to believe Charlene has amped up her drug use dramatically. Crank stops in front of his son’s door and knocks.
♫ ♫ GOD HATES US ALL! GOD HATES US ALL! ♫ ♫
Crank can hear the music as he twists the doorknob. Colt Von Crank sits on his bed listening to a Slayer record.The black lights illuminate many posters that cover all four walls. Chance grins at the notion Colt was playing Slayer when the pastor was still there. He stops the record then notices his son is wearing a mask. A UTA licensed one. The official El Trebol Jr. mask leaves Chance Von Crank dumbfounded.
“Hey Dad! Do you like the mask mom ordered?”
All Chance can do is nod. Colt continues on.
“Yeah, El Trebol Jr. has beaten Sabrina Baker and Skymont! I think he is going to be the next big thing, dad.”
Chance continues to listen to his young teenage son. The words cut like a knife.
“He is going to beat you too, dad. Mom says, you don’t have it anymore.”
Crank tries his best to ignore his son. He squats down in front of Colt beside the bed. cVc pulls the mask off exposing his son's face. Colt’s left eye is milky white with part of the left eye lid missing. When he was three years old his mother was not watching him. Colt got into the garbage and got ahold of an empty ravioli can with the lid still attached. The hungry toddler attempted to eat from the can but continually cut his left eye with the sharp hanging lid. He cut part his eye lid off and put the eye out completely. The milky white dead eye is all that remains after many surgeries.
“I love wearing the mask. I feel like I can do anything when I wear it. Look at all El Trebol Jr. has done being so small. I can do anything, dad. I can be anything.”
Crank openly stares at his son’s most obvious flaw to combat the optimism. Colt notices and slips the mask back on. Chance finds a pair of his snake skin boots at the end of Colts bed. He reaches for them giving Colt a stern look.
“He will beat you. He will look past your cheap tricks. You will be the stone he uses to really make a jump.”
Colts preconceived notions about his fathers career hits Chance like a train. Colt knows wrestling and Chance knows it. Chance slips off the bed onto his knees facing away from Colt. Colt leans in closer not allowing him to escape.
“Oh Daddy... You have cheapened your brand with hot garbage. I heard what you told the pastor. You are wrong. No one bought it besides that agent. You are done.”
cVc attempts to avoid the verbal death blow by standing up quickly. He grips his injured shoulder as he walks over to the record player.
“This is the devil’s music! You can’t listen to it!”, Chance exclaims.
Chance rips the Slayer record off the player and snaps it in two pieces. He looks back over at his masked son. Colt tilts his head to mock his father’s most recent promo.
“You’re kidding right?”
Crank explodes with anger after the smart ass comment. He heads directly for the door swinging it open then slamming it shut behind him. He bounces off the walls of the narrow hallway heading for the backdoor. cVc swings the door open and dashes out. The two steps are still missing so he spills out into the backyard in a pile. His face slides through the mud and he yelps in pain after his shoulder slams the ground. Chance gets back to his feet slowly clutching his shoulder still. He heads off into the Harlan night.
To Be Continued.
"I am the Southern Rebel, lose to me on your best day, beat me when hell freezes over!"
- Ron Hall