DOUG’S TALES
A METAL TRUNK

*warning - Adult content*

Me, I help people. 
No, that’s wrong.
Your shit is yours, mine’s mine, and everyone needs to just be cool. But, if you need a hand, whatever, then just call me. But just be cool.

Now, yesterday, Doug came to me and asked if I could help him out.
Me, I’ve got time for Doug.
Some people don’t, some people think he’s a dodgy, hard-core bad guy, connected to a whole lot of hectic stuff, and he is, but I don’t think he’s too bad.
There’s a couple of other guys ‘round here who’re a lot worse, and he’s friendly, so whatever. Me, I’ll give the guy a hand.

But Doug is a little hard-core, so I usually just take a moment first before committing to anything.

Anyway, it’s simple enough. He needs me to use my truck to take a trunk to this other house.

Fair enough. It’s this big, heavy, metal, old school, trunk, and since the cars at his place more often than not don’t even start, and just dramatically whine outside my window all night, I can help him out.

Of course, I don’t ask him what’s in the trunk. That’s none of my business. Me, I’m just taking it from point A to point B. What’s in it is someone else’s shit.

So, this morning Denzel, Doug, this other guy and I lift this massively heavy, fucked up trunk, put it in the cab, and Denzel and I drive off to this other spot.

Now, Denzel and I aren’t mates. I think he’s a psycho killer guy, mainly because I’ve seen him go psycho and try to kill people a couple of times, and I think he knows about the whole cash in a cardboard box thing from a couple of weeks ago, so the two of us are sitting there happily, boisterously singing and chatting animatedly, or we may have been just sitting there awkwardly, chain smoking and avoiding each other. You decide.

It’s a dodgy spot. The grass hasn’t been cut; the wooden fence is old, unpainted and splintered, mould on the walls. Cracked tiles, the whole dodgy, scummy vibe. There’s a metal gate, but it’s broken, just hanging off its hinges, so we just drive in. 

This really thin, hollow cheeked, dark rings under the eyes, kind of guy comes out. Nobody says anything. He tries to help us lift the trunk out, but he’s not strong enough, so it’s left to Denzel and me. 

We stumble through this house. It’s dark, everything that could be taken off, chipped, stripped has been, and the whole place looks like a bunker. Me, it’s none of my business. Your shit is your shit; I’m just giving a guy a hand.  We dump this fucking heavy trunk in this empty room, I head back to my car. Denzel comes out a little later, we get in my car, and I drop him off at the petrol station before heading back home.

So, everything’s cool.  There’s a couple of things I need to do, renew my motor license, dinner shopping, whatever. So I only got back about three, four o’clock this afternoon.

Now, as I get closer to Doug’s spot, over the Led Zeppelin playing on my radio I can hear people shouting and stuff being smashed. Now. Some people would turn around, fuck off out of there, and come back later when everything’s hopefully sorted out.

But me, I know that I’m covered. No one’s going to give me shit, firstly because I’m cool, I don’t fuck with your shit, me, I mind my own business, and secondly, I’m tight with Doug. And there’s no way anyone’s fucking with Doug. So me, I’m cool.

But as I get to his driveway, I see the dodgy guy from this morning, the smack head, and he’s with a couple of other guys I’ve never seen before, and they’ve got Doug backed against his wall, and there’s shouting,  hands waving, and the whole scene’s looking ugly. 

Now. I’m thinking maybe I should carry on past my house, get to the bottom of the road, and pull into the sheltered, hidden driveway on the side, the one where the prostitutes take their clients, the young student guy’s spot. I’ll be able to just hang tight. 

But before I do this, one of these new guys spots me, and comes over all menacingly, obviously about to tell me to fuck off and mind my own business. Alas, the guy from this morning sees this, I hear him shout something, and the next thing, the guy who was moving towards me, now starts running towards me. 

Now. My plan isn’t going to work. The road’s one way. I’m screwed. So, I put the car in reverse, screech back up the hill; pull straight out onto the road at the top, and still in reverse pull out into Sarnia Road. There’s no cement truck, or taxi, or car full of small choir children on the road, so I’m alive, writing this. 

So. I go. Fuck, I’m out of there. Mate. Your shit is your shit. I’ll give you a hand, but don’t get me involved in your crap, especially when it’s obviously hectic shit. So, I’m pissed with Doug. I’ll tune him about it when I see him later, but now he could be dead, so I’ll just deal have to deal with it later. Me, I’m at Spur for the bottomless coffee and free Wi-Fi.

Sarah’s going to be home soon, and I want to check everything’s cool before she gets there, so I head back. Now this is about quarter past, twenty past five. 

The road’s quiet, so I’m driving slowly down, towards my house, everything seems cool, so I stop, unlock the gate, pull in, and get inside the house.

A couple of moments later, I hear banging on the gate, I peek out through the bedroom curtains, and there’s Doug, leaning against the gate. Nandi and Maus are just sitting there, tails wagging, tongues hanging out, so, once again, it’s obvious how useless they are. They are cute though, and they do bark at the sow the whole night long, so it’s not like they don’t do anything, they just don’t do anything helpful.

But Doug looks cool, so I go outside, and tune him what the fuck.

He tells me that the house is this smack den. No shit, that was glaringly obvious. He tells me that a couple of the people who come to his spot have been getting into all kinds of shit that side, and that they’d asked for his help. Ok. Fine.

Then he tells me that everything’s sorted out, the other guys have fucked off, they definitely won’t be back, there’s no need to stress, thanks for my help. He gives me a couple of hundred bucks for petrol, etc., smiles at Sarah who’s just pulled up, and walks back across the road to his spot.

I let Sarah in, Nandi and Maus are jumping and scratching her car with their nails as always. We get inside, I put the kettle on, I tell her what happened, she tells me about the arseholes at work, and all’s well.

This is a work of fiction. Any similarity to actual persons, living or dead, or actual events, is purely coincidental.

The author

Nick Miles is a Durban based writer, with a zany and distinctive writing style.

He lives with his partner Sarah and their two dogs, Nandi, Maus and Ginger cat.