The Syrian Drummer and the Cactus Crimson Paint - A Story Shares Original

  • Chapter 1

  • Derek Bodley Comes To Band Practice

  • Profile Picture of Bodley in The Syrian Drummer and the Cactus Crimson Paint - A Story Shares Original

    Bodley

    โ€œHey, if you guys see that new Syrian kid, you tell him Iโ€™m watching him, and heโ€™s gonna get deported!โ€

  • Carlos

    This came from Derek Bodley as he skulked up the driveway of my house to the garage, where I was practicing with my band, the People Movers.

    Profile Picture of Carlos in The Syrian Drummer and the Cactus Crimson Paint - A Story Shares Original
  • I say skulked because thatโ€™s the best word for how Bodley moved.

  • He was the kind of kid that always seemed to be trying to sneak up on people, instead of just walking up to them.

  • Carlos

    He was skinny, with a narrow face and a little bit of wispy hair on his upper lip that he called a mustache.

    Profile Picture of Carlos in The Syrian Drummer and the Cactus Crimson Paint - A Story Shares Original
  • He never looked you directly in the face, which was the oddest thing about him.

  • Instead, he was always looking at you sidelong, with his face turned away a little bit.

  • Carlos

    Bodley lived a few blocks away and was fifteen, the same age as we were.

    Profile Picture of Carlos in The Syrian Drummer and the Cactus Crimson Paint - A Story Shares Original
  • He spent most of his time wandering the neighborhood looking for trouble.

  • Carlos

    As usual, he was wearing his ill-fitting, red baseball cap with his favorite political slogan printed on it.

    Profile Picture of Carlos in The Syrian Drummer and the Cactus Crimson Paint - A Story Shares Original
  • For some reason he had a pair of binoculars slung around his scrawny neck.

  • Carlos

    He stopped just short of the garage entrance, in the shade of a big elm tree growing in my front yard, and squinted at us.

    Profile Picture of Carlos in The Syrian Drummer and the Cactus Crimson Paint - A Story Shares Original
  • Late afternoon summer sunlight threw his shadow across the driveway.

  • Carlos

    Our singer, Xavier Montgomery Maplethorpe, whom everyone just called X, slouched with one arm draped over his mike stand.

    Profile Picture of Carlos in The Syrian Drummer and the Cactus Crimson Paint - A Story Shares Original
  • His stork-like, six-foot frame was topped by a huge ball of frizzy black hair.

  • He regarded Derek with a cool gaze and a faint smile.

  • Profile Picture of Xavier in The Syrian Drummer and the Cactus Crimson Paint - A Story Shares Original

    Xavier

    โ€œHey, man, the election was nine months ago, or didnโ€™t you hear?

  • Why you still wearing that cap, fool?