Chapter 1:

"All the World's a Stage," Part I: "History"

Angel of the Strait

The two young men stand outside of a house. They are now surrounded by the eastside of Hollywood, an area north of Downtown. It’s early in the afternoon now, and both of them are wearing a similar outfit. Johnny wears his typical plain white t-shirt that has a front chest pocket on the left side, and a pair of blue jeans that are loose fit and worn. Johnny wears a comfortable pair of stolen sneakers, and has his short to medium length hair untouched and unrushed. Jaredicus wears a light grey long sleeve shirt with a low circle collar that also scrunches above his loose fit blue jeans. He wears a pair of black tennis shoes, and in contrast to Johnny, he has his beautiful short blonde hair tamed.Bookmark here

Johnny takes a worried look at Jaredicus, “This place looks sketchy.” Johnny expresses.Bookmark here

“Trust me, I’ve known this guy for a long time, it will be cool.” Jaredicus pats Johnny’s shoulder and begins to walk up the steps. Johnny soon follows, “There’s nothing to be worried about.” Jaredicus says with confidence and anxiousness as he hesitates to knock on the door.Bookmark here

“You seem worried.” Johnny explains.Bookmark here

“I’m not.” Jaredicus says firmly.Bookmark here

“So then knock.” Johnny mandates.Bookmark here

“I will.” Jaredicus responds. Bookmark here

With a moment of silence and hesitation. After a few seconds, Jaredicus works up the courage to finally knock on the door. After the knock, they begin to wait a couple minutes of pure agony in anticipation of what might happen next. Jaredicus, knowing more about the situation thus making Johnny, who is completely unaware, the more paranoid.Bookmark here

The door then swings open to reveal a large, hairy, and middle aged man. Jaredicus then exclaims, “Leon!” Jaredicus lifts his arms up.Bookmark here

Leon takes a quick moment to register Jaredicus and then exclaims in response, “Jaredicus my boy!” Leon pulls Jaredicus in for a hug, “I have not seen you since Smolly’s Bar Mitzvah!” The two are then brought into the house, then Johnny follows closing the door behind them.Bookmark here

Johnny himself registers the situation, “Are you part of the Jewish mafia?!” Johnny asks his assumption.Bookmark here

“Yeah.” Jaredicus gives a straight and clear reply with a nonchalant tone of voice.Bookmark here

“What?!” Johnny still stands amazed at this new found knowledge of his friend.Bookmark here

“Who the hell is this?” Leon asks Jaredicus, pointing straight at Johnny. Leon changes his family-friendly voice to a serious and stern one. It almost makes Johnny shake in his stance.Bookmark here

“He’s a friend of mine, I’ve been living with him for the past couple of years.” Jaredicus explains to Leon, “You can trust him completely, I wouldn’t have brought him along if I thought otherwise.”Bookmark here

Leon stands back and stares Johnny with such intensity that the average person may choke on their spit. However, Johnny holds his ground. Then with a sudden change in atmosphere, Leon points out his hand to Johnny. Slightly confused, but picking up on the intention, Johnny reciprocates a firm handshake. Leon nearly lights up, and pulls Johnny in for a half hug, “Welcome to the family.” Leon says.Bookmark here

Leon continues to explain, “My boy Jerry here, he used to be a cold blooded killer.” Leon says this while rubbing Jaredicus’ hair, “This little motherfucker helped us with so many successful armored truck robberies and brought the family fortunes.”Bookmark here

All this information doesn’t initially resonate with Johnny. He’s a little surprised that his antics of screaming, ‘you’re in the Jewish mob’ hadn’t gotten him killed already. He didn’t want to test this family, but it’s a lot different than what he has seen shown in the movies. Bookmark here

“Leon, we need work.” Jaredicus directly says with a regretful voice, “We are in debt with Antonio Santiago-”Bookmark here

“The Spanish?!” Leon says with great shock. Bookmark here

“It’s a long story Mr. Leon sir, but we owe about three-hundred dollars.” Johnny then adds to Jaredicus’ explanation.Bookmark here

“We come for work,” Jaredicus states clearly, “we don’t want to borrow money. We want to avoid ending up in debt again.”Bookmark here

Leon then takes a look around the house, and leans over to instruct softly to both Johnny and Jaredicus, “Follow me.” The two proceed to follow Leon into another room.Bookmark here

As the two follow Leon through his humble home, they take notice of the Jewish fixtures located all throughout the house as décor. The two also experience a smell of nostalgia that could transport you back in time as a young boy, that smell being of the cooking of lunch that must be from Leon’s wife. The two never discover any resident living in the house, they only smell and hear that of another person.Bookmark here

The group then enters what looks to be Leon’s study, “You know I love you Jerry,” Leon gets serious, “but you still owe me after our hiatus.” Leon says with underlying frustration.Bookmark here

“I understand that Leon,” Jaredicus reinforces his knowledge of Leon’s person, “that is why I am coming to you for work. I will work for you and help you again. I simply ask for a fair cut in our payment to pay off Santiago.” Jaredicus speaks with caution.Bookmark here

“Well let me ask this, can I still trust your friend here to work with me?” Despite the warm reception earlier, Leon is examining Johnny’s integrity for a second time, most likely to confirm that he is absolutely trustworthy.Bookmark here

“He’s my best friend Leon, he’s a great driver too, I lost my license recently and he’s been driving me around in my car. Johnny is competent and reliable, always has been.” Johnny gives Jaredicus a nervous look of guilt, and Leon implants his face directly in front of Johnny again.Bookmark here

“He’s right,” Johnny says, “I feel really comfortable behind the wheel of a car.” With those words, Leon slightly brightens up once more. Bookmark here

“Well,” Leon takes a seat in an office chair, the other two take a seat in nearby chairs, “for the past few months or so, I’ve been planning something big.” Leon then takes a file out of a cabinet, “I’ve been trying to build a team to take on the First National Bank in Hollywood.”Bookmark here

“A bank heist?” Johnny says with great worry under his breath.Bookmark here

Leon takes a bold look down on Johnny, “Are you not up for the job?” Leon asks Johnny.Bookmark here

Jaredicus then buys in, “Yes he’s up for the job, he’s just a first timer.” Jaredicus explains.Bookmark here

“I don’t know, it’s just we only need three-hundred dollars.” Johnny states.Bookmark here

“Well to tell you the truth boys,” Leon grabs a handkerchief from his coat pocket and proceeds to wipe his forehead, “The family isn’t doing so well, and this is the only job I can offer before the last of us get hunted down by the police. I can’t promise you safety, but I can promise that if you succeed, you’ll get more than just the lousy three-hundred dollars.” Leon says with a melodramatic expression.Bookmark here

Jaredicus then looks to Johnny with excitement, “See, this is just what we need to get started anew.” Jaredicus shakes Johnny’s shoulder.Bookmark here

Johnny sits there and begins to expand his imagination with wild romanticisms of bank heists. He imagines movies like Heat and Reservoir Dogs where the drama centers around this kind of crime. Johnny becomes more enticed with the possibility of going down in history as a bank robber. He feels more and more enthusiastic about the ordeal.Bookmark here

Johnny then speaks, “I am trustworthy, and I am capable. I want to help you and your family give one last ‘fuck you.’” Bookmark here

Leon giggles with a wide grin, “Jerry I fucking like this guy, I wish you brought him here sooner.” Leon then gains his composure and begins with his detailing, “Okay, I’ll provide more details about this job on a later date, this isn’t the ideal way to plan a score, but I like your attitudes. For now, would you like to join us for lunch?” Leon then pulls out a cigar and lights it with a match.Bookmark here

You can resume reading from this paragraph.