Breaking and Beatdropping

“Nixon, take the left; Jefferson, you’ve got the right.”

“You’re taking the middle, Polk?”

“Yeah. Go!”

They split up, pockets bulging with dealer’s keys and backpacks high on their backs like deformity. Polk’s first car was a ’91 Honda Civic, and he had three keys that should fit it. There was no alarm, so he slipped in and out, silently, a vague black shape in the garage. One of the other two keys clicked into the ignition and turned the electrics on. Out with the old CD, in with the new, out and on to the next car, a minute fifty, tops.

There were thirty cars in his file and he flew through them, backpack getting smaller with every trip in and out. His last car was a high yellow Humvee with a vanity license plate that said DMB FAN. “Hey,” said Polk, and hummed quietly to himself.

Nixon was wating for him at the end. “What took you so long?”

“Oh, what, like you’ve been here for hours? Where’s Jefferson?”

Nixon shook his head. “I don’t think he’s –“

A car alarm blared down Jefferson’s column. “Ah, heck,” said Polk, and then he and Nixon were sprinting down Jefferson’s aisle, laughing like maniacs.