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coco' big day p-2

coco' big day p-2

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Published by william e justin
Part two of Coco's Big Day (The LionWorld Series). Lion-fighters with friends and family attend the party.
Part two of Coco's Big Day (The LionWorld Series). Lion-fighters with friends and family attend the party.

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Published by: william e justin on Nov 25, 2009
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11/24/2009

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LIONWORLD
By William E Justin
 
Ethan VulerummerBig-E White’s Last Lion HeadCoco’s Big Day
Coco’s Big Day
PART TWO
Coco didn’t greet Sidney at the front entry when she arrived with her husband. She didn’t want everyone to seeher cry. But Sidney quickly made her way to Coco’s room and soon the two were grasping each other, crying,saying how much they loved one another and how they would always be the best of friends.They had met at sixteen, at a girl’s camp. Before the week was over they had proclaimed their “sisterhood”.By the age of eighteen they were leaving a bouquet of smiles wherever they went. A typical Saturday saw themcollecting pieces from local thrift stores and working them into new fashions that Coco drew up on her computer.The 3-d studio model she used as the point of departure for shapes and sizes was made up from a careful measur-ing of Sidney’s body. Coco was a budding seamstress and designer and Sidney her perfect model. They made upsome slightly wacky outfits fashioned from sleeves of one blouse sown onto the body of another; or dresses thatwere trimmed, hemmed and re-pleated in funny ways. They liked to stitch part of one fabric onto another.By eighteen, the two young women were charming their way into clubs at night and driving out to the northernBay Area fringe whenever they could. They became fascinated by the young aspirants to Lion-fighting who con-gregated out there. Both girls came from what had become known as “comfortably B Class” families. Coco’smother Lynette had an office job to go with what Claude had left her. Sidney’s father was a mid-manager for acompany that built giant-size blending units for various packagers of cleaning products. They both received mod-erate allowances from their mothers. Coco’s was the larger because she had to do much of the house work andbaby-sitting of her two younger brothers. Sidney was always around the house in those days helping her finish upso they could go out.Out on the fringe, both girls developed altruistically. Seeing the squalor of the C Class castoffs had effectedthem deeply. The two volunteered one day a month out of the goodness of their hearts—and because it gave theman excuse to go and be around the Lion-fighter boys who looked so cool and excited their fantasies.Sidney and Coco lived together in a small apartment when they were twenty. They each attended San Fran-cisco Bay College. Coco was in full gear pursuing fashion design and the needle crafts with Sidney learning busi-ness skills to run the business both saw in their future. By then they were always in demand as guests on nice tripsto wonderful places. Men loved them. But the only one who broke into their inner circle was Robert Casoni—asmaller man born in Tanzania, who was homosexual. Robert seemed destined to be Coco’s personal assistant. Hequickly became a member of the girls’ dreams of world domination in the design and fashion business.Often he would come into their little studio apartment first thing in the morning, and see them dead asleep andcuddled-up together like soft kittens. He would sit at the foot of the bed and tickle the bottoms of their feet untilthey woke and got onto whatever they had planned for the day. Robert told his friends that he was, “the Coco andSidney” handler. The person in charge of taking them for long walks and making sure their coats of fur alwaysshined with a healthy luster.Then there was Jean D’Sole. Following Claude’s death, the Frenchwoman built a strong friendship and alliancewith Lynette. She had only one son and had always longed for a daughter. Her heart adopted Coco, and then Sid-ney as well. Later, Robert too was taken into her natural order. Coco and Sidney visited in Paris every year andlater the smaller young man from Tanzania came along too. He had no maternal figure in his life and was deeplydrawn to the slender Frenchwoman who possessed a measure of love for many. She visited them as often as possi-
 
ible in California and was always with one of them on the phone.Lynette and Jean planned to back the three in a small business following college. And this did in facthappen. They began at the bottom. They solicited donations to manufacture basic fresh clothing for theschool children left abandoned by Corporatized Education out on the fringes. There—schools backed bydonations—were often the only thread of decency available in these districts where rows of tents wereemployed as housing for those who just couldn’t function within the nearly sub-human world that lowerC Class workers were often forced to live in.Coco, Sidney and Robert never made much money but still managed to enjoy themselves. Coco’sgreat love was needlework. She was always making something. She could stitch and talk on the phonefor hours, or stitch and watch movies. Lynette told her once that if she ever got into a real relationshipwith a man, she’d better not be bringing that needlework into the bed!When the women were twenty-five years old, the change came. Lion-fighters Big-E White and Sa-moan Luani came into their lives and carried them off in different directions. Sidney went with her manto Hawaii and Coco with hers to Santa Barbara. Robert came along with Coco and they restarted theircompany exporting various products to small shops around the world. In Hawaii, Sidney was soon preg-nant with the first of two sons that were born one year apart like Maxim and Merle.Coco reaffirmed to Sidney that she hadn’t called her fat out of meanness but because she just could-n’t stand to see her youthful beauty diminished in any way and had only wanted to spur her forward.“But look at you!” She said through another burst of tears, “oh…you’re looking perfect!”“Well you were right baby. And I’ve been training for six months now.” Sidney had laid her handon Coco’s shoulder. “I don’t ever want you to be disappointed in me”. They hugged again and renewedtheir life-long sisterly vows of love for each other.Little B came over to the edge of the bed and put his paw on Sidney’s hip. She quickly gathered thepampered poodle dog up in her arms and fawned over him for a moment. He appeared intoxicated bythe extra dose of women’s perfume that filled the air in the room.“Anyway sweetie, you’re gonna experience what happens to your body after childbirth. You gottastart praying for a son. Big-E needs to have a boy.” Sidney’s glanced at the doorway and lowered hervoice a notch. “…to make up for that father of his!”
That father 
…and his son, had made their way inside. Many of the guests had arrived and a bed of smiles quickly bloomed with the appearance Big-E White. Many of those blooms instantly wilted how-ever as Buster entered. His presence made a lot of them a bit uneasy. Two of the exceptions were Billand Ronnie Le Muffett. Their eyes twinkled at the site of Buster White and they rushed over to greethim and make some attempt to fulfill the promise they made to Coco to “take charge of him”. Busterliked those two. They at least knew how to have a good time which was more then he could say aboutBig-E whom he felt had turned into another of those “boss types” he really didn’t care to be around.Buster liked Merle too. He was great as an unknowing set-up man for one of his jokes. As for Maxim,well, Buster simply considered him to be the only
real
man he’d ever had the pleasure to meet in person.Shortly, the four Le Muffett men had Buster surrounded and were listening to his biting comical ren-dition of the people on the train ride up from L.A. But his gaze kept sliding off to the far side of theroom to a table where Coco’s auntie Lucile was sitting. She saw Buster and was smiling at him withthose shiny, flashing black eyes of hers. They had briefly met the previous year and had developed astrange chemistry. He wrapped up his story quickly and began to slide out of the group of men to go toher. Merle was going to block his way but Maxim held onto the back of his coat. When Buster had ex-cused himself, Max addressed his brothers. “Might as well let him go on being what he’s always been”,he said watching what seemed like the opening movements of some play.Bill was smiling. “It gonna be a shame to see him go down like that”.“What did you say?” said Ronnie Le Muffett. “I got faith in ol’ Busta”.“I’m taking bets” said Merle. He calculated the odds as being 6-4 in auntie Lucile’s favor.
 
Buster was over eighty years old. Maxim, Bill and Ronnie each pulled out one-hundred dollar bills,made their bets and handed the money to Merle who quickly calculated the range of his own fixed win-nings if he could work the room for more bettors and refresh the odds at each stage. He took a little padof paper from his pocket, wrote down the bets with the change in the point spread, and handed a receiptto his brothers. “Listen” instructed Maxim, “Everybody gotta know there’s no active rootin’ on of theparticipants. We can’t be embarrassing Coco and Big-E.”Bill, half-jokingly, said they aught to get an ambulance on site in case the worst happened.“I’m stickin’ with my man Busta” said Ronnie with gleeful confidence that the old man would pre-vail. “He gonna ride da wild thang and come out smellin’ like a rose. You
watch
.” Big-E’s dad alwaysimpressed him as being a bit ahead of the opinions and expectations others had for him. Ronnie hadnever met another old guy like Buster White.As the Le Muffett brothers discussed the details and conditions of the bet, Big-E was chatting withSamoan Luani in a corner. The two Lion-fighters weren’t particularly close—not anything like theirwomen—but they had known each other a long time and shared mutual respect that greatly over-whelmed the small amounts of professional jealousy between them.Jimmy Luani acquired the name Samoan Luani when he first hit the big stage in Lion-fighting.He had a clever manager that worked up a story of this boy who had killed every last lion in Samoa.The truth of the matter was that lion had never been seeded in Samoa. It was a lion-free land. Oncehowever, a cargo ship had stored cages with thirty fringe lion at the docks and a group of boys includingJimmy, had snuck in during the night, cut the locks, and set them all free to go up into the into the hills.The next day they began to form into teams to go out and battle the large cats. Within a month they hadspent their small supply of lion but loved every moment of it.Jimmy’s grandmother was Samoan but his father was mostly Hawaiian. And his mother was a Latinafrom Southern California—where he spent most of his time growing up. He had been famous in the re-gion as a high school athlete who set records in football, baseball, wrestling and swimming. People saidhe was the most complete athlete they’d ever seen. He had been signed to attend the Southern CaliforniaUniversity and take over the quarterback position in his sophomore year. But during his first year therehe developed an interest in Lion-fighting. He was a regular out on the fringe in Riverside. His prowessas a
battalier 
grew by the month and he was quickly signed by Eastern Motors’ All Asia Team asbackup for the aging superstar Fallon Chi. When Chi was beaten and partially devoured in the finalmatch of the season, Jimmy instantly inherited the all-important middle spot.For season after season, Samoan Luani & The All Asia Team were outscored by the Le MuffettCrew. Jimmy was flanked by spearmen who were among the best martial artists in the world. They did-n’t just drive lions the required distance off the field of play where the big cats were instantly hit withtranquilizer darts—they made a show of it. The Asian fighters would occasionally grab their spears atthe center point and slap the beasts around a little. This had several effects. One, it made them the artis-tic favorites. They constantly had a pay-per-view audience greater then the Le Muffett Crew. And asLion-fighters received a cut of the sales, they were the top money-makers in the sport.But their flourishes cost them time and points and aided in making them perennial runners up. Thethird effect of their style of play was that it cost four Asian spearmen their lives. To slap a Tall Lionaround with the ends of a spear means that you must open up your front to the powerful forward burstthat one of the great beasts can spring. As Maxim put it in one interview, “It may be pretty to watch, butits damn stupid!”While Jimmy Luani pretty much agreed with Max in this regard, he loved the guys he had playedwith and had cried after each of his four teammates had been killed. What jealousy he felt toward Big-Ehad to do with his good fortune to play with The Le Muffett brothers. They never fooled around withlion but processed them like a machine. Maxim controlled the field and orchestrated the effect withquick, coded commands to his brothers that even Big-E couldn’t always comprehend. Lions communi-cated with each other through scent and instinct and so did The Le Muffett Brothers. With the lighten-ing reflexes of Maxim close by and the sheer effectiveness of the crew, Big E White never had to spend

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