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Edward Bunker: Dog Eat Dog (Excerpt)

Edward Bunker: Dog Eat Dog (Excerpt)

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Published by OpenRoadMedia
Three friends from reform school embark on a bloody rampage
Three friends from reform school embark on a bloody rampage

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Published by: OpenRoadMedia on Nov 23, 2011
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09/29/2013

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DOG EAT DOGBy Edward BunkerThree friends from reform school embark on a bloody rampage
Prologue
 
1981
 
“Hup,two,three,four!Hup,two,three,four.Columnright…march!”Themonitorcalledthecadenceandbellowedthecommand.ThethirtyboysofRooseveltcottagemarchedinstepthroughthesummertwilight.Eachaffectedademeanorofextremetoughness.Eventhosewhowerereallyafraidmanagedtoholdupthemeanestmasktheycould.Faceswerestone,eyeswereicy,mouthsthatseldomsmiledwouldsneereasily.Intheunderclassfashionofthemoment,theypulledtheirpantsabsurdlyhigh,virtuallytotheirchests,andcinchedtheirbeltstight.Althoughtheykeptinstep,eachhadastylizedswagger.Theymarchedlikeamilitaryacademy,butwereinmatesofaCaliforniareformschool.Agedfromfourteentosixteen,theywereamongthetoughestoftheirage.Nobodygottoreformschoolfortruancyorwritingonwalls.Ittookseveralarrestsforcartheftorburglary.Ifitwasafirstoffense,itwasarmedrobberyoradrive-byshooting.SituatedthirtymileseastofdowntownLosAngeles,thestateschoolwaslocatedontheearliesttractmapsofthearea,whenL.A.hadapopulationof60,000andfarmlandwascheap.Once,thereformschoolhadresembledasmallcollege.Sweepinglawnsandsycamoresframedbuildingsthatresembledmanorhouseswithbrickwallsandslopingslateroofs.Afewoftheoldbuildingsstillremained,emptyrelicsfromtheagewhensocietybelievedtheyoungcouldbesalvaged—backbeforethedayswhenkidspackedMAC—backwhenBogartandCagneyweretough-guyrolemodels.Theyonlykilled“dirtyrats,”invariablywithasnub-nose,upclose,not“sprayandpray.”ThemarchingboyshaltedwhileTheManunlockedthegatetotherecreationyard.Astheymarchedinside,hecountedthem.Theyardwasformedbyachain-linkfencetoppedwithrolledbarbedwire.TheMannoddedtothemonitor.
 
 
“Dismissed”yelledthemonitor.Theneatranksdisintegratedandformedclustersbyrace.Chicanoswerehalfthetotal,fifteen,followedbynineblacks,fivewhites,andapairofhalf-brothers,oneofwhomwasVietnamesewhilehishalf-brotherwasaquarterNativeAmerican,aquarterblackandhalfVietnamese.Thehalfbrothersglaredatthewholeworldwithbalefulchallenge.TheChicanosandtwooftheirwhitehomeboysfromEastL.A.headedforthehandballcourt,afree-standingwallthatallowedagameoneachside.Theblackspickedsidesforhalf-courtbasketball.Thethreeremainingwhitescametogetherandbegantopacethelengthoftheyardnexttothefencetoppedwithbarbedwire.Oneofthemworenewblackoxfords,identicaltoU.S.Navyissue.Theshoeswereissuedtobebrokeninaweekbeforeparole.ItwasSaturdayandTroyCameronwasbeingreleasedonMondaymorning.“Howmanyyougotleft?”BigCharleyCarsonasked.Atfifteen,hewassixfoottwoandweighedunder150pounds.Hewouldgaineightybeforeheturnedtwenty-one.Bythenhewouldbepowerfulenoughtobenicknamed“Diesel.”“Onedayandagetup,”Troysaid.“Fortyhours.Shortasamosquito’sdick.”Thethirdmemberofthetriogrinned,simultaneouslyraisingahandtohismouthtohidehisdiscoloredteeth.HewasGeraldMcCain,alreadynicknamed“MadDog”forinsanebehavior,themostnotoriousbeingtheuseofanaluminumbaseballbatonasleepingbullywhohadpushedMcCainaround.IntheHobbesianworldofreformschool,amaniacisgivenwideberth.Toughandmeanisonething;crazyissomethingstrange,differentandfrightening.Thetriokeptwalkingastheshadowslengthened.Thebackgroundtotheirconversationwasthecrashofweightsdescendingontheplatform,thebasketballdribbledonasphaltandrattlingthemetalbackboardandhoop,aidedbyexclamationsofdelightorcursesoffrustration.Afewmorestepsanditwasthespecialsoundofalittleblackhandballwhackingintothewall.ThetallywasalwayscalledinlalenguadeAztlan,astreetpatoisbasicallySpanishliberallylacedwithEnglish.Handballwasthegameofthebarrio,forittookbutawallandaball.“Point!Cincoservin’three.Dosjuegosanada.”Thegameover,thetwolosersleftthecourtwitheachaccusingtheotherofcausingtheloss.TheChicanowhowaskeepingtallyhadthenextgame.HelookedaroundforapartnerandspottedTroy.“Hey,Troy…homeboy!Venga.Let’swhipthesefarmers.”Troylookedatthecompetition,ChepeReyesandAlSalas.Chepe

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