The Trinity

My hands and face bore the marks of my trade. I’m homeless, and trying to clean the stink of the street, off my body. Water cascaded down my chest, as I splashed from the sink basin, to my face and body. Morning rays of sunlight, glared off the mirror—above the sink. I didn’t want to look, but was drawn to the image—it was majestic. Old Glory, the tattoo on my chest appeared to wave.
It was going to be a good day.
Last night was not, it rained hard, and neighborhood kids beat me in my sleep. They trashed my house—the cardboard box I lived it.
I’ll get another house today.
The bells on the church began to chime, it was six, and the mass would start in fifteen minutes. The priest was a good man, especially for the street people—he let us wash up, and he fed us every Friday night. I knew he wouldn’t say so, but he didn’t want us scaring his congregation away. I would be gone before mass started. I gathered my worldly assets; my bush hat, Camo jacket and three blankets—it was time to find breakfast.
It was going to be a good day.
I wasn’t always like this; there was a time, when I had a great job and a family. That all ended after nine-eleven, I snapped.
“Get a job, you bum,” said the passerby.
“Have a good day,” I said and picked up my tip bucket, there was a folded twenty at the bottom.
It was going to be a good day. “Thank you,” I said, it’s time to go to work.
My spot, was the block between Little Italy and the beginning of China Town. The buildings were covered in graffiti, but the pawn shop two doors down—drew a unique clientele. I laid out one of my blankets and set my tip bucket out. I hung my wet Camo on the hook, I had fashioned into the wall—months ago.
I slipped on my bush hat and the only dry clothing I had. My worn out, Property United States Marine Corps, red T-shirt with the Bulldog mascot. Now on duty, I smiled at my first customer.
“Semper Fi,” he said, and threw a buck in my bucket.
At noon, not counting the twenty, I made nineteen dollars and sixty-nine cents—the year I went to Nam. There was a pizza place around the corner, he sold slices to passerby’s. I got three slices and was content. On my way back to my spot, I saw a black limo parked in front of the pawnshop. A man in a dark suit was standing by the rear passenger door. As I approached, he opened the door, and a well dressed man stepped out—he approached me.
“Semper Fi, Gunny,” he said.
“Semper Fi,” I said. “How do you know I’m a Gunny, do I know you?”
“I would hope so,” he said. “But, I saw your jacket.”
“What can I do for you… “
“The three bones in your bush hat, are of great interest to me. Where did you find them?”
“I was with the First of the First, in Quang Tri in 1969.”
“Who has the others,” he said?
“Whoa, hold on a second. Who are you?”
“I’m Buck Davidssen, Jameson’s younger brother.”
“Holy ****! Jameson, was my Marine buddy, my closest friend—I trusted him with my life.”
“He trusted his life with you, and talked about you all the time, in his letters home.
“We were on patrol and digging in for the night, when I found those six bones. I gave him three and I kept three. We put them in our hats for luck. The Holy Trinity; the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.”
“I saw you at his funeral,” Jameson said. “You stood in the back, why didn’t you come by?”
“I felt responsible,” Gunny said. “I shipped out three weeks before he was killed. I couldn’t live with myself.”
“When his body was shipped home, three bones were among his belonging. I had them checked out by experts.”
“What kind of fish are they from?”
“Gunny, those are not teeth. They are horns, from a baby Triceratops and they’re worth millions.
“You just made my day. I knew when I woke up, it was going to be a great day.”
“Come with me to the pawn shop. The proprietor collects dinosaur bones. It’s time, you got your life back together.”
The proprietor’s smile beamed, when we entered the shop, he spread his arms, when he saw my hat.
“Welcome to my humble establishment, I’m about to change your life.”

About Gene Hilgreen

Gene Hilgreen lives in Lindenhurst, NY with his faithful companion Millie a rescued Border collie. He spent thirty years in Information Technology and ITGC security audit. Now retired, he writes suspense thrillers and monthly short stories for The Writers 750 Group on Goodreads. As an ex-gymnast and freestyle skier, he lived on the edge with a devil-may-care attitude. He has authored Dragon at 1600, the first of a series in which he relives his rebellious past through his protagonist Buck Axele Davidssen—a protector of the Constitution—who reports only to God and Old Glory. In First of Jules, his second series—he spins off Jules Spenser—a prodigy child, who follows in Grandpa Buck’s footsteps. First of Jules is now available at and on Amazon. Look for the sequel Second Chances in 2018. Writing didn’t come easy for Gene, and becoming a published author was a pipe dream. Saddled with the moniker Dutch D Hilgreen in college, it was once said, “Good thing you write on a computer, because if you wrote with a pen you’d hurt yourself.” What was once a blank stage now explodes with color—living, breathing, and awaking all the senses.
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