"You twisted old fruit. We've got a bone to pick with you."
The old man began running up the street as fast as he could. He dropped the carton of orange juice he had stolen from the store and was out of breath before he got to the end of the alley. The two young grocery clerks had him cornered. One of them had a lead pipe. He also had a smile on his face.
No matter what they tell you in tough guy school, you don't feel good about yourself after you've beaten an old man to death. Something inside of you dies. You never fully recover. It was just a carton of orange juice, but you were making a point to others in the elderly community that you meant business. Now all you have is a bottle of cheap booze and half a pack of crushed cigarettes at the end of the night. The morning will bring another hard day of work at the grocery store. Big wheel keeps on turning.
Michael didn't go to college because he had nightmares about beating the old man. The murder had never been solved. The police aren't concerned about senior citizens. They care about those they can recruit, and so they try not to arrest young men who might someday be convinced to join the force.
Terry went to college, but he beat up his girlfriend his junior year and was arrested. He spent five years in jail, after which he could not get a decent job anywhere. The information age wasn't letting him slip his history past anyone. Ex-cons worked in warehouses and meat processing plants. Jail wasn't the punishment for the crime. The life after was.
The old man died, but his legacy lived on. He had once been a prosperous businessman, but things had soured to the point where he couldn't afford the orange juice to keep his vitamin C levels high enough to continue living. If he hadn't been able to steal the juice at the time of the crime and drink it, he would have been dead anyway from a lack of vitamin C.
While in prison, Terry had been the bitch of a man named Tyrone. This Tyrone was a murderous drug dealer from the inner city. When Terry couldn't get a decent job and was treated like ex-con trash everywhere he went, he decided to look up Tyrone. They worked out a deal where Terry would start new business in his white-collar part of town. Terry did not resume being Tyrone's bitch, but he did him the occasional favor.
Michael had gone to a low security prison, thanks to his father being a major contributor to a state senator's re-election campaign. Michael's crime has never been released to the public record. Some suspect a politically motivated cover-up. He became friends with crooked accountants and dentists who took advantage of their patients sexually when they were under the gas. Thanks to connections he made, he got a job working for a dentist whose prison nickname was "The Manhandler."
The Manhandler's reputation as a dentist had taken a hit after he spent three years in prison for the actions he took with men while they were unconscious. He needed Michael to drum up business by dressing up as a healthy tooth and standing in the street beating a drum with the dentist's name and special prices on it.
Tyrone had been keeping The Manhandler fully stocked with cat tranquilizers for years, and now their business was resuming. However, The Manhandler was not always able to pay Tyrone for the large amount of cat tranquilizers he consumed. So, Tyrone sent Terry.
Terry saw Michael in the street, dressed up as a healthy tooth and was appalled. He immediately flew into a rage and knocked Michael to the ground. After Terry smashed his skull against the pavement several times, Michael stopped fighting.
And then Terry went inside to collect.