Sasha was the one who fit the criminal description the most, quick-witted and streetsmart, skinny and tattooed, he looked like the kid that everyone picked on in high school. He fancied calling himself a pimp and a player, and could throw devastating punches despite his size, but he wasn’t really the worst of the three. Sasha (the other two called him ‘Sass’ because he had a mouth like a sailor) had been to jail a couple of times. Once for forging traveler’s checks and again for contributing to the delinquency of a minor.
The jail-house tats that covered his scrawny arms and shoulders consisted mainly of crying clowns and bleeding swords pierced through pairs of twisted hearts. He often said the clowns signified himself, a backwards joker always trying to have fun but usually getting shafted by The Man. The swords and hearts he said were a reminder of his ex-girlfriend, a leggy blonde who now graced the cover of various beauty magazines, a real super-model type who really "kicked his balls" by dumping him while he was in the middle of pulling a twenty-six month stretch for the traveler’s checks. Sass looked like he could have been the leader of the group, but he was really the furthest thing from it.
Todd (‘Tot’ to the others) was the fat one of the three -real intimidating big, mouthful of crooked teeth that looked too large for his face and a mole that made him look sort of like an ogre. His kept his head shaved and always wore a black base-ball cap turned around backwards. Tot was usually glassy-eyed and slow to speak, except of course when it came to Spanish, he could rattle on and on, ba-bah ba-bah ba-bah.
Tot always wore a black trench coat that hung to mid-calf, even in the summer time. He scared little kids when he smiled, which secretly hurt his feelings because he was really a sweetheart. Just ugly. He wasn’t the worst of the group either. The only legal trouble Tot had ever been in was failure to provide proof of insurance and underage consumption of alcohol back when he was fifteen. If the three had lived a few more hundred miles south, just over the border, Tot would have probably sounded like the leader, but he was more like the muscle than the brains.
Townsend (Sass and Tot referred to him by his last name, Cobb) didn’t even look like he belonged hanging out with the other two. Mild-mannered and soft-spoken he was the portrait of the All-American Kid. The Boy Next Door. A young Cary Grant. Clean cut, clean shaven, and handsome, he was the worst of the three.
Cobb had been arrested once but had never been charged with anything. He had been caught by Military Police riding a bicycle down a street named Ardennes on Ft. Bragg after drinking a bottle of expensive scotch. Cobb had previously found out he was not going to be able to continue Special Forces training after the sixty-four day qualification phase, because he was too young and lacked military experience. The Military Police had wanted to charge the young corporal with being Drunk and Disorderly, Assaulting a Senior Non Commissioned Officer, Resisting Arrest, Drunk Driving, and Underage Drinking. He skated clean out of all charges and received a half-hearted reprimand from his Sergeant Major the next morning. It seemed they both drank the same brand.