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A red spider picked its way slowly through the strands. Topics for Discussion. Your First Name. Perhaps the most important of these relationships is with Darryl, a year-old boy who has killed another boy — possibly accidentally — and who Socrates befriends and mentors in several of these stories. Socrates grabbed the skinny arms with his big hands -- the rock breakers, as Joe Benz used to call them.
Once you go to prison you belong there.
Now, he has come home to a new kind of prison: Working for the Bounty supermarket, and moving perilously close to invisibility, it is Socrates who throws a lifeline to a drowning man: In a place of violence and hopelessness, Socrates offers up his own battle-scarred wisdom that can turn the world around. The prose is sand-papery, the sentence rhythms often rough and jabbing. But then -- sudden surprise -- we come upon moments of undefended lyricism. A maverick protagonist.
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Trade Paperback. Price may vary by retailer. Add to Cart Add to Cart. About The Book. Crimson Shadow: Section One "What you doin' there, boy? Socrates Fortlow had come out to the alley, to see what was wrong with Billy.
He hadn't heard him crow that morning and was worried about his old friend. The sun was just coming up. The alley was almost pretty with the trash and broken asphalt covered in half-light. Discarded wine bottles shone like murky emeralds in the sludge. In the dawn shadows Socrates didn't even notice the boy until he moved. He was standing in front of a small cardboard box, across the alley -- next to Billy's wire fence.
He couldn't have been more than twelve but he had that hard convict stare. Socrates knew convicts, knew them inside and out. Ain't yo' momma told you t'be civil? He wore baggy jeans with a blooming blue T-shirt over his bony arms and chest. His hair was cut close to the scalp.
The boy bent down to pick up the box. If the boy hadn't had his back turned he would have been able to dodge the stiff lunge.
As it was he heard something and moved quickly to the side. But not quickly enough. Socrates grabbed the skinny arms with his big hands -- the rock breakers, as Joe Benz used to call them.
The old brown rooster was dead in the box. His head slashed so badly that half of the beak was gone. He let go of one arm and said, "Pick up that box.
Pick it up! The kitchen was only big enough for a man and a half.
The floor was pitted linoleum; maroon where it had kept its color, gray where it had worn through. This is perhaps best illustrated in the several stories which deal directly with the crime and violence prevalent in Watts.
Because he has a deep distrust of the police — and all authority — Socrates is compelled to take action on his own in these instances rather than simply ignore the problems he is confronted with. Although in each of these stories Socrates does a considerable amount of good for his friends or his community, it is often at great personal cost to himself. Though Socrates is portrayed as pretty much of a loner and as a man who mostly has acquaintances rather than friends, he does form close relationships with a few other characters, and these relationships play a pivotal role in a number of these stories.
Perhaps the most important of these relationships is with Darryl, a year-old boy who has killed another boy — possibly accidentally — and who Socrates befriends and mentors in several of these stories.
The reader is left with the feeling Socrates will continue to evolve and grow as a person. Read more from the Study Guide. Browse all BookRags Study Guides. All rights reserved. Toggle navigation.
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Crimson Shadow. Midnight Meeting.