Bombs, bullets, bayonets, and insanity dominate island Okinawa in spring 1945 as American soldiers kill hundred thousand Japanese soldiers who kill and wound sixty-five thousand Americans, and both slaughter thousands of natives. Someone shoots Shorty Belton in leg. He’s lucky, surviving in relative good health, and returns to Spokane where he marries, raises family, works for aluminum company to earn retirement before age sixty, and plans many good years.
He supercharges cars and dances and keeps tinkering and high-stepping after wife dies and is cute guy barely five feet and almost ninety. He often socializes at Elks Lodge. Evening with friends ends and he goes to car. Two sixteen-year olds attack and take wallet and hit Shorty with flashlights he tries to deflect, throwing punches, little old man against thugs who keep swinging. Shorty’s found wedged between seats of car and smashed head’s losing blood fast.
Police soon capture teenagers who explain Shorty was crack dealer and they made purchase then grabbed ounce more from pocket and socked him but kindly made sure he was breathing when left car. Authorities decide to prosecute as adults and release names and photos which must be updated when older faces leave prison.