Later that evening, a black vehicle pulled up to the curb of a busy street corner on the south side of
“Let me holla at you for a sec, Millsap,” E-Blade said to the tallest man on the corner.
“What’s up, E-Blade?” Millsap asked upon approaching the vehicle. He looked nervous. He had every reason to be, considering how hot-headed E-Blade usually was.
“Nothing much.” E-Blade casually sucked on the toothpick hanging out of the left side of his mouth. “Listen, I need you to do that lil’ ol' favor for me again this month. This time, step on it real good, a’ight?”
“A’ight,” Millsap replied in a discreet tone. He knew exactly what favor E-Blade was referring to.
The infamous ghetto general wanted Millsap, one of his trusted captains, to ‘step on the package’ that had just been distributed to the street force days ago. This meant stretching the quantity of their cocaine supply in order to increase sales, despite the fact that doing so would reduce the quality of the product.
Millsap moved closer to the car. His voice got even lower. “But what if Bonz start asking questions again?” he asked, referring to their other, more favored general. “And you know them powder-heads don’t mind snitching when the product is weak.”
E-Blade cursed in Spanish, revealing his bilingual roots, before speaking English again. “In the first place, Bonz is my partner, not my boss.” His voice lowered and became more menacing. “In the second, you better recognize who yo’ boss is. Ya feel me?”
“I feel ya,” Millsap replied. Then he promptly stepped away from the car, lest E-Blade saw the need to start shooting randomly again to get his point across.
Fortunately, instead of sending bullets flying, E-Blade gunned his car engine and sped away with screeching wheels.
* * *
On the east side of town, Fredrico awakened with a start from deep slumber. He’d had that same nightmare again. The one about Dominic reaching out from the grave to pull him down, too.
Each time Fredrico would claw and fight to stay above ground, to stay alive period. Each time Dominic would say, “Fight all you want, Freddy. Eventually you’re going to get what you deserve for what you did to me.”
Oh, I’m going to get what I deserve all right. On earth, ‘not’ in some rotting grave, Fredrico mused, once again wondering where Dominic stashed the formula to his secret hair grower. He’d searched the shop high and low to no avail.
Then leaving his wife in bed, the nauseated man made his way to the bathroom to throw up as he often did in times of high stress.
I’m making a doctor’s appointment first thing tomorrow morning, Fredrico thought as he knelt beside the toilet seconds later. He knew his body well enough to know that a new ulcer had been formed. Too bad he was a virtual stranger to his conscience.
© 2005 by Suprina Frazier