In all of 2007, I've entertained many of you with a good part of the abridged version of
. Nearly all of you know that the story is currently offline for revisions. Below are the first ten chapters of the story. After that, please go to my website for more information. Thanks.
My name is Raheem. I run the dope game in this city.
I need to order a hit. It's about time to punch Crazy 8's clock.
Lemme see how my best dealer handles it.
His name is Ronnie,
and I'll send him with a regular from my hit squad.
It'll be fun to see what happens.
CHAPTER 2 - RONNIE:
ASSIGNMENT: KILL OR COLLECT FROM CRAZY 8[/COLOR][/B]
We found him where I knew he'd be, 'cause I know him well. He's a friend.
"Death is free, homie, but not the crack rock," Pitbull said to Crazy 8,
"but your homeboy Ronnie wants me to show you mercy.
You get two hours to get all the cheeze you owe Raheem."
CHAPTER 3 - CRAZY 8:
CRAZY 8 COMMITS HOMICIDE[/COLOR][/B]
Another black-on-black crime in another 'hood.
CHAPTER 4 - KAREEM:
KAREEM & KHALID'S TRAUMA[/COLOR][/B]
"Oh no! Daddy's dead!"
CHAPTER 5 - RONNIE:
WHEN THE NEWS IS PERSONAL[/COLOR][/B]
Chan's as law-abiding as they come and even works a 9 to 5. I've known
him from back in the day when I was locked up in juvenile for a burglary.
He wasn't bad or hard. He was stuck there on a lame weed possession
charge because he had a lame free public attorney who barely knew his
name in court and a judge who was locking up everyone that day.
Chan was a light-weight, pretty gay boy of mixed black and Asian
ancestry who didn't know anyone or belong to a crew. Once in juvie,
he tried to fake that he was straight so he wouldn't get raped.
Other people's problems aren't usually a concern of mine,
but he was my new cellmate and asked for help.
"Ronnie," he said on his second night, "I'm scared here.
I don't know nobody, and one guy, well, he gives me the creeps.
A couple others been looking at me funny too, like they
wanna get with me. Can you watch my back?"
"Nuh-uh," I replied.
I was trying to go to sleep. Screw him and his dumb-assed problems.
Let him fight his own battles.
"Why not?", he demanded.
"Too much trouble," I answered.
"Gangbanging and burglaries are my thang, not bodyguarding."
"Can I join your gang? Just while I'm in juvie?"
I laughed and went to sleep.
The next day I walked in on three loser slimeballs who had dragged Chan
into the bathroom. They were just getting started to party with his body. He was
terrified, and shoulda been. They were planning to pull a train on him.
I had done some bad things in my life, but I ain't never been
down with rape. I also didn't think much of the azzholes who had him
cornered. I had mercy and placed him under my protection.
I lied, saying he was mine,
and they'd have to fight me for him or back off.
They did, and suddenly I was somebody's hero.
We ran into each other almost three years ago. I was waiting
in line at the movie theatre with a some girl. I don't recall her name.
Chan wanted to know where he could score some good weed.
I told him I could hook him up, and to swing by my crib.
I have a wide variety of homeboyz and associates, but Chan ain't
nothin' like the usual brothas I chill with. When he came by, I learned
he'd been to community college, works as a hairdresser by day, and bartends
at night. He also reads a lot and volunteers at some clinic one evening per
week. I became his weed connection. Our frequent contact rekindled our
old juvie friendship. I guess it's all good, 'cause it's opened my mind
to different world. I've learned things from him by association.
We chill about once a month.
Today Chan invited me over for an early dinner.
He can also cook his azz off.
"Ronnie, man, did you hear the news?
Another drug-related murder last night! Some crackhead robbed and killed
a man, right in front of his kids! They're going to catch this one. He had a big
dragon snake tattoo on his chest, and he was too dumb to wear a shirt!"
I instantly knew who did it and why.
I didn't tell this to Chan. He has no idea I'm still playin' the gangbang game,
only that I bring him the best cannabis money can buy.
CHAPTER 6 - RONNIE:
MONEY OVER MORALS[/COLOR][/B]
I hooked up with Pittbull after I left Chan's. He ain't my friend,
just one of Raheem's killas on the hit squad. I don't do murders.
My specialty is numbers and negotiating deals.
Pitbull said, "Ronnie, we got paid, so stop sweatin' it.
The heat ain't gonna be on us, and they ain't gonna be working too hard to
figure out who murked that rent-a-cop 'cause they don't really care about one more
dead brotha. Besides, it ain't like we knew what Crazy 8 was gonna do."
He had a point. "We shoulda done him in the first place," he added,
"considering how he lied that he was back to only smoking weed and woos
and Raheem gave him another chance to deal again. We were too nice
and lucky as hell Raheem didn't find out that Eight did the murda, ya know?
He's a fly-under-the-radar kinda gangsta. Next time Crazy 8 messes up, we'll just
deep-six him like we were told. Now roll us a fat jay and chill."
CHAPTER 7 - RONNIE:
POLITICAL EYES MISS NOTHING[/COLOR][/B]
I learned long ago when I was recruited in 7th grade that
gangbanging and drug dealing, like politics, makes for strange relationships.
I learned the game and my eyes don't miss nothing.
CHAPTER 8 - RONNIE & CRAZY 8:
COCAINE MAKES US CANNIBALS[/COLOR][/B]
I keep my friends close to me, but my enemies closer. Crazy 8 is both,
'cause I love him like a foster brother, but I can't trust him no more, and he
really shouldn't trust me. I'm mad as hell at him for killing that man in front
of his kids. He didn't have to take from them what he never had himself.
I hooked up with him asap at the bar he likes.
"There weren't no kids around when I blew away that security guard,"
Crazy 8 explained. "He was using the ATM machine when I jacked him, and
he had what I needed. Money. He tried to pull his gun on me! It was him or me.
Why you care about him anyway, Ronnie? Y'all didn't care about me,
and he was just a step down from being a cop."
I said, "Whatevah, you lyin', and you know I'll have to put a slug in you if
you short Raheem again. He'll eat us both alive if we F up."
Crazy 8 just smiled. "Don't matter," he replied. "It's a dawg eat dawg world.
Cocaine makes us all cannibals."
I studied him, thinkin' about this. He says stuff like this all the time.
Crazy 8 added, "Let's go hustle pool. Winner gets dinner. I want the ribs 'n fries."
It's a mind thing. He won.
CHAPTER 9 - RONNIE:
DREAMS OF ESCAPE[/COLOR][/B]
This recent situation totally F's up my head. I try not think about it.
See, I never actually killed nobody before. I've beaten, cut and even shot
rivals who've crossed our crew to keep 'em check, but this recent
assignment to do a hit on a homie was a test that blew my mind.
I'm in it too deep and there's no way out, except taking
the geographic cure of relocating. This is almost unthinkable
'cause I love my 'hood, and this city is all I've ever known.
Iraq looked good after 9/11, but Uncle Sam took a pass on me after
I admitted I'd been juvenile delinquent and had tried drugs, even though
my test scores were great, especially in math. They so stupid. My late uncle
uncle did all the same knuckle-headed stuff I did when he was a teen, but
they took him and everybody else for Vietnam. He said it made a man out him,
and he came back a hero.
I ain't a soldier, but I am a soulja - for Raheem's Army.
I chill with a little weed a few times a week but really don't do drugs or drink.
As a dealer, I gotta stay fresh, but more importantly, I like to be alert.
This is critical when you move cocaine by the bricks.
My main escape from stress is music or sleep.
Lately I've been having this cool, recurring dream of being in the Army,
and I'm shooting pool. It beats shooting homeboyz, or them shooting the
innocent. But who knows? Maybe war would be the same as gangbanging,
just with uniforms, killing off the competition and the enemy, with innocent
casualties as part of the game that men have always played.
CHAPTER 10 - KAREEM:
CHOOSING THE WATERFALL[/COLOR][/B]
My name is Kareem. Last week some crunked out thug murdered my
father. In the photo, that's my dad, his girlfriend, me on the floor
in the Ludacris shirt, and my slightly older brother Khalil sittin' next
to me in the blue shirt. You can tell by looking at my father that
he was a genuinely nice person you could trust.
My mama was too from what they say, but she died giving birth to me.
I found out about it accidentally when an aunt ran her mouth, and it hurt like hell.
Aunt Bee, that's what I call her 'cause she's a real B, talked like it was my fault.
I was only six. My father and my nice aunt had gone to great lengths to protect me
from this awful truth, that my life caused my mama's death. Even my brother
Khalil, who was eight at the time, cried 'cause he didn't know either.
Daddy said don't mind her, she's had too much to drink
and is just mad she lost her sister.
He was forgiving like that. I ain't, and don't you forget it.
My father raised us alone and struggled to do it. Like a lot of folks
in our 'hood, I never understood why we were still poor even
though he worked so much. My parents were too rich for welfare and
free health insurance, and too poor to afford health care, which is
another reason my mama died. They could only afford for her to see
a doctor twice when she was pregnant with me, and thought
everything would be okay like it was with my brother. My aunt knew
this, and she had a little money to spare. She shoulda put it where
her mouth is, instead of blaming me for murdering her sister.
I hate her, and those gangstas running the big box stores who cheat
hard working people out of health insurance by only allowing them
to work a lot of part-time hours so they don't have provide it.
They call it a business decision. I call it murda.
What happened to her ain't much different from my father's,
and I hate almost everybody now.
On the night Daddy died, me 'n my brother went to meet him at
his night job where he was a security guard. We heard the gunshots
just before turning the corner, and somehow, I just knew.
We froze. His killer walked away smiling, like he'd been doin' murdas all
his life. All we could do was stand there helplessly until he was outta
sight, or he'd have killed us too. He didn't realize we were his sons or
he'd might have taken our lives too. I don't think he lives around here
'cause nobody knows of a guy with a big dragon serpent tattoo on
his stomach and back. He must be an Eastside crackhead.
Now Khalil and I are split up. He's lucky - he got to move in with our nice aunt.
She said she didn't have space for me, but I think it's 'cause she likes Khalil better.
He's quiet and always into the books. Now I'm stuck with I'm livin' with Aunt Bee.
It's miserable. All I got left is my brother, memories, a few photos,
and the goal to smoke Dad's killa.
My teacher was right about goals. They're great and give you focus.
That's about all I'll be focusing on until I get him.
I even scratched out the commandment in my bible, 'thou shalt not kill.'
This made my brother cry. I told him it don't apply here.
God didn't care about our parents, me or my 'hood.
I'm gonna join Jamal's crew.
He runs the junior dope boys and his boss is some guy named Raheem.
They gonna be my new family and watch my back.
Khalil says that's wrong. He's decided to be a cop
when he's grown so he can find Daddy's killer.
Bet I'll find the mo-fo faster.
I get jumped in the gang soon, but I'll be fine, 'cause I can fight.
I got heart, and soon, I'll be packing heat, too.
Daddy wouldn't approve if he knew, but he ain't alive to know,
and I'm gonna hunt down the hoodrat that snuffed out his life or die trying.
Part of the old Kareem already died with my dad. This is the brand new me.
And I'll never be scared again.
MURDA/ URBAN GANGSTAS:
You're only one click away from
As of Jan 1, 2008, please visit my site for more information about chapter updates.
From Justice to Just Us: I Ain't Telling On Myself