Friday, October 9, 2009

Hey Joe

I just happened to be up! It was a quarter to eleven on a Thursday Night...Rell and my son were already sleeping when I heard a knock on the door. If anyone was knocking on my door without calling , this time of night could only mean trouble. Even Chris Thompson would call. I peeped out of my side window....It was the deacon from the church..That Church that my friend Kevin attends and that Chris has been going to ever since he returned to Philly, but has not joined yet...It was Deacon Larry Weatherford. My name is Chess..This is another of my stories.

"Evening Deacon...Isn't this a little late for you?" I asked as I opened the door.

" Yes, Mr. Chess..but I got a problem and it looks like you're the only one that can help me." he said.

"A problem huh?" I said as I let him in.

"Usually, when neighborhood folk got those kind of problems they go to my man Kevin Morris."
I said.

"Well ,Brother Kevin is good with what he do....but this matter calls for someone like you..someone connected to the streets." said Deacon Larry Weatherford.

"I'm a Businessman ,Deacon...I aint no gangster." I said.

He gave me a look that your father gives you, when you're trying to B.S. him and you both realize it. I looked at the good deacon and I sighed...

"What's this about?" I said.

"Joe.. Joe Parker...You know him?" he asked..knowing that I did indeed.

"Yeah,I know him...what about him?" I asked. Joe Parker was another form of Chris Thompson.
A well respected player. Like Chris Thompson...He had no police record....He sold drugs very quietly with no noise, just like Chris had once done...and except for those who really had their nose in the streets...nobody knew anything about him. What made him different from Chris is that Joe had killed before. He had killed at least three men and folks knew not to mess with him.
Fathead allowed him to operate independently within his territory and the two had a kind of an uneasy understanding..They didn't step on each other's toes. Joe Parker had been operating as long as Chris and Fathead and had had only three major beefs...With the three men he killed. This said a lot. Joe Didn't play.

"What about Joe Parker, Deacon?" I asked..I couldn't imagine what a church man and that man could possibly have in common.

"He's going to kill Pastor." said the Deacon.

"Pastor Struthers?" I asked.

"Yeah..He think Pastor Struthers was steppin out on his wife...and he sent word that when he see him, he's gonna kill's a big mistake...Pastor wasn't runnin with his wife." said the Deacon.

"How do you know?" I asked , not wanting to get involved in this at all.

"Look, Pastor run with a lot of women..I know that, everybody know it.. hell, Pastor done slept with all the choir ladies...but Pastor aint stupid...He know not to mess with Lola Parker. " said the Deacon, who was himself, married to the Pastor's ex wife..Victoria Jenkins Struthers Weatherford. I never understood that whole arrangement.
I knew Pastor Struthers...He never saw a skirt that he wasn't tempted to chase..He very well could have been running with Lola Parker, a vivacious women who unlike her husband was a church goer...another thing I didn't understand. Rumor in the street was that Joe beat her from time to time and that he was very jealous..I didn't know, I didn't care..I kept my distance from the man and his wife. Chris respected Joe, but he had told me that he had never liked the man...and neither did Fathead, who often said..he was waiting for the right reason to take him out...This wasn't it!

"So what do you want me to do?" I asked.

"You is a street dude...I know you and Chris is out the game and kind of legit, except fo that crap
game..but yall still tight with Fathead..yall know folks..folks that might could talk some sense into Joe fo he do something crazy." said the Deacon.

He was so desperate and looking so bad that I just could not refuse to help him... I called upstairs
and told Rell that I was going out and that I'd be back. I put on my kevlar vest with a trauma plate and I got both of my pistols, the one I concealed in the small of my back and the one I kept
tucked in my coat... Then I called Chris, told him to meet me outside of his girlfriend's spot and
gave him the lowdown on what we were up against.

The Deacon rode with me to Chris's girlfriend's house where I picked him up.

"You packin man?" asked Chris.

"Always" I said. "You need anything?" I asked.

"Nah,I'm straight..I got my .38 smokeless said Chris.

"You boys always travel with so much hardware?" asked the Deacon.

"Actually Deac, we don't...but Joe Parker is a much respected player...and not one to take lightly..when you meet him you come heavy....I know three guys who didn't..." said Chris.

"Oh and they called the game because of rain huh?" laughed the Deacon, trying to sound hip.

"No...They called the game cause of death.." said Chris without even a hint of a smile."

"Where would Joe be?" asked the Deacon.

"Sometimes he's up in Fathead's club...Ciros...Other times..he hangs out in a dive called " Smellys" I said.

"Smellys? I thought that joint closed years ago." said the Deacon.

"What do you know about "Smellys"? " both Chris and I laughed..

"I wasn't always a Deacon young men...I got around too!" he laughed.

We went to Ciro's..Nobody had seen Joe...We next went to "Smellys" ...He wasn't there either..
, then we went to Josies....where Gus had indeed seen him.

"Yeah..He come in here about an hour ago with his wife...She looked like somebody had gone a few rounds on her..They had a couple of drinks and then they left...He seemed like he was man handling her." said Gus.

"Let's Check on pastor..Make sure he's alright."asked The Deacon.

We drove to the block where Pastor John Struthers lived..It was here that we hit paydirt...
No sooner than my car parked down the street from his house..when we heard glass breaking and the sound of a woman screaming!

"Deacon, wait here in the car..we'll handle this." I said..

Chris went down the driveway toward the back, while I eased up the front steps....I looked in the
window and I saw Lola Parker, beaten and bruised sitting in a chair, while an Asian woman screamed...

"Why you do this? Whyyyyyy....what we do to you?" she said. That was met with a slap...

"Shut up..tell lover boy to come out the bathroom." said Joe Parker.

"Joe..I'm telling you, I wasn't doin nothing with the Pastor...He's innocent..He was here with his girlfriend..." said Lola, who was also slapped..

"Look at your boyfriend...too scared to come out the damn bathroom...this what ya want?" screamed Joe...


"Nigga you crazy..I aint got no clothes aint shooting me naked .." said Pastor Struthers.

"Longer you take to come out, the more punishment these girls is gonna get." said Joe.

"No Joe...this is it..No more slappin around women." I said.

He turned and looked at me.

"Chess? Chess?? Is that you?? Hey man, it's been a minute baby...but this aint your affair,
stay out of this...I don't want to have to-"

"You don't want to have to what?" came the unmistakable voice of Chris Thompson.

"Chris???Chris Thompson??? You boys still run together huh.....Yall should really stay out of grown men's business." said Joe, no longer laughing. I knew that look...the look his three victims
probably saw before they died...I pulled my pistol and aimed it at his head and as if on cue..
Chris pulled his likewise.

"Awwww, so it's like that huh." said Joe.

"Can't let you kill a Pastor....Now he done said he was here with the chinese girl.....and your wife done said that she wasn't with let's call it a day and nobody gets hurt okay?" said Chris.

"Yeah? You know better than that?" said Joe. In a split second his hand went for his gun...a shot zoomed through the window and hit him in the shoulder....another shot hit him in the side
and the final shot hit him in the back as he turned and fell up against the table..

"I don't believe it.....ughhhhhhh..I've been shot!" said Joe as he fell to the floor. Neither Chris ,nor I fired a shot...The shot had come from outside... We both ran outside..but nobody
was in sight. The neighborhood was eerily quiet.

Pastor Struthers, His Asian Girlfriend and Lola Parker all looked around..we looked at each other and shrugged...

"The cops are coming soon, what do we tell em? " asked Lola Parker.

"Tell them the truth..tell them somebody shot through the window." said Chris..

"Leave out the part that we were here." I said as Chris and I ran back to my car and pulled off.

The Deacon was surprisingly calm....

"I guess Pastor is alright huh?" he said.

"Yeah...he's fine...he won't have to worry about old Joe anymore...He's gone to meet his maker."
I said.

"Good....The streets don't need vermin like that." said the Deacon. Something about the way he
said it gave me the chills.

"Somebody shot through the window...did you see anybody Deac?" I asked.

"Nope..Didn't see nobody......" he said.

"You ever handle a gun Deac?" asked Chris.

"I did a lot of things in my day son...I wasn't always a Deacon" he said.

Both Chris and I looked at each other knowingly as we drove away...we didn't say anymore.


SLC said...

This had the making of a series. Deacon is guilty of a lot of things. Gotta love church folk.

Vanessa said...

This was the business Keith~!

Halo said...

What an unexpected turn of events,
I loved this!

Lisa said...

Great Story Keith!

Cheryl said...

I love your short stories Keith!

Brenda said...

I liked this..Always great to see Chess and Chris and the gang!

Sunflower said...

More mayhem on the mean streets of Philadelphia eh? lololol..I'm beginning to like Chess and Chris!

Angie B. said...

Good story Keith!

James Perkins said...

@Lolol at SLC-"Gotta love churchfolk"-lolol.

Toni said...

I love the way you left it up in the air whether the Deacon shot Joe or someone else! Great story!

Simon Bastion said...

I bow to the master storyteller once again!

Grover Tha Playboy said...

One thing I like about your stories..The Nasty bad guys always get their due!

Jazzy said...

Great Story Fam!

Tate2 said...

Great story..Loved it!

Swaggie said...

Man,I can't tell you how much I dug that story!

Sean said...

You're still doin the damn thang over here.

Captain Jack said...

Good story once again Keith!