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Saturday, February 28, 2009

Heads of State

Hyatt Hotel
Penn's Landing, Philadephia PA


I watched my friend, reputed West Philadelphia Drug Kingpin Chris Thompson sit across from me in the diner and slowly drink his coffee...He seemed more pensive lately than usual. I eyed him carefully. I had known him since we were in Kintergarden...The two of us had written many pages in the book of life when we were boys..then when we became young men, we took radically different paths...He into the world of crime and me into college and business. I knew and Chris knew that I owed my recent millionaire status and success in business to him. I knew , even though he had never said that he had a marker on me to call in...and sometimes I worried about that day when he'd call it in. My name is Chess...today is that day!

"Yo Chess, you believe in God?" asked Chris.

"Yeah Chris, as a matter of fact I do." I said. This was weird..I had never known Chris to ever walk inside a church and I had certainly never heard him talk about God before..I had assumed all these years that he was an Athiest...Guess I was wrong.

"Well....This Preacher told me that he'll forgive you, no matter what you done, if you confess your sins and you know, like stop doin what you used to do..you know what I'm sayin?" said Chris.

"Yeah..I heard the same thing." I said.

"Think he'll forgive me Chess?" he asked.

"Huh? You serious?" I asked.

"I'm just sayin Chess..I been sellin drugs since I was 14 or 15 out here on these corners...and I avoided ever gettin arrested...I avoided ever havin any beefs..and I moved up the ladder steadily until I became a street boss. Then I learned how to hide my money and invest my money and buy the right things you know? I did that till I got to a point where I just imported the product from the New York boys. I took myself off the street man...I sell my "product"to about five different drug organizations...but me, I'm not on the street, I don't touch the stuff and
I aint around no guns or no gangstas." explained Chris.

"So Chris..Why are you tellin me about your business?" I asked.

"Because I want to leave the business Chess...I'm sick of all of this, sick of the violence, sick of the
turf wars and sick of always havin to watch what I say on the phone.....all of it...I got a fortune stashed away in the Cayman Islands in an off shore account where the government can't touch it
and I got other money in banks here stateside...Chess, I got more than I'll ever spend...I don't need this life anymore...I don't like who I am...I want absolution...That's why I need you to do me this solid..." he asked.

And there it was, I knew Chris wanted me to do something...I had dreaded this moment all the time I was establishing my apartments and setting up two gyms..dreaded the moment he'd ask
me to do something I couldn't do and have to give all of this up.

"Chess..I got a list here of five guys...They head up the five major drug organizations in West,South and North Philadelphia...I want you to contact them....Tell em I want to meet..tell em that I'm going to sell them my connection...." he said.

"That's it? That's all I gotta do?" I asked Chris..

"That's it...You find us a nice place to have this meeting, get a caterer and shit , spare no expense
and then you call me..Then , you go on about your business Chess, I don't want you nowhere around, you hear me?" said Chris.

"You don't have to tell me twice Chris..I'm on it..but uh...what about your boy Slackjaw?" I asked.

"What about him? " asked Chris

"He wasn't too cool about you not makin a move on Greasy Jake and he uh kinda was makin noise about takin matters in his own hands.." I said.

"Yeah, I know....He's a dinosaur...could never get him to see the need to do things a new way.
Greasy Jake talked to me yesterday...uhhh, You know what happens to dinosaurs Chess?...They
become extinct...feel me? That's all we need to say about Slackjaw." said Chris with a sigh.

Within a week....There was a clandestine meeting at a major hotel that I can't name down near
Deleware Avenue...If The FBI had known about it...they could have rid the streets of Philadelphia of drugs forever...Well at least for about a year.. From what Chris would later tell me... He met with Greasy Jake, Fathead Newton, Panama Jack, The Playa President and Bossman Jones...Stone Gangsters all and offered them his New York Connection to split five ways between them. They had to each pony up two million dollars a peice to pay to him for it.
This was nothing for these very successful bosses and it effectively took Chris Thompson out of the game. He was ten million dollars richer, but no longer a kingpin of anything..They were essentially the big bosses now and they were free to carve his former territory up anyway they
pleased. Slackjaw balked, refused to go along and vowed to hold on to his peice of Southwest Philadelphia. Which is why Chris didn't make him an offer..He knew that Slackjaw would never work with the others...The man just wasn't a team player. Slackjaw told Greasy Jake not to even think about setting foot in Southwest Philly. Told Panama Jack and Fathead Newton the same thing.

Chris felt relieved. He was no longer in the drug business..He was..as he said a normal citizen now. Whatever happened between those guys was between them and no longer his headache.
He was out of the game. Free!

A Week Later, I met Chris in Josie's Bar...He was sitting in his usual spot...a booth in the back.

"What will you do now Chris?" I asked.

He passed me an envelope... I looked in it...It was more money than I had time to count..

"Chess..I'm gonna do anything I want to do.. You don't know how free it feels to be away from all of that..To not be involved...How long do you think I could have ducked the cops? Law of averages says that I would have either gone to jail and I'm too fine a nigger to be in the slams or somebody would've put a bullet in me...I aint trying to go out yet...Not til I have a talk wit God.
Now you take that money..put it in an account for your son's college or something..that's for helpin me out and being a stand up guy throughout this." said Chris.

"Man, you keep talkin about God...What's up with that?" I asked.

"Man, I don't know..things just been on my mind..who knows? I just knew I had to get out of that life. I'm still young..I can do anything I want, maybe go to school learn how to do somethin
useful." laughed Chris.

I looked at my friend, he looked at me and we both said - "Nahhhhhh" and we laughed and laughed....

On a nearby table was a Daily News and a story on page one that read:

REPUTED DRUG BOSS, JUSTIN "SLACKJAW" ARTIS FOUND SHOT TO DEATH IN HIS CAR OUTSIDE OF HIS HOME YESTERDAY!!!

(To Be Continued.....)

Friday, February 27, 2009

Eddie's Last Heist


Eddie dreamed big...Bigger than his possibilities. He was now at 37, nothing more than a crackhead...dirty, washed out, jobless and addicted. He had been married for awhile, even had a kid, but had lost both of them due to his addiction. He had had a pretty decent job too at one time, but had lost that..He didn't even have a decent place to live most days.. He stayed with one bust out friend after another...drinking, smoking, getting high and dreaming of a big payday and the status of "neighborhood legend"..Tonight...was going to be his big night. Little did he know...by the time tonight was over, his actions would effect the life of a man named Chris Thompson...A man he'd only heard of and never met in a way he'd never imagined...

"You're late...You can't be late when we doin somethin like this." snapped Eddie.

"Don't get your panties in a bunch Eddie, I had to get some heat and two more guys." said his partner, Little Arthur Washington...the only experienced heistman in the group.

"Two more guys? Man, I don't like a lot of people in on this." said Eddie.

" Do you think you gon take down Greasy Jake's place with just the two of us?
That place is heavily guarded...He's got two people on the front door and at least
one guy in the back..Now if everything goes according to plan...we'll catch em sleepin and take em fast." said Little Arthur.

"Okay Artie...Who are the guys?" asked Eddie.

"You know em, Falcon and Sonny Byrd." said Little Arthur.

"Falcon? That drunk?? and Sonny Byrd?? I heard he was dead.." exclaimed Eddie..

"Nah that was Southside Sonny....Sonny Byrd is still very much alive." said Little
Arthur.

"Okay...now look..I done stole the Pizza delivery truck...They order food every night around 12:30....We gon wear these uniforms and pretend like we deliverin
Pizza..When they open the door...you throw the guns on em...Falcon and Sonny
will disarm em and we'll rush the place. The take could be close to 100G's man...That's enough for us to live well for a lonnng time baby." said Eddie.

"I know dats right...come on man, let's do this." said Little Arthur Washington.

For a heist so well planned, how everything could go so wrong was beyond imagination. The Pizza Delivery truck pulled up to the drug house...Business was brisk that afternoon, with people coming and going ,copping and flowing into the night. Eddie knocked on the door and announced that the Pizza was there.

"Man, we didn't order no pizza...we ordered chinese food tonight, you got the wrong place." came the voice.

"Chinese Food??...Well this is a Chinese Pizza." said Eddie.

"What? get the hell out of here, aint no such thing as a Chinese Pizza." said the
voice.

"Sure it is.. and that's what you ordered." said Eddie.

"Man, take a hike...we ordered from the China House..That car says Chuckie's
Italian Pizza."

"Come on man, sample this Chinese Pizza...it's the best in Philadelphia."

"Man ,I aint gon tell you no more.. we aint ordered no Chinese Pizza...now get
outta here."

"Aww Come on Bruh, Once you eat Chinese Pizza, you never want nothin else.
Ah bet'cha momma like it too." said Eddie.

"What? , What you say bout mah momma?" said the voice which now had a face as the angry man snatched the door open....

'"Give it up Jack..You know what this is" said Eddie as he put a .38 to the head of the doorman...

What Eddie didn't know, what he couldn't know is that there was a man in the
upstairs window with a rifle and he fired one shot...hitting Eddie and killing him instantly....Little Arthur and Falcon began shooting at the front door and killing the man at the door...Two men came from around the back and started firing at the Pizza truck....Sonny Byrd fired his .357 magnum at the
man with the rifle in the upstairs window...He hit him and the man fell out of the window and into the street...Falcon fired at one of the two men from the back..He missed, but they didn't...They both riddled him with bullets, killing him instantly.. Sonny Byrd fired at one of the men...He hit paydirt again, killing him . The other man turned and fled. He didn't want to battle with Sonny Byrd's
lethal aim.

Little Arthur Washington sat in the front seat...half of his head blown off...and very, very dead. Sonny Byrd pulled out a flask of gin...took a healthy swig...looked around...then got out of the truck and walked away...Not a scratch on him...

The entire heist was a disaster.

The next day, Chris Thompson sat in his little office with a beautiful Asian woman, his assistant , rubbing her legs and smiling at her when his main man,
Slackjaw walked in his office.

"You don't know how to knock?" snapped a visibly irritated Chris.

"Man, we got trouble..you heard-" said the excited Slackjaw.

Chris put his hand up, which meant for Slackjaw to stop talking... He told the young Asian girl to wait for him downstairs and she promptly left.

" Some yokels tried to take down one of Greasy Jake's safe houses last night."
said Slackjaw.

"I heard...I heard they all got killed. They didn't get a dollar. " said Chris.

"Man, Greasy Jake is slippin...he didn't have good enough muscle on that house." said Slackjaw.

"So what? That's his business...He'll still have my money...so what? Let him deal
with his people." said Chris.

"Chris man, you gotta get on top of this...make him an example." screamed Slackjaw.

"An example?? He didn't lose a penny and besides we are just providing him with a product, a product for which he pays me generously...I don't have to be all up in his business like that." said Chris.

'Aww man, people in the streets are thinkin that you're gettin soft man, they
don't see you around no more." he said.

"They aint gotta see me..I don't care about what people think in the streets , that's you man...All I care about is making this money and stayin out of the slams.." said Chris.....but he wondered to himself if maybe he was beginning to care about more.

He was tired of the petty beefs , the need to be the top dog, having to flex all the time and constantly worrying about what the damn "streets was saying" He thought about his boy, Chess and how he lived an honest life..how he didn't need bodyguards and how the police had no reason
to ever want to arrest him. He longed to live like Chess. The Police didn't know his name yet,but it was only a matter of time before they did and before they started setting traps to take him down like they did Eric Slaughter a few months before. That old player had stayed in the game wayy too long Chris reasoned..Why not get out while he was still on top. Chris grabbed his
Blackberry..He called Greasy Jake.....Then he called his friend, Chess.


(To be continued....)

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Generous Woman


/You say that you've got your secrets...
and frankly I'm scared...
You say that you're delicately held together
and that I should beware..
and that if I want us to have it goin on...
goin on...
then I'll have to be generous.../

/You say that my timing is off..
and well, certainly,I'm concerned..
you don't know how "real" you can be..
and yet you sound like you're talkin the same
old jive to me..
oh damn,I should've learned..
but we could have had something real goin on
goin on
but then I'd of had to have been generous...
generous to you, baby...../

/Are you a generous woman?
can you give
when I've got nothing left?
do you understand..
that if I have to be such a generous man..
then I need..
a generous woman to walk beside me and hold my hand../

/You tell me you need time to think..
and baby ,I'm worried..
I think that maybe I need a drink..
You laugh and tell me don't hurry.
You want me to tell you what's on your mind..
but honey ,who is zoomin who?
peace and love is here to find..
it's all up to you..
because baby girl we could have something real goin on
somethin real strong
but you say I'll have to be generous to you.../

/but then again-
Are you a generous woman?
can you give
when I've got nothing left?
Do you understand
that if I have to be such a generous man
then I at least need..
an equally generous woman to be by my side
and to hold my hand../

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Lust And Confusion


Cherry and I made love again that night in her bed and again early in the morning....we made love until we were both spent...then we slept a very peaceful sleep...The next morning, we showered together...I wanted to make love again, but she wouldn't..she said to save that energy for the next time...Just knowing there was going to be a next time...that there could be a next time went a long way to improving my mood. We held hands as we walked to the local diner (not the one where we met) and had two steaming cups of coffee, orange juice and Blueberry Waffles and sausage.. We didn't say much, we kept looking at each other and smiling like two teenagers.
I walked her back to her place.

"Cherry thanks for letting me stay last night." I said.

"Chess, I should thank you...I had been celibate, though not by choice for close to six months..
I needed that...I just didn't realize how much I did." she laughed.

"Me too...Didn't realize how bad I needed to touch a woman.." I said.

"When will I see you again?" she asked.

"Anytime you want...all you need to do is call or..I may be calling you." I said and winked at her.

She curled her lips the way I liked and smiled... and waved as I got in my car and drove off.

The next day I drove by Rell's house...I wanted to see my son. She had him ready and I took him to the Zoo in the morning and to the "Please Touch" Museum that afternoon, although at
14 months..He still was too young to really do or enjoy anything. He was asleep by the time I brought him back to his mother's house.

"Awwwl, he's asleep..." said Rell as I passed him to her.

"Yeah, saved you the trouble of having to do that " I said as I was preparing to go.

"Chess...Hold up..you in a hurry?" she said.

"No, Not really..why? What's up?" I said.

"Come inside..let me put the baby in his bed." She said.

I waited in the doorway and then just shut the door and stood at the head of the stairs.. She came running down the stairs and then looked up at me like a kid who has been caught in the cookie jar and then smiled at me warmly....

"You know, you were right about that Samuel Rasulala fellow."

"Yeah?" I said.

"He was a stone dog....He couldn't keep his hands off of me....and after the concert..I told him that I had to go to work early the next day and that he couldn't come over and he didn't take that too well. He kept trying to talk me into letting him come over for "just a few minutes" When he saw that I wasn't budging, He pulled out his Blackberry and called Shane right in front of me..Told me his time was valuable and that what I wouldn't do..a dozen other girls would do." she said.

"Yeah, so what happened next?" I asked.

"Well, let's just say he's going to need a new Blackberry and he might want to put his nuts on ice." she laughed rather devilishly...She always looked so sexy to me when she laughed like that. She knew she turned me on.

I laughed and she laughed...It was the first time the both of us had laughed about something in a
long ,long time...

"Rell, you didn't have to work the next day..why did you lie?" I asked, still laughing....

"I know...I said that to see if he was a gentleman or if all he wanted was to get into the panties..
his reaction gave me my answer...but to call another woman right in front of my face??? Awww hellll no." she said and laughed again...

I started laughing , but then I looked in her eyes and she looked in mine... I don't know who made the first move, but the next thing I knew...we were kissing each other ferociously...and tearing at each others clothes...right there in the living room.. She was wearing a baby blue t-shirt that was very tight....I lifted it up and over her head...she wasn't wearing a bra...and I massaged her breasts with my mouth...she moaned softly and I opened her tight jeans and fumbled as she eased them down and stepped out of them...I was already out of my pants and was kissing her even harder...we were both breathing deeply and sweating...as I gently laid her down on the couch and began to softly run my hands through her hair...

I entered her slowly, suddenly....she felt so good, just as I'd remembered and it felt right...even though, considering where I'd been just hours before, this was so wrong on so many levels..but we were in the heat of each others passion..and this was too good for either of us to stop right now and we didn't...not for at least an hour and a half...

We lie on the floor, totally spent...holding each other and Rell said to me-

"Chess....Chess, how long are we gonna keep doing this?"

Here it was, her you've got to go speech, we shouldn't have done this, but now you should leave speil like before. This time I wouldn't be hurt..this time it was only sex for me and I didn't care..I was prepared to leave without anger.

"I'm going,it's okay.." I said.

"No Chess..I wasn't asking you to go....This isn't your fault....I wanted you...I wanted you before,then I felt guilty...I don't know what I'm doing now..." she said.

"Well, I understand that...and when you do ...when you do know what you're doing..give me a call, but don't make me wait too long...things change everyday you know." I said.

"You have a girlfriend now don't you?" she asked.

"I wouldn't call her a girlfriend....but I met someone." I said.

"Is she nice?" Rell asked.

"Yeah.......She is...but I'm not rushin into nothin...I'm going slow." I said.

"I'm happy for you Chess, I really am...Maybe...maybe one day I'll find somebody nice too." She
said.

"Maybe you will...Rell, but you know I'll always care about you...you know that right?"

"I know you do Chess and you know that I still care about you." she said.

"Yeah, I know that...at least I know that now." I said.

That afternoon, Chris and I met at Penn's Landing and stood looking at the Boats...the river and the skyline of Camden, across the other side of the River...behind us was the massive monolith that was Philadelphia...

"So you're tellin me, you spent the night with Cherry...and then the next night, you and Rell was
gettin it on in her living room??? Hahahahaha...that's why you mah boyyyyyy....You play like Mister Nice guy, but you're a true playa for real...like Puff Daddy..." laughed Chris...

"Man...it aint that simple...I don't know which way I'm going...On the one hand...I have the beginning of a good thing with Cherry....and on the other hand...I sensed a change in Rell..
One minute, I'm sittin up in that Penthouse alone, feelin sorry for myself and now in the past
48...I done had two women...two women that I really care for." I sighed as I looked at the river.

Chris looked at me for a minute...then he busted out laughing....

"What the hell is so funny?" I asked him....

He slapped his knee, then he looked at me and said-

"To have YOUR problems....."

I looked at my good friend and for once that night ,I laughed too!


-For Ashley

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

It Lives With You


My hands trembled a little bit as I opened her blouse and began to softly kiss her neck.. Her shoulders and the side of her upper arm revealed bruises...fresh bruises....I kissed her arm and she trembled...

"Cherry, you said you left a bad situation back in Oakland....He hurt you? He beat you?" I asked
with as much sensitivity as I could muster.

"Yeah Chess...He'd slap me around a couple of times. Not on the regular...He was just frustrated
you know....with his life, with his situation....sometimes with me.." said Cherry..

"Shhhhhh...don't make excuses for him....under no circumstances should he have put his hands
on you.." I said.

"You never got mad at Rell?......I mean, you never felt like hitting her?" asked Cherry.

"No...I never ever got that mad at Rell...I couldn't ..........I couldn't see myself ever hurting her."
I muttered.

Cherry held me tight and leaned her head into my chest. For a long while we just stood there in that dark room with only the light from the streetlight out on the corner, sifting gently through the blinds and the sound of a car slowly driving down the street.

I removed her blouse...She wore a pink bra....I kissed her long and hard and I eased her capri
pants down and she stepped out of them...I leaned her up against the wall...I slipped her panties
off of her and she slowly unzipped my trousers...I stepped out of them and then walked backwards while still kissing her to the couch... I put my hands around those generous "baby making hips" as Chris would've called them and eased her down so that she took my entire penis
inside of her....

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh......." she moaned softly and began to move up and down in a soft slow rhythm.....

"This is too good to be true." she said as she moaned and allowed her head to lean backwards...
I hadn't been with a woman since Rell and I had thought that the first time would be awkward,but this was so very much not awkward...

"Chess...?" she said..

"Yes " I answered....

"Don't cum inside of me...please pull out.." she said...

"I'll try to when the time comes ." I said....

"In the meanwhile ,don't stop..." she said.

I didn't...This went on for a long while....and before long, she began to cum herself...shaking and
breathing deeper........When my time came, I pulled out and erupted massively all over her couch....She laughed....

"Wow....it's a good thing that couch is leather.." she said. We held each other for a long time , before we got up, cleaned off and put our clothes back on... Cherry took out two tumblers and poured us each a glass of , what else...Cherry Kool Aid.. We hungrily drank the first glass..Then
we poured ourselves another glass and just sat silently, saying nothing for what seemed like forever.

"You feel better Chess?" she asked.

"Yeah, much better." I said.

"I'm not going to ask you to tell me what's wrong..I think I know..." she said.

"You do huh?" I asked.

"Yeah, but you on't want to talk about it do you?" she asked.

"Maybe I don't need to anymore." I said.

"That's just the afterglow of good sex talking..but I know that your pain hasn't gone away, it lives with you." she said.

"You California types are something." I laughed.

"Aint we though? You don't have to talk about it if you don't want to.." she said.

"Cherry, could I spend the night? I don't feel like going back to my place by myself."I said.

"Wow...that's a big leap Chess...I uh, I don't know if I'm ready for that." she said.

"It's kool..I just thought I'd ask....I'll be going now." I said.

"Hey , don't give up so quick...where is that swagger that attracted me to you the first day
we met...you're supposed to beg me, convince me!!!" she laughed.

"Good Night Cherry." I said.

"Oh....You're no fun...come on...I've got an extra pillow." she laughed.

(Conclusion Next..........)

Monday, February 23, 2009

Good As I've Been To You


"You know ,I could really go for a girl like you." he said.

" Mr. Rasulala, you're my instructor, I don't think that would
look right." she said.

"Shhhh, who has got to know? Class is almost over...Come on now,
why don't you come on over to my place and let's get to know each other?" he said.

" Aren't you seeing someone?" she asked.

"Right now, I want to see what's under your clothes.." he said.

"Are you drunk Mr. Rasulala?" she laughed uneasily.

"If I was drunk, I'd be all over you." he laughed arrogantly.

" Uh ,slow down patna..you'd have to have my permission to be all over me." she said, no longer laughing.

"heh-heh-heh...okay...you wanna play games..." he said.

I had heard enough...the arrogance of this cat... I walked over to him and interrupted his conversation.

"Hey, don't I know you??? Yeah...wasn't you the dude that took my baby's mother out last week and who is supposed to be taking her to see Jazmine Sullivan tomorrow at the Keswick?" I said
loud enough for the young lady he was talking to to hear....

"Uh..I- I think you got the wrong person." he said.

"Nah...You was the one with Rell...I remember you, from the supermarket...My name is Chess,
remember?" I said.

"God, you tryin to get wit Rell too??? That's my girlfriend....She gave me the book after she took your class last semester...you try to get wit every girl in your classes...you dog..get out of my face." snapped the young lady who walked away briskly.

Samuel Rasulala was heated, he turned at me and in a low gutteral voice snapped-

"What the hell is your problem, huh...I oughta-"


"You oughta what?" came a familiar voice....It was Chris.

"Who are you?" snapped Samuel Rasulala....

"Someone you don't want to cross, now take a hike...I'll talk to lover boy, here..go on git." said
Chris.

Samuel Rasulala left, but not before he cut me a murderous look. I could've cared less. The nerve and the arrogance of this guy.

"Chris...I appreciate your help, but I don't need a babysitter, I can handle myself."I said.

"Yeah, I see how you're handling yourself Chess...What's wrong with you? Why you hatin from the sidelines?" asked Chris.

"That's the dude that's datin Rell....They aint went on they second date yet and he already tryin to push up on babygirl there." I said, exasperated.

"So what and why do you care....aint you tryin to mix it up with that babe we met in the diner the other day? By the way, how did that go...did you pop Cherry's cherry...hahahahahaha.?"
laughed Chris.

"Nah man, it wasn't like that...I made her dinner, we played chess and we drank wine and talked. that's all...I didn't take it there.She's a nice girl." I said.

"Yeah, so why you worried about Rell's dude? " asked Chris.

"Because he's a dog, he's playing her..." I said.

"And you care why?" he asked.

"Who says I care?" I snapped.

"Look Chess...either you gon live yo life and make a move on this Cherry girl or you waste your time stalking Rell and everybody she dates...You can't have it both ways..You either in or you out...If he's cheating on her, that's her problem now..not yours...Focus good brother, focus...
You in or you out. That's my sermon for today...Think about what I'm sayin homeslice." said
Chris as he walked away.

I knew Chris was right....but I knew how I felt...or maybe I didn't. when I got home, I called Rell.

"Hey Chess, what's up?" she said.

"Rell, I don't think you should go out with that dude...he aint right for you." I said.

"Chess, what are you talking about?" said Rell.

"I caught him trying to put the moves on that light skinned girl that you used to pall around with, Shane." I said.

" I broke that up....I reminded him that he had a committment to you." I said proudly.

"Don't get me wrong Chess, I appreciate you lookin out and all, but you had no right to say anything to him...it's none of your business who I date and certainly none of your business or your place to say anything to them...That's for me to do. You're not my boyfriend anymore."
she said.

"So that's how you gonna talk to me, good as I've been to you? I'm tryin to do you a solid and you talk to me like that?" I asked, more hurt than Rell would know or see...

"I'm sorry Chess...but I don't need a guardian angel..I can take care of myself." she said.

I didn't say a word...There was silence that seemed to linger in the air for a very long time...

"Chess, don't be angry...get over me.....move on with your life....I have..." said Rell and then she hung up.

I sat by my window for a long while and cried....Nobody could see me...it was something I would never do out in the street and never in front of even Chris, my closest friend.

After awhile, I picked up my cell phone and dialed Cherry's number.

"Hello...oh hey Chess, how are you doing?" she said.

"You busy?" I asked.

"No, what's up?" she said.

"I was just thinking, I've never been to you house....could I come over and see you tonight?"
I asked.

"Sure...you know how to get to my place?" she asked.

"I was born and raised here ......I know how to find your spot." I said.

"Okay......how bout we hook up in a few hours.?..I gotta run a couple of errands." she said

"That'll work." I said.

"Chess? You alright?" she asked.

"No, not really." I said.


(To Be Continued.....)

Sunday, February 22, 2009

You Got Your Troubles And I Got Mine!


I did call Cherry like I said I would and invite her to my place for dinner and perhaps a game of chess. I went to the State Store and picked up two bottles of a nice white wine...Then I went to the market and bought greens for a salad, tomatoes, cucumbers, onions, green,red and yellow peppers and carrots for the salad I was planning to make. I picked up two potatoes for baking and then got two fine cuts of Sirloin Steak. For desert, I picked up materials to fix an apple pie and some Vanilla Ice Cream. I was in the checkout line when I saw them...It was Rell and a big six foot ,seven guy...dark skinned with bad taste in clothing...His Shirt was entirely too tight, as if he wanted everyone to know that he worked out and his jeans were from another era...the 80's.

"Well Hello Chess...fancy meeting you here." said Rell nervously...

"Everybody's gotta eat." I said dryly...

" From the looks of it...you're eating for two." she said. No she didn't take it there like that! I thought to myself.

"You're not eating alone either." I said.

"Oh , Chess, this is my instructor, Sam...Samuel Rasulala.....He was my teacher, when I was taking a course at community college.

And from the looks of things, he was prepared to teach her about the birds and the bees I mused as I sized him up. Dude looked corny, but whatever..she was moving on and I was moving on too so I shook his hand ,managed a smile and was prepared to leave it at that.

"How's Little man doing?" I asked.

"Oh he's ...he's great..he's with mom-mom for the weekend." she said.

"Yeah, I figured....I'll come by and pick him up next Friday." I said.

"Oh ,okay...and Chess, could you pick him up early...Sam and I are going to see Jazmine Sullivan and Maxwell at the Keswick." said Rell...

"Oh...really? Well that's nice...How's four o'clock?"I asked.

"Well you don't have to come that early, but that's fine if that's alright with you Chess." she said.

"Sure....uh, ruh sure...Well, I gotta go...gotta date.....It was nice seeing you again Rell." I said and before she could say anything, I paid my bill and pushed my cart out into the parking lot and started loading up my car...I couldn't bare to look at the two of them. I felt so bad.....I wasn't going to let her spoil my afternoon.

I walked to my apartment, cooked my meal and awaited Cherry's arrival.

"This was a delicious meal Chess....You seem to be very deep...I never met a man that could cook before." she said.

"No? Every guy I know can do a little something somethin in the kitchen." I said.

"Your place is beautiful.....and you say you own this building?" she asked.

"Yeah...I bought this and a couple of others from someone who could keep them up anymore...
they have have been good to me financially." I said.

"Wow! I see you went to Temple University.....You seem to have accomplished a lot for a recent
graduate." she mused..

"It's a long story..maybe I'll tell you about it one day...you said that you play chess..wanna play?"
I asked.

"Yes...I see you collect chess sets...you're really into this..." she said.

"Thus my nickname...get it?" I laughed... She winked at me...then she laughed...Something about the way she curled her lips when she laughed was mad turning me on...but I didn't want her to see how turned on I was just yet.

Turned out, she was good at playing chess..we played and we drank wine and we talked.....

"So Ms. Cherry Johnson...What is your story?" I asked.

"It's not much of a story...I'm from the Bay Area...Oakland....I was in a bad relationship with a bad man who was holding me back...I had a good friend, who kind of liked me....I guess he liked me more than I liked him...He tried to warn me about my man....I guess I thought he was just hatin ,cause he couldn't have me....but he was right...I should have listened...I let this fool move in with me and he wasn't workin, all he was doing was gettin high...I was working, paying for everything...I fell behind in my bills and I lost my house.....He left me for another woman...but not before he wrecked my car.. I stayed with some friends for awhile and then I got my money together and moved east."She said.

"Wow....that's some story....You moved as far away from him as possible huh?" I said.

"Yeah...How bout you? You got somebody in your past?" she asked.

"Yeah...I got a son and my son has a mother.....We almost got married, but then....well, you know how it goes...things just fell apart.." I said.

"I can see in your eyes that she still has a hold on you...you still love her..I can tell by the way you look when you talk about her" she said.

We were both silent for awhile sitting there...Then I poured her a glass of wine and poured myself another glass too.


(To be continued..)

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Cherry


I sat in the diner with my friend, Chris Thompson, at daybreak... We both liked to get up and go eat at the break of dawn.. We had been doing that since we were kids. We had grown up to be very different men....I was an honest entrepeneur, I suppose...and Chris..He was a reputed trafficer of recreational pharmecuticals (Drug Kingpin).. My name is Chess and this is another one of my stories.

We were sitting there reading the Daily News and enjoying some Blueberry Waffles and pork sausages, while drinking coffee and a tumbler of Orange Juice. From the looks of us, two Black men in sweat suits, checking our cell phones, no one would have known that we were both millionaires. Me from Real Estate and the ownership of two highly sucessful gyms and Chris , well from whatever it was he alledgedly did that everybody who was streetwise in West Philadelphia knew that he did!

"The Sixers won last night Chess" he said rather dryly.

"Yeah, I saw it at Josie's..." I said.

"Whattt? Gus invested in some Flat Screens? I can't beleive it...Thought he was old school." laughed Chris.

"I gave em to him...Three to be exact....He's done me a lot of favors." I said.

"That's your problem Chess...yo heart is too big..you can't just be givin people stuff all the time without gettin somethin back....and don't look at me like that..What I done for you is different, we family." said Chris.

"I aint lookin at you..I'm lookin at her." I said.


Chris smiled..."Somethin we agree on...she's fine as hell boy, but I can look at her and tell she trouble." said Chris.

She was about five foot ,eight, built like nobody's business and wearing a blood red dress that accentuated every curve. I couldn't take my eyes off of her.

"Why she gotta be trouble?" I asked.

"A woman that fine , alone...in a dump like this, this early in the mornin...she got troubles or she in trouble...now trust me." said Chris.

I plunked down the money to pay for our meal and I smiled at Chris...

"Well, I'm gonna find out about some of that trouble" I laughed.

I walked over to where she was sitting. Unlike Chris and me, who were in a booth, she was sitting at the counter. I sat next to her and said -"Hi" She looked at me and half smiled and said
"Hi" back. I made it a practice never to give a woman a line..I had always just been myself..mostly because I didn't feel like playing the games that go along with using a practiced line and because I felt that most people know when somebody is not being for real.

"People call me Chess...what do they call you?"

"Chess? That's an odd name.."she said.

"My father gave me that name, because I could play chess well." I said.

"Oh...that makes sense...I play a little myself." she said.

"Really...I don't meet many women who can play chess...I'd love to play you a game one day,once I learn your name." I said.

"It's Cherry" she said, not offering any more of an explanation than that.

"Cherry? Is that a nickname or is that your real name?" I asked.

"That's my real name...Cherry Johnson." she said.

"You don't sound like you're from around here." I said.

"I'm not...I just moved here from California." She said.

"People don't move to Philadelphia, they move away from here...usually to go to California." I laughed.

"Well, I got in a little trouble, I felt it was time for a change." she said.

Upon hearing her say that, Chris laughed and slapped his knee...I ignored him. I was still taken by Cherry.

"Look Cherry, I don't live too far from here...I'd love to talk to you again, play you a game of chess and maybe take you out...you know...dinner, a movie...what not." I said.

"Damn, you Philly guys move pretty fast, you don't waste anytime...yall just get right to it,don't
you?" she said.

"Why waste time? Life is too short." I said.

"I agree. you gotta cell phone?" she said. I pulled mine out and she pulled hers out and we exchanged phone numbers.

Chris's eyes grew as large as saucers....then he shook his head and just laughed and slapped his knee again.

"That's my boyyyyyyyyyy...always right on the ladies..." he howled to nobody in particular.

"I'm gonna call you Cherry....and perhaps we can set somethin up okay?" I said.

"Okay..I hope you're one of those guys that calls when he says he is going to call." she said.

"Don't worry I will and don't worry, I'm paying for your breakfast..." I said.


"I think I like you already." she said. I liked that she said that....I hadn't felt this way about any woman since my baby's mother left me...I watched her as she walked outside and hailed a cab...
As she pulled away, Chris walked up to me....

"She trouble man..I'm tellin ya." he said.

"Well, everytime you wake up and walk out into these streets, you run that risk." I said.

"True dat, but I try to minimize mine baby boy." laughed Chris.

I walked back to my apartment complex and bid Chris goodbye that morning...All I could think about was Cherry.

(To Be Continued...)

Friday, February 20, 2009

Haven't Gotten Over U


I'm really sorry I called you...
I thought we could talk
but I guess I forgot for the moment
that we are through...
what am I going to do?/

/Guess you'll always be my lifelong obsession
I should have walked...
I owed that much ,at least to you..
Instead I tried to talk..
I was a fool-
a fool who walked in the wrong direction./

I guess I haven't got over you./

I heard that you were seeing someone new now...
thought you might change your mind..
I'm still acting like a fool and how...
I've been ignoring the fact...
that in our entire relationship..you'd never
been so exact.../

/girl ,I guess you're destined
to be my lifelong obsession
and I find that after all this time
and everything you put me through.../

/I guess I haven't gotten over you..
I don't know what to do..
when ,I haven't gotten over you./

Thursday, February 19, 2009

No Hard Feelings


"Which one of us are you plannin on shooting first Olivia?" I asked..

"Olivia? I told you that Olivia is gone...I'm Rachel" she said as she waived the gun.

" No...You're Olivia...you were wearing those same clothes the last time I saw you." I said.

"I'm not her...she's weak...she's never coming back...." she screamed..

"But you're strong right? You're strong and you didn't like the way Olivia was throwing money around on that creep Walter right?? Buying him a car, helping him make a downpayment on this
house , only to see him break up with her and get married to someone else after all she'd done
for him..right?? You weren't going to let that happen were you?" I said.

"You goddamned right I wasn't....I shot his ass..." she snarled...

"Who called him here...Olivia or you?" I asked..

" I called him here...I offered him sex..." she purred...

"There was no dinner party was there...He was in his boxer shorts because you two had just had
sex didn't you? He thought he was having sex with Olivia..but it was really you wasn't it Rachel?" I asked.

"That's right?" she said.

"You become Rachel, when you can't take it..don't you?? Your husband found out about you,one of the times he was cheating on you didn't he?? He knew that you needed help...He didn't want it
to get out that his wife had a split personality did he??" I asked...

"I don't have a split personality...I am Rachel.." she said.

"You're Olivia....come on back...come back..."

"Olivia's gone ...she's gone I tell you." she snapped... Cock Robbins, Conrad, Sepia and Clerow were stunned, when they realized just what I was doing and just what was happening...then I heard a voice ...a female voice behind us...

"That's right Olivia...come back...come back...put that gun down...you don't want to hurt anybody.." said Lt. Sissy Van Buren , who had her gun drawn and who had two Philadelphia Policemen with her. Standing behind them both was Rollie Rollerson, her husband...

"Oh my God.....Kevin, Cock...what are you doing here? What am I doing here?? and with a gun?? Oh my God..???"said a now contrite Olivia... Olivia was back...she handed the gun to Lt.
Van Buren. The two policemen hand cuffed her and slowly walked her to the police car.

"You knew all the time, didn't you Kevin?" said Sissy Van Buren.

"No, I did not...She wasn't even a suspect...I didn't know for sure until just now when she pulled
that gun on me." I said.

"Well I knew all along." said Sissy.

"And you covered it up?" I said, incredulous.

"Rollie and I are lovers..we have been for years...He told me that his wife was crazy, that she had
Disociative Identity Disorder...What you laymen call a split personality....Chances are Walter Branson never knew it, until it was too late." said Sissy.

"So what happens now?" I asked.

"She's going to go someplace where she can get some help...finnally...I uh, would consider it a big favor if you not write about this or say anything about this to anyone...I can't make you..but I'm
asking you for this favor....There has already been the needless loss of life...Is there any need for me to lose my job, for Mr. Rollerson to suffer anymore than he has already suffered?" she asked.

"Let me get this straight...You have an affair with a married man, you obstruct justice and cover up a murder, Rollerson tries to take my job and have me physically hurt and you want me to do
YOU a favor???" I said, incredulous....I laughed at how pitiful both Rollerson and Van Buren looked...then I gave them my answer.

"Okay....I won't write anything about this case in either of my blogs or in my magazine..and I will
guaruntee the silence of everyone with me.. Your secret is safe with me, I give you my word, I'll
even drop the charges against Rollerson and his two goons, but Lieutenant...One day I'm going to
come asking for a favor...and when I do....I expect to get it...is that understood?" I said.

"But of course Kevin....and that goes without saying." she said, smiling. For the first time ,Rollerson was even smiling. I looked at him like he was dirt and walked down the stairs of the house where Clerow, Cock Robbins ,Conrad and Sepia were standing.

"This case is over folks..Let's go to Josie's and get some drinks...and some cheese-steaks..it's on me." I said as we got into our two cars and pulled off. As our cars pulled off, I saw Sissy Van Buren standing in the street, staring at us.

The next morning, I woke up...Sepia was gone...It was odd, her not being in the bed. Then I heard her voice from outside...

"Whooooooweeeeeee....Kevin, come outside ...come here quick?" she squealed...

I walked outside and sitting in front of my house was a 2009 BMW with an aqua bow wrapped around it and a white envelope. I opened the envelope and inside were the car keys and the title, in my name....There was an unsigned note that read-

'Sorry ,we got off on the wrong foot Kevin
This is a token of my appreciation for your continued silence
No Hard Feelings'

Rollerson, I thought as I laughed...That damn Rollerson.......

Sepia was jumping up and down with glee...like a child.....

"Ouu Kevin, let me test drive it please...it's beautiful" she cooed...and she was beautiful and it was a sunny Saturday morning...how could I say no to such a pretty woman and such a beautiful
car. I tossed her the keys, got in the passenger side and simply said to her-

"Let's go babe."

-For Soloman

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

The Low End Theory


Conrad and I drove up to the address I had in my pocket. I had gotten this address from the now missing Olivia Rockland...It was in East Oak Lane and just a few blocks from where Brett Jano had been murdered some months before. Sepia, Clerow and Cock Robbins were already there when I got there. This was the very house in which Walter Branson had supposedly shot himself to death. I was going to re-create the scene and decide for myself what could have possibly of happened.

The police tape was gone and the blood had been cleaned up and the bloody bed sheet removed.. All that remained in the little room was a mattress with two pillows that had no pillow covers on them. It was all very eerie. I couldn't locate any of the people who had been in the house on the night of the death..but from what Olivia told me had happened..I had enough people to recreate the death scene.

Olivia told me that Walter , herself and two guests had all been downstairs drinking ,smoking, talking and listening to the radio that night...Walter had decided to go upstairs to his room...a room in a house that he thought was his that he was about to lose. He was obviously upset she said and he had refused once again to be her man and give up Linda.

Olivia told us that while sitting downstairs, a single shot was heard! Everyone rushed upstairs and found Walter slumped over the bed, with a head wound...and a pistol in his left hand...bullet wound in his right temple, Rum spilled all over the floor and the window wide open.....

A window wide open in February...with below freezing temperatures??? Very strange...and Walter in his boxer shorts and t-shirt, like it was a night in June or something?? Even more bizzarre.

I had Sepia , Clerow and Conrad sit downstairs on the living room couch and I had the radio turned up....Then upstairs I had Cock Robbins sit on the bed...with a bottle of rum and a glass in his hands. I gave him an old Plastic squirt gun and told him to aim it at his right temple..

"Man this is kind of difficult with the bottle of rum and the glass in my hand and kind of uncomfortable too." said Cock.

"I know....and the powder residue from the bullet that should have been on the head wasn't there...It's as if he was shot from a distance." I reasoned..

"Yeah man....you right. Look, that Lt. Sissy Van what's her name- I don't know what her game is...but maybe you can run this by someone else there in the police department and they could look into this.." said Cock Robbins.

"You know Cock...you got a point man." I said.

"There won't be any need for that." came a voice. A familiar voice.

I saw Conrad, Sepia and Clerow walk in first with their hands in the air....then I
saw her, holding a large pistol on them and motioning for all of us to move to the side........it was Olivia Rockland.....only ,she had a strange far away look in her eyes...

"So it was you afterall Olivia , huh?" I smirked....

"Olivia?? That bitch is gone...my name is Rachel and yeah I killed that son of a bitch...Olivia was too weak to kill him...she just sat back and played the victim, but I wasn't going for it...I did what she couldn't do." said Olivia.

She looked like Olivia and she was wearing the same clothing Olivia had on two days ago when I last saw her...yet her personality was so different...Olivia had never told me about having a twin sister.

"So what, you're going to kill all of us?" I asked.

"Oh yeah..and then burn this house down with your bodies in it. By the time
they figure it out...Olivia and I will be longgg gone.." she laughed maniacally."

Seemed like I just had a knack for getting myself in these types of situations.

(Conclusion Next.....)

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Turning the Heat Up


I had lost my job....and my life had been threatened....I did a number of things..I called my Lawyer ,Conrad first of all and laid the entire story out to him...He told me that I had to have proof that Rollerson had threatened me. I played him a tape recording of Rollerson's visit and several people at the office gave statements to Conrad supporting the events of the previous day. Conrad took this to the board of directors and not wanting to be subject to a law suit that win or lose could make them look bad voted to re-instate me back at the magazine immediately.

The Second thing we did was take the incriminating tape to the Police. Lt. Sissy Van Buren immediately came running over and tried to smooth things over.

"Look Mr. Morris...I'm sorry this had to happen and we plan to prosecute the two
thugs who accosted you to the fullest extent..but you really have no proof that Mr.
Rollerson had anything to do with your attack..and tying them up and throwing them
on his lawn probably angered him and-"

"Hold up...How do you know they were tied up and thrown on his lawn..that wasn't
in the papers?" I asked. I knew that Rollerson wasn't about to report that to the police..he would have had to answer too many questions..

"Look Mr. Morris..that's...that's ..that's besides the point...If you would just agree not to harass
Mr. Rollerson-" she said.

"I never had a conversation with him until he came to my office threatening my job and then trying to have me beaten up,possibly killed by those two thugs." I said.

The Police Captain said to me- "Mr. Morris, do you wish to press charges?"

"I most certainly do." I said

"Okay guys..Pick him up" said the Captain...

"Now wait a minute" said Sissy Van Buren.

"Lt.Van Buren...this is not a homicide and not under your jurisdiction.....My order stands...boys..
pick him up."said the Captain. Sissy Van Buren looked at me as though she wanted to kill me...
I laughed my head off and left.

My cell phone went off at just that moment...It was Sepia.

"Kevin...what are you doing?" she asked.

"I'm at the police station, why?" I said.

"Clerow and I are at that address you gave us...You and Conrad need to meet us there."
she said.

'Okay babe..I'll be there in a few." I said.

I wanted to be at Central Booking when they brought the little man in. Conrad and I stood outside as they dragged Rollie Rollerson out of the car kicking and screaming... He looked at me with contempt....(I forgot to note that he was asked to vacate his seat on the Board of Directors until after this affair was settled.)

"Nigger,you couldn't leave well enough alone could you? You have no idea what you've gotten yourself into, do you?" he snarled.

"I think I've helped take a cold blooded killer off the street, that's what I think?" I said.

"Ah didn't kill him....why would I care about him??? I was doin my thing...she was doin hers...
as long as he was around...nobody was lookin at me...Ahh didn't kill him ,you fool." he snarled.

For some reason...some strange reason...I believed him.

"Oh he's full of it Kevin, He killed him....and we'll prove it." said Conrad.

"Conrad...I don't think he did...but let's meet Sepia and Clerow at the address...Call Cock too!"
I said.

"Okay Kevin." said Conrad.

(To be continued......)

Monday, February 16, 2009

The Big Dawg!


A few days later ,I was in my office on the computer finishing up my two blog posts and looking at some photos Sean had brought by that were going to be scanned into an article I recently wrote for the magazine when my intercom buzzed.

"What up?" I said.

"Kevin, Mr. Rollie Rollerson is here to see you." came the voice of the receptionist.

"Rollie Rollerson?? The Rollie Rollerson??" I asked.

"That would be he." said the voice.

"Okay...send him in.." I said.

"Oh wow...the big dawg is here to see you personally" laughed Sean.

"Yeah..how about that?" I laughed as Sean walked down the hall.

Rollie Rollerson wasn't a big man in stature. He stood about five foot, nine...weighed little more than say 160-170 pounds.. But the way he carried himself made him look larger than life. He was
well coifed...Fingernails neatly manicured....Wedding band on one hand.. Pinky ring on the other,
Platinum bracelet on both arms...Huge Diamond stud in his left ear.. Dark as Cocoa with a shiny
bald head and a small goateed chin.. He was the big dawg alright. I looked at him and I thought about his now missing wife, Olivia...She had supermodel good looks....The only way a guy like him could have gotten the time of day from a girl like her was by having a big wallet and by being- The Big Dawg!!!

He walked in my office as though he owned it.. I stuck my hand out to shake and he looked at me as if I was dirt and then sat down. He didn't smile and he didn't make any pretension of civility.
He got right to it.

"Kevin...You and that washed up football player friend of yours have been making inquiries into
the recent suicide of yet another washed up football player and I need all of this to cease and desist. Besides....I occassionally read your blogs and your articles in Hype Magazine...a magazine I happen to be on the board of directors of...might I add...and you write very good stuff, stuff a lot more interesting than some old washed up jock's suicide." he said.

"Mr. Rollerson...I mean you no disrespect sir, but why do you care about what I choose to write
about?" I asked..Then his tone got nasty...

"Look nigger, I'm not asking you...I'm telling you..Lay off of this story...you hear?? I better not see a word of this written in your blog or in that magazine ,of which I AM ON THE BOARD OF DIRECTORS or did I mention that? or-"

"Or you'll what? You can't fire me....you're just on the board of directors...you don't tell anyone
here at this magazine what to write and my blogs have nothing to do with this magazine...I'll write whatever I please..Now do me a favor ,get the hell out of my office...oh and give Olivia my
regards when you see her."

"Nigger, you gon be sorry you crossed me....now I'm telling you ...Leave it alone...it's got nothing to do with you." he bellowed....

I grabbed him in his collar and lifted the little man up off of the floor-

"You know...calling me that name doesn't make you any less of one....it's about time we as Black people evolved..you feel me?" I said.

"Ohhhh, you gonna evolve alright...you'll see..." he said as he pulled away and stormed out of my
office. Everybody saw him storm out and I'm sure they heard him yelling and screaming...I worried about my job....but at the same time..I knew that he was afraid...Afraid of something...and a scared man usually had something to hide..

A few hours later....I was in the parking lot walking towards my car, when I noticed a tall, well
muscled thug like individual standing between me and my car. When I tried to walk around him
he blocked my path. I knew what this was... Before I could do anything ,he slugged me in my stomach...all of the wind went out of me and I felt a pain like I'd never felt before...Then he slugged me in my jaw...I fell up against the car and another man, armed with a baseball bat swung at my head...I ducked just in time...The bat missed my head.....I kicked him hard in the groin.. and he let out a moan and dropped the bat...I spun around and hit the first guy in his jaw, then grabbed him around the collar and slammed his head three hard times into the trunk of my
car, knocking him unconscious....The guy with the baseball bat was headed at me again when he
got punched in the jaw and hit from behind with a peice of plywood..He went down for the count.

Clerow and Cock Robbins had come to my rescue and not a minute too soon!!!

"Sean, called me, told me that you and Rollerson had had it out...I figure he might make some trouble for you...so I called Clerow and got over here as soon as possible." said Cock.

"Thanks guys....Clerow...you got any rope in the trunk of your car.?" I asked...

Clerow smiled- "Whut you up to boy?" I winked.

Sometime that night, I made an anonymous phone call to Rollie Rollerson and in a whisper I told
him...that he should come outside his house... The little man walked outside on his lawn and saw
his two would be muscle guys, bound and gagged and a little note tied next to them that read-

"Come again....I don't get down like that!"

I can imagine him throwing a hissy fit in his front yard, as Clerow ,Cock and I drove off.

The next day, I was called into the Senior Editor's Office and informed that they would no longer
need my services at the Magazine....I wasn't given an explanation..just my severence and told that I had to turn in my keys and that someone would be coming by my house to get my modem
in a few days.

It was Rollerson.....If I hadn't cared about who killed Walt Branson or Olivia's disapearence..I cared now...and I was going to make so much noise...Rollerson and all of Philadelphia was going to hear about it!!

(To Be Continued.........)

Saturday, February 14, 2009

Long Arms


Linda Branson was obviously uncomfortable sitting there exposed with two men...two men she didn't know sitting there with her. She excused herself and went into the bedroom. She came back with some Jeans and
T-shirt on. Then she told me her story. She said that she and Walter had known each other breifly in High School...He had played Football at Central and she had gone to Girl's High...She had gone to Hampton University largely because he was there and she wanted to be with him. At Hampton...Walter was a stand out Football player....and it was conventional wisdom that he would go high in the NFL draft. He didn't...In fact he didn't get drafted at all and he returned to Hampton and earned his Masters degree in Business Administration. Out of college, He entered the NFL draft again...he was now 24 years old. Again he was not taken in the draft. He walked on to the Carolina Panthers and
rode the bench for a year and was cut.

Horribly depressed...He walked on to the Baltimore Ravens...got cut before training camp was over. He then walked on to the Washington Redskins. They kept him for three years, but he saw very little playing time and wound up on their practice team.

They returned to Philadelphia, where he tried out for the Eagles, The Giants and the Jets but didn't quite make muster. He began playing on several Semi-Pro teams just to get a paycheck and just to feel like a real Pro football player....Cock Robbins knew exactly how he must have felt, for this had been his life too. Walter met Olivia Rockland...Yes,( Linda knew all about her ) but he didn't love her....claimed Linda..He was just using her..for sex and for her money...but Olivia had fallen in love with him...had helped him buy a house...(She gave him $20K to make a downpayment) and had bought him a car...

What Olivia couldn't know was that Walter was still carrying a torch for
Linda and when he broke off their little clandestine romance and married
Linda...Olivia was livid...The house ,which Walter thought he had made a
downpayment on ..had actually been in Olivia's name and she had had him evicted before he ever got a chance to move in and demanded her money back...She took the car back too..

Walter said that he didn't care....that he would be happy with Linda...and now he was dead...apparently a suicide.

"You don't believe that your husband killed himself Linda ,do you?"I asked.

"That's what the cops say." she shrugged.

"Your husband was left handed right? The bullet hole is on the right side
of his head." I said.

"Yeah ,I know and I thought that that was odd...You know ,I told that
Lady Detective ...Miss Van Burn that, when I went to see the body and she
said that that didn't mean nothin because Walter had long arms." said
Linda.

"What? She said the same thing to me...and that's the most ridiculous thing I've ever heard." I said.

"Well..that's what she said." said Linda.

I thanked her for her time and as I was getting up to leave she said to me-

"You think someone killed Walter don't you?"

"I don't really know...but something doesn't sound right or look right."
I said...

"Well, I hope you get to the bottom of it....regardless of what you saw here
or heard...I did love Walt....I miss him so...Pastor Struthers came over here to help me through my time of grieving and one thing led to another,
we both got to crying and the next thing you know...we were both in bed...
He recently got divorced and he misses his wife too.." she said.

"Yeah...I can tell..." I said dryly....Cock Robbins hung his head low...he continued to laugh silently as we walked down the steps.

Olivia Rockland was nowhere to be seen and neither was the car!!!!!!!!

I looked at Cock, he shrugged his shoulders....

"That was her car man...she just let me drive it!"

(To be Continued.......)

Friday, February 13, 2009

Ask His Wife


We heard the bed springs squeaking and the sound of a headboard slamming hard against the wall as we stood outside the apartment of Linda Branson...We heard her moaning and yelling out at times-

"OHHHHHH .....OHHHHH MY Goodness...Minister to meeee...OHHHHHHH,
good lord.......ouuuuuuuuuu...."""

Then we heard a distinctive male voice..."Ohhhhhh, give it to meeee, give me morrrrrre...just let daddy have morrrrre..ummmmmph, ohhhh baby."

I was having a case of deja vu...Was I in Chinatown outside of the apartment I thought belonged to Eric Slaughter?

Olivia lit a cigarette and frowned-

"She don't sound like she's so devestated to me. I guess she got over it quick
huh? The poor man aint even in the ground yet and she in there gettin her
freak on."

Cock Robbins smiled and turned his head so that Olivia wouldn't see him laughing..

"Ouuuuuuu papa...give it to me...give it alllll to meeee...ohhhhhhh." came the
voice from the apartment. I hated to ring the bell and interrupt all of this. I really felt bad. This was why I was glad I lived in a house..Nobody could come to my front door and know all of my business like that. These sleazy apartments
had thin walls and everybody in the hallway and on either side of you could hear everything you did from sneeze, make love to sitting on the toilet...There was just no privacy.

"Ohhhh, I think this is it...this is it...here I commmmeeee..ohhhhhhhh." came the distinctly male voice...

"Me tooo....ouuuuuuuuuu...weeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee.." came the female voice.

At this point Cock Robbins was in hysterics, banging his massive fist against the
wall on the opposite side of the apartment.

I then began ringing the bell.

"Somebody's at the door" said the female voice.

"Oh for Christ's sake, who in the hell could that be"? came the male voice.

I heard some rustling and then we slowly saw the door open... A short, shapely
and voluptuous brown skinned woman came to the door in a very sheer robe that left nothing to the imagination...She was trying hard to hide her breasts
and cover them up, once she saw that at least two men were in the doorway.

Olivia looked at her ,then said to me and Cock-

"I'm going downstairs to the car, I can't be privy to this crap" and she turned and walked towards the elevator.

"Hi...I'm Kevin Morris...I was uh, a friend of your late husband.." I lied.

"Oh...okay, excuse me, I uh had company...come on in.." she said.

Once in, I got a second shock....

"Pastor Struthers????? Is that you??" I asked in horror and disbelief..Now I really had Deja vu...First I had encountered the Pastor of my church with an Asian prostitute in China town..and now here he was in the apartment of this young widow.

"Son, it seems like you're everywhere but church" He said, obviously annoyed that here I was again, seeing him somewhere he shouldn't have been.

"This young woman just suffered a terrible loss and I was here comforting her and offering her a...a...a...a..a..laying on of hands...sometimes a person needs a
human touch.." he said.

By now, Cock Robbins was in the hallway, not even trying to hide his laughter....while I was so mortified that I couldn't speak....Pastor Struthers hastily put on his clothes and kissed Linda Branson on the cheek and said to her-

"I'll see you in church sister Linda...everything is going to be alright...
You too young man...you aint been to church since New Years Eve.."

"Pastor, what about your oil?" she said...

"Keep it here..I may need it the next time I have to annoint you." He laughed.
She giggled too and sighed as he walked out.

It was a nice neat little apartment...There was an overturned wedding photo of her and the now deceased Walt Branson...He was a huge ,six four, 250 pounds,while she was no more than five foot two, 110 pounds if that.

"I'm sorry about that, I didn't know you were coming.." she said.

I could have said the same thing. (I didn't know she was coming either)....but I let it slide...I sat down on her couch and I asked her about Walt....

(To be Continued.....)

Thursday, February 12, 2009

If You Wanna Know About A Man


If you really want to know about a man...Talk to the women in his life. My Mother always used to say that and I have found that to be true. As we walked out of the morgue, the first thing I noticed was the dead man's "girlfriend" Olivia Rockland....She had on a rather expensive wedding band. She was married. She saw me eyeing her left hand, middle finger and she looked at me dryly and said- "My husband and I had an open marriage."

I laughed...Neither she nor Cock knew what I was laughing about. I knew who her husband was.. Rollie Rockland was one of the wealthiest Black men in Philadelphia. He was into Publishing, owned a satelite radio station, was co-owner of a cable TV sation and on the board of directors of the Magazine that I was employed by. I knew her husband very well. She was an attractive peice of eye candy....Light skinned, yet built as well as any of her darker skinned, yet
less heeled sistas....Redish brown hair...I could see what men saw in her... I knew that Cock Robbins had probably sampled her during his days of Semi-Pro football and had moved on to different women....She had probably never been loyal to Rollie....nor he to her..I had seen Mr. Rockland more than one time at one of those magazine affairs all of us just had to attend with an Asian beauty or a Hispanic woman...Never with a Black woman. I was surprised that he was actually married to a Black woman.

"Look Mr. Kevin, Walter and I had a thing...a good thing...I met him at one of your magazine's
party's ...Yes Kevin..I know who you are...I read both of your blogs "Kevin's Spot" and "Ventures" I love your writing..and I love your articles in Hype magazine...I know all about how you cracked the Jean Cokely case and the Singing Blogger case and how recently you helped
The FBI put an end to Eric Slaughter's career in crime...That's why I called Cock and asked him to talk to you..You're the only one who can prove to the world that Walter Branson was murdered." said Olivia.

I looked at her and smirked-

"Why do you care? He's gone, no matter what I can prove...he was just an obscure Semi-Pro Football player that nobody outside of this area ever heard of..Why is this a big deal to you?"
I asked.

"Because I loved him...I had bought him a house and a car....I would have done anything for him,
he was the love of my life." she said.

She reminded me of Sepia , when I first met her and how she initially felt about Cock Robbins, and how when she found out that Cock had been sleeping with her mother too, as well as a few other girls, that love had turned to icy hatred that she still held on to today. Funny, Cock didn't seem to care that Olivia had been seeing Walt, but everytime he saw me with Sepia..I detected a bit of regret in his eyes and in his demeanor. Yet, in some strange way..Cock and I had become friends..kind of sort of...You know what they say..You keep your friends close....

"Mr Morris...We try to duck a few punches here at Homicide." said Lt. Sissy Van Buren.

"I know, but it seems to me that if a man is a known lefty , he wouldn't shoot himself on the right
side of his head...it would seem rather impossible."I said.

"It's not impossible...He had long arms...."she said.

"Yes he did, but don't you find that strange ?" I said.

" No I don't. Is that all you got..? He was left handed and there is a gunshot wound on the right side of his head? Come on Mr. Morris...He was by himself..In his boxer shorts, with an empty bottle of rum by his side and a pistol with five of six shots still in it on the floor...with only his prints on them...It was a suicide. Besides...we went over all this with his wife..she didn't believe it either."said Lt. Van Buren.

"His wife?? Mrs. Rockland is not his wife.....she's married to-" I said before I was interrupted.

"I know who she's married to, who doesn't know?...I'm not talking about her...I'm talking about his wife, Linda Branson...They had just got married two weeks ago..Don't go bothering her either, she's devestated right now...leave it alone." she said.

I smiled, thanked the Detective for her time and walked outside to my car. Cock and Olivia were
waiting.

"Well, what did they say?" asked Cock

"Oh ,they told me that they talked this over with his wife and that she was upset too." I said, letting that bomb marinate. I eyed Cock...He clearly was shocked...but Olivia was as cool as a cucumber..

"He had a wife?" asked Cock.

"Yup, sure did...a new wife at that, they had only been married two weeks, but you knew that,right Olivia?" I said.

Olivia smiled and looked at me-

"That's what I like about you Kevin Morris...you don't miss a damn trick....Yes...we had a terrible quarrel, Walt and I, and he went off and got married...and-"

"Okay, you wanna cut the crap.....He didn't go off and do nothin...He had been seeing both of you all along .....but let's face it...you're on the good side of 42...I'm bettin his little wife is in her twenties...and you found out rather accidentally that he was playin you..right?? You weren't about to allow this to go down....You had risked your marriage for him..he wasn't gonna play you
cheap, right? " I said.

"Well, you got some of it right...only I didn't kill him...I loved him. I didn't kill him...If I did , why would I get you involved, especially after the police have closed the case?" she said.

"I don't know, maybe you're crazy." I laughed.

"No..I'm not crazy...you know I'm telling the truth." she said.. I knew she was telling the truth, but I had to test her to be sure...Next..I'd have to rattle another cage...I'd have to talk to the
wife. Cock and Olivia got in their car and I got in mine and followed them...I knew that Olivia knew where this wife lived too...Didn't have to ask...I knew women.. Knew em real good.
I was beginning to understand this man too..This dead man....He had some kind of spell over these two women..what was it? Was he good in bed? Was he really a good loving man?? or was he a master player? I'd know for sure when I talked to his wife.


(To Be Continued....)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Favor


I was chasing Sepia around the living room....She was wearing nothing more than a very sheer ,white babydoll...She was moving fast, but not fast enough...I did my best impression of one of the Eagles defensemen and tackled her....We fell and rolled upon the floor, wrestling and laughing...It was a lazy, playful Saturday morning...Neither of us had to go to work and we were both laughing, before I finnally wrestled my way on top of her,leaned in and gave her a very long and passionate kiss.. She returned the kiss and we lay there, holding each other and breathing heavy, when all of a sudden the door bell rang.....I let it ring again...I felt ,if we were silent..maybe whoever it was ,would go away...But Sepia, got up, tried to fix her hair, put on a robe and went to the door. Upon seeing who it was..she turned to me with a frown and said..."Kevin, it's for you."

I got up off the floor and walked to the door...It was Cock Robbins.. He peeked in and looked at us sheepishly -

"Hope I wasn't interruptin nothin folks.." he said.

"Oh nah...whatever would make you think that?" said Sepia ,not even trying to hide her sarcasm or her disdain for the man.

"Kool it Sepia?"I said. Then I looked at Cock and said-"So what brings you to my house on a Saturday morning?"

"You know I wouldn't just come over here on a humbug like this Kevin, but I need you to look into somethin for me." said Cock.

"Look into something...Look into what?" I asked.

"It's like this...one of my ex-girlfriends was dating this guy...Walt Branson.....right? Well ,he died
last night...Shot to death.....Cops are saying it's a suicide." said Cock.

"Yeah and?" I asked...

"She don't think it was a suicide...." he said.

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

"Kevin, this has you written all over it...If you could figure this out and-"

"Hold up, Hold up....do I look like a cop or a private eye to you? I'm a Blogger and a writer..
I'm not a detective..Why don't you go to the cops with this?" I said.

"Because they already ruled it a suicide..they won't talk to me...but if you look at him and dig around a little you'll prove that they wrong." he said.

"What? If the cops already ruled it a suicide, what can I do to undo that? And what do you want me to do, solve his murder...if it in fact is a murder?" I asked.

"Kevin, just meet me at the morgue and look at the body and tell me what you think...just do that for me, okay?"asked Cock.

"If I agree to do this, will you leave me alone? I asked...

"Yeah, sure man." He said

"Okay...get out of here...I'll see you in a few hours." I said.

"A few hours?? I got the girl outside in my car..what am I supposed to do in the meanwhile?"
asked Cock.

"Where's your wife? She know about this?" I asked.

"Vanessa is home, she knows I'm helping Olivia....It's on the up Kev, I swear....I aint doin nothing shady..." said Cock.

"Okay, Okay...I'll meet you in a few hours. I'm sure you'll find something to do with her." I said.

"I'm tellin you Kev, it aint nothin like that..I'm a changed man..no skirt chasin...I aint shady like that no more." said Cock..

"Okay Cock..whatever you say." I laughed, still teasing him. I beleived him..Sepia didn't.

After Cock was gone...I grabbed Sepia and pulled her towards me... She had been standing by the bedroom door.

"Now that he's gone...I wanna do something shady and underhanded with you.." I laughed..

"Oh..you so nasty, Kevin.." laughed Sepia.

Three hours later I was parking in front of the Philadelphia Medical Examiner's Office..right off of the University of Pennsylvania's campus. If you didn't know better, you would have sworn that the small, cold impersonal building..located in a cubbyhole on 38th Street, near Baltimore Avenue was actually part of Penn, but it wasn't. Cock and his ex-girlfriend, Olivia were already inside talking to some people...There were Television monitors in the hallways for those who were too squeamish to actually go into the rooms and view the bodies...but we were going into the room. We walked down a very cold and clinical, yet well lit hallway to the room where dozens of the recently deceased lie cold and lifeless on steel tables with wheels.

A small dwarfish little white man in a white uniform walked us to the table that held Walt Branson....or what was left of him. He was a dark skinned hulk of a man, larger than Cock Robbins and well muscled...a handsome man in life...with a big hole on the right side of his head.

"Kevin...look at the bullet hole...I aint smart as you, but even I can see what's wrong with this picture here?" said Cock Robbins.

"What's wrong with it?" I asked.

"Kevin...the bullet hole is on the right side of his head..." said Cock.

"Yeah?" I asked.

"He was left handed." said Cock. 'Did everything with his left."

For the first time in a long time..Cock Robbins had said something intelligent, something that made me think...Maybe he had a point after all..

(To be Continued.....)

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Clueless


/If your man had a clue...
he'd of seen a long time ago that I had eyes for you..
and if your man had a clue
he'd realize that he hasn't done right by you../

/He'd know that he should have stopped constantly leaving
all alone..
He'd know that he should have called ...
when he said that he would phone.../

/But he's so clueless
so clueless ,and it's not funny...
He's so clueless
when it comes to how he should be treating you
honey...
He 's such a fool..
one day he'll blink and he'll wonder what happened
to you../

/If your man had a clue,
he wouldn't be openly fooling around with Renee
and Tracy and Sue..
If your man had a clue...
he wouldn't talk to a grown woman like she was
a child or a fool./

/ He would know that a woman like you
doesn't come around everyday...
just like he'd know that for him it was already
way too late...
He'd know that it was only a matter of time..
before a guy like me would make you mine../

/But he's so clueless..
so clueless and it's not funny..
He's so damn clueless when it come to
how to treat you, honey..
He's such a fool, one day he'll blink
and then he'll wonder what happened to you.../

Girl ,if that man of yours had a clue...
If he really understood..
but he thinks he's safe doesn't he?
He says-"Oh she'll never leave me"
He thinks he's got it good../

He'd know that he'd better keep his ear to the wood..
because it aint how good I could make it for you girl..
It's just how I could make it so good.
He'd know that my line wasn't busy girl
and when you called you had a clear mind, you didn't get nervous...
You just dialed my number one night and I came over and gave
you some service.../

But he's so clueless
isn't he?
He's so clueless
it isn't funny...
He's so clueless when it comes to loving you, honey..
He's such a fool..
one day he's gonna blink...
and wonder what happened to you...

He's so clueless baby...
but I know what to do when it come
to lovin you...
I'm not clueless baby...

Monday, February 9, 2009

On My Name Alone


I was doing pretty good for myself...with the money I made from my Apartment units, I purchased two more Apartment complexes, had them renovated and began renting to low income families in West and Southwest Philadelphia. I purchased an old long closed movie theatre..had it gutted and renovated and opened up yet another gym....and in time, I moved to a loft in the Northern Liberties section of Philadelphia , so I could be far away from Rell, so I wouldn't be tempted to go anywhere near her, except when I had to...as in my weekly visits with
our son and to leave money.
My name is Chess, this is another one of my stories.

In a short time I had become a very wealthy man...Like Chris Thompson had told me...No flash,
He said it was crazy to walk around people who didn't have any money ,wearing your sucess for them to see..It did two things...It reminded them of their shortcomings and it made them envious of you and if they were envious, they would try to take what you had. When I walked around West Philly, I dressed like everybody else...I blended in...I wore no jewelry , I drove an
inexpensive car and I looked like the average joe. Few people knew that I was actually close to
being a millionaire.

I just happened to be in the state store buying a bottle of wine , when a very voluptuous young woman walked by me... I did a double take and then stole at glance at her as she walked by-

"Hey man...what's up wit you..that's my woman..that's my woman you lookin at....You want me
to knock those eyes out.." came a voice. It was her boyfriend, from what I could gather.

"Hey man, I meant no disrespect....that's a very fine woman you got there ." I said.

"Hey man...don't be lookin at my woman okay, you let me worry about-"

"So what, he was lookin at your woman.?...he didn't say jack to her...he didn't touch her, an you gettin all chest up with him...I'm lookin at her too...so what you gone say to me?" came a
familiar voice...It was Chris Thompson and upon seeing him...The man who had been selling me wolf tickets changed his tone immediately.

"Chris...Chris Thompson? This yo boy??...awww man, well ..well you know me...I-I-I was just-"
he said, falling all over himself...

"Yeah...yeah..I know you owe me money nigga, so when am I gon see that dap huh?" said Chris

"Awww mann, homie, look, now you know I'm good for it..You know I'm gone get you your cash
man....Man, look, I didn't know this was yo boy...Hell, that broad aint nothin to me...just a damn
jump off thas all...sheet..."said the man.....

The girl smirked, she shook her head and then looked at the guy, tossed her hand up and said
"You is a weak ass nigga...don't you ever call me.." and she walked out of the state store.

Chris looked at the guy with disdain-

"Go get your woman man, don't stand here lookin at me and don't forget my money...end of the
week, ya hear?"


"Yes Chris...I'm out baby..I'm gone....nice meetin yo friend.." he said and ran out of the state store. Everybody who witnessed it started laughing. That poor guy could never show his face in that state store again. Not after the way Chris punked him.

"Yo Chris...I coulda handled that situation...why'd you punk him like that?" I said.

"What? No Hello Chess? No Thanks homie?" said Chris.

"I could've taken him man" I said.

"I know you could've...When we was coming up, nobody cept me was nicer with they hands than
you Chess...You had my back more times than I can count....but we grown men now, you and me, we businessmen...We aint gotta carry it like that anymore...You try to avoid situations like
that that can potentially turn violent or you finese your way out of em." said Chris.

"Oh and that was finese?" I asked Chris.

"Naw..that nigga owe me money..but see..I get over on my name alone.....Nobody know who you
are....but they will soon...They know you my main man and that alone will get you dap in this part of town." he said. He took his right hand and slapped my face lightly....

"Take it light homie, but take it...you feel me?" He said as he grabbed his bottle and walked out the door, jumped in his Black BMW and pulled off.

I walked outside into the West Philadelphia night and smiled....Chris Thompson was a bad man,
but he was my friend...and sometimes all you got is your friends.