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Sunday, January 31, 2010

Coming Attractions (10 Days of Love)


For all of you who have been wondering if I was ever going to get back to writing poetry, here it is. Starting February 5th and lasting until Valetines Day on February 14th...I will be publishing ten poems that show ten different takes on love...I hope you all will enjoy them. So get ready for "Ten Days of Love".

Friday, January 29, 2010

Like A Good Neighbor


"Look man...I can't put my hands on that kind of money tonight...It's damn near two in the morning .What do you think, I'm going to get 300 large from an ATM machine?" I said. It was after all the truth..

Goldy looked at Larry and finnally ,Larry shook his head.

"He's right...so here's the deal...We are going to drive you to your door....You're going inside and neither you nor your lady better come out before we tell you. At 8:00 am..You and only You better come out...with an empty breifcase....I'm gonna have to take your Blackberry my man."
said Larry.

'What? Are you serious?" I asked, now visibly enraged at this snake. He pulled out a big gun cocked it and put it to my head.

"Oh I'm dead serious punk...I've waited a long time for you to crawl out of your hole...See I never did buy that you died on September 11th...It occurred to me that a jive ass like you would take my money and run..Took me a long time to find you...Never thought you'd be so close.....Philadelphia....Philadelphia??? I thought your slick ass would've gone to Puerto Rico."
he laughed...I wanted to knock that sneer right off of his face..

I handed him my Blackberry...but he didn't know about my cell phone ,which was back at my condo. I had a plan....It was a bad plan...but I no longer cared. I wanted them all dead! They wouldn't let me take my car...They drove me to my place in their car instead.

"Alright Johnny or Brandon or whatever the hell you're calling yourself now of days...8:00 am sharp..You be down here with an empty breif case...Tell your woman to stay in that apartment.
She comes out...she and your unborn child are as good as dead...If we get a whiff that you've called the cops...All three of you are as dead as doorknobs...you feel me?" said Larry.

"I got'cha man." I said.

''Good...now get a good night's sleep ,heheheheheheheheheheh." laughed Goldie as they opened the door and got out. I noticed a Blue 95 Ford Taurus sitting right directly across the street from me...Two men were sitting in the back seat...both had on shades, muscle shirts and dark pants. Another guy sat up front in the drivers seat. These were the guys who were probably hired to watch me and kill me.

When I got upstairs...Kim was sound asleep....I got my other cell phone and called a number I thought I'd never need to call. A few years back...when he was an up and coming gangster, I helped a guy named Arthur "Fathead" Newton invest a large sum of his money in an off shore account. I also gave him and another guy who he worked for at the time named Chris Thompson
some tips on where to invest their money....It worked out good for both of them. The guy Chris
Thompson got out of the "business" all together...went legitimate I heard...He always seemed like he was smart. Fathead on the other hand rose to the ranks of Boss....He was a baller and a shot caller now...I saw him in Josie's once...He gave me his number..He told me that if I ever needed a favor..anything...to call on him because he was forever in my debt for making him so much money and helping him stay a step above the IRS. Well, now I needed his help.

I called him..told him that a gambler from New York City was trying to shake me down and that him and a guy named Goldie were threatening to kill me and my wife and unborn child and that they had a carload of goons sitting on my house. He had never heard of Larry Brown....but Goldie and his muscle....he knew and he didn't like them... I told him part two of my plan....He laughed..He told me that I reminded him of someone else that he knew named Kevin.. He told me that I wouldn't have to worry about Goldie and that as soon as I was with Larry and out of play...I wouldn't have to worry about those goons either...I thanked him and then I hung up.

I made another call to an FBI Agent named Frank Cotton....I had given him some money management tips at my bank and helped him secure a home loan..He too had said if I ever needed his help to call him... I didn't tell him about Goldie...but I did tell him about this gambler from New York named Larry Brown who was trying to extort money from me...He told me to take Larry to the bank tomorrow morning and that he would be waiting for him....I hung up and I smiled. The fun was just beginning.

The next morning at 8:00 am sharp ,I was standing in front of my building with an empty breif case. I waited for what seemed like forever...Finnally at 8:40 am, Larry Brown drove up in his car, Alone! He looked irritated.

"You're late" I sneered.

"It doesn't matter if I'm late....as long as you're here with the breifcase and I get my money."he said.

''Where's your boy Goldie?" I laughed.

"I don't know..He didn't answer his phone and when I went to his place...he didn't answer. I thought he was here with you." he said.

Larry walked over to the car where the three goons were sitting...

"Heyy, you guys see Goldie?" he snapped.

"Nah man..I called him..he didn't answer his phone." said one guy.

"I called him three times and he didn't answer his house phone either." said another.

"It aint like him to not answer his phone" said the third guy.

"Ahhhh, well if you hear from him tell him to get at me...Come on Johnny..we got some cash to pick up." said Larry as he motioned me into the car.

"Any sign of any funny business...kill the pregnant broad." he snapped.

When we got to the bank ,I used my clearence to get us both in and then I walked Larry to one of the vaults...I turned to him and said-

"How do you want it...tens, twenties?"

"Yeah, that'll do." He said.

"Well, you fat stubby black little jerk.....I aint givin you a red cent." I said and hauled off and punched him in the jaw and sent him flying..

He got up off the floor and I kicked him in his privates and then pummled him with my fists..
He tried to go for his gun, but I got it and kicked it away from him and punched him in his midsection twice and then cold cocked him, knocking him back to the floor.

He was startled...He held his jaw....He spat out some blood...Then he screamed...

"Your babe is dead...she's dead and so is your unborn child....Let me make this call..I'm calling my guys right now....." He said.

I watched as he dialed his cell phone....He dialed another number, then another.......

"Nobody's answering....What the hell?" he said.

"It's all over Mr. Brown...You're under arrest for extortion....We got the whole thing on tape."
said FBI agent Frank Cotton.

"What? You set me up ...He's not who he says he is...he faked his death...he owes me that money." he screamed...

'You can tell it to a federal judge." said Agent Cotton.

"He can tell it to the D.A. We are here to arrest him on suspicion of murder." Said a Detective.
Even I was startled.

"Suspicion of murder??" said Larry.

One George Goldberg Eastland...better known as "Goldy" was found shot to death in his apartment this morning. An anonymous tip led us to the murder weapon in your mailbox with your fingerprints all over it Mr. Brown. We called New York P.D. It seems there are a number of warrants out for you for a number of things..." said the Detective.

I laughed and looked at Larry Brown and winked. "Got'cha you sniveling bastard." I said. He looked at me like he wanted to kill me. I snatched my Blackberry out of his pocket...It was ringing ,it was Kim..

"You okay baby?" I said.

"Yeah...There was a shooting outside of here right after you left." she said.

"A shooting?" I said pretending to be surprised...

"Yeah, somebody shot three guys in a car across the street to death......Nobody heard anything or saw anything...Cops are everywhere." she said.

"Do tell?" I said.

I also had a text...It was from Fathead.....

"Everything is copasetic my friend...Good luck to you and the missus."

Agent Cotton decided to let the Philadelphia and New York City coppers handle Larry Brown...It looked like he'd be tangled up in court for a lonnnng time. As I was walking away,I turned and looked at my nemesis one last time..

"Hey Larry....while you're doing all that time, think about my fiance..they one you screwed behind my back...and jack off...ya jack off!"

"Ohhhh,I'm gonna see you again....you better beleive I'm gonna see you again." he said as the police took him away. I laughed and headed home to Kim.

We sat in bed eating Pizza, drinking wine and talking...I rubbed her belly and tried to listen to the possible sounds of our baby...

''Wow Brandon....Today was something else...Three guys shot to death right across the street,that guy getting shot in his apartment and the guy who done it getting arrested in your building....wow, I know you're glad to be home." she said.

"I sure am Kim...I sure am" I said as I kissed her gently.

This was my home....and for the first time it felt like home...For the first time in a long time...I was at peace!






(For Jonathan)

Thursday, January 28, 2010

Come Out into the Light


Philadelphia PA. 2010

It's been nine years since I vanished from New York City as Johnny Crapper and re-emerged as Brandon Strong in Philadelphia. Philly is by no stretch of the imagination, New York...but it's a big city and not hard to get used to. I finished Community College and then went on to Temple University, got another Bachelors degree and as of this writing am just credits away from getting my MBA....at Temple.

I'm at another bank....back in Investment Banking. I know, I know..I said I hated it, but it's what I do..it's what I know..money. I live in a condo now and have a new car... Kim? She's my wife now and she's eight months pregnant....
We broke up, then we got back together, then we broke up again and finnally we went on and stopped playing and got married last year.

Kim feels as though I still have issues and that she doesn't know me...She's right, she knows nothing about who I used to be back in New York or why I have always found an excuse not to go to New York when she's wanted to go. I didn't even want to go to Atlantic City. She kind of understood that, but I relented about eight months ago and went. I didn't gamble..I stayed in the room...

That's how this baby was conceived...We acted like we were on a second honeymoon...and then a little after we got back, she gave me the news that she was expecting our first child. I found a lawyer, Conrad Nelson. I had my name legally changed to Brandon Strong and discarded my phony social security number, instead using my real social security number....This would prove to be a big mistake later on.

I left a letter out on the table from the Social Security people...Kim saw it...She didn't say anything immediately, but one night when we were about to eat dinner she hit me with it.

"So Brandon or should I say Johnny..How long was it going to take for you to tell me the question I've been wanting to know for years?" she said with a wry smile.

I was startled....I looked at her . My first impulse was to lie...then hell, I decided to go on and tell her the truth..I was tired of living a lie..

"You know don't you?" I asked her.

"I've always known that you had some secret...just didn't know what it was or why you didn't trust me to tell me....Hell Brandon or Johnny....I'm your wife now..You know every part of my body.....you know everything about me...you've met my entire family..." she said, no longer laughing.

"Okay....there is no way to sugarcoat this...My birth name is John Brandon Crapper." I said.

"Crapper? Oh my God....No wonder you changed your name to Strong...It is legally Strong isn't it?" she said.

"Yeah, I legally changed it to Strong before we got married." I said.

"Oh thank God....I wouldn't want to be known as Kim Crapper." she laughed.

"You don't care? That's all you're concerned about?" I said incredulously.

"You didn't kill anybody did you Brandon?"

"No....I was engaged to be married...and I also owed this guy ,100 large....I sold my car and borrowed from my company's 401K..I had the money to pay this guy
off, only I come home and he's on the couch, screwing my girl's brains out..." I said.

"Oh my God Brandon..." she exclaimed....

"Oh my God is right...I decided to keep the money...I wasn't gonna give him a red cent and as for her..I couldn't look at her...not after how she betrayed me.
I should have suspected it...She knew him....She was always talking about how cute he was and whatnot...I should've sensed that there was something going on.
This was on September 11th....2001. They were screwing early in the morning...I was hiding in the closet..I was late for work...in the twin towers..get it?" I said with my head hung down...

"Wow....Wowwwwwwww, so when the towers fell...you weren't there, but everybody thought you were." she said.

"Exactly....and so, I just let em think it and quietly left New York with all of that money and the clothes on my back and little else.. I invested that money in all of the right places and we are sitting on well over three million dollars right now.
Some of it is in off shore accounts that the government can't touch and the rest is in banks right here in the city."I said.

"No wonder you never seemed to want for anything." she laughed. "Were you ever going to tell me?" she said.

"I was going to tell you about the money....but not how I got it...everything is left to you and our child in my will, So if you're planning to knock me off...you're going to be a wealthy woman." I said.

Kim sat next to me and hugged me...

"You could have told me that...that's not the worst thing in the world Brandon..my god...I thought you killed somebody or did something horrible.
Are your parents really dead?" she asked.

"Yeah...I have a half brother, but I haven't talked to him in years....He's about ten years older than me." I said.

"No Uncles, Aunts?" She asked.

"All dead..and that's the truth." I said.

''So it was easy for you to just walk away from your life in New York huh?"she asked.

"Yes, it was." I said.

"What about the guy you owe the money to? You could pay him back now and it not even hurt you." she said.

"I don't intend to give that snake a red cent." I said.

"Is this a man thing ?" laughed Kim...

"Call it what you want..he aint gettin nathan." I said- "You the only one gettin anything in this house." I said as I cuddled up to her and began kissing her now enormously large breasts...

"And I wished I could give you even more." I said with a sinister grin....

"Oh shut up...after I finnally drop this load..I don't know if I'm ever having sex again." she laughed...

"Load? ,That anyway to talk about our son?" I said.

"Or daughter..." she laughed as she planted a wet kiss on my lips.

A few nights later, I was sitting in a bar called Josie's having a couple of beers..
I saw a light skinned guy with a round face and a toothy grin looking at me. At first I thought it was my imagination and I tried not to look directly at him...but the more the night went on..the more I caught him looking. I didn't know whether to confront him or to let it go..I decided to let it go.

He didn't....I saw him making a call on his cell phone...It was then that I got up and walked out of the bar...This clown walked out behind me. I looked and he was following me down the street, smiling that toothy grin...

"Mr Crapper or should I call you Mister Strong..Take your pick?" he said laughing.

Only two people knew my secret..My wife and the lawyer, Conrad Nelson..could one of them have betrayed me I wondered.?

"Allow me to introduce myself...I'm Goldie...I'm a private detective....A man from New York City has been looking for you for close to nine years...I wouldn't have found you except that you changed your social security number back to the original and when your office paid you...I got a hit...A hit I hadn't seen in years.
I was gettin ready to give up and just say you were really dead...but see, this man has never beleived that, heheheheheheheh." said Goldy.

So it was a mistake that I had made and not a betrayal that caused me to be found.

"What does he want to go away and leave me alone?" I asked.

"You left owing him a hunerd grand....It's been so long and you know with the economy..he'd like about triple that...heheheheheheheheh..." laughed Goldy.

"Yeah? I guess your cut is in there somewhere too huh?" I sneered.

"But of course." he said.

"Well , two hundred large of that was already given to him when he screwed my fiance." I said.

"Heheheheheheheh....She gave him some hoping he would cancel the debt...She did that for you..heheheheheheheheh...but I guess it didn't work out..He still didn't cancel the debt and then you took a nine year powder." laughed Goldie.

"I really hate to disapoint you Goldie, but I aint paying your man a red cent."I said.

"Oh now that would be a big mistake ." laughed Goldie.

"Yeah ,why?" I asked.

"You got a gorgeous wife and she's about to give birth..It would be a shame if something was to happen to her..you know? I have a guy sitting outside your apartment now....He's a little unstable, you know what I'm saying...You don't comply and gee..that could be your family..heheheheheheheheh.."He said..

Just then, a car drove up......The door opened and a short, dark skinned man with a bright kilowat smile got out of the car...It was Larry Brown!!! I hadn't seen him in nine years.....

"Johnny boy......Long time no see." He laughed.

I was in big trouble.....I had to find a way out of this mess....but how?


(Conclusion Next)

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Done in the Dark


Philadelphia PA. Late Summer 2004

Kim came to my door and I let her in...She had a bottle of wine. I took the bottle of wine from her and put it on the table...I began kissing her neck and licking her ear and allowing my hands to run free and cup every juicy curve, every inch of her ample bottom....

"Down boy...ummmmph...ohhhhhh...can you wait and let me close the door? Brandon..please..."
she cooed as she took her left foot and kicked the door closed.. I opened her blouse and unbuckled her orange bra...and began taking those huge breasts of hers into my mouth...

"Ouuuuu Brandon, you've gotten good at this." she cooed as I licked and sucked to my hearts content...
"Ohhhhhhh, ouuuuuuuuu...stop it...you're getting me too hot baby..ohhhhhhhhhh.." she moaned
as I continued... I worked my way to her lips....and began a soulful and long kiss....By now she had my zipper open and my pants halfway down....I had her pants halfway down too...

"One thing I like about you baby" I said...."Is that you always match" eyeing her matching orange thong..She gave me that sheepish look she used to give me when I was coming to her therapy sessions and said-"Oh shut up" playfully, while rubbing my ever thickening penis....
"Ohhhh baby.." she said......

Within minutes we were both nude and I was lifting her up and on to my waiting erection...She
held on for dear life and just moaned silently as I lifted her up and brought her down gently...
It was a great feeling.. I was feeling as good as she was...I walked her over to my couch and laid her down as I mounted her and began my forward motion...We carried on like that, like two teenagers for close to two hours...finnally exploding in what seemed like one huge orgasmic fury...and rolling on to the floor.

Later on, we sat in the bed...She wore one of my white shirts and that orange thong.. I was still
naked....We had two glasses and we preceded to drink some wine. As you can guess...Kim did come back to my apartment not long after I got my electric and other utilities back on. She went against her ethics and allowed me to take her out for coffee one night...then ice cream after one of the sessions at the church and then to the Art museum one Saturday after that.

Before we knew it..we were dating....People at the sessions could tell....The Reverend Struthers who had tried to put the moves on Kim that first night I attended stopped coming. Soon I stopped coming too...I wasn't gambling anymore.. I didn't feel as though I needed to come. Kim
kept coming to see me though and soon, We were meeting for lunch, having dinner, going to a movie here and there and finnally ...yes finnally, I got her to spend the night with me.... She had held out for a long time. After we had sex the first night...I didn't see Kim for a month..she said that she felt slutty....She came back though..I guess she liked feeling that way or she had at least
made some kind of peace with it...We've been together at least a year now.

"Brandon...can I ask you a question?" she said as we sat in bed.
"Yeah, what?" I said.
"How come you never talk about your past?" she asked with those pretty eyes of hers looking all inquisitive.
"Well uh, the most boring conversation is remember when." I said.
"Yeah, but you don't have any photos of you when you were young, no diplomas from high school, no year books and nothing in this apartment that wasn't purchased here in the last few years..no artifacts...You say you're not from Philly...and ..and I know that...you sound like a New Yorker...yet you say you're not from there.. You work at a bank, yet you seem to always have a lot more money than you should have....Who are you really?" she asked.
I didn't know what to say.....I didn't know how much she knew or suspected, but I knew she was pretty sharp.

''I'm whoever you need me to be baby" I said with a laugh..
"No...No....I mean, where do you come from? who were you before I met you?" she asked.
"You ask a lot of questions, you know that?" I said. Questions I had no intention of answering,ever!
"You know what?" I said kissing her belly button and kissing her neck and easing her down in the bed..."I have a question for you." I said...
"What, silly?" she giggled as I began kissing her ear....

"How long is it going to take you to come out of that thong and let me get some more?" I asked..
"You know, you've traded one addiction for another..you've stopped gambling , but if I didn't know right..I'd say you were addicted to me.." she cooed...
"I'd say you were right...Is that a bad thing?" I laughed as I kissed her, eased her thong to the side and entered her again...
"Ouuuuu baby, noooo, noooo..ohhhhhh..not at alllllllll!!!!" she said as I smiled slyly.
(To Be Continued.....)

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Old Demons


2003-Philadelphia PA.

By now I had been living in Philadelphia for two years...Having once been an investment banker, I knew just where to put that huge sum of money I came here with. I invested it in things I knew were sure fire and in no time...I had tripled my money. I had a nice apartment in the Manyunk section of Philly. It was a step down from how I'd lived in New York City, but it was okay...

I bought a car, nothing flashy...a 2003 Honda Accord...I began taking night courses at Community College to keep my mind sharp and I got myself a job at, wouldn't you know it, a bank! I started small in Customer service and worked my way into an account manager's job. The pay was nothing like what I had made in New York City..but I didn't care..I wasn't exactly wanting for money.

I worked during the day, took classes at night and lived in perfect anonymity until one night, as
I was going to my apartment, I saw the door open to another apartment. Several guys were playing cards..and then it hit me...that old demon of gambling. I couldn't pass by a card game and not want to get in....This was the very impulse that had gotten me into trouble in New York.

Before I knew it...I was in the middle of this floating crap game , drinking, talking big crap and losing big....By daybreak...I was broke ..Had lost a whole week's pay ,drunk as a shunk and feeling pretty low.. I walked back to my apartment and made a solem vow to stay away from the
games of chance.

Within a week,I was in Atlantic City....losing big again...and leaving with just enough money to fill
my car's tank and get back to Philly. I had to stop this or soon I'd be in big to some gangster like
Larry Brown and half to leave here. I couldn't spend my life running like that...So I decided to get some help...I enetered an intervention program.

The meetings were held in a church in Southwest Philadelphia.. Here in the basement of this church, several different people with several different kinds of addictions sat in a circle and talked. The mediator was a pretty brown skinned woman with honey brown skin...She wore her hair in a pony tail. She had a nice rack and the roundest hips and hine parts I'd seen since I left New York.. She wore jeans and a brown turtle neck...Her name was Kim....Kim Morgan.
She asked an older gentlemen with a speck of grey in his hair to speak first...

"Hello everyones....My name is John Struthers.....I am a pastor of a church.. Not around here, Up in the Mt Airy secttion.....I think I may be a sex addict.....I try to go the straight and narrow.
I have a beautiful wife named Victoria...I couldn't ask for a better wife....but when I'm around women....something gets ahold of me....I don't know what it is...I just have to have them." he said. I couldn't beleive this man...a man of the cloth at that!

''Well Pastor Struthers, what do you think makes you feel that way?" asked Kim Morgan.

"Ah don't rightfully know...Like take right now...Take you for instance.....Right now I'm checking you out..wondering what the color of your bra is and what I have to do to get that blouse off and cup those ample breasts of your is my hands...." he said.
She was stunned at his candor and not in the mood to hear any more from him...She quickly interrrupted him- "Er ahhhhh, Oooohhhhh kayyyyyyy....Mr. Strong, what is your story?" she said.

"My name is Brandon Strong...I'm a gambler....I lost everything I had because of my gambling.
I'm not from Philly...I -I moved here from er ,uh......New-New Jersey....I was engaged to be married once.....I bankrupted my future for a game of chance." I said.
I thought I caught Kim checking me out....She smiled and she said to me-
"How did that make you feel Brandon?"

"Much regret...Much regret...I lost my whole life...The whole life I used to know.." I said.
The audience was riveted by what I had to say....I stopped short of telling them that I had faked my death in New York City two years before on September 11th and had been in Philly ever since using a fake name and a dead man's social security number. I let it go at that..I instead sat
quietly and listened to victims of incest, drug abusers, victims of domestic violence and others speak.
The wiley old reverend kept trying to ask Kim if she would meet with him for coffee after the session..She kept telling him that she couldn't do that , that it was against her ethics...I didn't know if these sessions could really help me..but it was one more thing to do to stop my impulse to gamble.
When I got to my apartment though something happened that sort of steered me in the right direction. My lights wouldn't come on!!! I hadn't paid the Electric or the water bill or the phone bill for that matter....I had blown two paychecks gambling! I had to go into my hidden savings
to bail myself out. I hadn't wanted to touch that money. I was trying to live as inconspicuous as
possible. How long would it be before I was using this money to bail myself out of huge gambling
debts.... I decided right then and there, that I wasn't ever going to gamble again.

Funny how certain things happen at the worse possible time. There was a knock on my door.
I opened the door to see, the sexy counselor, Kim Morgan standing there, looking good as usual.
She had on some tight jeans...A baseball jersey that fit her a little too snugly and some flip flops.
She looked to comfortable..Like she might live in this building...but she couldn't!! Or could she??
"Uh Ms. Morgan?" I said ,startled.
"You can call me Kimmy, most people who know me do." she said with a smile.
I smiled too.

"Hi Brandon....I noticed your car when I pulled into the lot across the street." she said.
"You live here?" I asked.
"Yes..I live upstairs....I thought it was such a co-incidence that you live in my building and you attend my sessions." she said.
"Yeah...wow...it is.." I laughed.
"Is this a bad time?" she asked.
"Well, uh, kind of sort of.....My electric is off...probably my gas,water and phone too."I said.
"Let me guess, you gambled your bill money away." she said, not being judgemental, just being
matter of fact.
"Yeah...and I think this right here is going to teach me more of a lesson than your sessions...No
Offense."I said.
"None taken....I might be able to help you out a little financially, but you'll have to promise to pay me back." she said. I was beginning to like her already...and not just because I wanted to get in her pants....It was something more.
"Oh thank you, but I've got some money stashed away....I can take care of it...but I'm not going to make a habit of this." I said.
"Most gamblers don't have much money." she said.
"Yeah, well I've been good for about two years...then I had a relapse.." I said.
She looked at me shrewedly....Did she know? Did she somehow know that my whole existence was a lie?? She seemed sharp. I liked that in a woman...but not too sharp.
"Okay, Mr. Strong...I'll leave you to your own devices...Maybe next time I see you, you'll have your situation in order" she said with a smile.

"Hey, you can drop by in a few days" I said, glad to know that there would be another visit from her.
"We'll see" she said with a wink as she walked down the hall.
I smiled....If I could get past at least one of my demons....Things might start to look up for me!

(To Be Continued)

Monday, January 25, 2010

Any World That I'm Welcome To

ART: Self-Portrait By John N. Robinson


September 11, 2001- New York City, New York



"Ohhhhhhh, awwwwwwwwww babbbby...ouuuuuuu..I can't wait...."



"Not here, not now...He might walk in.."



"I don't care..ummmmmmph, ohhhh, this is soooooo good..."



"Ohhhh my god....ouuuuuuu, ummmmmph...ohhhhh baby..."



"darling.....ummmmph..."



"sweetie...ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh, give it to me..."



I don't know how I could stand this.....Listening to the woman I was supposed to be marrying in a few months and a man who I hated, A man I owed one hundred large to , kissing and about to screw on the couch...A couch I paid for in the living room of the condo..that bore my name on the lease....John Brandon Crapper. That's me...or rather who I was then....The girl? The girl who was cheating on me is Victoria Winters...my fiance. The man was a Gambler named Larry Brown. I'm an investment banker...I have an MBA from Columbia and a Bachelors from Hampton University. I'm also a degenerate gambler ,who got in deep and wound up owing this peice of crap,Larry Brown...a whopping one hundred large.



The thing is...I have his money...I sold my 2002, BMW..which was my pride an joy and which I'd only had for a few months to get part of it. I took the rest out of my 401 k....Something I know is going to kill me later, but what the heck...I was going to pay him off and get on with my life. I was going to surprise my girl with the news...but they came in and I hid in this closet. They have no idea that I'm in here...



"Ohhhhhhhh, awwwwwwwwwwwww, I need you sooooo bad...."



"I need you...I need you inside of me right now....ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh."



He reached up under her dress and slipped her pink Victoria Secret, lace bikini panties down around her ankles, then slipped them off...She was out of her skirt just as fast...He unzippered his pants and she immediately began to fondle his already erect penis....He moaned and opened her blouse...



"Mmmmmm nice...a pink bra...I like that..."



"Glad you do.....ohhhhhhhhh."



He entered her, right there on my couch...Hadn't even taken his pants of...they were down around his ankles... He mounted her and began to wiggle uncomfortably and thrust haphazaradly....



"Ohhh baby, this is sooooooo good....ohhhhhhhhh.."



They continued kissing passionately and then after about ten or fifteen minutes....



"Ohhhhh, Ohhhhhhhhhh, ohhhhhhh I'm gonna blowwwwwwwwwww..arrrrrrrghhhhhhhhh."



Vickie had a look on her face that said she couldn't beleive he was done that quickly...She lookedvery disapointed....Larry Brown smiled..got up off of her, fixed his clothes and smiled...



"Damn girl...you got some good stuff....I envy Johnny....Hehehheh..."



"You're leaving?" she asked, using one of the pillows on the couch to cover herself.



"Yeah...got to go to work...Maybe I'll call you sometimes." He said as he gathered his things and hurried out the door.



Victoria sat there looking stunned...He hadn't even disposed of the condom he used...He had left it on the floor. She put her bra and panties back on and her skirt and blouse...She took the condom and tossed it in the trash can...She took both of her hands and tried to straighten out the couch and then grabbed a towell, a wash cloth and a change of clothes and went into the bathroom.



I grabbed my jacket and the breifcase that had $100.000.00 and slipped out of the apartment.I went to the bus station and opened up my locker..There I had my pistol....I had made up my mind that I was not going to pay Larry Brown the money I owed him...I was going to lay for him and shoot him dead.....Somewhere , where it would take them days to find him...This money was going back where it came from....My accounts!



As I was headed for the subway to take me to my office in the twin towers, I was stunned by the activity in the streets...People were running, screaming and in a state of paranoia... I grabbed one man...a white man who was in tears....



"Hey buddy, what's up? What happened?" I asked...



"Haven't you heard? We are under attack.....Two planes have crashed into the World Trade center towers...They are up in smoke.....One has already collapsed.....They think it's Arab terrorists behind it." he said.



I couldn't believe it.....I ran into a bar, where people were huddled around a TV set that was broadcasting CNN news updates....It was true....Both towers had collapsed, and a plane had crashed in upstate Pennsylvania....Another plane had crashed into the Pentagon.....We were indeed under attack!! It was then that it struck me....Funny how your mind works at a time like this....If I had gone straight to work...Instead of hanging around in that closet watching my fiance screw another man...I'd have been there!!! I'd most certainly be dead...My office was on the sixteenth floor of the first tower that had gotten hit...Oh My God!!!



My Cell phone was going off....It was Victoria!!! She must be frantic...Thinking I was in the building....dead!!! Larry Brown was calling to....He just wanted to know that I was alright and that I could pay him. Then I really got hit with some inspiration!!! This was my way out!!! Out of a job that I hated, but did beacause it made my family and all of the people around me who were living vicariously through me happy. Out of relationship with a spoiled self centered diva , who I knew was only with me because of what I had. I never for a second thought that Victoria loved me....I just tried to ignore what my heart was telling me. I still wanted to murder Larry Brown...but then I thought..Why bother?



I checked into a hotel under an alias...Brandon Strong. "Brandon " was after all my middle name and I picked "Strong" ,because from now on..I wasn't going to be weak and preyed upon...I was going to re-invent myself. I paid with cash..I celebrated that night by going over into New Jersey and having myself a big fat New York Strip Steak, A baked Potato and the best Wine they had to offer...



Of course I waited a few days and then casually deposited my drivers licensce and credit cards into the rubble at ground zero.....My body and the bodies of many would of course never be found or identified. I would be assumed dead. I destroyed my cell phone and spread the peices of it all around that devestated neighborhood and then I took the train to Philadelphia Pa. I had no family or friends there...Nobody knew me...I could just blend in.



Once there...I ingratiated myself with a guy named "The Deacon", a small time hood who , for a price could get things done for you. He gave me the social security number of a recently deceased person and I got new credit cards and a new drivers licensce under my new name ,Brandon Strong.... As far as the world knew , John B. Crapper died on September 11,2001....Brandon Strong was born that day...In a new town with a new identity. As far as I was concerned...Any world I was welcomed to , was better than the one I left behind.



(To Be Continued..)

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Long Tall and Sally


Gus and I continued to play our weekly game of Chess at Josie's like we always had. Gus was fun to play with..he was one of the few people who could ever say that they beat me at this game ,which is my nickname. He wasn't winning tonight , but he was still proving to be a formidable opponent. Chris Thompson was at the bar talking to the other bartender and about two lovely ladies..While Donald Smooth sat at a another booth where he could keep an eye on things.

Vernon hadn't exactly gone away...His reputation on the streets was in freefall....When word got out that he had screamed like a woman upon seeing his enforcer, the much feared Taylor Collins
and much of his muscle killed...a lot of players lost respect for him...In South Philadelphia, a few of the younger players openly rebelled against him and took back some of the real estate he had previously owned. The turf he was trying to move on in North Philadelphia was causing him no end of headaches... The cats in North Philly were fighting his people tooth and nail, something they would have never done if Taylor Collins had still been alive.

Even the cops were giving him a hard time....He or his people were being rousted every other day for something. We hadn't seen a lot of him, but we had heard that he hired a new guy to replace Taylor Collins. A young guy named Junior Barnes...Junior Barnes was said to be good with a gun and had a little bit of respect..but he was more interested in chasing skirts than killing
anybody or collecting. Few people were afraid of him....Good Help was hard to find.

Fathead Newton and Roscoe walked into Josies...They watched our game intently....I had taught Fathead how to play and he was pretty good. Chris walked over to him.

"Any sign of our boy?" he asked.

"Nah, he been keepin a low pro...but he'll turn up soon...he don't know that we huntin..." said Fathead.

"He's a snake...just like his ole man." added Gus.

''Why did you partner up with him?" I asked.

"I needed money and a guy that looked like me, couldn't get a loan..so I went to him and he become my partner in this bar..I made sure I paid him everything I owed him as soon as I started makin money...He was still tryin to shake me down , even after we was square." said Gus.

"How did he die?" I asked.

"Messin wit some guy's ole lady...Guy come home and shot him dead." said Gus.

"That figures" smirked Chris.

Two nights later, we were hosting another one of our floating card games....There was hot Roast beef sandwiches, cold cuts and plenty of liquor flowing...We had a nice crowd of players in from not just around Philly, but New York, New Jersey ,Deleware and Maryland. It was a Friday Night.

"Man Chess, we making a lot of money tonight.....I'm bettin we made more tonight than we did all week collecting rents from the apartment units and the gyms." laughed Chris. He was right.

"Long Tall" Wallace Berry was a big time gambler from Wilmington ,Deleware..Like the late "Sunshine" ,He was known to gamble at games like this up and down the east coast. He won and he won big...When he lost , he was a gentleman and paid his debt and quietly left. We called him
"Long Tall" because.....he was...He stood at six foot ,seven inches. He was always nattily dressed
and always had a fine young thing with him. He spoke so soft that at times , you weren't sure if he said something to you or not. Tonight ,he came with his latest girlfriend...Sally Rogers. A local
girl who used to be a beauty pageant contestant...She was gorgeous...It was hard to concentrate on the game ,while she was around..which is probably why "Long Tall "Wallace was winning.

Into the fray stepped Vernon and his new guy, Junior Barnes. Donald "Smooth" walked over to Chris and me and said-

"Yo Chris, Chess...Trouble just walked in the door."

"Yeah,I seen him...just chill." said Chris.

Vernon walked in as though he owned the place and placed a huge stack on the table..he addressed Chris. Neither man looked at me or Smooth at all.

"Touche' Chris....yall made yalls point...Tell Fathead, it's all good...the beef is squashed." he said.

"Yeah? It is Vernon? Then why are you giving the Diaz Brothers greif? That's where I hold my card game on real estate owned by them.." said Chris.

"You mean owned by one...I hear the Valdez is no longer with us and brother number two is in jail...Minolo Diaz can't hold on to that turf much longer...You know it and I know it Chris...Besides..that's none of your business...I'm layin off of Gus and Josie's bar and I'm stayin out of West Philly in respect to Fathead...But my thing with Minolo Diaz is my business..You aint even a real player no more....so if I take over, you gon have to move your card game somewhere
else..cause that's how it is." he said.

"Oh that's how it is?" I asked.

"Hello Chess...always a pleasure to see you....Yeah, that's how it is." said Vernon as he took his seat and began playin cards.

"Boss, why don't you let me toss em?" asked Donald Smooth.

"Nah....if he behaves himself ,let him play....We was gonna have to move this game eventually anyway....It's not good to stay in one place too long." sighed Chris. I didn't say anything.

"Oww...hey, what's wrong with you? keep your hands to yourself" came the voice of the lovely
Sally Rogers..It was aimed at Junior Barnes who had palmed her more than ample bottom.

Long Tall Wallace Berry didn't take kindly to his woman being manhandled. He stared daggers
at Junior Barnes.

"Don't put your hands on my woman again...ya hear youngin?" he said. That was the loudest anyone could remember Long Tall ever speaking.

"Okay old head...relax....I was just admiring her fat -" said Junior before he was interrupted..

"Don't put your hands on her again...I don't care what you was admiring....Don't let me have to tell you again..." snapped Long Tall Wallace Berry.

I could see that this was going to get out of hand so I walked over and nudged Vernon.

"Yo Vern...take your boy out of here.We don't want no trouble." I said.

"Take your hands off of me...That old bastard better walk out of here with that girl." snapped Vernon.


"Yeah he better." said Junior Barnes, laughing.

"What you call me?" snapped Long Tall Wallace.

Vernon reached over and slapped Sally's behind hard and then grunted -"Ummmmph ,damn baby you gotta fat behind.."


"What is wrong with you?" said Sally...


"Aint nothin wrong wit me....I like what I see..." said Vernon as he and Junior laughed maniacally.

At this point, Long Tall Wallace was livid.....It all seemed like it happened in slow motion, the way I remember it now... Long Tall Wallace pulled out his pistol and opened fire
on Vernon emptying it into him, Then with speed I had never seen exhibited before, pulled out a second gun and shot Junior Barnes in the forehead and the chest. The shots had such a force that they knocked him out of his chair and into the middle of the floor... Vernon stumbled with six slugs in him into the middle of the room as shocked men and women dove for the floor behind tables...I remember Vernon looking at Long Tall Wallace, dead in the eye and going-

"Damn man....we was just playin.......ummmmmmphhhhhh...." and he fell to the ground...dead as
a doorknob. Chris walked over to Long Tall and quietly took both guns off of him, put them in a

paper bag and passed them to me...I knew what to do with them. He looked at Donald Smooth,

who called his associates from outside and directed them to the two bodies on the floor.

Every man in the room who knew them clapped...You would have thought that they were at a
football game...They all knew Vernon, most of them couldn't stand him..Nobody would mourn him. Don't you know that practically everybody in that old warehouse helped to clean up the blood, dispose of the weapons and wrap the bodies up in hefty trash can bags...I was stunned.

Donald Smooth and some of his associates, weighted the bodies down and dropped them in the river....Nobody was ever going to see or hear from Vernon or Junior Barnes again.

By daybreak most of them were in their cars and gone.....Long Tall Wallace was talking to Chris and Me , while his girlfriend sat in his car...

"Chris, Chess, I'm so sorry for all of this..I came to play a friendly game of cards..I'm so sorry.."
said the gentleman gambler....

"Nah, nonsense Wallace...I was just happy to finnally hear what your voice sounded like..don't even worry about it baby...Them two wasn't long for this world anyhow...They just didn't know it." laughed Chris as he patted him on the back.

I just shook my head...So much violence...I was getting tired of it...I wondered when Chris would.
I drove home by myself that night and when I got home...Rell was up , had a hot pot of coffee brewing.... She fixed a tumbler for me and a tumbler for her and sliced us both a peice of sweet
potato pie...

"It's almost morning Chess....Anything interesting happen tonight?" she asked.

"Nah...same old, same old..people playing cards..making money for us." I said dryly...

"How bout that Vernon guy? He come through?" she asked.

"Him? , nah, I heard he moved , took up a new hobby." I said.

"Really..what's he into now?" she asked.

"I heard he likes fishing....heard he moved upstream." I said, trying to conceal my laughter...

"Oh shut up Chess, you always joking." she laughed as she playfully swatted my arm...

(For My Grandfather, Prince Albert Martin)

Friday, January 22, 2010

"Some Woman Out There..."


I was lying in bed with Rell and our son had just drifted off to sleep when my doorbell rang. I looked out my window and to my surprise , it was Vernon and Taylor Collins. I couldn't believe that they had come to my house..I was furious...I put on my robe and grabbed my nickel plated forty five...


''Chess, what's up?" said Rell.


"Get the baby and go in the back room....lock the door behind you and stay there until I come for you..call Chris..tell him to get over here." I said.


"What's going on?"she said.


"I don't have time to explain it..just do it." I said.


"Chess, you and Chris in trouble?" she asked.


"No..we aint...but the people at this door are." I said. "No go...do like I said.


I grabbed my pants, slid into them and slid a small twenty two down the back of my pants for back up.. I went to the door and said-


"Vernon, you and your dog should have never come to my house...you just made a big mistake." I said.


"No, you made a mistake Chess...but I'm a let that slide...I'm just here to ask a few questions, is all." he said.


"Get away from my door Vernon and don't you or your boy ever come back here, you hear?" I said.


"Okay Chess....you win! For now...Come on Taylor...." he said as he walked towards his car.

"Hey Chess..I aint forgot about you man..I'll be in touch" said Taylor...Was that a threat? I didn't know...but his days of threatening me were about to come to an end.

I got on the phone and made a call....I hadn't talked to him in about a year....but he was the best person to call to handle something like this...Though a part of me would have rather not have to have ever seen him again...Still, he was family.


Chris arrived with a shotgun a few minutes after Vernon and Taylor left...
"You just missed em Chris." I said.

"Damn man...They came to your house huh? Get Rell and your son out of there...For just a few days....And you go stay cross town in one of your apartments..." said Chris.


"Hey man..I made the call." I said.


"Yeah? You called HIM up? Hahahahahahaha, my man....Now this mess is about to get interesting..." laughed Chris.. I'm glad he found it humorous. I didn't.

Later on that day, Fathead ,Chris,Ralph Mole ,Roscoe ,Donald Smooth and I were with Gus as he re-opened Josies....
"You really think you oughta do this and so soon Gus?" I said.
"I'm not scared of Vernon....My lawyer told him and his lawyer to go to hell..He has no legal claim on this place...That peice of paper his father scribbled on is not a legal document. I bought his father out before he died...I don't know when his father wrote that or IF he wrote it. I got people to pay and money to make." said Gus.

That night we had a nice crowd in the bar...As if on cue...Vernon, Taylor Collins and three of his goons walked into Josies...Vernon was smiling as usual.

"Well Hello dead men.....How are you doing?" he smirked.

Chris ,Donald and I turned and he showed us the palms of his hands....
"Relax....You got nothing to worry about tonight......How are your friends doing in the hospital? heheheheheheheh...Those lightweights were nothing for my man Taylor here." he laughed.
"Why don't you get your head out of his butt?" I smirked.
"Now you see Chess, that right there..that smart mouth of yours is gonna make your pretty wife a widow.." said Vernon.
"My trigger finger might make your mama ,sonless..cause that's the only woman in your life." I retorted...Chris grinned and slapped his leg at that remark.
"You gotta lot of mouth for a dead man" snapped Taylor Collins.
"So do you...You can die just like anybody else...I don't care about your rep....If my pistol gets to clappin...all you gonna be is a dead guy with a rep." I said ,not showing the notorious hitman a bit of respect.
"Chess...I'm gon enjoy watchin Taylor bust a cap in yo ass." said Vernon.
"How you gon see it? In hell?" I asked Vernon... Chris rose from his seat slowly.
"You drinkin Junior,cause if you aint...I want you out or I'm callin the police." said Gus.

"I'm leavin..but I have to tell you guys...Yall was pretty good...yall found my man and had him duckin bullets at all three of his spots.....Too bad you had more light weights tryin to get at him..They didn't fare too well..Now was that yall or was that a Fathead job? I better not find out that that Fat bastard had anyting to do with this or I'll have the cops chalkin him.....You know Chess, that wife of yours is pretty sporty lookin....After you're gone..I might just want to park my shoes under her bed..heheheheheheheheheh." laughed Vernon.
He then stopped laughing...Everybody,even Gus paused...He knew he had gone too far with that.
At this point, I had had enough, I grabbed Vernon and gripped him up in his collar and slammed him against the wall....Taylor went to go for his gun and Chris upended him...hit him in his gut and then smashed him hard in the mouth..hard enough to draw blood...Chris then grabbed him and slammed his head hard on the table three times...Before his other goons could get into anything...Gus had them covered with his shotgun..
"Come on Fellas, make another move...I'll make beef stew outta ya..come on, please come on..." said Gus as he cocked his gun and gave them a baleful stare that shocked everyone. Fathead, Roscoe, Donald Smooth and even Ralph Mole had guns trained on them. Taylor slowly got up off the floor...His head a bloody mess.. None of them were stupid...They knew at this moment it was better to walk away...alive!
"Get out ..I aint askin ya again, I'm tellin ya...get out." snapped Gus.
"Vernon...you came by my house.....I aint Pooh Bear....if I see you anywhere near my house, you're a dead man!" I said. Vernon shoved me away with a force I didn't know he had.
"This aint over Chess...I just wanted to holler at you before I kill you..you're both dead men"shouted Vernon...

Taylor looked at me and Chris like he wanted to kill us now. Chris smiled at Taylor... Taylor wiped the blood off of his face and spit some blood on the floor..He stared daggers at Chris and made a pistol with his right hand and pointed at Chris.

"Hope you shoot better than you fight" said Chris.

"Laugh all you want Chris....You and your boy aint gon be laughing by the end of the week." he said as they walked out of the bar.
"For sure." said Vernon.
Fathead, Ralph Mole, Roscoe and Donald Smooth came running up after they left....
"We gotta go after them.." said Roscoe.
"Aint no need for that....At least one of them won't be coming back here, ever." I said.
Chris laughed...."That's for damn sure."
"Man, you beat the hell out of Taylor ,Chris...he aint gonna take that lyin down." said Donald Smooth.
"He'll be lying down soon enough." I said as Chris made a shush sound to me between laughs.

We heard a sucession of shots... It sounded like a small war in the streets , then we heard someone scream like a woman and then we heard more shots. We heard more screaming...then more shots...
"Is some woman out there?" asked Gus.
"It sure sounded like a woman" said Fathead..
We heard more shots and then nothing, silence!!!!
Chris looked at me, I looked at him and then we both smiled.. Gus looked perplexed....A lot of people ran outside....Police sirens were wailing...There was pandamonium....Through it all, we sat quietly and drank... Gus walked out the
door. Gus came running in the bar...
"Man, somebody shot and killed all them guys....except Vernon....He's talking to the police...What did yall do?" he said.
"We aint do nothin...but you aint gotta worry about Vernon." I laughed patting Gus on the back. "It's as good as over." I added.
"Will somebody tell me what happened?" said Fathead.

"Nahhh, the less you know, the better...You covered baby.'' laughed Chris, patting Fathead on the back.

Later on that night, Chris and I sat alone in the gym. Sure enough,like clockwork...the door opened and he walked in....He had that same toothy grin.....my murderous cousin!
"Chris...Chess baby....it's been a long time huh?"
"It sure has Everette." I said.
"Man, when you told me that sucker came to your house with that crap,I got mad...I knew who he was...Man, Chris..you shoulda called me as soon as they started Flexin wit Gus...I'd of been up here." said Everette "Little Pistol" Nelson, my lethal cousin...who started and ended a gangwar in South Philly the last time he was here in Philly.
"Always a pleasure to see you LP." said Chris.
"Same here Chris baby.." said Little Pistol.
"I got your airline tickets and heres some money for your troubles." I said.
''Aww Chess man, keep your dough..You family...and if someone gives you a hard time...you know I got your back..." said Little Pistol...
"We can't thank you enough" said Chris...
"Think nothin of it...Them three dudes tried to flex....They went down first.. I dropped em with my .44..You know, the Clint Eastwood gun..I call it the Enforcer. Then Taylor tried to draw on me...He done got old..He was a little slow on the draw...I dropped him with my sig sauer. I call that gun.."Sally" but That other dude..man, Who was he? He screamed like a little girl.".ahhhhhh,don't kill me, don't kill me.." He sounded like a little bitch....oh he disgusted me." said Little Pistol. "I was so disgusted,I couldn't even finish him off..I think he peed his pants." said Little Pistol.
Chris and I laughed our heads off with that...Once word of that hit the streets,Vernon's rep was going to be ripped to shreds...For all we know, it might
already be out on the streets.
Chris and I laughed....It was good to see my cousin and our friend "Little Pistol..."but Vernon had more muscle than Taylor...and after what we did to him...my bet was that he was going to regroup and come with a thunder...Only we were going to find him and stop him before that happened.


(Conclusion Next..)






Thursday, January 21, 2010

Lost Ones


Gus wasn't going out without a fight. He had two big muscular ex marines...Albert King and Eddie Martin protecting him at all times.. They could fight and they were pretty handy with a gun..He had hired a lawyer, Conrad Nelson to look over his papers and to meet with Vernon's lawyer.

Although not a formal will, Vernon's dad had indeed written on a peice of paper that he wanted his son to have half ownership of the bar that he and Gus had bought and built. Gus did not want to give Vernon Womack a red cent. Conrad was busy looking for a loophole...

Meanwhile , Every player worth his salt on the streets of Philadelphia attended Ronald "Sunshine'Evans funeral. He was well loved and liked by all...The man who had ordered his murder on the other hand was not...Yet he brazenly attended the funeral...He had bought the largest array of flowers too and it was rumored that he paid for the funeral and burial..It was the least he could do.

Chris ,Donald Smooth and I sat with Sunshine's family....Fathead ,Ralph Mole and Roscoe sat in the back of the church...Chris had put the word out that he wanted to see him. Even though Fathead had succeeded Chris in running West and Southwest Philadelphia, you'd think that Chris was still running things. When Chris called..Fathead usually came running...Thus the respect he had for Chris Thompson.

After the funeral ,we all met at at popular Steak and Hoagie shop near the church.

"What's good Chris? Chess? I heard you wanted to see me." said Fathead Newton.

"We got a problem Fathead. You could have a potential problem and we all know who that problem is." said Chris,getting right to the point.

"Yeah,I know...Vernon...He took over all of South Philly and he's barking in your backyard....Making noise with the Diaz Brothers or their rep...Aint that where your card game is held?" he asked.

"You been doin your homework big man. We got to stop him...He's trying to take Josie's from Gus.." I added.

"What?Nah....Now that's my spot....He can't be running nothin up on my end." said Fathead.

"What about Taylor?" I asked.

"Well Chess, I was gonna get you to take care of him...I heard you pulled some steel on him the other night." said Fathead as Ralph Mole,Roscoe, Donald Smooth and even Chris burst into gales of laughter.

"I was pro-active.....I hired my friend Kevin to find Taylor." I said.

"Kevin? ,Kevin Morris?" asked Fathead.

"Yeah, he's not a player, he's not known and he has a better chance of finding that rat Taylor than any of your guys who he might recognize and kill.." I said.

"Chess is right and he did the smart thing." said Chris. "If anybody can find Taylor,it's Kev." he added.

Just then ,my blackberry went off. It was Kevin.

"What's good Kevin?" I said.

"Chess...We found him....He lays his head in three different places....he never stays in any one place more than two nights...If you got a pencil and some paper, I'll give you the addresses." said Kevin. We had all grown up in the same neighborhood and gone to grade school together ,Me, Chris, Kevin...We had never really hung out,but we had known each other and respected each other.

"Okay,kool...good work man and thanks." I said.

"I'm doing this for Gus...I got my girl ,Big Nasty covering the place too." he said.

"Thanks Kev. Be easy man" I said and wrote down the three adresses.
"You too Chess." he said.

I appreciated what Kevin was trying to do, but he didn't understand who he was dealing with.. Taylor Collins was the best of the best...I doubted if Kevin or his people were equipped to deal with him. Then again..Kevin had taken down Malik Lockjohn, who was just as lethal as Taylor Collins..so who knew?

"So What are we going to do about him?" asked Chris.

"We gotta get that hitter..We take Taylor out and then Vernon is done...you got the adresses Chess?" asked Fathead.

"Yeah, here?" I said.

"Okay...I'm callin in some guys outta Newark and Jersey City....They'll take care of Taylor." said Fathead as he and his people hugged us and left.

That night...Taylor was busy..He took a shot at Ed Martin and Albert King... The two ex marines were good at what they did...but Taylor was better, He shot Ed in the arm and Albert in the side...Kevin's friend "Big Nasty "shot it out with him and got shot in the foot...The ambulances took all three of them to the hospital...They were lucky to be alive! The Message was clear, Vernon wasn't going to fool with legality..he wanted Gus dead. Taylor wasn't a joke...He was playing for keeps.

This prompted Gus to do something he hadn't done in years. He closed Josie's for the night and stayed at Chris Thompson's place. Donald Smooth and I drove around in one car, while Kevin and his main man Clerow drove around in another car, searching for Taylor Collins.

Those three hitters from Jersey faired far worse than our guys protecting Gus....All three were found shot to death in seperate incidents before daybreak.....One thing was for sure...Vernon was winning this war and if we wanted to survive..we'd better rethink our strategies.
I knew somebody who was Vernon's cup of tea...the one man that even Vernon feared.....the thing was...If I called him, he could be more trouble than he was worth....but this was war...Time to pull out the big guns.
(To Be Continiued...)

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Say Goodbye Sunshine


Mabel Jenkins could cook....She didn't just cook soul food...she could cook anything...and tonight ,her catering service had fixed up some fine Spaghetti and Meatballs, Italian Bread and Wine. She and her sisters, Corrie and Anita delivered the food to our card game. Chris and I were still her silent partners in her restaraunt and catering business. We had leant her the money to get started and had paid off her other debts. We weren't shake down artists..We were
legal partners in her business. We didn't make any decisions as far as how her business was run..She made all of the decisions. Chris and I split amongst ourselves a third of her profits and she and her sisters and staff kept the rest. Business was booming ,because it wasn't long before Mabel opened a catering business which sister Victoria was running.

Tonight, as a favor to us..She delivered Spaghetti dinners to Chris and I's card game. This was a high stakes (and illegal) card game that attracted the top players and gamblers in the city. You wanted in ,you had to put up a substantial amount of cash...This way, we kept the riff raff out.
Unfortunately...some riff raff had the kind of money it took to play in the games..

One such person was one Vernon Womack....He had from out of nowhere, gobbled up most of the
"real estate" in South Philadelphia and was moving in on a small part of North Philadelphia.
People said that he did it with the help of his enforcer..a tall thin well dressed man named Taylor Collins....also playing...one of the most feared hitmen in Philadelphia. If Taylor Collins had a contract on you, you might as well kill yourself..because you were as good as dead. It was said that he had killed close to 50 people...No one knew if that was true or just an urban rumor, but no one wanted to find out...that was for sure.

Chris pulled me and Donald Smooth to the side and whispered to us-

"Chess, I don't want those two in here ever again.....They in here now, but they are bad news...
next time we have a game..turn em away at the door." He said.

"I'll toss em right now if you want boss." said Donald Smooth.

"Easy trigger..calm your lethal ass down..I said the next time....I don't want no trouble...Did you hear what they did?" asked Chris.

"Nah what?" asked Donald Smooth.

"They killed Pooh Bear this morning and his whole family." I said.

"What?" said Donald.

"Yeah, Pooh Bear owed Vern some money, he refused to pay, so Vern sent that cold blooded sadist Taylor Collins in after him...Killed him, his wife, his four year old son, three year old son
and his two year old daughter. Cops don't have a clue as to who did it...but everybody in South
Philly, on the streets know." I said.

"Damnn, that's cold blooded." said Donald.

"Man, when I was in the game..I never killed nobody Chess..not a soul...I sold my product quietly and cheaply and made a lot of money and kept it quiet...no fuss, no muss...anybody had a
problem, I just kept it movin and set up somewhere else." said Chris.

"Nobody ever wanted to bump with you?" I asked.

"Oh yeah sure...but I always had Donald Smooth here with his eager trigger finger to persuade them otherwise. Not only that...You know I used to be a boxer Chess....I knocked a couple of guys on their butts..after that...I did the damn thing on just my rep...aint that right Smooth?" laughed Chris.

"That's right Chess..We made a lot of cash and didn't kill a soul, didn't get arrested or nothin."
chimed Smooth.

Vern and Taylor had created a lot of unwanted heat on the streets...Fathead and a lot of the players weren't happy about the two of them being around..yet nobody dared cross Vern and risk Taylor coming after them.

"I hate what they did Chess, killin women and children that didn't have nothin to do with it...Let me stop talkin bout it for I throw em both out and get us in the middle of some mess." said Chris
as he walked off.

Vernon was losing badly tonight and he was making a general nuisance of himself...He kept pinching Mabel's butt or Corrie's butt or Anita everytime they walked by...Finnally Mabel grabbed his hand...

"Touch my ass one mo time and you gone lose that hand mister ." she said.

Vernon laughed and was getting ready to grab her again when Chris grabbed his arm.

"Chill Vern....This is a peaceful game...This is my game...Don't start nothin." said Chris who stared him dead in the eye. Taylor was getting ready to go for his gun, when I pulled my .45 out
and aimed it at him.....The room was as quiet as a cemetary at midnight.....

"I know who you are...but you aint superman...bullets won't bounce off your chest...so you better back up." I said. Donald and Chris both looked at me in amazement and busted out laughing....
Taylor smiled and slowly sat down...Vernon smiled and bowed his head..

"Okay Chris...you win...no drama...Your partner has more guts than he has good sense..but I understand...it's all good...Hey Sunshine...let's finish playing this hand." he said. Everyone in the room sighed with releif as the game continued.

Chris put his arm around me and passed me a beer...He looked at Donald Smooth and said

"See, this why me and this brother been homies since grade school..he aint no punk..Chess is fearless...He'll ride with me..This my man right here." laughed Chris.

Donald Smooth shook his head and laughed - "Chess, you got a pair on you....You'd have made a
great soldier."

Meanwhile Ronald "Sunshine" Evans had just cleaned up...Had won 14G's at Vernon Womack's
expense. "Sunshine "Evans was loved by everybody...He was a big time gambler..Went to card games like this in Philly,New York,Jersey and Maryland. He knew his business and he knew how to gamble...He very rarely lost...Tonight ,he took Vernon for a load.

"One more hand Sunshine?" laughed Vernon.

"Nah.....I'm tired of beating you...you gotta do like Kenny Rogers says...Know when to fold em
baby." laughed Sunshine as he collected his winnings.

"You took all of my money" said Vernon.

"Nah baby...Money aint got no owners...just spenders and I'm gon spend yo cash tomorrow."
said Sunshine as the room broke out in laughter....

"Evening Gents." he said as he tipped his hat and he and his partner left the game.

Vernon was not a happy camper!

The next night, Chris and I were in Josie's having a couple of beers with Gus the bartender and talking to him about how "Sunshine " cleaned Vernon out. Gus didn't find it funny..He looked at us and said-

"Vernon aint no one to play with ....I knowed his daddy..He was as evil as they come and the boy aint much better.." said Gus.

It was at this moment that Vernon walked in Josies.

"You talked the devil up" said Gus.

"A round of drinks for everyone" laughed Vernon.

"You sure are flush...for a man that lost 14 large last night." said Chris.

"Well, you might say, I come upon some more cash." laughed Vernon.

"Where's your attack dog ?" said Chris.

"Taylor? I gave him the night off..He earned it." laughed Vernon.

"Yeah,killin a woman and some kids is a lot of work." I said.

Vernon looked at me and snapped-

"You ought not to get in grown folks business...you already got one foot in the grave Chess."
he said.

''Where is there a grown person in here besides us?" I said and pulled my nickel plated .45 out
before Vernon could move. Chris pulled his .45 out also. Vernon didn't blink.

"If you was gonna use them heaters,I'd already be dead...now since we all know you aint...put em away...I aint here to see you anyway...I'm here to see Gus." he said.

We both put out guns away and Gus walked over to Vernon, gave him the evilest stare I ever saw and said-

"What is it you want Junior?"

"Junior? Aint nobody called me Junior since I was a kid..heh heh heh.." he laughed.

"What'cha want?" snapped Gus.

"What I want is what is rightfully mine.....My daddy loaned you the money to buy this joint and you and him built it to what it is today....I beleive I am entitled to half of your business." he said.

"You know,I paid your daddy back in full, with intrest years ago, before he got himself killed..so that debt is paid." said Gus.

"It's paid when I say it's paid...I want half...and I aint playin with you..I got a lawyer whose coming to see you tomorrow and I beleive after you talk to him..you'l see things my way." said
Vernon.

"I don't give a damn about your shyster Junior..you aint gettin a red cent..." said Gus.

"My pops left a will....in the will it says that I'm to get half of this bar...you'll see." laughed Vernon.

He smiled, tipped his hat...

"Chris, Chess,always a pleasure to see you guys....When I'm a partner in this bar...you guys are going to pay double for all of your drinks....heheheheheheheheheh...just kidding, just kidding...you're going to pay triple..hahahahahahahahahahahahahahha."laughed Vernon as he walked out the door.

Just then, Donald Smooth walked in the bar...

"Chris, Chess...guess what? They found "Sunshine" in a drainage ditch near the airport..He'd been shot three times in the head and it looks like he was robbed." he said.

"I told you...Ahhh told you that Vernon is evil." said Gus.

"So what are you going to do?" said Chris.

"I'm going to call my Lawyer, Conrad and then I'm going to call in my muscle...."said Gus.

I looked at Smooth and he looked at Chris.

"Don't look at me...call Fathead.." said Chris.


(To Be Continued.....)

Friday, January 15, 2010

When To Fold Em


Robert and I did some research on one Anjanette Stevens. What we found was interesting. She was from Atlanta ,Georgia..She was white and had been dead for nearly twenty years. The social security number that our stripper used on her W-4 also belonged to a dead white woman.
We crossed referenced her DMV photo on her drivers licensce and found out who she really was.. Dorothy Stephanie Tilley of Macon, Georgia. Twenty nine years old, a couple of convictions in Atlanta, Macon and Augusta for Prostitution, Mail Fraud, Cashing Bad checks and wire fraud.

"Insurance man" Robert Redford Cottle was a whole nother story...This guy had a Bachelors degree in Business from Morehouse.....and had worked for a number of insurance companies...He had no criminal record but was suspected of running a prostitution ring in and outside of the Atlanta metro area. He and his number one girl, Dorothy Tilley moved to Philly in 1998. Around this time, Cottle started working for Skip,Slipp and Tripp Life insurance and eventually became a partner after the untimely demises of Mr. Skip and Mr. Slipp.

Somewhere around this time, Dorothy became "Anjanette Stevens" and several young men began disapearing...Just how they hooked up with Leon Laidlaw was unknown to us. We went to visit him at the local jail and just as I had thought...He had never known about Bobby Cottle.
He also didn't know that Anjanette Stevens was really Dorothy Tilley. Enraged about being used.. He talked long and hard to Detectives about how he met and fell in love with "Anjanette" and how she roped three or four young men into marrying her and making her the beneficiary on their life insurance policies. She would then lure them somewhere ,usually with the thought that they were going to have wild sex, only he would be waiting..with his deadly desert eagle and finish them off. Then he would wrap them in plastic, weigh them down and drop them in the river, it was all her idea...or so he thought. He had no idea that another man, a man who he had never met was really behind the scam.

Robert and I then went to the Airport where Sepia and Sean were keeping a close eye on the two
of them.

"Their plane comes in, in an hour Kevin" said Sepia.

"It's cool...you guys stay here...I'm going over to talk to them." I said.

They were sitting in an airport cafe drinking coffee when I walked over and sat down at the table
with them both....They were startled.

"Hello Anjanette or should I say, Dorothy?" I smiled...

"Who the hell are you?" she snapped.

"This is the private detective I was tellin you about...Kevin, right?" laughed Bobby. He was as cool as ice.

"Yup, that's right? and you must be Bobby Cottle?' I said , still smiling.

"Heh,heh,heh..That's right.....I guess you think you know the whole story right Kevin....Only thing is...you can't prove any of it....and by the time you can...if you ever can..We'll be somewhere else...doing the same thing and you ,not being a cop won't be able to do anything about it." he laughed. Dorothy looked at Bobby and laughed nervously.

"Well Bob, see that's where you're wrong....You know that Pastor, Dorothy was trying to roll?
He's my pastor..of my church...He's got a life insurance policy that the little lady drew up for him
and he can testify that she was trying to get him to get married quicker than he'd like." I said.

"Big Deal....there's no law against that...' he scoffed.

"No..it isn't...That's just a little peice of the big puzzle....But Leon Laidlaw changed his mind and he changed his story and while that doesn't put you in the mix...my recordings of some of your conversations definitely do." I laughed.

"Sure, you're bluffing..who's going to believe you?"He said.

"They do....." I said as Six Plain clothes detectives and three uniformed policemen surrounded the table.

"Oh my God...They got us..they know everything Bobby." screamed Dorothy..

''Shut up, they don't know nothing." he screamed at her.

"I'm afraid we know the whole sordid mess" said Lt. Sissy Van Buren of Philadelphia Homicide.

The cops handcuffed both of them.. I stood up and saluted Bobby Cottle.

"I have to tell you..You two had a good thing going...for many years..Nobody even suspected what was going on.. You weren't even a thought......You got cute..you overplayed your hand Bobby....You gotta know how to quit when you're ahead...you gotta know when to fold em." I said.

"Hmmm, I'll remember that for next time" he smirked.

''Aint gonna be no next time Bobby...Dorothy, no more killing." I said as the Police dragged Dorothy kicking and screaming to the police car. Bobby Cottle was a little more dignified in his
perp walk.

"Well Kevin...you cracked another one." laughed Robert Foxworth as he and Sean slapped me on the back.

'Poor Pastor Struthers...He's going to be devestated when he finds out his bride to be was not who he thought she was." said Sepia.

''Yeah, I know ...I'd hate to be the one to tell him." I said.

Epilouge....

"Pastor, aren't you getting married?" said the Asian woman, standing in the hallway of her apartment in Chinatown.

"Well, I aint married yet and Ah don't see no need why we can't have one for the road..that is
a nice bed you got there..Let me come in out of this cold."

Within a few minutes...

"Ohhhhhhhh...ohhhhhhhhhhhhh...me so hornnnny...me love you lonnng time...ohhhhhhh....

""Ummmmmmmphh,come on girl...give it to me..give it to meeee...ummmmphhhh."

"Ohhhhhh, Reverend....Reverend....ohhhhhh me soo horny....love you longgg time."

The bed was squeaking and it sounded as if the headboard was slamming against the wall.....


"oohh..ohhhhhh gawdddddd...ohhhhh reverend...me sooooo hornyyy...me love you so lonnngg,so lonnnng...longg timmmeee..ouuuuuuuuuu...ohhhhhhhh reverend.....bless me....ohhhh...."

"Ohhhhh, you feel so good my asian sweety..ohhhhhhhhhhh so goood...ummmmmph."

The more some things changed...The more they stayed the same.

Thursday, January 14, 2010

Hoochie Coochie Man


My Blackberry went off in the middle of the night.....Sepia was the closest to it....She passed it to me..I was barely awake...

"Hello." I said.

"There is a gun in this locker...Locker 48...at the bus station on Filbert Street...It's a Dessert Eagle...it's in a plastic baggie...take it to the police....the ballistics on it will match the bullets in all three of the murder victims and there are enough fingerprints on it to lead you to your killer." came the voice...the same voice I had gotten the call from a few weeks before , that had lead Robert and I to the dead bodies in the river.

"Who are you? Why are you telling me this?" I asked.

"Who I am is of no importance to you....just go to that locker, get that gun and lock up your killer." said the voice.

Click!

Just like before...an Anonymous tip..then nothing. I got up, got dressed, got my peice and was getting ready to go, when I saw Sepia getting dressed too!

"Where are you going this time of night." I asked , knowing the answer and amused at the same time.

''With you" was all she said.

I smiled...I was too tired to argue. I tossed her the keys and got in my car on the passenger side.
Sepia was an excellent driver anyway and I needed a little extra sleep. I rolled the window down and let the cool air blow into my face as my wife put her foot to the floor and took off into the Philadelphia night..

We found the key...Just where my anonymous "friend" said it would be.. Found the locker and found the gun, a Desert Eagle in a plastic bag. Sepia and I turned the gun in and just like my tipster told me....a ballistics check matched bullets from the gun to not just the three men we found in the river, but also to the recently deceased Bert Lambert Jr.'s body. It didn't take much imagination to figure out that the fingerprints on the weapon belonged to one ,Leon Laidlaw, ex convict and just the type of guy that could pull off something like this.

In a matter of hours, Detectives picked up Leon Laidlaw and after about a few hours of grilling ,he confessed to all four murders. But something was wrong...It was glaring at me as big as day....Sure Leon pulled the trigger on these guys...but he was not the brains behind this thing.
Anjanette was the brains..I knew that for sure...but Leon wouldn't put her in...He stuck to his story that they were his romantic rivals and that he killed them so that he could be with her.
This was pure crap, but the cops couldn't shake him. This guy was a stone cold soldier.

I wasn't through with Anjanette....I couldn't pin the murders on her...but she still was trying to roll Pastor Struthers... I had to find out what she had planned for him. Sepia drove me over to
Robert Foxworth's office. I informed him of the night's activities and the capture and confession
of Leon Laidlaw...He didn't seem all that enthused..He ,Like me, felt as though there was more to this story.

"Kevin...I did some checking of my own....Come here look at this....These are insurance policies..
Take a look, what do you see?" asked Robert.

I read them...It didn't take me but a minute to figure it out...

"Oh my God...All three of these missing men were covered by the same life insurance company,
''Skip,Slipp, Tripp and Cottle Insurance." I said.

"Yeah...how about that? I checked em out Kev...Sam Skip and Charlie Slipp have been dead for years and Old Man, Horace Tripp is in a retirement home in Florida. Robert Cottle is the only one running the show at that agency and he was the one who signed off on all of those insurance
forms." said Robert.

Sepia looked at Bert Lambert's paperwork and remarked...

"Yeah ,but Robert...Bert Lambert wasn't handled by Skip,Slipp,Tripp and Cottle..He was handled by Independent Life Insurance." she noted.

"Yeah...now look at who the agent was at the bottom and read the fine print." said Robert.

Sepia and I both looked at the agent's name... Bobby Cottle ,as a pseudonym for Robert Cottle.
So called "Independent Life" was a subsidiary of Skip,Slipp ,Tripp and Cottle Life Insurance.

This was more than just a good looking girl rolling heavily insured lovers for money to go to college..This was much bigger and much more sophisticated. This also told me that somebody else was really pulling the strings...Not Anjanette.

Sean Jackson walked into the office just as Robert,Sepia and I were getting ready to go...He had a disc in his hands...

"Hey Guys...you better listen to this....Lockpick, Peeping Tom and I pulled it from the surveilance on that girl's house last night." he said.

"Play it" I said.

"Hello..."

"Anjanette?"

"Yeah baby, what's up?"

"Listen....we gotta shut this thing down...pack up and get out of here...A friend of mine in the police department told me that you got some kind of private detective watching you...I don't know how much he knows."

"What? A private detective?"

"Yeah..His name is Kevin...don't worry about him....I been callin him, givin him information...
I gave him the bodies you and fatboy put in the river and the murder weapon....The cops got fatboy Leon and like the love sick puppy he is..he's taking the whole ride by himself...stupid ass..he sooo in love with you."

"Yeah...YOU'D never take a fall for me or anyone else, would you?"

"Hey,Hey...focus Anjanette...He's taking the murders himself...All he can give the cops is your name, Anjanette Stevens..and that aint even your real name...But it's a little too much light shining our way...Pack your bags and meet me at the Airport...I'll be in Terminal D by the bathrooms."

"But Bobby.....I'm about to roll this preacher for two hundred large....He wants a church wedding, I'm trying to convince him to go to the justice of the peace....I'm this close to
rolling him....I already got the life insurance policy drawn up."

"Anjanette...Forget about the preacher....We gotta get out of here...the cops are just an angel's breath from puttin two and two together and plus this Kevin guy, I don't know how much or what he's figured out...Get some clothes and get to the airport...We'll set up in a new town and start all over again..We been here ten years..We cleaned up enough. The important thing is that I not be exposed.."

"Yeah...never THAT!"

'"What? , do I detect a bit of sarcasm?"

"No Bobby...I live to serve you.....I'll see you at the airport."


"Well, what do you make of that?" asked Sean.

"That voice..That's Bobby Cottle..That's the guy who's been calling me , giving me the anonymous tips....He's the mastermind behind this....Wanna make a bet that that poor sap,
Leon Laidlaw, who did all of the dirtywork for them never laid eyes on Bobby Cottle?
He was their fall guy....All along he was set up to take the fall for the murders....This was brilliant
,I mean of all the cases I've had...I've never seen one this elaborate..I almost admire the two
of them." I said.

"So what now?" asked Sean.

"Sepia, You and Sean go to the Airport...Robert and I have a little researching to do...Then we'll
join you there..I think I know a way to finish this." I laughed.

"Aww lawd...Kevin got that look in his eyes." Laughed Robert.....Sean and Sepia looked puzzled..
I couldn't explain....but I was about to stack the deck and bring Bobby and whoever that girl was's little scam to an end.

(Conclusion Next...)

Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Down By The River


"OHHHHHHH....OHHHHHH ....OHHHH godddddddd...Ohhhh Gooooddddddd...I think I'm losing my mind...ohhhhhhhhhhhh.....Reverend...Reverend...ohhhhhhhhhhhhhh...." came a female voice..

"Ohhhhhh, Ohhhhhhhhh babyyyyy,it's soooo good...ohhhhhhhhhh..." came the voice that was obviously Pastor John Struthers....

The bed was squeaking so loud and so violently ,it was nearly drowning out the voices....

"Ohhhhhhhhhhh,it's sooooo good, it's sooo good...ohhhhhhhh,it so good......ohhh good lawdd woman, what are you doing to meeeee....??"


"Ohhhhhhhhhhh Reverend...Reverend...what are you doing to meeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh? Ohhhhhh,I'm coming...I'm comingggggg...."

"OHHHHHHHHHHHH nelllie..."

"Baby"

"Darling!"

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.....I'm bout to explode!"

"OH, Oh, OHHHH...."

"Come on man, do we have to keep listening to this? They aint sayin nothin..nothin we can use."
said Robert as we sat in Peeping Tom Constabnoble's white van about a block from the Pastor's
house.

"Don't worry Robert....sooner or later we'll hit paydirt" I said.

"That guy sounds like he's hittin paydirt now." said Lockpick Johnson as we all burst into gales of laughter.

It had taken us a week, but Peeping Tom and Lockpick Johnson had gotten into the Pastor's house and wired it for sound and video..We had gotten into Anjanette and Leon's place too and wired that as well. Sean Jackson and Clerow were sitting on that house, while Lockpick Johnson
and Peeping Tom Constanoble were sitting on this house. Robert and I checked in on both locations daily.

So far, no house had given us anything but endless sex...She was sleeping with Leon occassionally and then sleeping with Pastor Struthers...From what we were hearing, she was really enjoying Pastor Struthers.

What I was looking for was pillow talk....Her talking about money, insurance policies and what have you...So far there had been none of that. Pastor had taken her to Ocean City, Baltimore ,Maryland and up to Martha's Vineyard...He had wined her and dined her in both Philly and New York....and so far there had been nothing we could use to make a case against her.. but I was sure that it was coming.
"No wonder we've had guest preachers the past few sundays" smirked Robert Foxworth, who himself had been known to chase a few skirts as an Attorney. I smiled, I guess he thought what he did was different.


"Ohhh my god Pastor....I've had a lot of men...guys much younger than you and ...and....whoa..aint none of them had it goin on in the sack like you...whewwww, ouuu wee...you was bout to drive me outta my mind." she said.

"Woman..I'd drive from L.A. to Cincinatti for some more of that good lovin....Now look heah, we been kinda hangin out for awhile now...We done traveled, partied....and what not...and I been thinkin....Think bout gettin serious with you....I aint nevah knowed no woman ,make me feel as good as you do..." said Pastor Struthers.

"John, what are you saying?" she cooed innocently.

"I'm talkin bout marriage baby...I think I done fell in love with you and I know you in love with me...so why don't we just stop foolin around? Let me make you the first lady of mah church.?" he said.

" First Lady? Of your church??" she said. "John...I'm a stripper.."

"So was Mary Magdalene or some woman in the bible and she joined the church and was new agin." he said.

"Uh...I don't know.." she said.

"Baby,I got money,plenty of money...you'll be well taken care of...I swear...I'll put you on my life insurance policy,make you the beneficiary." he said.

"Really? You'd do that for me?" she cooed.

"Anything you want baby, just say you'll marry me."

"Oh John..Yes...Yes...Yes...how could I say no?" she laughed.

I slapped my hands together....

"We got her...that's how she does it." I said.

"She's a good one, she is." said Peeping Tom.

'Baby girl knows how to work it..she got Pastor Struthers hook line and sinker and it's his idea,
she didn't even think of it." said Lockpick Johnson.

"Okay counselor, what do you think?" I said.

"That doesn't prove anything.....Not while he's still alive.....but that's enough for a motive." said
Robert Foxworth. "Least we know how she hooks em...but then again, look at her, we always knew how she did it..who can resist her, that's got a pulse?" he mused.

"Come on guys, let's go to Josie's and get some drinks" I said as we pulled off.

While sitting in Josie's , my blackberry went off....The screen read -"Unregistered number"

"Hello"

"Tell your detective friend to check the river."

"What? Who is this?" I said.

"Tell your Detective friend...to check the river."

'Check what river?" I asked....

"Tell your Detective friend to check the Schuylkill River further.."

"Who is this?" I asked.

Click!

Later that night, Robert Foxworth ,Sean Jackson and I stood by as Lt. Sissy Van Buren and her
detectives dragged the river, near where we found Bert Lambert's body and unearthed the weighted down corpses of three men....They had been wrapped in plastic and weighted down....
As the pulled each body up from the river, we showed the detectives photos of them and lists of their personal effects we got from their loved ones.. The bodies would later be positively identified as Samuel Elkins, missing since 2008, George Martin, Missing since 2004 and Robert
Carter, missing since 2006. All three men had been shot multiple times and then wrapped in plastic and weighted down in the river.

Robert sat with Sean Jackson , Conrad Nelson, another attorney and me a few days later in Mabel Jenkin's joint and said-

"Kevin, we gotta shut her down man....before she kills again...She's already killed four people,
and she's settin Pastor up to be the next." said Robert.

"I know...We need to find out what her next move is and quick..." I said. I also wanted to know who the anonymous tipster was who told us where to find the bodies..I had a feeling that I already knew. What I didn't know was how wrong I was about to be.

(To Be Continued....)