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Friday, December 31, 2010

Wade In The Water


"Ah Aint never seen three Black men drink cartons of Buttermilk straight like that." said Mabel Jenkins as Kool Kat, her brother in law, Clerow and I finished three seperate cartons of Buttermilk.
We had stopped at her soul food joint en route to the Shopping Center to pick up Cherry Johnson.

My Blackberry went off....It was Peeping Tom...He was in the "observation" van with Robert Foxworth, Lockpick Johnson and Sean Jackson. They were keeping an eye on the good Reverend and the Deacon and their murderous hearse for us ,while we went here to get some buttermilk. The buttermilk would protect us if we became exposed to that poison.

"Kevin...We got a problem" said Peeping Tom....

"What problem?" I said...

"Apparently....these two guys had a change of plan....They went to the shopping center early...It's New Years Eve...It closed up early... They snatched Cherry out of the parking lot before we could do anything...We are following them....They're headed towards the Northeast ." he said.

"Okay...stay on em....We are on our way." I said.

"What's up boss?" asked Clerow.

"They snatched Cherry already...They're on the move." I said.

"What?" said Kool Kat.

"I suspect that they wouldn't have killed her yet...She's probably been drugged...They're taking her to that flat bed truck....They're going to baptize her." I said.

"You mean drown her." said Kool Kat.

"Not if we get there first...Mabel...You got another carton of Buttermilk?" I asked.

"Yeah...here's a quart...you owe me Kev." she laughed.

"I'm good for it." I laughed.. "Come on guys...let's go....Oh Mabel...one more thing...Call this number...It's FBI Special Agent Frank Cotton...Tell him I said to meet me at this address." I continued.

"Got'cha Kevin...good luck." she said as the three of us raced to the rental car.

II-

We pulled up behind the Van, a sizable distance away.....Peeping Tom, Robert Foxworth, Sean Jackson and Locksmith Johnson were waiting for us.

"They just got here, not too long ago..The Deacon is running the water.. you better hurry up and get inside that little cabin...That's where they have her." he said.

Inside the cabin....Cherry sat, half conscious, very weak in a wicker chair... Reverend John Lazurus Collins was dressed in only a white loin cloth.....He was bellowing..

"Sinful woman...Look at you, wearing a tight red dress....breasts just popping out....so plump, so
inviting....Black lace wire bra...so enticing...dressed to entice a good man out of his clothes...make his privates hard....HARLOT THY NAME IS CHERRY JOHNSONNNNNNNNNNNNN!" he screamed.

"Mannnnn, you one crazy dude.You sound like you're the one getting excited" slurred Cherry..

"Yessss...Yessss...You would like to think so harlot....You're trying to entice me, but I won't be enticed...I will control my devilish carnal desire that you are arousing in me..I told you...I told you I would deal with you.....I'm going to baptize you and free your soul of it's sins. When they find your lifeless sinless body...they will know...Know to cover themselves , carry themselves in a chaste fashion.." he yelled!

''Man, you are off your nut." she slurred.

''MOCK ME IF YOU WILL!!! CECIL!!!!!! BAPTIZE THIS HARLOTTTTTT!!!"he yelled.

''There isn't going to be any baptismal today Rev." I said as Clerow, Kool Kat and I entered the shack. He was stunned....Cherry smiled... He shook his head from side to side...

"Mr. Morris, Mr. Morris, oh pooor Mr. Morris...I'd heard that you fancy yourself as somewhat of a private detective.....Shame...I liked you and your wife...Shame that she will soon be a widow. but I will go to her and comfort her and make sure that she does not bear the pain of your untimely death alone..." he bellowed.

"Think so huh? You are out of your rabid mind man" I laughed....

Just then...Clerow, Kool Kat and I were hit from behind with a repeating blow gun.....It had the poison in it....It was a much stronger strain that I had expected....Buttermilk or not...It dropped the three of us on the floor!!! We had forgotten about Cecil , who had been outside filling the baptismal pool on the flatbed truck. We were stunned , but not unconscious...

"Deacon Williams...We got four sinners here....Take em outside and BAPTIZE THEIR ASSES!"
snarled Reverend John Lazurus Collins Jr.

"Yes sirrrrrrrrrrr, sirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...with pleasure.heheheheheheheheh" he laughed
sinisterly.

To his surprize....and horror...The three of us, Kool Kat, Clerow and I , all rose up off the floor and brandished our guns in his direction...

"Like I said Rev...you've performed your last Baptismal." I said. Kool Kat turned and clocked Cecil Williams so hard that his false teeth fell out and the old player went sailing across the room and slammed into the wall...He fell to the floor...He was out for the night!

"This is impossible!!! It can't be...I DON'T BELIEVE IT!!!! This is the first time the chemical has failed to work....What sorcery is this?" he yelled.

"Now Collins...Let's see how you like a taste of your own medicine...Get to steppin." I snapped.

"Hey Kev..what you doin?" asked Clerow....Kool Kat just laughed and slapped his knee. I marched the Reverend outside to the Baptismal pool and made him get into the water in his loin cloth......

"This water is cold....it's very cold...it's cold..... and I'm only wearing a loin cloth...it's December for God's sake.....ohhhhhhh...ohhhhhhh myyyy.....ouuuuu,it's cold....I have on only a loin cloth....I'm terribly cold...Please....Please...I can't be seen like this....This is humiliating....Ohhh and it's cold....ouuuuu, shit man, this damn water is cold...ohhhhhhhhhh lawdddd!" he complained.

"Not cold enough for you." I said.

"Ohhhhhhhhhhh....you'll burn in hell for this Kevin...ohhhhhhhhhhh...it's c-c-c-coldddddddd...damn it man...it's cold...get me out of here...ohhhhhh" he said.


The FBI and the Philadelphia Police arrived shortly and handcuffed John Collins and Cecil Williams....They had the baptismal pool on the flatbed truck...the vials of chemicals and the chlorine as evidence as well as our tapes, photos and video evidence and Cherry's testimony.

As they walked John Collins to the police car, he looked at me and said- "I don't feel guilty about what I did...I was doing the lord's work." he exclaimed.

"You weren't doing the lords work....you're a devil." I said.

"Everyone is entitled to their opinion....though I am curious....Why didn't the drug effect you? There was enough venom in that blow gun to drop a horse?" he said.

"The Lord was on my side I suppose." I remarked.

He shrugged his shoulders -"Hmmmm, Interesting. Hey you guys...anybody got a sweater,something to cover me? It's cold....I don't want reporters snapping my photo in just this loin cloth.... People won't take me seriously.Come on guys.....it's December....It's freeezing out here...Ohhhh...Ohhhhh" he said.

The FBI agents and police led the shivering John Collins and the Deacon into the paddy wagon and pulled off....Special Agent Frank Cotton and Sissy Van Buren of Homicide stood there shaking their heads as Kool Kat, Robert Foxworth, Sean Jackson, Peeping Tom and Lockpick Johnson stood in the background...

"What an odd , evil and scary pair of kooks." said Agent Cotton.

"You aren't lying...I feel much safer knowing those two are going to jail." I said.

"Me too" added Homicide Lt. Sissy Van Buren.

EPILOUGE:

John Lazurus Collins and Cecil Williams were tried in New Jersey on three counts of first degree murder and sentenced to three life sentences a piece... The State of Pennsylvania tried them for four murders....They received three life sentences for three and a death sentence a piece on the fourth....Their killing spree was over. They both now sit on Death Row at Stanga State Prison.I'm sure there is a very warm place awaiting both of them!

New Years Eve....Most of our friends were probably at Josies or Mulberry Street....I understand there were big parties at both.....Sepia and I were at watch service at the Church....Clerow was there with Cora-Beth and to our surprise...Cherry Johnson was there with Samuel Rasulala, Sepia's old instructor at Community College. Once Again, Pastor John Struthers had returned...
and Deacon Larry Weatherford was glad to see him.

"Look Kevin...Cherry Johnson is in church...and look who she's with!!! Sam Rasulala." said my wife Sepia.

"Yeah, what about it?" I asked.

"Nothing....He's not the church going type....I'm just surprised to see him in here." she said.

"Well, everybody has something to be thankful for...Maybe he's soul searching." I said.

"Okay Kev. He's searching for something alright..and it has nothing to do with church" laughed Sepia.

Pastor Struthers and his wife, Rita walked over to Deacon Larry Weatherford...

"Man, that basement floor is as wet as the ocean. What was going on downstairs?..I think that Baptismal pool is leaking. I told you, you can't use that pool for a jacuzi..I mean..not that anybody ever has..I'm just sayin. Uhhh, well uh...remind me to call the plumber after New Years, Deacon." he said. His wife Rita hung her head sheepishly and smiled weakly!

Deacon Weatherford smiled and looked at me...I smiled and shrugged my shoulders....

Sepia just laughed to herself.....Things were back to normal.


HAPPY NEW YEARS EVERYBODY!

Thursday, December 30, 2010

Fast Tracking


Things started happening quickly. I woke up the next morning to the news that the body of Willie Parmenter had been found! He was found in the Port Richmond section of town....Miles away from where he lived.....Hanging from the rafters in an abandoned warehouse....Nude except for a condom on him. The police didn't have a clue that his death was related to the three women who were found floating in the river...but I did!

Clerow and I drove to Port Richmond shortly after the police removed the body...We went in a few bars and questioned local people. I'm sure the Police did the same...but Clerow and I talked to the kind of people who don't normally talk to cops. One guy said-

"Funny thing...I saw a hearse flying down the street at top speed, early in the morning...Like 4:30 am....I know it wasn't headed to any funeral or nothing...I couldn't imagine why it was drivin so fast...they almost run me over."

That was all I needed to know. I contacted Lockpick Johnson and got him to slip a GPS unit under the Hearse , while it was parked at the Church. Peeping Tom told us that he heard them talking about getting " a re-up" of cathesism from a guy named "Dutch".

"Dutch? Doesn't ring a bell....but that drug cathesism does....That's the paralyzing drug isn't it?
The drug that was used in the Eddie Chin case right?" I asked.

"Exactly my friend....It's illegal.....This Dutch charactor is their supplier....but Lockpick who knows all of the local players has never heard of him." said Tom.

"Then we got to follow them boss" said Clerow.

"Exactly! Clerow...Let's go pick up Kool Kat and be on our way." I said as we exited the Van.

"Tom, Lockpick, thanks again." I said.

The Good Reverend and his Deacon had seen my car and by now Clerow's...So I rented a car from Enterprise and the four of us, (We stopped and picked up Sean Jackson) followed the mysterious duo in their Hearse. We had the GPS device, so we could follow from a distance without being noticed. They made two stops....One was to a flat bed truck in a wooded area on the outskirts of the city..... It was parked next to a small building that had a huge water hose and drums filled with some substance.

From a distance we saw and snapped photos of Deacon Cecil Williams putting fresh water into the baptismal pool....Then we saw Reverend Collins pouring one of the drums substance into the
water.....They shook hands , got back into their Hearse and pulled off. Once they were out of sight...Kool Kat, Clerow, Sean and I approached the Flat Bed truck.

''What the hell is a flat bed truck doing out here in nowhere's land?" asked Sean Jackson, still snapping photos.

"Yeah and with a Baptismal pool?" asked Clerow...

I stuck my hand in the water...it was lukewarm....it smelled like chlorine.......

"This is chlorine Kev....The kind they put in a swimming pool." said Kool Kat.

"Yeah...just what was found in the lungs of all of our victims except Willie Parmenter." I said.

"The pool is for the babes....They just shot him and hung him." said Kool Kat.

"Yeah....Let's get to the car...See where else they are going?" I said.

Clerow took down the license plate number and gave it to me.

"Call Robert Foxworth...See if his boy in Records can trace the owner of this truck." he said.

I smiled at Clerow

"Damn Cle, you've been around me too long...you're starting to think just like me now."

Kool Kat and Sean Jackson smiled. We got back in the car and followed them to a row house in South Philadelphia....They walked out of the house with a couple of briefcases. The brief cases contained vials of the chemical used to paralyze the victim, ,cathesism I bet.

II- The Federal Building , Downtown Philadelphia, Sometime later

"You ever see this guy before?" I asked Agent Cotton , showing him a glossy photo of "Dutch that we took of him on his front porch with the Good Reverend.

"Yeah...His name is "Dutch'' , William"Dutch" Wardlow....He's a pharmacist by trade...but we suspect that he's a black market drug dealer." said Agent Cotton.

"Well...I suspect that he's supplying those two guys with the paralyzing drug found in all of your murder victims." I said.

''What? How do you know this?" he asked.

"Look Agent Cotton...How long have you known me? Have I ever steered you wrong? These two guys are the interim Pastor and deacon at my church...They are from Atlantic City....They are both ex-cons...look em up.....Everywhere they've been, women have died...Now I'm working on them....I might be able to give them both to you guys soon.....but that guy Dutch is definitely their supplier...Take this as an anonymous tip and hit his house....I'm telling you..he's their supplier." I said.

"Okay Kevin.....you've never steered me wrong before...I'll call my guy at the DEA. Oh and ,I think you'd be safer if you found another church to attend" he said with a hint of a smile.

"Yeah, at least for the time being." I laughed. He couldn't know how right he was..I was actually somewhat afraid of these two guys...They were definitely creepy individuals. John Collins was charismatic, manipulating...frightening....Cecil Williams was lethal in his own right, a stone cold killer, but not much of his own man..He was the type of guy who needed someone to tell him what to do.. He had found that person in John Lazurus Collins, His guru, his preacher....Collins had found in him, a true believer....the one person who maybe didn't think he was as nutty as a crackhouse rat! Together these two made a murderous combonation!

That night, Several DEA Agents and Philadelphia Narcotics Detectives hit Dutch Wardlow's house ...They found his lab in the basement and several other Black market drugs...He was arrested and immediately booked for his activities...

Clerow, Kool Kat, Sean Jackson and I stopped and got some Hoagies, Coffee and Doughnuts and
walked it to the van where Peeping Tom, Lockpick Johnson and to our surprise, Robert Foxworth was camped out.

"I figured I'd find you here Kevin." said Robert.

"What's up?" I asked.

"My guy found out who that Flatbed truck is registered to.....Cecil Williams. So is the Hearse" he said.

"The Deacon?....How careful is John Collins? Nothing is in his name...Nothing to really come back to him." I mused.

"Yeah..Well you guys had better get to movin and soon....They plan to snatch somebody tonight!
We heard it on the wire." said Peeping Tom.

"Really?" I said.

"Yeah and you know her too...The babe from Victoria's Secret who he had the argument with" said Peeping Tom.

"Cherry...Cherry Johnson." said Kool Kat smashing his fist into the palm of his other hand.

"Oh and fellas, stop and pick up a carton of buttermilk....drink it....It's the only defense you'll have against that poision." he cautioned.

"Mannn, I don't like Buttermilk" snapped Clerow.

"You like livin though...don't you?" I asked.

Kool Kat smiled broadly in the backround!

"You guys....Take the van over to the shopping center....Don't try to approach them..they're probably armed....We'll meet you there after we get the buttermilk." I said.

"Got'cha my friend." said Tom.

Kool Kat was driving....Clerow was riding shotgun...I was in the back seat.....Kool Kat, checked his
.357 magnum....,cocked it and smiled that sinister grin of his.

"What are you doin Big Man?" I asked.

"Gettin ready to finish this." He said. Clerow grinned that toothy grin of his and looked at me.

"Oh...just checkin." I said.


(Conclusion Next)

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

The Good Reverend!


Our little electronic surveilance turned up nothing, except that the good Reverend likes to take a dip in the baptismal pool every night in the nude. At around 5:00 am, He and Cecil Williams, his trusted Deacon left the church and got into that hearse and took off... Headed to God knows where.

I drove up beside the van in front of the church....Peeping Tom was laughing and shaking his head, Sean Jackson, Lockpick Johnson, Kool Kat and Clerow all had the same puzzled looks on their faces as I...Just what kind of odd socks were these two?

"Kev...I'll tell you..We've gone after gangsters and killers and them I could understand...These two are in a different category altogether." said Peeping Tom.

"Not to mention that they didn't say anything we can use." I said.

"So Kev...you think these two are the ones killing those girls?" asked Kool Kat.

"I do indeed.....The last girl that was killed...Velma...They were sitting in that Hearse, scoping her out yesterday. I saw them." I said.

"Yeah, but that doesn't prove anything." said Sean Jackson...

"I know it doesn't.....Listen...I want you guys to go to Victoria's Secret." I said.

"Kev, this aint no time for that." said Sean Jackson.

"No..No...He had a confrontation with Cherry Johnson yesterday...He said he was going to deal with her later....I wouldn't want her to get hurt." I said.

"Over my dead body" said Kool Kat.

"Good...You and Clerow go over to the shopping center and sit on that place...Let me know if the
Hearse drivers show up." I said.

"We on it Boss." said Clerow.

'Tom....You , Lockpick and Sean continue to monitor the goings on in this church...just in case they come back." I said.

"Got'cha" said Lockpick Johnson.

"As for me...I'm going to fetch the good Attorney, Robert Foxworth and do a little research...." I
said.

II-

I found Robert Foxworth. We went to records and looked up what we could on one John Lazurus
Collins Jr. Turns out he was once a cop , in Newark, New Jersey of all places. He was cited several times for police brutality. One particular case became a death. Though he was cleared of
murder and manslaughter charges...He was asked to leave the force. He married and turns up next in Atlantic City. He caught his wife cheating on him with another man. He beat her and the man to within an inch of their lives....

He was arrested and did three years in the state pen for assault with intent to kill. After being released from prison...He studied for the ministry....He became an ordained minister some ten years ago... A little over three years ago...Three women vanished off of the streets in AC and were all found in the ocean...with tap water in their lungs...suggesting they had been drowned elsewhere and dumped...All three women were suspected prostitutes...

All three had attended Holy Redeemer Baptist Church outreach and had apparently returned to the streetlife...(I got this from a call to the Chief of Detectives in Atlantic City), where Collins had served as the interim pastor....Once he left....The killings stopped. The murders were never solved..The case was still open. The Chief of Detectives told me that they had interviewed Pastor Collins three times ,but never had enough evidence to get a warrant or even charge him with anything. Soon, The Pastor and his trusted Deacon resigned their positions and left the church...
As soon as they were gone....The Murders stopped.

"Hey Kev...Look at this sheet on Deacon Cecil here..." said Robert Foxworth....

"Deacon Cecil Williams is from Philadelphia....He was an old time gangster and was suspected of being a hitman back in the 70's for the Little Caesar Deleon gang....It was never proven, but he was a suspect in close to ten homicides dating back to 1969. He did time for selling drugs in New Jersey about the time one charismatic, ex -cop , turned preacher named John Lazurus Collins Jr. was doing time. He supposedly became born again while in Prison and was paroled about a month before John Collins. He went on to become head deacon at , you guessed it Holy Redeemer Baptist Church..." he said.

"Kevin...you thinkin what I'm thinkin?" asked Robert Foxworth.

"What is that counselor?" I asked.

"That these two are killing these girls....None of this mess started until they took over Struther's
church." said Robert Foxworth.

"I think they're involved...but you're an attorney...You know I don't have a shred of proof. Just a lot of co-incidences, what you guys call circumstantial evidence." I said.

"Yeah.... other than that you got nothing." he agreed and laughed...I laughed too!

III-

That night Sepia and I were in the living room when I got a phone call....

"Hello"

"Hey Kev..it's me."said Kool Kat.

"What's up man?" I asked.

"That was a good tip you gave us....We went to Cherry's spot and guess what? That Black Hearse
was sittin there in the parking lot. Clerow and I gave her a ride home and then we doubled the block and came back and guess what? The Hearse was sittin in front of her house." he said.

"What did you do?" I asked.

"I called the cops, told em that a suspicious car was sittin outside of my place and that I thought
I might be being followed." he laughed.

''And the cops actually came?" I asked.

"They came when I said that I was armed with a .357 mag and that I might just take it to them
myself." he said in a chilling voice that I knew was half kidding and half serious.

"A cop car came and the cops got out and walked over to the Hearse to question them...They pulled off...in a hurry...with the cops after them." he laughed.

"Man that was great thinking Kool Kat." I said laughing.

"Yeah, but that only buys us some time....How we gonna take these yokels down?" asked Kool Kat.

" I got an idea..." I said.

"I was hoping you'd say that...I'm about ready for some action, ya dig." he laughed.

"Ohh you'll get it....I'll talk to you tomorrow." I said.

Sepia smiled at me....

"I love it when the gears in your head gets to turning." she said with a smile.

"Show me how much " I said with a wink...

"Ohhhh, you are such an animal." she said with a sigh.....

Didn't I know it? I thought.

(To Be Continued.....)

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Devil Is In The Details


The next day, I went back to the shopping center and questioned everybody who had a business in there and everybody who I thought I saw in there during the time I was there with Sepia. I went to Josies and the Mermaid Club and talked to a number of people about Beverly and Velma and Willie Parmenter....

Like Gus told me...No matter what happens, there is always somebody who knows something or saw something and is willing to talk about it. First off....That Bel Air belonged to Willie Parmenter, a local guy who was a regular in Josie's. He was married...So if he was in that car with Velma...He was probably on his lunch break from his job at Phil's Lumber and was just having a "nooner" with Velma , Who he had been hitting on at Josie's for months.

I went to his job and not to my surprise, Willie had not been seen or heard from since lunchtime the day before. Willie's wife told me that he didn't come home that night.... I didn't tell her that I had seen him at lunch in a car with another woman...I simply gave her my card and told her to tell him to call me when or if he appeared. By now...I was certain that he wasn't going to appear.
Whoever had snatched Velma had probably done away with him too! Thing was...Velma had been found in the river...Where was Willie?

Beverly had had several gentleman callers, according to her neighbors... She didn't appear to be employed anywhere, yet her small apartment had modern and expensive furniture...She had a closet full of nice clothes and from what I looked up at city records with Robert Foxworth's help...She wasn't behind in any bills.. My guess is...While Beverly was not a prostitute...She was being helped out financially by her many suitors for a price of course....That price being...some good loving. A Plumber, A Carpenter, The guy from the Supermarket, an Electrican and Dollar Bill had all visited with her in the past month...I talked to all of them...All of their stories checked out. They all reported seeing a Black Hearse pulling off, just as they were leaving her place. They all said that the windows were tinted and that they never got a look at the driver.

There was a 7/11 , a few blocks from where Beverly lived...It was open 24 hours....On a hunch, I walked in and talked to the clerk. I showed him a photograph of Beverly.

"Yeah...I know her....Sheeeet, who didn't? Shame somebody offed her...baddest body in six states man...ummmph, ummmph, ummph..She was just in here the day they say she vanished."
he said.

"What? She was in here?" I asked.

"Yeah...It was like 4:30 in the mornin...She bought a pack of cigarettes." he said.

"Oh really....I imagine...that time of morning...there isn't a whole lot of people in here or out on the streets is there?" I asked.

"Nahh...but there was something weird though..somethin I just thought about." he said.

"What's that?" I asked.

"There was an undertaker ...a car, you know...a hearse...sittin out in the parking lot." he said.

"A hearse?" I asked.

"Yeah......but the windows were tinted...I couldn't see who was inside...they just sat there...and when Bev left...The hearse pulled off ....." said the clerk.

"Thanks a lot pal." I said and I left. As I was driving home...I saw Deacon Larry Weatherford
walking down the street...His pants were wet up to the knees...

"Hey Deac, want a lift?" I asked.

"Oh hey Kev....Man ,I'm about to cuss....I'll sure be glad when Pastor Struthers gets back here. That Pastor John Collins and Deacon Cecil is about to make me resign from this church..." he spat.

"Why, what's up with them?" I asked.

''Every night they want me to fill up that Baptismal pool.....I told em we only baptize people on fourth sunday...and he said that we gone be baptizing people every week possibly and to keep fresh water in the tank...I do....but he aint baptized nobody yet...I come in this mornin and the water was still runnin..." he said.

"Deacon...Are they at the church now?" I asked.

"Nah...they out somewhere..." He said.

"Listen....I need your permission to do something.....I've got a suspicion about the good reverend and his deacon...If my suspicion is correct...I might be able to get them both out of your hair."
I said.

"Kevin...If you can do that,I'd be eternally grateful...what you need?" he asked.

I smiled!

II-

That night, Lockpick Johnson and Peeping Tom did their thing, they wired the church for video and sound.Sean Jackson sat across from the church in their van snapping photos...Clerow, Kool Kat and I sat down the street from the Church...Hours went by and finally the black hearse pulled up...John Collins and Cecil Williams got out of the hearse...They didn't have anything in the hearse or their hands.

"Deacon go down in the basement and prepare the baptismal pool" he snapped.

''Yes sirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, sirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr." he snapped.

"I am planning to baptize myself for purity tonight." he said.

" Should I join ya sirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr....in the baptismal pool?" laughed Cecil.

''Certainly not!!!! .....What do you think I am....some sissy boy?" said John Collins.

"No sirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, sirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, certainly not! I'll run the water sirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr" said Cecil.

"We have much work to do and not a lot of weeks before Struthers comes back." said Collins.

"Yes sirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, sirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr...We must finish the lords work." said Cecil....

"I am completely nude now Deacon....Come and gather my clothing Cecil and remember, don't look at me...I must not be seen until I am pure." said John Collins.

"Yes sirrrr, sirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr." responded Cecil.

"Kev, What are these two into?" asked Kool Kat..as we sat in my car listening to this weird conversation.

"I don't know man...I don't know...but these two scare the hell out of me... More than anybody we've ever been up against" I said.

(To be continued.....)

Monday, December 27, 2010

A Night In The Bel Air


The next morning Sepia, Robert Foxworth and I stopped by Kool Kat's house. I figured he might need a lawyer present when talking to the police. He did have a somewhat unsavory past and he was the last known person to be seen with a possible murder victim...It only made sense. When we got to Kool Kat's house...there was no answer! I walked across the street to Chelsea's house...He sometimes spent the night with her.

"Sorry Kevin...I haven't seen Walter." she said.

"What? I can't believe he'd lam it...after I told him I'd hook him up." I said , exasperated.

Just then ,I heard whistling and saw the hulking figure of my friend, Kool Kat come walking down the street...

"Relax Kev...I went to get us some coffee...bet you thought I lammed it huh?" he laughed.

"Yeah...the thought did cross my mind." I said.

We met with Lt.Sissy Van Buren of Philadelphia Homicide and to my surprise, FBI special agent in charge of the Philadelphia office, Frank Cotton and the Medical Examiner...Robert Foxworth sat with Kool Kat as he gave his statement and told about his hours with Beverly Peters, the last
victim.

"So when you left her, she was alive?" asked Sissy Van Buren.

"Yeah...she was drifting off to sleep...We had really gotten it in....I'm tellin you." said Kool Kat. My wife, Sepia looked at him with disgust and shook her head...Robert Foxworth had a hint of a wry smile across his face.

"Her time of death was about 5:00 am...That's two hours after you say you left her place...Can anybody verify where you were after you left her house?" asked Sissy.

"Yeah....my neighbor, Chelsea...She lives across the street from me...I went to her house and went to sleep...I was there the rest of the morning." said Kool Kat. Sepia's eyes got wide, then she just shook her head...Robert Foxworth smiled....He knew the deal, no doubt he himself had done the same thing, many times himself... I stood stone faced.

"Kevin...I suppose you're wondering why I'm here?" said Special Agent Frank Cotton.

''Well uh yeah." I said.

"These three murder victims were drugged first.....then they were drowned..but not in the river...somewhere else...They had tap water in their lungs...with a trace of chlorine...like they had been in a pool or a bathtub or something...then they were dropped in the nearby river...I got involved because there were three unsolved murders exactly like these in Atlantic City a few months back...all prostitutes, all but one an African-American woman, all had tap water with traces of chlorine in their lungs and all had this chemical in them...." he said.

"Kevin, we've seen this chemical before...Remember the guy who was found dead in your friend's pool a month or so ago....The Eddie Chin case?" asked Lt. Sissy Van Buren.

"Yeah, I remember" I said.

"These girls were drugged with that same chemical." she said.

"Yeah, but that stuff is off the market...it's banned." said Robert Foxworth...

"When has that stopped anything from being sold on the street?" asked Agent Cotton.

"Kevin, we think whoever is killing these girls is someone who is street savy,someone who can blend in the community and someone these girls would have trusted....You know a lot of people on the streets who will talk to you, who won't talk to law enforcement....I'd appreciate any help you could give us." said Sissy Van Buren.

"I'll do what I can." I said.

"Oh and Kevin...we'd like to keep what was discussed in here as discreet as possible...We haven't told the press or anybody what we've discovered about the nature of these girls deaths." said Special Agent Cotton.

"That goes without saying." I said.

"So can I go now?" asked Kool Kat , who so far hadn't been in the conversation at all.

"Yes Mr. Jones....you can go.....We will be checking out your neighbor...just to confirm your story...You should get some rest!" said Agent Cotton ,giving Kool Kat the side eye...I smiled and held my head down low...

Robert, Sepia, Kool Kat and I left police headquarters.. I dropped Kool Kat and Robert off. We then drove to Chess and Chris's shopping center....I stopped in Dick's Sporting Goods and Sepia walked into Victoria's Secret...From the corner of my eye...I noticed a black hearse sitting in the
parking lot...I looked in the hearse and there was Deacon Cecil Williams sitting at the wheel.
I paid for my purchase and I walked over to Victoria's Secret...

Pastor John Collins was standing there talking to Cherry Johnson, the manager...

"You are the manager of a store that sells bawdy and scandalous undergarmets and you recently
spent the night with a man you are not married to......"he bellowed.

"So what are you doing? Spying on me, stalking me?" snapped Cherry.

"I am looking out for the decent women in this community who don't carry on like you." he yelled.

I walked in...Sepia had already paid for her order. She pointed at the Pastor...He was still bellowing...

"Did you know that there is a 1975 Bel Air in the parking lot and that at this very moment , a man and a woman are engaging in lewd sexual behavior???" he screamed.

"Then go talk to them about it.....and get off my back man." snapped Cherry.

"I'll be back to deal with you." he bellowed.

"Get lost." snapped Cherry.

He turned and saw Sepia and I.....

"Mr. and Mrs. Morris....it is indeed a pleasure to run into you again." He smiled as he walked out.

"He's nuts...I'm not going back to church until Pastor Struthers returns..." said Sepia.

"You go to that guys church?" snapped Cherry.

I just smiled.....When we walked out into the parking lot...there was indeed a 1975 Bel Air that was bouncing up and down furiously...

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Willie....ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"

"Ohhhhhh Velma...it's sooooooo gooood...ummmmmph..."

"Ohhhhhh baby...I love you so muchhhhhhhhhhhh,ouuuuuuu..."


"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..."


Indeed, a man and a woman were making love in the backseat in mid afternoon! Incredible, some people's hormones in this city I thought! At least one of them I knew...Velma Lewis. She wasn't a prostitute, but she was ,let's say...very generous with her affection. Every single man
and a few married men in Josies had a Velma story.

"Geeee, it's a wonder she don't have herpes or something...she'll get in the backseat of anybody's car." said Sepia.

"Now , Now...it aint cool to gossip." I said.

"Yeah, but she's a stone cold ho...You know it...Everybody in the neighborhood knows it." said Sepia.

"It's even less cool to judge.....You don't want to sound like those two over there in the hearse?"
I laughed.


Sepia and I turned our heads and got in our car and pulled off.....The Hearse was still sitting there with Pastor John Collins and Deacon Cecil Williams sitting there. Why were they sitting there watching that? What an odd pair of socks those two were.

"Kevin those two scare me." said Sepia.

We went home, but something, I don't know what was really bothering me....I got my .38 smokeless and my shoulder holster and strapped them on underneath my blazer....I drove back to the shopping center a few hours later. Cherry Johnson only lived a few blocks from where she worked, but I was worried about her.

"Gee thanks Kevin for giving me a ride home...but I'm okay....Everybody knows me around here, I don't worry about anything." she said.

"Just be careful Cherry." I said as I dropped her off at her door.

"Sepia sure is lucky to have a guy like you..Maybe one day I'll marry again and my husband will protect me." she said as she went into her apartment.

I drove back by the shopping center.....The Bel Air was still there...All of the other cars were gone. They couldn't still be in that car making love? I thought....I walked over to the car....The window on the passenger side had been busted....There was no sign of anybody in the car at all.
A closer look revealed the car keys still in the ignition!!!! This looked strange!

So strange, I called Lockpick Johnson and told him to meet me in the parking lot...He did and he popped open the trunk of the car...Still nothing!!! We closed the car door and we left. I drove by the Church....The Hearse that the Pastor and His deacon drove around in was parked in the back. The church looked empty.....a quiet night!!! Too eerily quiet.

I drove home....Sepia was in bed fiddling with her laptop....

"What's going on babe?" I said.

''Kevin, they've found another woman's body in the river" she said.

"What?" I asked....

"A few hours ago...look...it's that girl from the bar...." she said.

She showed me the MSN homepage and a photo of the dead woman...I took a look....It was Velma Lewis, the woman who had been making love to Willie in the Bel Air...I got a good look at her face...I knew that was her...

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Willie....ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh"

"Ohhhhhh Velma...it's sooooooo gooood...ummmmmph..."


"Ohhhhhh baby...I love you so muchhhhhhhhhhhh,ouuuuuuu..."

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhh..."


It came back to me now......

"Kevin...what's going on? We saw her and some guy just a few hours ago!" said Sepia.

I had a nasty feeling that who ever was doing this was closer than we thought!

(To Be Continued...)

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Leave Of Absence


The Day after Christmas and Sepia and I were sitting in church just as Pastor John Struthers was finishing up his service.

" Brothers and Sisters of the congregation.....I have an announcement to make.....I will be taking a leave of absence from the church, effective after this service...My wife and I are going to take a short vacation and just relax and get to know each other a little better.....Our interim pastor will be
Reverend John Collins. Reverend John Collins will be assisted not only by Deacon Larry Weatherford, but by his own deacon, Brother Cecil Williams.." he said..

The congregation was shocked.....One of the brothers in the church , Floyd Dishwater said to me -
"I saw Pastor's foxy wife...I can't say that I blame him for wantin to take some time off...Heh...heh, heh..."

Although I wholeheartedly agreed with what Floyd said....My wife, Sepia was sitting next to me...No way was I going to sign on to that. I didn't flinch. Rita Gordon was a school teacher who had helped me out on one of my cases. She had worn her hair in a bun and had worn horn rimmed glasses when I had met her...I hardly noticed her....But now of days, She wore her hair long and wore contacts instead of glasses.....She dressed differently...She dressed in a way that revealed quite an alluring figure....Plus she was about 17 years younger than Pastor Struthers.

Since they had gotten married...Pastor Struthers wore a constant smile on his face every morning and as soon as his work was done, he practically raced out of the church and raced home. Every man in the church understood why!

His replacements however seemed a bit odd to me....Pastor John Collins was a big hulk of a man with huge hands and a stern disapproving jaw.....His deacon, Cecil Williams looked more like a gangster than anybody's Deacon....I don't know...I could be wrong, but there was something about the both of them that gave me the willies.

After Church, Sepia and I walked down the avenue and stopped in the local Ice Cream parlor for
some Banana Splits and a couple of tumblers of coffee..While we ate , I heard the new pastor outside talking to Cecil..

"And go around and get the hearse and park it!" he barked.

"Yes sirrrrrrrrrr, sirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr.." said Cecil Williams. He looked to be about my father's age , but yet like some street thug I'd once seen around years ago...I just couldn't place him. What was this talk about a hearse? Why was the Pastor and his deacon driving around in a hearse? These two were definitely some odd socks.

Kool Kat walked into the ice cream parlor and sat down with Sepia and I....

"Hi Walter." said Sepia...

'Hi Sepia...Kevin" said Kool Kat...His hands were shaking...The big man was obviously upset....

"Hey big man what's wrong?" I asked.

"You read the papers Kev?" he said.

"Not today...I was in church...Where, uh , it wouldn't hurt if you'd visit once in awhile." I said.

"I was there on Easter." he said.

"Okay, what's got you so upset?" I said.

"They found a third girl in the water." he said.

Two prostitutes had been found in two of the rivers located in the Philadelphia area..both girls had been African American and both had appeared to have drowned.....Only police thought that it was mighty strange that ,given these girls line of work, they would be skinny dipping in the river and at this time of year....They weren't saying, but it looked like a serial killer might be on the loose. I had read it, but it had nothing to do with me.

"What about this girl? You know her? " I asked.

"Know her? Yeah I know her...You met her once...It was Beverly...that babe that was involved with the dearly departed gangster once known as Fiddler." said Kool Kat.

"Oh yeah...you used to mess around with her...I remember her...They found her in the water?"
I asked.

"Yeah Kev...just like the others...drowned...I think she was murdered." he said.

'What? You don't know that...and besides...what do you care? You haven't seen her in a year." I said.

"I was kind of with her last night Kev." said Walter, holding his head down. Sepia looked at him and shook her head with disapproval...She had met Chelsea, his current friend with benefits and she liked her.

'Walter...When you gonna settle down and stop chasing tail?" asked Sepia.

"I know...I know.....Look...I was in the Mermaid Club....." said Kool Kat.

"The Mermaid Club?? On Christmas night?" I asked.

"It was still Saturday night Kevin ....I was having a few drinks and Beverly was in there...One thing led to another..We got to drinkin and talkin and the next thing I know..We back at her crib
, well uhhh you know?" said Kool Kat.

"Yeah, I know...What time did you leave her spot?" I asked.

"Around three thirty this morning." he said.

"Would there have been any reason for her to get back up, to go back out?"I asked.

"Well uh no...not after the good lovin I put on her." he said. Sepia gave him the serious side eye...
I wanted to laugh, but I couldn't bring myself to.

"Kool Kat..What do you want from me?" I asked.

"Look into it Kev...The cops are gonna start askin questions....I was seen leavin with her from the Mermaid Club.....I may have to lam it for awhile." he said.

"Uh-Uh...You and I are going to talk to the cops, first thing tomorrow....then we are going to do our own investigation, see what we can turn up." I said.

''Alright Kev...I'll see you then....you know how to find me..." he said and he left.

Just as Sepia and I were getting ready to leave....The new Pastor and his Deacon walked into the
Ice Cream Parlor.

"Didn't I just see you two in church this morning?" he said.

"Why yes...I understand you are the new Pastor." I said and put my hand out to shake his....He ignored me and looked at my wife.

"You are JoAnne Cokely aren't you?" He said.

"Why-Why yes I am...Have we met?" said my wife.

"You used to publish a scandalous blog in which you were photographed in bikinis and scantily clad undergarmets.....I remember reading your filthy blog." he said sternly.

"Hey pal, now just a minute !" I said....He raised the palm of one of his hands!

"That was years ago....I closed that blog down....I'm Joanne Cokely Morris now." she said.

"Sooo, you're married now.....a churchgoer....Good for you... Glad to see you've seen the error of your ways .Good day....It was a pleasure meeting you Mister and Mrs Morris." He said.

I stood there speechless...Sepia looked at me, then made the crazy sign behind his back.....

"Cecil......I've changed my mind....I'm eating somewhere else...Is the Hearse out front?" he snapped.

''Yes sirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr, sirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr!" said Cecil.

"Good, let's go...there is much work to do." he said and they were off...What a weird pair.

"Kevin....I don't like those two...something about them gives me the willies." said Sepia.

''Yeah...I thought it was just me." I said as I put my arm around my wife and we walked down the street towards our home.

(To Be Continued.....)

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Happy Holidays


"mmmmmmmph...oh baby that was good." he said.

"Merry Christmas baby" she said as she kissed him under the misteltoe...

"Turn the lights out...let's go back to bed." he mumbled softly...

She turned the lights out.

"Mmmmmmmph..." they both said almost in unison as they continued their holiday embrace and kiss.


HAPPY HOLIDAYS!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Modern Love


One year ago today I sent you a Christmas card..
I swore up and down that that would be the last
one I sent...
I texted you once and tweeted you twice and unfriended
you on Facebook. That last thing was kind of hard..
Then I took a walk to the neighborhood bar
,had a couple of beers and got bent.../

It's been a year
and that's a long time to wait for a return call...
you unfollowed me on twitter , never returned
my text...
you must have a new man by now, you must be having
a ball.../

It's just this thing called modern love
that I have to get used to...
So many electronic barriers...
So hard to get through to the real you...
This thing called modern love
means we never have to touch...
just a tap of a keyboard...
just a twist of a thumb though
couldn't mean as much.../

Some of your friends on Facebook and twitter
keep me up on where you go and what you do..
Sometimes I drive past your house and I get
a glimpse of a girl in tight jeans talking on a bluetooth
and sometimes I swear that it's you...
I was thinkin about sending you a Christmas card,
unlike the Christmas e-mails you used to send me..
I thought I might still have warm emotions for you...
but my heart is empty.../

It's just this thing called modern love
that I have to get used to...
So many electronic barriers...
So hard to get through to the real you...
This thing called modern love
means we never have to touch...
just a tap of a keyboard...
just a twist of a thumb though
couldn't mean as much.../

Where are you spending Christmas this year baby?...
I can't see your status update.
We don't follow each other on Twitter anymore
Can we just meet somewhere and talk
or is it too late?...
Seems like you could lose your toys for just a minute
and meet me under the mistletoe....
Oh that's right...We aren't speaking anymore...
So I'll guess that I'll just go.../

It's just this thing called modern love
that I have to get used to...
So many electronic barriers...
So hard to get through to the real you...
This thing called modern love
means we never have to touch...
just a tap of a keyboard...
just a strum of a thumb though
couldn't mean as much.../

Merry Christmas baby, If I don't hear from you!

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

No Pretenses


I hadn't been in Josie's Bar in close to a year...Maybe a year and a half...I don't live up this way and unless I have reason to...a young lady...I'm rarely in this part of the city. Last time I was in here, I met a fine young thing....A fine young thing I was almost certain I had seduced and then....Then, I fell asleep! Can you believe that? I fell asleep and when I woke up, a thick necked bouncer named Bruno was helping me to my car. I came back a few nights later, but that girl was gone...Her name was Cherry...Cherry Johnson.....

Me? My name is Dr. Samuel Rasulala...Yeah, I used to teach at the local community college...I have a Bachelors and a Masters in Education and English Literature...I finally went back to school and got my Ph.d... Today, I'm a Principal at an elementary school...A drop down you might think, but more money and more benefits....Here I was in Josie's again....It had been a year and a half...and to my surprise and good fortune was that pretty little number I met in here before...Cherry...Cherry Johnson. She was sitting at the bar by herself....I walked over to where she was sitting and sat down.

"That's uh Vodka and Cranberry juice isn't it?" I said.

She turned and looked at me and smiled a bit...

"Yes it is....Heyyyy don't I know you ?" she asked.

"I believe I'm supposed to say that." I laughed.

She looked me up and down and smiled some more and then said-

"You're that teacher....Samuel somethin or other right? ,You teach over at Community College." she said.

"Samuel Rasulala....and yes, I did teach at Community College....I'm a Principal at an Elementary School in West Philadelphia....I teach in the summer time during the off season..." I said.

"Yeah, Rasulala....Hmmmmm...your name sounds like music...Rasulala....I see that you still work out too." she said , more seductively than I would have expected.

"Oh yes...I belong to L.A. Fitness out in Bala -Cynwd.....and I ride my bike on the drive and play raquet ball.." I said.

"Do you swim? I do that." she said.

"Hmmmmmm, I bet you look great in a bikini too." I said.

"Woww..Listen at you....and look at you, undressing me with your eyes...Freshie." she laughed.

"You sure are in a good mood tonight....I thought you'd be mad at me...considering what happened last time." I said.

"Oh yeah...you fell asleep in the middle of talking about your favorite subject...yourself" she laughed.

"Oh wow, yeah...you remembered huh?" I said.

"A girl never forgets something like that...I've put guys to sleep, but usually under slightly different circumstances...not in mid conversation." she laughed.

"Guess that ruins any future chances huh?" I asked.

"Future chances of what?" she asked.

"Of you uh...putting me to uh , sleep under good circumstances." I laughed.

"How much have you had to drink?" she laughed.

"Actually nothing...I just got here...Uh Bartender...Can I have another Vodka and Cranberry and
some Henny, straight?" I said.

Gus the bartender brought us our drinks and since it was near Christmas, I left a nice hefty tip on the bar. He smirked...

"Thanks pal, but this is for the female barmaids....I own the joint." he said. I suppose that was Gus's way of saying thank you.

"Come on Cherry, let me make up for for last time?" I said.

"There's nothing to make up for...nothing happened." she said.

"Let's make something happen." I said.

"You know something? Your confidence and cockiness is turning me on...I mean, for real." she laughed.

"Life good for you Cherry?" I asked as I gulped down my drink...

"It is....I was unemployed for awhile....but I have a job now....I'm the store manager at the Victoria's Secret over in Chess and Chris's new shopping center..I've been managing the store now for about three months." she said.

"Oh yeah...I was up here for their week long Jazz Concert......I didn't know that they had opened it." I said.

"Oh yeah...All kinds of stores in there, A bank, a supermarket, a collective of other food markets,
and a slew of other retailers who are set up in there." she said.

''Victoria's Secret huh, ummph, ummph, ummph....I bet you get all kinds of discounts on stuff huh?" I said.

"Why do you ask? as if I don't already know." she said.

"Cherry, we need to stop playing...I want to take you to my place...I'm sittin here ,you lookin all good and all and I can't think straight.." I found myself saying.

''Yeah? Then what?" she asked.

''What do you want?" I asked....

"Right now, nothing." she said.

"Look....why don't we just stop the pretenses....I think you want me as bad as I want you right now and after that...you want to go about your business right?" I said.

"Yeah, that's right.....Maybe, if it's real nice...we might uh, you know...go somewhere..." she said.

"But right now..let's cut the pretenses.." I said and stared into her eyes..

"That's right ...no pretenses."

She lived closer to here than I did , so we elected to go to her apartment....It was a nice little place just a few blocks away...

We sat on her nice plush rugs....I unbuckled her pants and slipped her out of them...All she had on now was her blouse...which I opened up slowly...She was wearing a purple and black lace floral
bra..and matching thong.....

"Oh my goddd...is that from Victoria's Secret?" I asked as I gently rubbed her breasts...

"Yes silly, where else? Is that all you're concerned about...my underwear?" she laughed...

"I'm concerned about getting in your underwear." I said.

"Well alright then." she laughed.

I unhooked her bra and tossed it to the side...she unbuckled my trousers and I slid out of them..

''Now it's my turn to say oh my god." she said...My erection ,which had been raging all night was now out completely....

"Well Mr. Rasulala...you have finally impressed me..." she said as she began to rub it gently...

We kissed...Finally....Her lips were soft like butter and she kept sucking my lips into her...I felt like I was going to be absorbed.... I took one of breasts and gently put it in my mouth..sucking on it and then the other one like they contained my life's sustenance... I could tell that this was bringing her immense pleasure...

She pushed me over on my back and took my penis in her mouth.....She began to slowly and softly lick around the shaft of it first and then moved down toward my testicles...I shuddered and she just laughed...This went on for awhile, until I stopped her...I didn't want to become too excited.....

I rolled her over and began to reciprocate....Tasting her insides and licking her and watching her
shudder...she orgasmed at least two or three times....Finally, I straddled her and entered her....She was warm and very wet...and I began moving in and out, purposely very slowly...She moaned and began to shake after about a half hour of this and then rolled me over on my back...
She sat down on top of me and began to ride me like nobody's business...both of our moans got louder and louder as we continued in that living room like two wild animals in heat...We both came at the same time...It was so intense that I think we both were a little shocked by it all...

I lifted her up and walked her to her bedroom....

''Oh my god, Mr. Rasulala..." She teased......

I tossed her on the bed and straddled her...she looked at me in shock...

"You want more? After that?" she said.

Indeed I did....and this time, in the bed...we made slow sweet love until we both collapsed.....

We woke up sometime later and got in the shower together....Hot ,soapy water washed down on both of us as we kissed and fondled and sucked each other silly...I lifted her up and mounted her on me....We continued this until the water got cold... We walked out of that shower soaking wet and fell on her couch...where we went at it again for close to an hour!

When Cherry woke up...She was under her covers....and I was laying next to her with a glass of wine.

"Uhh, you were sleeping...I saw the wine there and I uh helped myself....I hope you didn't mind?" I said.

"That aint all you helped yourself to mister." she said , now sounding serious....I stared at her, then she smiled...

"Got'cha.....Mr. Rasulala, Mr. Rasulala, Mister Rasulala.....You get an A-plus....wow! I had a double orgasm like I've never had before....That was some Christmas gift." she said.

"Christmas Eve is tomorrow." I said dryly.

"I know...that was an early Christmas gift..."

"I guess I made up for last year huh" I said as I sipped some wine.

"I'll say...." she said.

''So now what?" I asked.

"You want to see me again?" she asked.

"Damn straight" I said.

"You aint all uh in love or sprung or nothin are you?" she asked.

"I don't know you really to be sprung, but this was some good sex." I answered honestly.

"It certainly was...We can see each other again....and we'll take it slow...you know, whatever!" she said.

"I like the way you think lady" I said and leaned over and kissed her.

"Ummmm.....that was nice...but we just got up...you got to brush your teeth man..." she said.

I waited for her to laugh, but this time she didn't.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Mister Gone


Garvin was in surgery until 3:00 am in the morning. The good news ( for him) was that he pulled through. He was going to live and in about three weeks, he'd be out and about and free to squeeze some other woman's behind or have sex with another woman in his car, in a back alley ,in a sleaze bag hotel or where-ever!

We left the hospital at around four in the morning. Carlotta stayed by Garvin's bed side in recovery, stroking his hand gently while he slept. Meek Rollins and I dropped Yolanda and Debbie off at the Villas. Meek suspected that I wanted to go and find Chet...I think he did too! We went to several bars and several cafes and several late night spots...but there was no sign of him. We even went back to the recording studio..but it was locked tight...No sign of him there. Finally we went to his house.

Chet rented a small place on the other side of the township....When we arrived we saw a police car and a brown sedan. There was a Detective and two policemen coming out of his house.
I parked my car across from them and walked over to where the Detective was standing, taking notes.

"I guess Chet isn't there huh?" I asked.

"Not only is he not there...It doesn't look like anybody has been here for days." he said.

"What?" asked Meek Rollins.

"You guys friends of his?" asked the Detective.

"We are business associates...I was producing a record that he was supposed to be on." said Meek Rollins.

"Oh yeah? Well your friend is in a lot of trouble..He shot a man earlier tonight ,almost killed him." said the Detective.

"We know, we were trying to find him, talk him into giving himself up....I was there sir..The man was taunting him...He caught this man with his woman...in...in bed....He was in an extremely emotional state at the time." I said.

"I understand...but that doesn't justify attempted murder." said the Detective.

"You said the place is bone dry?" I asked ,trying to change the subject...I didn't like the thought of such a talented musician locked up for any amount of time.

"Yes...as if nobody has ever lived here..Completely empty." he said.

"He couldn't have gotten far..he wrecked his car" I said.

"Wrecked his car? When?" asked the detective.

"He told me that he wrecked his car and he asked me to drive him to that sleazy apartment complex....but I had no idea he was going to do something like what he did." I said.

"There was no car wreck reported yesterday...In a township this small...I would have gotten a report." he said.

I believed him...This wasn't Philly or New York....This township could fit within the three block radius of the section of West Oak Lane that I lived in....So Chet had lied about his car. He had known about Carlotta's indescretions longer than he had let on and was probably waiting to get proof!

"Ya know what I think?" Meek Rollins whispered to me out of the earshot of the Detective.

"What Meek?" I asked.

''I think Chet knew ole girl was steppin out with Garvin..I think he knew and he planned this all along....Think about it Reed...He knew exactly where they were and the exact floor and room in a
place like that where you could hear the bed springs bouncing and moaning and groaning in every other room...He singled their room out." said Meek.

He was right....Chet was playing everybody, just like he had been played by Carlotta.

"You're right Meek...but where is he now?" I asked.

"Mann, he could be anywhere...He's had several hours head start...If he planned this right..He's off this island by now." said Meek.

"Damn.....if my boy Kevin Morris was here, this would be right up his alley." I laughed.

"Yeah...it would be." laughed Meek.

Meek drove me back to the villa and he went back to his place....Debbie was still up, waiting for me.

"You find him?" she asked.

"Nah....His place is empty...He's in the wind." I said.

"Shame...such a nice polite guy....That hussy he was so sprung over gives good women a bad name." said Debbie.

I looked at her and smiled. I picked up my trumpet and began playing his haunting melody...I played it with an intenseness that I had never played it before...Just then...I heard Debbie scream!

I put my horn down and ran to where she was...

"What's wrong Deb?" I asked.

"It was him!!! I saw Chet!! He peered in the window." she said.

"You sure?" I asked.

"I know it was him..I know what I saw!!!" she said.

I dashed out the door and went running .....but there was nothing and nobody....I looked around the back of the house...I saw two old drunks stumbling around and a few women walking...but not a sign of Chet....No footprints, no nothing....I went back in the villa...

"Deb...you sure it was him? There was about five or six people out there walking around...but not a sign of him." I said.

"Reed, it was him...he peered right in the window and when he saw that I saw him...He ducked away!!!" she said.

We both walked outside and looked around.....Not a sign of Chet anywhere.

EPILOUGE:

The four of us spent the remainder of the Christmas Holidays on Blue Island...We exchanged small gifts on Christmas Day and had a huge feast at a local restaraunt that night..We met and played cards and went to bars the rest of our time there, returning to Philadelphia on New Years
Eve!

I scrapped the idea of recording Chet's songs and I never played that composition again.Hearing it just gave me the creeps...I never saw or heard from Chet Cook ever again....Nobody has! If Debbie did see him outside of our window...Then she was the last person to knowingly see him.
A fugitive warrant for his arrest on charges of Interstate Flight to avoid prosecution for attempted murder was issued by the FBI....To date , he has alluded capture.

Carlotta and Garvin got married, if you can believe that...They had twins a year later and she was pregnant again before the twins were a year old...Will wonders never cease?

Yolanda Prentis and Meek Rollins had a baby girl about nine months after we left Blue Island!!....They are not together as a couple anymore from what I've heard.

Some nights I stand on the rooftop of my condo and play my Trumpet....I play everything except Carlotta's song....Like I said...Hearing it and playing it...gives me the creeps! I wrote a new composition the other day..it's called Blue Island...I'm playing it now. If you're out there Chet...This one's for you kid!

(For SLC)

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Flor Bonita


Meek Rollins and I went to the studio the next day. I recorded all six of Chet Cook's compositions with the house band he had at the studio. I downloaded them to an attachment and e-mailed them to "88" back in Philadelphia, with instructions for him and the boys to listen to them and practice them.. Meek had agreed to Produce all six of the compositions for my next LP, Which I was going to call "Sketches of Carlotta". We worked for about six or seven hours in the studio and then called it a day.

That afternoon, He and Yolanda Prentis, Debbie and I strolled along the beautiful beach and into the town. We watched a group of guys playing the congas and other percussion instruments for money and also to the delight of a small crowd in a back street. We then stopped at two local watering holes and had drinks....

"Reed..I know a great restaurant further in town that has the best food...Won't you two join us tonight?"said Meek.

''Well uh Meek, I don't know..."I said.

"Come on Reed, it'll make up for the other night when we kind of stood you up, Debbie, talk to your man." said Meek.

"Come on Reed..." said Debbie.

"Oh Alright." I said.

The restaruant was located in the business district amongst a few medium sized office buildings.. It was small, but very fashionable. We went in my car..

"Hey, you guys go in and get a seat...I'll park." I said. Debbie, Meek Rollins and Yolanda Prentis went inside the restaraunt. I parked my car.....As I was getting out I happened to notice out of the corner of my eyes..Carlotta!!!! She was with the tall muscular gentleman I had seen the night before...He had her up against the wall...They were kissing passionately..He was trying to put his hand up her dress, but she was moving it...

"Ummmmm..ohhh..ohhhhh Garvin stop, stop...ouuuuuuu..stop, not here, someone will see us." she said.

"I don't care...I can't take my hands off of you." he moaned...

"Ohhhhh..I'm not sure ,I want you to...but we have to stop..I was supposed to be home an hour ago." she said.

"Just a little more...come on..please....come into my car.." he begged..

"No Garvin..no...ohhhhhhhhhhhh..ouuuuuu..stopppppppp!" she cooed ,while continuing to kiss him. Finally he opened the back door of his car and she slid in. He slid in and closed the door...

"Ummmmmmmph..." he groaned..

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh.." she moaned...

The car began to bounce up and down furiously.....I couldn't bare anymore. I walked away...I felt so sorry for Chet....He was so in love...and so delusional. How could he not see through this woman? It almost made me not want to play his music....Yet his music was written with true, honest and pure emotions.

I entered the restaraunt and sat down with Meek, Yolanda and Debbie.

"Everything alright Reed, you look like you seen a ghost?" said Meek.

"I think I did." I responded.

"Oh Reed..Nothing a little good food can't remedy." said Debbie as she and Yolanda looked at each other in that conspiratorial way that women could look at each other.

I hoped that Garvin and Carlotta had finished their little tryst and were gone by the time we finished dinner. I hadn't even told Meek Rollins what I had seen or Debbie for that matter...This man, this beautiful musician, Chet Cook deserved
more dignity than that.

We finished eating and we continued hanging out...We went to a club that reminded me of Josie's at home...A local band was playing there and everyone was drinking and hanging out.. By the time we got to the parking lot and my car. Garvin and Carlotta were gone...

We dropped Meek and Yolanda off and then we drove to our villa. I picked up my trumpet and played a little bit, While Debbie sat and watched attentively...
While I was finishing up my number..There was a knock on my door.

It was Chet Cook...He looked disheveled and sweaty....like he hadn't been to sleep in days..

"Reed..I need to use your car..I-I-I-mean I need you to drive me somewhere..I've wrecked my car." he said.

''Oh my God...Are you alright ?" asked Debbie.

For the first time he managed a smile....

"I'm not sure." he said.

"Let me get my keys...Deb...I'll be back in a few okay?"I said.

"Sure Reed." she said.

He slid into the passenger side and I got in my rental car and pulled off. He directed me back in town, pass the business section and into a beautiful urban section, There were a few High Rises....One in particular...The Flor Bonita.

"Hey Chet...Where are we going?" I asked...

"I hope we are going to a place where I won't find her." he said.

"Who?" I asked, even though I knew.

I parked in front of the high rise....Chet leaped out....He didn't take the elevator,
he ran up the seven flights of stairs...I followed him, amazed at his energy...
He ran to the middle of the hallway and slammed his palms on the door...
I heard the sounds of many beds squeaking and the joyful noises of several people in the throes of coitial passion...What kind of place was this?

Garvin came to the door...He was shirtless, wearing only boxer shorts...Chet pushed past him and there in the bed, clad only in a bra and panties was Carlotta!

''Oh My God Chet...This isn't what it looks like...Oh..I swear." she yelled in pure panic. I didn't know about her, but it sure looked like something to me!

"What are you doing here? Why did you bring Mr. Nelson? Ohhhhhhh my lorddddddd!" she yelled , jumping up and pulling the bed spread off of the bed and covering herself...

"Carlotta...I-I- can't believe this...I've given you everything...I've been devoted to you...You've agreed to be my wife....and you're , you're cheating on me ...with him??" said Chet.

"Wait a minute, you know this guy?" I said.

"Yes...He is a cook at one of the big eating establishments in town...I've seen how he looked at her when I've brought her in his place of business to eat...I've seen his name on your phone's caller ID many many times" snarled Chet eyeing Carlotta.

"You went in my phone? Oh my God Chet...You don't trust me?" she said.

Was something getting by me here? This was the second time in just a few minutes she had said something stupid. Even Garvin did a double take and looked at her funny. Garvin flexed one of his biceps and then finally he spoke-

"I think you should leave Chet...We have just finished making love for the second time today...I bring sounds out of your lady that you can never bring out of her..She screams louder than your trumpet..HAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA." he laughed.

"Are you bragging Garvin?" sneered Chet!

Chet spit on the floor and looked at Carlotta in red hot anger...

"You WHORE!" he screamed...

"Chet please...I can explain everything." she said.

"What is there to explain?...You lied to me..You said you had to work late at the office. I decided to surprise you with your favorite flowers and some dinner that I prepared.I went to the office and they told me that they didn't call you in and that you hadn't been to work in two days..That you had called out sick. I went to his lousy restaraunt and they gave me the same story..that he had called out sick. I followed you last night...I saw you leaving this place..your hair all messed up..Your clothes wrinkled...You disgust me." he said.

"Lousy Restaurant??...Now wait a minute..that's a five star establishment, one of the best on the island..." protested Garvin.

Both Chet and I gave him a side eye...He managed a weak smile and then shrugged his shoulder.


Carlotta began to cry....Garvin looked at her in disgust, then turned to Chet.

"You can have her Chet...Apparently she's been lying to me as well as you..I don't need her anymore... I've had as much of her as I need anyway..I'm satisfied, AHHhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha." He laughed.

"You dog..you said you loved me." she said in derision and then began crying even more..

"I loved making love to you...I don't know if I said that I loved you." said Garvin.

Chet then pulled a gun out that he had had concealed on him....Before anyone could do anything..He turned and fired! The gunshot sounded like the loudest thing I had ever heard!

Garvin grabbed his side...blood and intestines seemed to be pouring out of the huge hole in him....

"I DO NOT BELIEVE THIS...I HAVE BEEN SHOT! Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh ,ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu."
he said and fell to the floor!

"There..Do you make sounds like that when you make love?" asked Chet as he put his gun away and ran down the hall!

"Chet!, ChettTTTTTTT...come back!" I screamed..but it was too late...He was gone...People came into the hallway, one woman screamed......Carlotta screamed!

I went over to Garvin....He wasn't dead....but he was bleeding profusely...I took a towel and tried to stop the bleeding, but the white towel turned a crimson red pretty fast.

II-
The Emergency wagon got there pretty fast considering....So did the police...I had to give them a report... Meek, Yolanda and Debbie arrived shortly after the authorities did..( I had called Meek after the shooting, told him everything...)

Meek And I gave a statement to the police and followed the ambulance to the hospital. We didn't know Garvin...but he was a fellow human being...Carlotta went to the hospital too....Not with us....Nobody wanted to talk to her or even look at her.

I got up and walked outside of the hospital...It was December, but here it was 90 degree weather..I was hot....Meek Rollins walked outside behind me...

"Wow man, never a dull moment eh?" he laughed...I wasn't in a laughing mood..
Not tonight!

(Conclusion Next)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Carlotta's Song


I was stunned...I had come here to meet the composer of this haunting melody and here he had found me...

"You play that very well...." he said.

"Coming from you, it's composer that is a high compliment indeed!" I said.

"I see your case over there by the bedroom door...You play the trumpet also?" he asked.

"Yes..that's my primary instrument...but the Piano was actually the first instrument I learned to play." I said.

"We have a lot in common Mr. Reed Nelson." he said.

"You know my name?" I said.

"I've heard of you...I've been back to Philly and caught you and your band in Josies a few times
and I saw you in San-Francisco last year." he said.

"Meek told me that you never leave the island." I laughed.

"I travel...I doubt that I'll ever live in Philly again...You from Philly?" he asked.

"No..I'm from North Jersey...but I currently live in Philly...been living there for about three years now." I said.

He looked at Debbie, still in that sheer sundress and a smile creased his face.

"I can certainly see why you selected to stay." he said.

Debbie actually looked like she was blushing at that comment..

"Can I get you guys a wine cooler?? A sandwich or something?" she asked.

"No thank you, I am quite fine." he said very politely.

"May I?" he said , motioning at the Piano.

"Oh yeah, of course." I said.

He sat down and he began to play "Carlotta's Song." on the Piano...It was hauntingly beautiful...just the way I had heard it...At this point..I didn't even want to attempt to play it on my trumpet...He had played it too well..I couldn't do it justice.

"Mr. Cook... Could you write me some beautiful music to play? I can't touch what you did on that song." I said.

"I didn't compose that song...My love for a beautiful woman composed that song...I was just an instrument." he said.

"Now that's what I'm talking about....that was sooooo beautiful." said Debbie.

I smiled. Chet finished playing and said..

"Meek is producing a session at the studio tomorrow....He'll know the direction....Come down and
check me out... I have a few numbers that I'll give you to play...and then I'd like for you to have dinner with Carlotta and I...We just recently got engaged." he said.

"That will work...Pleased to meet you Chet." I said shaking his hand.

''And I you." he said as he left.

''What a nice, polite guy." said Debbie.

"Yeah." I said.

II-

The next day ,Meek Rollins drove up to our villa...Yolanda was sitting up front...She had on some jeans..a large t-shirt and her hair in a ponytail and some sandals... Debbie and I came out and got in.

"How are you guys doing this fine morning?" asked Meek.

"We are fine, how are you?" answered Debbie.

"I'm great..Sorry I wasn't at the bar when you guys got there...something came up...I had to take a call from uh , ruh the record company and I had to leave." he lied.

I smiled....Record company eh? Okayyyyyyyyy, I thought to myself. We drove into the town and went to a little restaurant where we had breakfast....Debbie had a western omelet and bacon, I had my eggs scrambled light with bacon and hash browns and Meek had Steak and eggs..While Yolanda had a fruit cup and Orange Juice...After we ate, we all had tumblers of coffee and were joined by Chet Cook and a very lovely young woman who could only be his Carlotta. I could see why he was so taken with her..She was drop dead gorgeous!

"Heyy everyone....This is my fiance, Carlotta Young." he said.

"Oh Chet, you've met Reed?" asked Meek.

"Yeah Meek, we met yesterday while you were busy with other more pressing business." I said with a slight smile that let Meek know that I knew exactly what he was actually doing or rather who he was doing.

Chet and Carlotta had coffee and then headed to the recording studio.

Debbie and Carlotta sat in the upstairs area, which allowed them to look down into the studio and see the studio floor... An engineer miked Yolanda and the guitarist, bassist, drummer ,percussionist and keyboardist....In a separate room, a saxophone player, trumpeter and trombonist were being equally miked...as Meek and I sat in the recording booth. Meek was a perfectionist...He knew his business and he went about it well...

The session began...Yolanda Prentist cut three sides that day and the band was cooking....At no time did I see Chet Cook...He seemed to have disappeared... I peeped over at Debbie looking at Carlotta's big engagement ring....Chet must have paid a mint for it!

"Okay...take five" said Meek.

Chet appeared finally..He had been sipping on a bottled water. He picked up his trumpet and practiced a few riffs.

Meek called down to him-

"You ready babe?" he called out.

Chet looked up to him and smiled-

"Let's do it Meek" he said.

The red light went on and Chet began to play a beautiful solo...His playing was so fluid...Even though I was a trumpet player myself...I was in awe of his talent...I would love for him to come to Philly and play Josie's one weekend. Perhaps I would talk to him about it.

Chet played a solo on all three cuts that Yolanda had sang on and then played a solo cut of his own...I noticed that Carlotta was gone!! Debbie and Yolanda were now conversing amongst themselves...I walked over to them.

"Where's Carlotta?" I asked.

"She got a phone call..she stepped outside a minute." said Debbie.

I thought nothing of it...I excused myself and went to the small restroom in the studio. It was small and hot and smelly... When I was done..I washed my hands and walked outside... I heard
the sound of a wet kiss and a soft moan.... I peered around the corner and to my shock I saw Carlotta and another man...A tall, muscular man in a corner, kissing hungrilly!

"OHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH, Garvinnnnnnnn....." she moaned...

He had his hand up her dress...and she had his zipper down... She had her hand inside his pants..

"Ohhhhhhhhhhh girl...ohhhhhhhhhhh I'm about to explodeeeeeee...." he moaned as they continued to kiss.

"Garvin, Garvin...we've got to stop..we've got to cool it..He's inside..." she said.

"When are you going to tell him about us and quit this charade?" said Garvin.

"Soon...Soon...I'm waiting for the right time." she said.

"When is the right time? Tell him so we can stop this sneaking and hiding." he said as he squeezed her behind and kissed her some more.

"Ouuuuuuuuuuuuuu...ohhhhh Garvin stop....ouuuuu...I want you sooooo bad..." she said.

"Well for now, make up an excuse and meet me at my place in about an hour." He said.

I didn't want them to know I had seen them so I ducked back into the studio. By now, Meek, Yolanda, Chet and Debbie were in the lobby with the engineer and the sidemen...

"Oh there you are Reed...what did you think?" asked Chet.

"Man, you are fabulous!" I said.

"I have five compositions....Take a few days, look at them, tell me which ones you like." he said.

"Oh, Okay...thanks man." I said.

"Carlotta, my love for her ,inspired all of these tunes...She is my inspiration, my muse.." said Chet!

"Awwww that's so sweet." said both Debbie and Yolanda in unison.

Carlotta walked into the lobby just about then...

''Hey babe, where you been?" asked Chet.

"I had to take that call...it was business...Can you drop me by my place? I have to get my car and run into town...The office called." she said.

"I can run you to the office." said Chet.

"No that's okay..I have a few things I have to take care of at home first." she said.

"Okay....What time are we meeting for dinner and drinks?" asked Chet.

"We can't tonight..I'll be at the office...Maybe tomorrow hon." she said.

"Oh...okay..that office...After we get married and I make a little money, you won't have to work there anymore." said Chet.

"Yeah...uh that'll be.....that'll be very nice." said Carlotta.

"Okay guys...well..It looks like I'll see you tomorrow night then " said Chet as he and Carlotta got in his car and left.

Meek dropped me and Debbie off at our villa...If he was trying to keep what he and Yolanda were doing a secret...It was a little difficult now...both Debbie and I noticed the little looks they were giving each other all day and how she kept rubbing his leg...We both noticed the huge bulge in his shorts that he couldn't conceal.... Debbie said to me when we got back to our villa..

"I know they probably can't wait to be alone...one more minute and they looked like they were about to rip each others clothes off." she laughed.

"Who?" I said feigning ignorance...

"Meek Rollins and Yolanda Prentis....He brought her down here to be away from Philly..he aint slick." said Debbie with a smirk...

I unzippered her dress and helped her slip out of it.....She turned towards me and gave me a warm sloppy kiss and walked away from me...I followed her and pulled her towards me..We embraced and kissed some more..

"You aint slick either you know." said Debbie.

"I aint hidin that I want to just ravish you." I said.

"mmmmmmmmmmm, you smell good Reed" she cooed and we continued to kiss...I couldn't help
thinking about poor Chet..He had no idea that his fiance was stepping out on him. His song took on a whole new meaning now.

"You feel good girl." I said as I walked her to the bed room and stepped out of my trousers and laid her softly across the bed, where we were now in a passionate embrace and kissing and licking each other furiously...

"Ohhhh Reed...don't tease me anymore...let's do thisss..take me...takeeee meee." she nearly screamed as I entered her and we began making sweet slow love on the bed....We hadn't even turned the sheets back...

A few hours later, I got out of bed...Debbie was sleeping soundly....I walked in the living room, picked up my trumpet and began to play "Carlotta's song"...It was beautiful...I had finally played it on the trumpet..maybe , with Chet's permission..I would record it after all.

(To Be Continued...)

Monday, December 13, 2010

The Haunting Melody


I sat in Mabel's Soul Food Joint and enjoyed a tumbler of hot coffee when I heard the most haunting ,yet beautiful melody playing over the radio...It caught my attention in a way that nothing I'd heard in months had caught my attention. It was a trumpet solo. I play the trumpet myself...My name is Reed Nelson.

I called out to Mabel Jenkins, the sexy proprietor as she walked by...She was used to guys calling out to her when she walked by...They usually weren't asking about music. She was my friend, 88's
girlfriend and she knew my girlfriend...so If I was calling her..It wasn't about any Monkey Business.

"What's up Reed?" she asked , smiling.

" That song that just played...who was that? What was it called?" I asked.

"Reed, you askin me? You the jazz musician? That's a Satellite radio feed....You could ask my sister Anita, but I doubt if she would know...She likes it on the R& B and Hip Hop stations...I like it on the Jazz stations in the morning like this...It's soothing." said Mabel....

"You're just full of surprises girl" I laughed.

"My man is a jazz musician...I've learned to appreciate jazz since I 've been going with him." she added.

Just then, the producer, Meek Rollins walked in with the singer, Yolanda Prentis...They sat down and ordered breakfast...The tune was just ending.....I saw Meek smiling as he heard the tune end. I walked over to Meek's table.

"Heyyy Meek, what's good?" I said.

"Heyy Reed...Everything is everything....This here is vocalist Yolanda Prentis." He said pointing to the shapely young woman who was having breakfast with him. He probably didn't know it, but Downtown Rob Brown had already told me about the late night recording session and his late night "session" with Yolanda Prentis the month before...I knew exactly who she was.

"Hey man...that trumpet solo on that song was incredible...You familiar with that cut?" I asked.

"I sure am...I produced it." laughed Meek.

"What?" I said.

"Yeah...A guy named Chet Cook....He's from here, but he lives in Puerto Rico....It's called "Carlotta"...He wrote it about some woman he's strung out on." said Meek.

"He plays well..I'd love to meet him, have him write some stuff for me..perhaps we could play some dates together." I said.

"Funny you should bring that up Reed....I have a little spot down in Puerto Rico on Blue Island..I'm going down there next week..." he said.

"Listen...I'm recording him for a cut on my next CD.....He won't leave Blue Island...You should come down, bring your lady....It'll be an excellent way to celebrate the Christmas Holidays. You can meet him...He's a hell of a nice guy....Plays the Trumpet and the Piano and can compose and arrange his butt off...Maybe he'll write some stuff for you....I might even have some stuff you can do on this album man.." he said.

"Meek...It's a date babe..."I said.

Meek got out a piece of paper and wrote down an address and a phone number and passed it to me..

"When you get there, this is where we'll be staying...There will be a place for you and your lady." he said.

"Okay man..I'm on it" I said.

I rushed over to Debbie's place to give her the news. When I got there , she was talking on the phone to somebody.

"I just want to do something different for Christmas this year....You know...Hey girl, my man is here..I get back with you later okay?" she laughed and hung up. She greeted me with a long sloppy kiss..

"What's up babes?" she laughed.

"I just heard you say that you wanted to do something different for Christmas....How would you like to go with me to Puerto Rico...Blue Island?" I said.

"You got a gig? No thank you..." she said.

"It's not like that....It's not the band..it'll be me and you.....Meek Rollins has a place down there where we can stay...We can bring in Christmas together....Go out on the beach...Good Food , Drinks...the works...It'll be a nice vacation." I said.

"Hmmmmm, yeah? This doesn't involve work of any kind?" she said skeptically.

"I do have a recording date...but you can come with me to the studio...I'm going there to meet a fella...but that's it...I'm not performing live or nothing..." I said.

"Ohhhhhh alrighttttt." she said. She was happy just to be going with me and not being left behind..She told me how horny she gets when I'm on the road...so this was good...I had heard about that Ralph Scallion fella and how he was a known predator on lonely women, whether they had a man or not...I would hate for him to try and tempt Debbie! I'd have to kill him...From what I'd heard..Several people had tried to do just that already.

II-

A week to the day later, Debbie and I arrived in Puerto Rico...We took a short boat ride to the Isla De Vieques , better known as Blue Island and there we arrived at the Villa that Meek was staying in. Meek was wearing shorts and a beautiful print Shirt...He came to greet us with a drink in his hand...

"Reed...Reed...Debbie..How are you? Come on over...Here are the keys to your villa.....There is the bar, when you get yourselves settled and there is the pool over there...Yolanda is already in the water.." he laughed.

Yolanda was wearing a two piece bathing suit that would drive most men out of their minds..I tried hard not to look or to at least not let Debbie see me looking...but she had a stunning body..Downtown Rob Brown was a lucky man , getting some of that. I wondered though just what she was doing here with Meek Rollins....He was only supposed to be just her producer...Was he something more?? I knew very little about his personal life except that he had been married and was now divorced. He was supposedly living with another woman...What had become of her?
That was not my business or my problem.

Debbie and I entered our quarters...It was beautiful!! A beautiful bedroom with the window facing the beach....A living room with a nice huge sofa...a coffee table and a 50 inch flat screen TV
with cable, internet access and a Blu ray DVD player....an IPOD dock and a refrigerator filled with Beer, Wine coolers ,cold cuts and cheese. There was also a Piano in the living room. Meek knew that in addition to playing Trumpet, I also liked to play the piano...

"Well Reed...You Like?" asked Meek peeking in.

"I know I like it." said Debbie, smiling from ear to ear.

" Meek...you hooked us up royally." I said

"Okay...well come join us at the bar." he said as he left, still babysitting his drink.

Debbie and I quickly emptied our suitcases. She put on a sundress that was so sheer,I could practically see through it....She caught me looking at her and she smiled.

"I just want to make sure you keep your eyes on me and not on Yolanda Prentis." she said with a wink.

"You wear something like that and my eyes won't be the only ones on you." I laughed.

We went out to the bar, but neither Meek, nor Yolanda was anywhere in sight!! That was odd...
We had a few drinks and walked around on the beach, but still no sign of either of them.

"Deb...wait for me back at the spot..I'm gonna stop by Meek's place and see what happened." I said.

"Okay Reed" she said as she strolled back to our villa.

Once I got close to Meek's spot I realized that I probably wouldn't be seeing either of them the rest of the day.... The bed was squeaking out of control... and through the thin door I could hear the sound of kissing and moaning....

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh...ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh girl....you just kept teasing me all day in that bathing suit , walking by me like that..ouuuuuuuuuuuuu..."

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh Meeekk....ohhhhhhhhhhhhh.....lay that pipe, ohhhhhhhhh give it to me daddy...ouuuuuuuuuuu.."

"Ohhhhhh baby that's what I'm tryin to doooooo, ohhhhhhhhhh god this is soooo gooood, sooooo damn gooooooooooooooooooood!...

" Ohhhhh Meeeek!"

"Ohhhhhhh baby...ohhhhhhhh..."

I had heard enough...I walked back to our place...Debbie was lying across the bed leafing through
some magazines...I couldn't get that melody out of my head though...I didn't want to attempt it on the trumpet...So I sat down at the Piano and picked it out and then began playing it...Naturally I improvised a bit.

"That's beautiful Reed" said Debbie, who came out of the bedroom and sat next to me on the Piano stool as I played.

I heard a knock on my door just then. Debbie got up.

"That's probably Meek" she said.

I sincerely doubted that, but I didn't say anything! She opened the door and to my surprise was
a medium built brown skinned Black man holding a trumpet.

"Hello...I just happened to be walking by and I heard you playing my song...Carlotta's song....Oh excuse me...my manners...I'm Chet Cook." he said.

(To Be Continued...)