Thursday, June 30, 2011

One Last Swim

Mingo Robinson, was holding court at a local pool...This was usually where he could be found...He didn't appear to work anywhere...Yet he always had a  loaded money clip on him...He wore his swimming trunks and a little  blue sweat shirt that said OLD NAVY on the front... He sat on the diving board and talked endlessly on his Android or His Iphone most of the day...Several young guys with envelopes came to the pool and passed them to another young man...He appeared to be a life guard...He would escort them to his office..
This was where they were paid I suppose.  Another car, a BMW would pull up and two guys would come, get a brief case and quietly leave.  My guess was that the stash house was somewhere else and that payments and drop offs were handled here at the pool...

Clerow, Kool Kat and I sat in a car observing the pool...Several nubile young ladies entered and dove into the water...

''Hi Mingo!!" they said.

Mingo was on the phone...He laughed and waved....The little guy never once approached or acknowledged any of the gentlemen who came into his pool...but it was clear to any and everybody in the neighborhood that he was the boss.

We noticed Ralph Butler entering the Pool area...He was wearing a suit and dark glasses...For him!! Mingo moved..He got off of his phone and climbed down off of the Diving Board...Kool Kat and I walked in also..
We left Clerow at the car...We overheard this much-

"So was it you?" asked Ralph Butler.

"Was it me? No....I didn't have nothin against Short Dawg..." said Mingo...

''Then it had to be Two Guns....What is it...You guys don't trust each other?" said Butler.

"Look..I don't know nothin from nothing." said Mingo..

"Yeah, well my man down at the coroner's office said that it wasn't food poisoning." said Butler...

"What?" asked Mingo.

" was poison...but it wasn't in the food.." he said.

''Well where was it?"asked Mingo.

''Maybe you should ask your only living partner." said Butler.

"Two Guns? Man, he talk tough, but he aint have the guts to take out Short Dawg...He was scared of him." said Mingo...

"Then it was you...." said Butler.

"Nah man, I swear ..It wasn't me...How you even know it was a coulda been a reaction to something he ate before he even got there." said Mingo.

Ralph Butler just laughed...He shook Mingo's hand and embraced him....

"Good Bye Mingo...Heh heh got it alllllllllllllllllllll figured out." he said and laughed and walked away.

He walked right past Me and Kool Kat...Before we could make a move...Mingo put his Android and Iphone
on a small table...He took a swig of his Corona and then dove into the pool...I wondered if he ever swam or did he just promenade all day and pretend that he wasn't a major drug trafficker!

Five minutes hadn't gone by when we heard a scream!  It was a woman's scream!!! Then we heard several people screaming....

''What the hell?" said Kool Kat... We both ran over to the pool...Mingo was face up...floating and very, very dead....

''What's going on here?" I exclaimed...

''He's dead...He's dead, he's dead.." screamed a hysterical young woman...

" Man, he was swimmin..Just swimmin...then he looked like he was drownin or somethin and then...nothing."
said a young man who was swimming near him...

I looked at Kool Kat..

''Come on...Let's get out of here." I said...We both left.

''Damn Kev...We didn't even get a chance to talk to him." said Kool Kat.

"I know...somebody, possibly Two Guns ,possibly someone else made sure of that." I said.


"Kev...I swear...None of us had nothing to do with any murders...We think too highly of you to ever involve you in our business like that." said Roscoe...Kool Kat, Clerow and I were at Fathead's safehouse with Fathead Newton himself and Ralph Mole...

"Kev...if we just wanted to hit that crew ,we wouldn't have involved you at all...And we could have easily have knocked them off...but we didn't have any cause to as of yet..We simply wanted information..Which you gave us...That's all we needed from you..I swear to you man...It wasn't any of us." said Fathead Newton.

I believed him...He didn't have to hide from me something like that...I had established enough of a friendship with both Roscoe and Ralph Mole over the years to know that they wouldn't deceive me like that.

"My Guess Kevin is that our boys don't trust each other." said Roscoe.

"Yeah that's what it looks like to me." said Kool Kat.

''What about this Butler fellow?" I asked,

'"Ralph Butler?? He's an old head, Used to be somewhat of a Major Player.....He goes back to the days when Gus and your Father were young men...He did a ten year bid , got out and was active for a little while, then retired...I don't know what he's doing hanging around." said Fathead Newton.

"He's sort of like their advisor." said Ralph Mole..."A facilitator if you will." he added.

"Kind of like you." said Clerow...

We all busted out in laughter!


We dropped Clerow off and then Kool Kat drove me to my door...Roscoe had paid me and I had given Kool Kat and Clerow their end....

"Thanks man....give Sean, Tom and Lockpick their end...This was easy work." I said.

"You think Two Guns is behind this Kev?  He don't seem to have the brains or the heart for this type of job."
said Kool Kat.

"He wouldn't have to..All he'd need to do is hire a good hitman who works with poisons." I said.

"Man that sounds like a CIA...Day of the jackel type cat...A rusty dusty guy Like Two Guns would use a gun....He just isn't that sophisticated." said Kool Kat.

He was right! But somebody was....And somebody had just made Two Guns..The king of a large amount of real estate in our area...I didn't have a clue, but I was going to find one....

(Conclusion Next)

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Last Good Meal

Sepia and I were eating a fine meal at Dollar Bill's joint..."Bottom of The C" .  Ralph Scallion had fixed his world famous Seafood Jambalaya for her...It was hot and steamy and Sepia was really enjoying it...I had Jambalaya with Chicken and sweet Italian sausage.. It was equally hot and steamy....Very, Very tasty...As cooks went...It was an even toss up of who was the better cook, Ralph Scallion or Mabel Jenkins...Both knew their way around the kitchen!  Mabel was the nicer person of the two and not bad on the eyes at all!
Ralph, a known flirt and lothario could still rattle them pots and pans...I had eaten both of their cuisine and was just blessed to know them both!

"Kevin, this is exquisite." said Sepia..

"It is good....Ralph really put his foot in this food tonight." I said.

"Glad you likes." Laughed Ralph...The chef ...who overheard us..

"Oh've got to give me this recipe.." said Sepia...

"Can't do that Sepia...As much as I'd like to...You're Mabel's cousin....I can't have my chief rival going one up on me." he joked.

Even I knew that he didn't care...Everybody except Mabel's boyfriend, musician, "88" knew that Ralph had a thing for Mabel...My wife even knew....If Mabel offered to give Ralph some, He'd gladly turn over both recipes...

What neither my wife or Ralph Scallion could know is that although I was enjoying a nice carefree night out with my wife...I was actually working on a case...Marco Jervay, Who wasn't my client, but an informant of note had told me that three of the city's top and newest drug kingpins were meeting at this very restaurant tonight to discuss "business."  My client was actually Roscoe....Fathead Newton's number two man and enforcer...I kind of owed him a favor for his help in the Little Ricky Monday/Joe Dixon case so , as much as I didn't like the idea of working for a gangster like Fathead Newton, here I was observing...

Roscoe assured me that all he wanted was information....Nothing more from me...He and I both had already cleared it with Dollar Bill and he had arranged for the three young guns, Mingo Robinson, Bobby "Short Dawg" Low and "Two Guns" Sam Clemmons to sit at the largest table in the middle.  Long before the three arrived...Sean Jackson had planted micro-cameras in several spots and Peeping Tom and Lockpick Johnson had planted their micro listening devices at the table...

The three of them were in a van three blocks away recording and listening to everything being said by this trio.This looked as if it would be an easy afternoon of work...None of these three knew me at all them, Sepia and I were just another young African-American couple enjoying a good meal..just like they were...
A fourth man...An older guy named Ralph Butler joined them...He acted as if he was chairing the meeting between them.

"Damn, this is some good grub baby." said Two Guns to no one in particular...He was chowing down, slurping and smacking...

Mingo Robinson just looked at him and shook his head....

''Aint you got no manners? Damn man you eat like a little kid." he said.

"Hey watch your mouth mane..." said Two Guns, who then broke into laughter...The entire table nervously broke into laughter..

"Pass me the rolls...This grub is slammin...You picked a classy joint Short Dawg." said Mingo...

Short Dawg...the only one who wasn't gabbing smiled and continued to eat his food slowly and deliberately...

"Well while we chewin, let's chat." said Ralph Butler, who reminded me a lot of Fathead's main man, Ralph Mole.

"Listen...We have all taken over a considerable amount of real estate....The only pieces we don't have is what Fathead Newton has in the West, The Diaz Brothers in Northern Liberties and maybe Ling Chou in Chinatown.." Said Mingo Robinson...

"The Diaz Brothers are weak...Most of their leadership is in the Slams and Minolo Diaz is ripe to get hit..Fathead Newton on the other hand is pretty strong...He's got a lot of soldiers...But if we take down the Diaz Brothers and hit Ling Chou...We would be big enough and bad enough to take him on." said Two Guns.

"Listen...If we organize and pool our resources..We bring in a solid hitter or two and we take Fathead, his enforcer, Roscoe and Ralph Mole down...We subsequently hit Ling Chou and Minolo Diaz...all in the same night...When the smoke clears...Whoever is left has to deal with us three and we just divide it up amongst us
like we been doing.." said Short Dawg...Obviously the leader and the smartest, possibly most deadly of the three.

I had enough recorded to turn this in and have all three of these simpletons indicted on conspiracy to commit murder charges...This probably was not what Roscoe had in mind.


Sepia excused herself and went to the ladies room... I called the van with my android...

"Yo what's up?" I said.

" should hear what they talkin about...Hittin Fathead, Roscoe, Ralph Mole, Ling Chou and Minolo
Diaz all in one night." said Sean Jackson.

"Wow...Creatin a whole new world order huh?" I laughed.

"You sure you wanna turn this in to Roscoe?" asked Sean...

"I know...This might just lead to more murders." I said.

"Yeah, but he's payin us well." said Sean.

''Always the moral compass huh Sean?"I said as we both laughed...

Something was amiss at that table....Short Dawg looked like he was turning blue...(If that was possible) He grabbed his neck...Sweat was running down his face profusely...He appeared to be choking...Mingo, Two Guns and Ralph Butler leaped from their chairs...a crowd of people were turning and looking....Short Dawg fell out of his chair on the floor..He kicked his legs up and then dropped them....He was very still...His eyes were wide open...but they no longer had a reflection....He was dead!!!

Sepia was returning from the restroom...Ralph Scallion and Dollar Bill went running towards the table...

"What the hell happened?" screamed Dollar Bill.

"He was fine....Then he started choking..." said Mingo...

Two Guns leaped out of his seat....

"What the hell kinda joint is this?" he screamed...

"Calm down ,Calm down...Call an ambulance" said Ralph Butler...

"For what? He's dead." said Mingo Robinson....

I paid my bill and Sepia and I walked to my car....

"You think it was food poisoning?" asked my wife.

"I hope not...We ate there too tonight." I said.

Hmmmmm, a meeting between three Top gangsters, major players all, A plot to wipe out the competition and before a phone call could be made...One of the players is no longer in the game....This looked to be bigger than it appeared.

(To Be Continued...)

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Star Crossed Eyes

So there you are...
you want to play those foolish game..
and everything you do..
just like everything you say
sounds the same.../

And here we both are...
you want to say such foolish things
You play me for a fool
and the pain of what you do...
is just so lame...
with such a bittersweat sting...

You need a bright shining light
to open up your
star crossed eyes
pretty girl...
baby open up those eyes..
love is not forever, love....
in a twinkling of an eye...
I might walk away.../

So where are we now?
where are we now love?
Is there progress or is there pain?
I know what people say
about no pain, no gain..
but here I stand../

The ball's in your court...
it's all in your hands...
all in your hands girl..
it's decision time...
it's time you made up your mind...
don't you think it's high time?

because I don't want to waste my time..
If all you want to be
Is just a friend of mine...
So what do you say?
What do you say.....
Don't keep me waiting all day.../

You need a bright shining light
to open up your
star crossed eyes
pretty girl...
baby open up those eyes..
love is not forever, love....
in a twinkling of an eye...
I might walk away.../

You need a bright shining light
to open up your
star crossed eyes
pretty girl...
 I want to be your man , baby!

baby open up those eyes..
And open up those thighs baby...
love is not forever, love....
in a twinkling of an eye...
I might walk away.../

Please say something to make me stay...

Friday, June 24, 2011

Gotta Trust Somebody

As Roscoe drove towards the address I gave him....I loaded my .38 smokeless.....I had a .22 that I had taken off of the now deceased Eddie "Paycheck" Green...that was already loaded...Kool Kat had that big .44
magnum that he kept in his suit jacket's tailored inside pocket...I knew that his was loaded...and god only knows what or how much Roscoe was packing...

I was convinced I had the two most dangerous men in Philly at my back...So I wasn't the least bit worried about Joe Dixon...a man I had heard about but had never met...In my time I had dealt with some pretty heavy hitters myself, such as Tom Collins, Malik Lockjohn , Junkyard Doggie....No slouches....but something told me that this guy..This Joe Dixon.....This man with no flashy nickname was different!.

We parked the car three blocks away from the house...Then we set up...Just like we always did...Roscoe to the rear.....Kool Kat ahead of me and me in the middle...There was a light on in the Apartment complex and
Larry Devol's Jaguar was sitting in the driveway....but something was wrong....I could sense it....The neighborhood was eerily quiet!...

I was the only one who knew what Larry Devol looked like, so I decided to approach the house...I walked quietly towards the car....There was someone in the car....At the wheel!!! What? Was it Larry??? Why was he at the wheel of the car?? Was he waiting for Felicia?? Were they planning to run again??

I walked up to the car and there was Larry Devol!!!!  He had a nice neat hole in his forehead and a stream of warm blood running down his face....He was very ,very dead!!!!  I heard a scream from inside the apartment and the sound of glass breaking.....Just as I started to head for the door...I heard a voice...

"Easy....Easy....Drop that heater Kevin.......Drop it and you won't get hurt."  came the familiar voice...It was
Donald Otis....He was smiling and he had that toothy grin on his face...He was holding a .45 on me...

"What the hell?" I said.

"I'm sorry Kevin....Joe Dixon paid me more for information.......and well, when a guy like Joe Dixon asks you somethin...You don't refuse him..." he laughed...."Heh Heh heh..just charge it to the game baby..." he said..

Another guy , also with a gun drawn on me showed up....

"Payton...Take his heater off of him,," said Donald...

"You lousy creep..."I said.

''Hey Kev,I'm sorry...We are in a recession." said Donald Otis..."And I aint workin steady." he added.

"Hey man, this guy is a killer...You think he's gonna leave you around to tell that he killed Larry Devol?" I said.

"Oh He didn't kill Devol...I did that...That was a little payback." he laughed.

"That story you told me in Josies was a lie wasn't it?" I said.

"Kinda sorta...Larry owed me money for some work I done on his of his cars..He got two...Can you believe that? Much money as he and that broad got?? He had been duckin me...He won't duck me no more." laughed Donald Otis.

"So you killed him over some money owed on a car?" I asked.

"Hey man, we in a recession...and I aint been workin steady." he said with a laugh.

"And so he's in there with the girl?" I asked.

"Yup!  My guy "Teaspoon" Jefferson is at her Mother and sister's her brother there too...If she refuses to give up the dough...Well ,oh well..then they all get whacked." he laughed.

"And you think Joe Dixon is gonna break you and your boys off a piece of that 5 million? If that much is even left over?? You're nuts..He'll kill all of us...Donald...Don't be a fool." I pleaded.

"Well Kev...ya gotta trust stop yakkin and drop that heater." he said, no longer laughing...

This wasn't going to go down like this...I spun around, dropped down and rolled behind another car and fired two times , point blank at Donald Otis...both of my shots hit him in his chest....He screamed-

"ARGHHHHHHHHHH!!!! I don't believe it....I BEEN SHOT!!! ARGGGGHHH!!!" and fired his gun up into the air two times and then fell to the ground...The man named Peyton fired at me...I dodged behind the car and returned his fire..He fired again...I fired again... I saw him run  and then I heard a loud bang!...Peyton pitched forward and fell to the ground....It was Kool Kat...he had dropped him with that big gun of his.....

Just then, I heard another scream and Felicia came to the door...A tall dark skinned man was with her..He looked like the personification of pure evil...It was none other than Joe Dixon....

"Sooooo, at last we meet...You must be Kevin......I've heard all about you....Heard you took down some heavy hitters over the years...Heard you were as good as me...Heh heh heh...I doubt that...If you were you would've found these two first." he laughed, holding the .45 to Felicia's head...

"Well you know Joe...You can't win them all , but I am pleased to make your acquaintance." I said sarcastically...

"Ohhh, a real smart alec eh?  I like that...When I kill you, it'll make me feel even better." he said chillingly.

"Oh, and you think I'm going to just let you kill me?" I asked with a cold smile.

"I'm not going to go back and forth with you on this.." he said ,suddenly getting serious.

"You might get surprised." I said.

"I don't get surprised too often." He bantered..He looked over and saw Kool Kat and smiled.

"Oh and I see you know Walter.....It's been a long time Kool Kat." he laughed.

"Not long enough." said Kool Kat staring at him menacingly.

"Felicia here is going to lead me to that money...She's a little over four million and some change left...and if she doesn't...The man I have at her mother's house...will kill her mother and her sister and her brother...Isn't that right Felicia?" he laughed...

"Yessssss...Yessssss...Oh my killed Larrryy...You killled Laryyyyyyyyyyyyyyy...Oh my gooddddddddddddd..." she cried...

"HUSH UP!" he snapped!

He slapped her with the gun butt...Blood trickled from her head...Her lip was already bleeding ...I lunged toward her , but Kool Kat grabbed me...

"Easy Kev...he'll kill us all." said the Big Man , who was uncharacteristically cautious...

"That's right Walter, tell him..You know me... I'm not like this cheap muscle I hired to watch the outside for the night....Heh-Heh-Heh, I'm the real thing." he laughed...

"You're a psychopath!" I spat.

"And you got a smart mouth...Real smart for a dead man." he laughed...

"Real sure of yourself aren't you?" I snapped.

"They say you gotta trust somebody...I don't trust much, but I trust my .45 over your  .38 smokeless tonight."he said.

My anger was rising and it was getting the best of my common sense..but I didn't dare draw my weapon...This guy was good and fast....

"Okay...drop your weapons, both of you and I'm not going to ask you twice...Drop em." he barked...

"If we drop our guns you'll just shoot us." I said.

"True...Guess you really are out of luck both ways huh?" he laughed.

Just then a rock sailed past his head and broke the window! Glass splattered everywhere...His gaze was momentarily aborted from us!!

"What the hell?" he said.. That was all the break I needed!!!

''Felicia...get low baby!" I screamed!...

She ducked and I unloaded my .38 smokeless into him..Kool Kat did likewise with his .44 magnum and Roscoe , the person who had thrown the rock unloaded his .45 into Joe Dixon's torso also...Joe Dixon jerked violently, tossed his gun into the air and spun around like a top before falling up against the front door.....Blood poured out of his torso and he began to cough up blood....

"Uggghhhhh....ohhhhhhh.ouuuuuuuuuuuuuuuuu...ohhhhh LAWDDDDDDDDDDDDDD...You little bastard, you shot me...OHHHHHHHHHH
Well...Wellllllll WELL...oh lawddd! ...cough...cough...I'll be damned..ohhhhh...I don't believe it......I've been shott!...Ohhh lawdddd.. and it hurts like hell....ohhhhh good lawdd...ohhhhh...cough,cough! I've been shot...I've been shot...I'm alllll shot to hell...ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh" he said as he pitched forward face down and fell down the steps and on to the pavement... He , like Larry Devol, Donald Otis and Peyton King was quite dead....a pool of blood was running into the street... It seemed a little anti-climatic for someone with his reputation to be taken out so casually...

I stared at his dead body and I shook my head-

"Gee Joe...You're out of five million dollars and you're filled full of lead for your troubles....Not your night,eh?" I said and shook my head...His body twitched one last time, then was perfectly still...He was definitely dead!

"Ha..Ha....Kool Kat, we got that bastard! He had all that mouth, but we got him!" laughed Roscoe as he and Kool Kat high fived each other.. You would've thought they scored the winning touchdown in the Superbowl...I just looked at both of them and shook my head...I ran over to Felicia and held her in my arms....

"You alright baby?" I said...She was crying uncontrollably now...

"Who are you? " she asked as I held her...She was a very pretty woman with long hair and beautiful cocoa colored brown skin..I could see how Johnny Boy could fall so head over heels with her, Larry Devol too..She had a very warm and curvaceous figure.

 I'm a friend of Johnny Boy's.....Larry shot him the other night...I've been trying to find you."I said.  She held me tight and sobbed uncontrollably for a few minutes.

"Larry killed Johnny?" she asked.

"No....He's alright...He's someplace safe....He was worried about you..he knew that these guys were coming after you." I said.

"My family is in danger.." she said.

"No , I'm going to take care of that.."I said.

"Good Old Johnny...He's the only one who ever really loved me...I've treated him so badly...."she said.

"Well you can talk to him about that....but right now...We gotta go save your family.." I said.

"Kev...It's four guys here dead...This gotta be cleaned up." said Kool Kat.

"Let the city clean it up and figure it out..." I said.

"Nah... We can't leave this many bodies around..I'm calling my guys...We got this Kev. They'll bring body bags and bleach and other things..We'll wash the streets down and dispose of this mess...I'm glad it's late at night and not too many people out...Plus ,this aint the type of neighborhood where folks run they mouth to the po-po anyway...Thank goodness for that." said Roscoe.

"Okay....Thanks ,I guess." I said...I didn't have time to argue...I figured Kool Kat and I could handle one guy...

"Don't mention it Kev...You alright with me...I got this...You and Kool go on and do ya thing...If it's just one dude..I know you two can handle that." he said..
The three of us, Felicia,Kool Kat and I took Roscoe's car...He would wait for his associates and ride back with them...Kool Kat would return his car the next day.


Felicia led us to her mother's house....It was unfortunately in the middle of the block and in West Philly. I needed a diversion....I had Kool Kat call inside the house...While I went around the back driveway..I climbed up on the back porch and had a clear view of what was going on...Her Mother and her brother were in the living room on the couch, while the man, a tall thin man had a gun on Felicia's sister and was on the phone..

"Who is this?" asked the man.

"Yo...Who is this?" asked Kool Kat..

"We can't talk to you now?" said the man and hung up...

The phone rang again...The gunman now angrily barked to Felicia's sister-

"Whoever that is,,,Get them off the damn phone..I'm expectin a call...A call that determines whether you live or not.." he barked.. By now I had slid the window up and had slipped into the house...

"Drop it !" I said...

"Who are you?" he said...

"Don't worry about who I am, just drop your damn gun." I said..

He foolishly turned and aimed and fired at me...He missed...I didn't!
He fell to the floor...

"Awwwwww shot me in my hurts, ohhhhhh it hurts...arrrrrrrrrrrrgghhhhhhhhhhhh..." He screamed.

I opened the door and let Kool Kat in...Felicia ran to her family, they were all sobbing... I took his gun off of him...He was holding his leg and wimpering like a baby..

''Don't shoot me no more...I won't do nothin...Call an ambulance..arrrrrrrghhhhh, it hurts...I aint never been shot before..argggggggggggh.." he wailed.

Kool Kat looked at him with disdain and pure disgust, then he looked at me...only half joking..

"Kev, let me kill him, just so I don't have to listen to him wailing..." he said.

''Amen to that...If you won't ,give me the gun,I'll do it." said Felicia's brother, who like Kool Kat was disgusted by the wailing and carrying on of the would be gangsta.

Felicia hugged me and gave me a long sloppy kiss in the lips...

"Thank you...Whoever you are..Thank you, I owe you my life...." she said.

" owe Johnny Boy your life...When you see him...Thank him." I said..

"Oh I will, I will.." she said with a sweet smile.

I walked outside into the cool night....

"Kool the police.." I said.

"Way ahead of you Kev...They on they way." he exclaimed..

"I guess that's it." I said...

"We goin home bruh?" laughed Kool Kat...

"Yeah...We goin home..." I said.

The Big man smiled....

"Get in the car Kev." he said.

I got in the passenger side and Kool Kat drove me to my door..He had called Sepia ahead of time and she was waiting for me...She looked a bit concerned..Kool Kat sensed her concern....

"He'll be alright Sepia...He's had a longgg night. Be  Easy Kev." laughed the big man as Sepia helped me into my home.

He looked at me and smiled , Sepia smiled too and waved as Kool Kat started the car.

"Thanks Walter, Thanks for lookin after my honey." she said.

"He looks after me." he laughed and drove off into the Philadelphia night.


I don't know and don't want to know what Roscoe's guys did , but nobody has ever found the bodies of Joe Dixon, Donald Otis ,Larry Devol and  Peyton King... and to my knowledge ...nobody misses them either! The guy I shot , Randy "Teaspoon" Jefferson, a local hood spilled his guts...He told more than he had to tell about the entire deal and this led to the FBI picking Little Ricky Monday up in Atlantic City for conspiracy to commit murder!  They had my film which shows Joe Dixon killing Eddie Green and Vinnie Carrol...but they can't find Joe Dixon...He's still wanted for murder!!....I doubt that they will ever find him to bring him to trial! He's being judged in a higher court!!!...

Felicia and Johnny Boy reconciled and he gave me 1.5 million dollars for my troubles ,which I divided amongst Kool Kat, Roscoe, Lockpick Johnson, Peeping Tom, Clerow ,Sean Jackson and Robert Foxworth.
We all made out pretty good.

Felicia and Johnny Boy got married eventually and they moved out of Philly with the rest of that money...and as for Little Ricky Monday...He's awaiting trial on a number of charges...Seems like he's charged with something new everyday...

Sepia and I lie in bed some time later just basking in each other and the quietness...

''Ummmm this feels nice."she says...

"Yes it does." I said.

"We should stay in bed all the time." she said.

"Ya think?" I said and arched my eyebrow...

"'s the only place where you can't run into anybody you know and get dragged into a caper." she said with a smile...

"I'll drink to that." I said with a smile.

(For Lux)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Along Came Joe!

I sat in Josie's two days later and listened to the worst comedian I had ever heard in my life...He was opening for Downtown Rob Brown's quintet!   There couldn't have been a more unfunny guy....You know a comedian isn't funny when the hecklers in the crowd get more laughs...Gus was over behind the bar fuming...I found that funnier than this guy and I wished mightily that Downtown Rob Brown's set would begin and my contact, A guy named Donald Otis would show up!....

The boos and heckles from the crowd continued and finally the comedian yelled out-

"You stupid ghetto nigguhs...Maybe if you read a book you'd understand my humor.." he said.

"Yeah?? Well maybe if you had some humor, we'd understand why we paid money to see you." came a reply... I had to admit...That got more laughs than anything this comedian had said all night.

My search for Larry Devol and Felicia Phenell had turned up nothing.  The address that Johnny Boy had given me was naturally empty by the time ,Clerow, Kool Kat and myself had gotten there...Using Sean Jackson, Lockpick Johnson, Peeping Tom and even Donald Smooth...We turned the city upside down looking for them the past 48 hours... Attorney Robert Foxworth's guy in records gave me the book on Larry Devol....He had one conviction for manslaughter and had done five years in the state pen...Other than that, no other arrests or convictions...He had worked at various jobs, Meat cutter, Short order cook, auto mechanic, et al..and sometimes as muscle for local loan sharks....Nothing big time about him...Felicia hadn't worked since they had come across the windfall of money...

They moved around a lot...My guess was...that if they were back in Philly...There wasn't much money left...Though the place they had just left was in a very nice, well to do neighborhood...A gated community!!! Maybe there was still some of that money left....Larry had been driving a 2012 Jaguar when I saw him!

To make matters worse, Eddie "Paycheck"Green was out of jail....Vinnie Carrol had bailed him out and the two of them were turning the city upside down looking for Johnny Boy and me probably....Sooner or later ,I figured they might get lucky...Just like people talked to me...I'm sure somebody might talk to them...I had to move quick!

My Android went off just then.....I got up and walked outside...It was Kool Kat!

"What's up man?" I said.

"We got problems Kev." he said.

"Tell me something I don't know." I said.

"Eddie "paycheck" Green and Vinnie Carroll are dead!" he said.

''WHAT???? How??? Who?" I asked.   I mean , to me ,this made things easier...but somehow, the way Kool Kat was talking...I sensed it didn't.

"They were gunned down in their hotel room.... The cops don't know it...but we got the whole thing on videotape...It was a guy named Joe...Joe Dixon...I know him...a real heavy cat out of Atlantic City....My guess is...He works for Little Ricky Monday." said Kool Kat.

"Wait a minute..Wait a minute...put a quarter in the meter and park it right there...What happened?" I asked.

"He knocked on the door and they opened it and they were surprised to see him....He told them that Little Ricky had been waiting for the chance to get back at them for kidnapping him....Of course they denied it and he shot and killed Vinnie Carrol right on the spot...Eddie Green denied everything, said that Johnny Boy was responsible..Johnny Boy and Frank "The Boss" Lexington and that that was why they clipped him two years ago as a favor to Little Ricky....Joe laughed and asked where Johnny Boy was and of course where the money was..Eddie told him that Johnny's old girl and some guy named Larry Devol stole the money and that he and Vinnie had been trying to find them...He told them that Johnny Boy ,with some help had gotten away from them...Joe just laughed and shot him dead right there.." said Kool Kat.

"Oh so Little Ricky has entered the game now huh?   This is interesting.." I said.

"I think Little Ricky somehow discovered that these guys kidnapped him two years ago." said Kool Kat.

"But How? Johnny Boy assured me that he didn't know." I said.

"What has Gus been tellin us since we was kids Kev??...No matter what you do, somebody somewhere knows about it and for the right price...Will talk about it.  They had Little Ricky for a month..They had to keep him somewhere...Had to buy food for him..had to have more help than just the three of them...Plus "The Boss" Lexington's people knew about it...Any one of them could have spilled the beans on them after it happened..
But anyway....Little Ricky wants payback...That's why he brought in his "cleaner" said Kool Kat.

"His what?" I asked.

"His "cleaner"...Joe Dixon don't leave living witnesses...Just like he killed Paycheck and Vinnie...He will keep killing until he has that money...That's how he rolls,...He's a ruthless son of a bitch Kev." said Kool Kat.

"You and him got history?" I asked.

"Yeah...Back when I worked for Chris Thompson and when I worked for Fathead....Little Ricky tried to make a move on both of them....He and I nearly butted heads... He nearly killed Roscoe too..Roscoe hates him with a passion...but we respect him...He's lethal as they come man." said Kool Kat.

"Hmmm, I see...." I said.

"Where you at man?" he asked,

"I'm at Josies.." I said.

"Sit tight...Me and Roscoe are comin down there." he said.

"Roscoe?? Fathead's man?" I asked.

"Kev...Joe Dixon is kind of a deadlier version of you..He's smart and he's ruthless..He aint no joke....He's killed enough guys to fill up a chinese cemetary...When Big Daddy and Little Ricky had that war back in 2004.  Big Daddy sent a crew of high price hitters after Little Ricky....Joe Dixon put every last one of em down by himself....Big Daddy hired that psychopath Malik Lockjohn and he and Joe nearly killed each other.
That was the only thing that cooled the war off." said Kool Kat.

"Ohhh yeah, Malik Lockjohn...I knew him...He come up against me...He's taking a dirt nap now." I laughed.

"Yeah, I heard you handled him....but Joe Dixon is just as lethal....This calls for heavy duty action...Sit tight, we on our way." said the Big Man...

"Okay...I'll be right here." I said.

I got ready to walk inside when the guy I was waiting for walked up to me..

"Hi ya Kevin.." he laughed...

I pulled out a wad of bucks and peeled off a few, then I placed them in the palm of his hand.

"I like that...A guy that takes care of business first." said Donald Otis.

"Let's Go Inside." I said.

By  now the bad comedian was off and Downtown Rob Brown was playing...

Donald Otis was short, fat ,light skinned with Freckles and a short cropped haircut...He dressed immaculately and had a huge pinky ring....He had heard that I was looking for Larry Devol and had sent word that he knew where he could be found.

"Larry and his girl come in town...They rent a place for a few months , then they roll to New York, Where he has people and sometimes other places...but they always come back here." he said.

"Why?" I asked.

"His girl gets homesick....Her mother lives here in Philly.." said Donald.

"You know he shot a man a few nights ago?" I asked.

"I heard........Guy used to go with his girl...The guy done disapeared..He must be scared..." said Donald.

"Anyway...You know where they are?" I asked.

"Sure do....I rented em the place." he said.

"So why are you givin him up?" I asked.

"Because I don't like him....Don't like the way he treats that girl....Granted, she is kind of stuck up and shallow, but I don't hold with nobody slappin no broad around like he do sometimes.." said Donald Otis.

"I can dig it....Does Larry flash a lot of cash?" I asked.

"Not really....I mean, I know he must have some because he aint worked in two or three years and he always keep a new car and always be wearin some nice clothes..and he and that girl have been eating out at some pretty pricey joints when I did see them." said Donald...

"Okay, write the address down on this piece of paper." I said and handed it to him..He did and I peeled off a couple of more bills and gave them to him.

"Gus...his drinks are on me." I said...Gus nodded..

"Kevin, you're alright with me." he said.

"Oh and Donald....We never had this conversation and don't tell anybody else where he is." I added.

"That's cool by me Kev" he said and he raised his glass to me.

Kool Kat walked in and motioned me to him....

" We got both murders on tape...Peeping Tom and Lockpick Johnson went in there and got our bugging equipment out after the police left...Sean Jackson has everything...He's waitin on you to call and tell him what to do with it." said Kool Kat.

"Well we certainly don't want Joe Dixon in the mix...So call him...Tell him to turn it into Lt.Sissy Van Buren from Homicide...I know where Devol and that girl are holed up..We gotta move and move quick...Let the cops handle Joe Dixon." I said.

"Okay..I'll call Sean.." said Kool Kat.

"Where is Roscoe?" I asked.

"He's outside , in the car." said Kool Kat.

"Okay..Come on...Let's wrap this up." I said.

Kool Kat and I got in Roscoe's car and pulled off... This should have been easy....Things just never are!

(Conclusion Next)

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Anything For The Money

The Last time I came to this very hospital to see a friend...namely, Bone Hampton...I ran into two tough customers....This time...I wasn't taking any chances...I had Clerow downstairs in the car with photos of both Eddie "Paycheck"Green and Vincent "Vinnie" Carrol...Two nasty nasty pieces of business who I'm sure were in town and at this moment looking for Johnny Boy, Felicia and Larry Devol.

To back track...In the 24 hours since Sepia and I had visited Johnny Boy I had been busy....Between visits to my good friend, Homicide Lt. Sissy Van Buren , My other friend, Attorney Robert Foxworth and his contact in public records...I had gotten the entire "book on Eddie "Paycheck" Green and Vinnie Carrol.  Both men had lengthy criminal records as I suspected in both Philly and New Jersey.. They were primarily heist guys...Guys who robbed banks, hit jewelry stores, et al...Vinnie Carrol was what was known as a "Box man", a safe cracker.  These were two guys who would do anything for the money!

I had photos of them, their last known addresses...Everything!  Clerow, Lockpick Johnson ,Kool Kat and I even went to the Mermaid Club and Ciros and asked around about them...They were well known to the street people and were in and out of Philadelphia and Camden quite a bit...They lived in New Jersey and were known to hire themselves out as muscle to whoever was asking...provided that whoever was asking could pay their price.

I had heard that Frank "The Boss" Lexington had angered the New York boys over a number of things and was about to be indicted on several Federal rico predicates...Despite the fact that he had helped set up the kidnapping of Little Ricky Monday and was due his share...Eddie "Paycheck" Green and Vinnie Carroll knocked him off as a favor to somebody in New York, not because he had foolishly left the money with Johnny Boy, who had now lost it...(Although that didn't help. ) Amazing what you can get from the street, isn't it?

People were willing to talk to me who wouldn't talk to the police...Which is why I often was one step ahead of the cops on a case..


I entered Johnny Boy's room quietly....He was standing by the window with his back turned to me, which seemed odd...

" ready?" I asked...He didn't answer...He looked like he was shaking...Just then, my Android went off...It was Clerow...

"Kev..We got company.....Both of them guys ....Don't worry though...I got one of em...but the other one is in the hospital somewhere." he said.

By the time he said that...I already knew....Eddie "Paycheck" Green stepped out from behind the curtain...He had a pistol with a home-made silencer on it aimed at Johnny Boy's side and another gun...a .22 aimed at me.

"I don't know who you are friend...but my man here aint goin nowhere...feel me? At least not with you...You're in the wrong place and definitely at the wrong time." he laughed.

"You sure of that Eddie?" I said with a smile...

"How do you know my name? Who are you?" he snarled....

''It aint important who I am...I'm just going to slip out of here.." I said..

"You aint going no where." he said..

"Yeah I am.." I said as I slipped out the door quietly... I knew he wouldn't shoot Johnny Boy...He needed him and he didn't want a big disturbance in that hospital... As I slipped out, I looked to my side and smiled..

''Hey you, come back in here!" he snarled as he marched Johnny Boy out of the door, holding one gun on him and aiming another gun at me.....Shame he didn't see the hulking Kool Kat standing just outside the door..Kool Kat cold cocked him so hard, he literally left the floor and slammed into the wall....He was out for the night!  Out like a light!

''Dayummm man...You knocked him the hell out!!" laughed Johnny Boy....

I took both guns and a knife off of him...Kool Kat dragged him into the hospital room and tied him up and gagged him....Then we stuffed him in the closet.

"Johnny Boy...This is my friend, Walter Jones...We call him "Kool Kat" I said.

"He's a damn good friend to have." said Johnny Boy..

"Come on...Let's go..." I said...

I walked outside to the car....Clerow was grinning like a cheshire cat and had a big nasty .45 pointed to the square of the back of Vinnie Carrol...I looked at him and smiled..

"You must be Vinnie Carrol." I said with a smile....The gangster was not too happy..

"Who the hell are you and how do you know my name?" he snapped..

"Who am I?  I'm a friend of a friend." I laughed...Clerow cocked his pistol and laughed did Kool Kat.

Vinnie looked at Johnny Boy...

"So you got muscle huh? You nickel and dime punk...I never wanted you involved period...You lead us down here into a trap huh?" he snarled..

"No...I tried to get the money from Larry and he shot me man..look at my bandages...I figured you two might still be sore at me and try to get the information from me and then kill me too." said Johnny Boy..

''You figured right punk." he snarled.

" Well Vinnie boy, there won't be any killing...Johnny Boy is a friend of mine.." I said.

"You, whoever you are don't know who we are and how connected we are...You're in big trouble...Where is Eddie?" he snapped..

"Eddie? He's asleep...Like you're going to be." I said and then slugged him in his stomach!  He groaned and then folded over ....Then Kool Kat cold cocked him and knocked him unconscious!  We tied him up and took him around to the loading dock where they dumped the trash and laid him there...We then put Johnny Boy in the rental car and pulled off!

"Johnny Boy..This is my friend...Clerow...."I said.

"Pleased to meet you man...Kev...When they wake up they're going to be mad as hell...You shoulda killed them or at best, called the police." said Johnny Boy.

We all looked at him-

"Let's get something straight Johnny Boy...We don't kill the police for what? They aint done nothin...At least not yet....Yeah they'll wake up and be pissed off...but they don't know any of us from adam's housecat....They'll just be beat up and back at square one." I said.

"They know me Kev...You think they just gonna let this go?" said Johnny Boy.

"Oh I know they aren't...but if we get to Larry and Felicia first and get that money or what's left of it..Those two are dead in the water anyhow..." I said.

"What are you gonna do about them?" he asked.

"If they push the matter...We'll  uh, persuade them to see things otherwise." I said.

"Sure bout that Kev?" He asked.

"We have persuaded a whole lotta guys. I've personally done it."said Kool Kat.

Johnny Boy looked over at the big man...He believed him!


We took Johnny Boy to Fathead's safe house out in Eastwick..Nobody...not the cops or Eddie Paycheck Green and Vinnie Carrol would find him there. Ralph Mole and some of his associates made sure he had plenty of food...I told him...Under no circumstances was he to leave the house or use the phone there until he heard from me...

"So Kev..What about Larry Devol??  He knows he didn't kill me and he knows that I know where he lives...He's not going to hang around?" said Johnny Boy.

"Well...We'll see where he's gone..You sit tight okay?" I said.

"Alright Kev....Thanks man." he said.

We got a bit of a break...Eddie "Paycheck " Green was discovered in Johnny Boy's room...Despite his pleas that he was beaten up by a man with the still recovering Johnny Boy...The police still wanted to talk to him..He was wanted on some old unrelated charges....He was arrested and hauled off to jail kicking and screaming..

Vinnie Carrol was a little luckier...He was discovered by the morning crew , who untied him...He was still on the loose....but we had an ace in the hole!

I told you I had been busy...I found them and I had followed them....I found the place they were staying and the rental car they were using....Peeping Tom had a GPS tracking device on their car and Lockpick Johnson had already broken into their hotel room...He and Peeping Tom had their phone tapped...We had cloned their cell phone and already had the capacity to listen in on them...

With Eddie, presumably the brains of the two locked up...We figure Vinnie is going to be on ice for awhile...
That would give me time to find this Larry Devol fellow....Maybe!


It had been a good days work...Johnny Boy was safe and our two guests were out of commision....I cut all of my people loose and went home to a hot shower with my wife Sepia and some take out Chinese food and wine...We sat on the floor in our living room relaxing...

"Kevin aren't you afraid when you deal with some of these people?" she asked..

''Yes...That's why I always try to gather as much information on them as possible so I can stay one step ahead of them." I said.

"Yeah, but it only takes one variable...One unknown and the game is called because of rain." she said.

"No...the game is called because of death!" I said.

Sepia was quiet.....

"I guess you have to be extra careful." she said.

"Always...We always have to be extra careful about everything." I said.

Sepia was speaking prophecy...Little did I know...Such an unknown variable was headed my way!

(To Be Continued...)

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Love Is Strange

The next morning Sepia and I went to the hospital to visit Johnny Boy....He had all kinds of tubes hooked up into him...He had been rushed into surgery and was apparently resting...I take it the police had already been to see him and he had already made a statement....There were no cops around when we got there...

When Johnny Boy saw us he smiled weakly...He pointed to Sepia and then looked at me-

"Hey Kevin, who is this?" he asked with a smile.

"This is my wife...Sepia." I said.

"Sepia huh? did alright boy....yes indeed!." he said.  I was used to that reaction.  Sepia smiled, actually blushed a bit..

"Don't believe anything your husband has said about's all lies..." he said with a weak smile. Sepia smiled again.

"Kev, you want me to wait outside while you guys talk?" asked Sepia...

"'s all good." I said.  Sepia pulled a chair out and sat down....

"Cops been here?" I asked.

"You know they have." said Johnny Boy.

"You tell em who shot you?" I asked.

"I told em a guy tried to rob me." said Johnny Boy.

''So you lied?" I asked.

"Yeah." said Johnny Boy weakly.

"But you're gonna tell me the truth?" I asked.

"Of course Kev...I don't lie to you baby." he said.

There was silence in the room....We both stared at each other , then we both busted out laughing...Sepia just shook her head.

"Long story short Kev...Here's what happened....You remember that babe I used to go out with a few years back..Felicia Phenell?" he asked.

"You mean the girl you used to run around behind....Yeah, what about her?" I asked...

"Well, listen, she figures into this...."he said.

"I figure the shooter was her boyfriend.." I said.

"You figured right Kev...but more than that...he's a theif...He stole a large amount of money off of me...that was in my possession...The kind of money you can't report to the feel me??...and some very rough customers have had a bounty on my head for close to three years because of it...I was holding it for em and I uh lost it, when they made off with the dough..." he said.

"Drug money?" I asked.

"Nah Kev...nothin like that....Listen, you ever here of Little Ricky Monday?" he asked me.

"Yeah...He used to be a major player....Used to live here in Philly....Got run out of town by Fathead Newton and The Diaz Brothers amongst others...Settled in Atlantic City and had an uneasy relationship with Big Daddy and later Wally Gator...." I said.

"Yeah well...Me and two guys...Vinnie Carroll and Eddie "Paycheck " Green kidnapped him and held him for a five million dollar ransom about three years ago...His people paid up and we let him go..We got away scott free and to this day he doesn't have a clue that we did it." said Johnny Boy.

''WHAT??? You were involved in something heavy and crazy like THAT???" I nearly screamed!!!!

"I was the driver...I drove the car when Eddie "Paycheck" Green and Vinnie Carroll made the snatch...It was their idea...There was another guy...a fixer named Frank "The Boss" Lexington who set the whole thing up involved." said Johnny Boy.

"I heard of him...He's dead." I said.

"Yeah....He's dead like I coulda been dead...See, they entrusted the money with me...I put it in a safe deposit box....and I had the key on me...Frank gave me the assignment...I used to work for him." said Johnny Boy.

"So what happened?" I asked.

"I told Felicia that I had come into some money...I took her out on a few dates...Spent money I didn't yet have, impressed her....For a few months, it was sweet between us...Then I heard that she was seeing this guy named Larry Devol....behind my back, after I was winin and dinin her.." he said.

"Imagine that huh, somebody cheatin on you?" I said with a laugh....Sepia punched my arm and smiled a little.
Johnny Boy continued.

"I confronted her about him....and she told me that it wasn't serious...She had me over her apartment, made me a fine meal....You remember she always could cook...We made sweet love for hours on the shower, on the couch, in the bed, up against the wall...."

"I get the idea Johnny Boy...continue." I said....I saw Sepia holding her head in her hands laughing so hard that she was shaking...

"Anyway...I fell asleep and when I woke up....My key was gone!!!! I rushed to the Safe Deposit box and it was empty....I figured , she and this Larry Devol had run off with the money...I shouldn't have shot my big mouth off and told her about the money....Anyway...I found them...and I tried to get that money back...Larry beat me up pretty bad....almost killed me ...and the two of them vanished...  I called Frank and told him what had happened and he sent some boys down here to find them...but they were nowhere to be found...A month later, Frank was found floating in the Atlantic Ocean in a steel drum with both of his hands cut off." said Johnny Boy.

"A Message huh?" I asked.

"Yeah...Eddie and Vinnie don't play that...They're tough customers...They put a contract out on me too...That's why I've been ghost for three years...But I never stopped looking for Larry and Felicia...I followed them to New York City, To Newark , To Miami and Atlanta...Finally, I got a lead on them being right here in Philly...I actually saw the two of them together....I followed them and I found out where they lived." he said.

"And apparently you ran into Larry Devol last night and he shot you." I said.

''Yeah..but here's the thing Kev...I put an anonymous call into Eddie ''Paycheck" Green and Vinnie Carroll the other day...I told them where Larry and Felicia are.." he said.

''So what?" I asked.

"Kev...those two are stone cold killers...They'll kill both of them....possibly me too if I'm still hangin around here...I'm almost certain that they went through a good deal of that money....There could be trouble.I was sorry I called them immediately after I did....Last night, I called Larry, I arranged to meet him on that corner..I was going to try and get that money from them , to save their lives and possibly mine too...but he's an arrogant ignorant fool...He wasn't hearin it. There could be big trouble." he said.

"Not just for you...but for Felicia right?   You still got a thing for her, even though she double crossed you and is the reason your life is on the line?? Hell man, her boyfriend shot you!!!" I said incredulous!!

"Love is strange Kev." was all he managed to say...

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

"I've been a little ghost....but I haven't been completely out of pocket..I know that you uh help people..." he said.

"For a price....You will have to pay me a hefty fee and from the looks of your life , you can't even pay your hospital bill." I said.

"Kev...if we recover some of that dough...there's surely enough for both of us ." he said.

"That's a big "if" baby." I said.

"Kevin please...If you don't help me...a lot of folks could wind up dead...These guys are killers...please!." he pleaded....

"I'll think about it....." I said.

"Don't think too long friend....I might not be around much longer." he said.

We both laughed at that... Sepia and I got up to go....I think he knew and my wife knew that I was once again, back into another caper...

"I'll be back tomorrow with a friend....We'll get you out of here and put you someplace safe...I'm gonna need a lot more information." I said.

"You got it Kev...Anything ya need...Thanks man." he said.

"Sit tight." I said and Sepia and I left the hospital....

"You Hungry?" She asked as we walked into town....

"Yeah...let's grab some food." I said.

(To Be Continued....)

Monday, June 20, 2011

Not That Good A Friend

A beautiful summer night in Philly!  Sepia and I are at Mulberry Street, the rooftop bar and grill...having drinks.  It's just the two of us tonight...I imagine most of our friends are at Josies tonight listening to Bone Hampton and his All Star band performing..We caught him the night before...Tonight, we just wanted to be alone...The two of us..

"Oh come on Kevin....Try it.." said my wife....

"Nah, I don't want to mix too many different drinks together...besides...I'm driving." I laughed.

"Oh...I can drive." she laughed...

"You? Not as much as you've drank tonight...You'll get us both arrested..."I laughed.

"So? You got much pull with the po-po." she laughed.

"I won't after tonight if we both are drunk and get busted." I laughed...We both laughed at that!

"So you gonna try it?" she asked.

"Ohhhh, okay....Barmaid...Can I have a Lime Margarita..." I found myself saying...

" was that hard?" laughed Sepia...

"Nahh, not at all." I laughed..

Life had been good the past few weeks...Sepia and Bonita had sold two houses...Sean and I had covered some major music stories for the magazine and for the most part, the streets had been quiet...I had went to work practically everyday the past week...Something I hadn't had to do in years....I had decided to take a few days off and enjoy them with my wife , who incidentally had also decided to do the same thing...

We stayed until closing time, which was about three in the morning...Then we decided to drive over to Punchey's and get two chicken salad hoagies and a couple of cokes.  All of that drinking made us both a little hungry... We were sitting at an outdoor table when I saw a man at a distance talking to another man inside a Jaguar...The voice sounded familiar, very familiar, but it was coming from behind me on the street....

"Sooo Larry....After all these years...I finally find you...It's bad enough you stole my girl...but you made off with my money too you chisler....Three years I been lookin over my shoulder...Had a contract out on me because of YOU...Well that's changed now.." came the familliar voice...

"Can't steal what was never yours Johnny...Felicia was always my girl...Problem with just refused to believe that." laughed the guy inside the car.

"Don't matter...You can have her...but you damn sure better have every penny of that money....I got a light shinin on you pal." came the familliar voice.

"You know...I shoulda aced you back when I had the chance, but Felicia wouldn't let me ...She aint here now!"

"You know Larry, I figured you two was smarter than to stay here in Philly...Thought you were longgg gone..Then I saw her the other day...I asked around and I followed her, which led me to both of you...I know where you two live....I know what kind of car you drive...Make it easy on yourself..Hand over that dough, and go on your merry way."said the familiar voice.

"Johnny Boy....I've had enough of you....I aint handin over nothin..Have a good after life...." came the voice of the man in the car...

"A good after life?" said the man on the street!

"Yeah,cause I'm punchin your ticket right now...say hello to my little friend...the .38 smokeless baby!"said the guy in the car.

"OHHHH, so it's like that huh???...I don't have a .38, but my .22 will do." came the voice of the man on the street."

Johnny pulled out a .22...but the man in the car fired first....I heard two shots and I saw the man fall into the street...

"Arrrrrrrrrrrrrrghhh, you rat bastard.....I don't believe it.....I've been shot!" said the man on the street as he fell to the ground.

Sepia and I jumped up....A woman across the street who saw the whole thing screamed!  The few people moseying around ducked for cover and the Jaguar screeched and pulled off at top speed...before I could get a license plate number.

Sepia and I and two men ran out into the street....I looked down at the gunshot victim...Turns out...I knew him!  The voice was indeed familiar...It was Johnny Dooley..We called him Johnny Boy....He and I were room-mates in an apartment years ago...He ducked out and left me holding the ball for the last month of rent...

I leaned down and looked at him...He had been gut shot...he was bleeding profusely....

"Johnny Boy????..." I said.

"Kevin, you know him?" asked Sepia.

"Yeah, unfortunately...I do..." I said.

"Anybody in Philly that you don't know?" asked Sepia with a slight smile and  a look of unbelief.

"Sometimes ,even I wonder that ." I said as I knelt down and stared at my former friend.

"K-Kev-Kevin.....that you man?" he said as if we had just talked last week and not seven or eight years before.

"Yeah's me...My wife is calling 911." I said.

"Kevin...I'm shot badd gotta help me...I did somethin bad man..." he moaned...

"What else is new? I figured you didn't get shot because you did something good." I said.

"No...this is bad man....I think a lot of people are gonna get killed...." he mumbled..

"What?" I said...

"Kev...I need your help....I'll explain...ugghhhhhhhhhhhh..."he moaned...

Just then the Ambulance drove up as well as a police car.....As they loaded him on the stretcher he looked at me...

"Kevin me." he said as they rushed him to the hospital...

Sepia shrugged-

''Well, there goes our perfect night." she shrugged..

"Why you say that?" I asked as we walked to the car..

"Well I know you're going to the hospital to see him...." she said.

"Tomorrow I am...Not tonight..." I said.

"Really?" she asked...Her eyes as wide as saucers..

"He's not THAT good a friend." I said with a half smile.



"Ouuuuuuuuuuuuuu,girl, you feel so good....."

"Ohhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, you hittin my spot Kevin...."


"ohhh babyyyyy..." 


Of course I was going to go to the hospital and check Johnny Boy out...Tomorrow!!....Tonight however belonged to me and my wife....Like I said...He wasn't that good a friend.

(To Be Continued....)

Friday, June 17, 2011

Young Man Blues

One Day I forgot who I was supposed to be
how you say?
How could that happen to me?
There was someone
Someone Deep Inside of me
Someone I was supposed to be.

Everybody is really two people
deep inside..
The man everybody thinks you are
and the boy you try so hard to hide..
and oh no...
I had to stop the show...
but unlike the emperors new clothes
I had to strip down and walk naked
Under the sun...
Livin under the gun...
I just got tired...
Had nowhere to run..../

Young Man Blues
well I got the news...
Young Man Blues..
I got used....

I decided to define myself
Make myself over again...
I actually enjoyed the ride..
You see, I actually became my friend again...
Found that someone deep inside of me..
Now I remember who I was gonna be...

Young Man Blues
well I got the news...
Young Man Blues..
I got used....

Now No more young man blues...
No more young man blues
Yeah, I got the news..
oh no...
No more Young man Blues.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Did You Good

At this point you might not find a guy like me exciting
but once upon a time you found being
in bed with me kind of fly and very inviting...
I was your first
you said you had to see what other guys were like..
Said you had to quench your thirst..
but something's not right...
they got you shakin your head goin
"No, Not Quite"

You Laughed when I told you, you'd never find another
quite like me..
another guy who could make you weak in the knees
girl ,you've been with the rest...
now come on back to the best...
because one thing is understood...
Did you good!/

I did you good
I did you right
had you waking up the neighbors
all times of night..
had you screaming out my name..
made you forget your own name...
Did you good.

Yeah I know
Your first guy wore expensive suits...
but he needed instructions when it came to knockin boots..
And that second fellow
snorted enough coke to cover Peru...
and he too came up short
when it came to making sweet love to you..
So why don't you tell those pretenders to kill all of that noise..
Come back to this Man
And stop playin with those boys.../

I did you good
I did you right
had you waking up the neighbors
all times of night..
had you screaming out my name..
made you forget your own name...
Did you good.

I did you good
I did you right
had you waking up the neighbors
all times of night..
had you screaming out my name..
made you forget your own name...
Did you sooo good.

Wednesday, June 15, 2011


Everyone feels the need to fall in love sometimes...
Everyone feels the need to fall in love sometimes..
Believe it or not
Everyone feels the need to fall in love sometimes...
So how come you don't?
Everyone surrenders
Everyone surrenders
Everyone surrenders to a passion sublime..
So baby,
How come you won't?

How long are you going to be a martyr?
And to think,
I always thought that you were smarter..
I I can see through that wounded girl pride
Too proud to admit
That you wouldn't mind having somebody by
your side.../

Everybody admits they're vulnerable,
why can't you?
Everybody needs someone to lay down next to...
why not you?

Everyone feels the need to fall in love sometimes...
Everyone feels the need to fall in love sometimes..
Believe it or not
Everyone feels the need to fall in love sometimes...
So how come you don't?
Everyone surrenders
Everyone surrenders
Everyone surrenders to a passion sublime..
So baby,
How come you won't?

Everybody admits they're vulnerable,
why can't you?
Everybody needs someone to lay down next to...
why not you?

Come Here Pretty girl
I'll tell you something you know to be true..
but won't admit..
Listen Pretty girl..
I know something about you...
You're the one who's afraid to commit...

Todos sentimos la
Necesidad de enamorarnos
por que' yu no?

Todos admitimos
que somos vulnerables
por que tu no?

Olvidate de tu
orgullo herido

"Can you get with that baby?"

"I don't know what you said"

"That was Spanish mama...I speak very fluent spanish.."

''Sounds like you were trying to talk me into taking my clothes off.."

''Well ,it is the language of romance.."

Everybody admits they're vulnerable,
why can't you?
Everybody needs someone to lay down next to...
why not you?

(Original poem by Keith
Spanish translation by Wendy Vargas)

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Sun Fell Out Of The Sky

Gus, Clerow ,Kool Kat ,Willie Green and I all stood on the boulevard looking at the body of Cecil Taylor.....He had been shot two times with a .22 caliber pistol in the head and was lying in a pool of blood...He was a low level hood..a junkie who snatched purses, stole a car or two... a general nuisance , but really of no consequence...Red Lipstick was written on his shirt like the other victims-


It said.  This was apparently the first victim of the so called "Lipstick Killer" that had no dealings with Willie Green, Brenda Green or Fat Sam Collins...and Willie Green couldn't have committed this murder...He had been drinking with me, Kool Kat, Clerow and Gus...We had heard the gunshots and gone running out in the street...only to find, Cecil Taylor, shot to death...the latest victim of a serial killer.

"Damn Kev, you still aint got a clue as to who is doin this?" asked Gus.

"I did, but this throws my theory off completely." I lied.

"Yeah, well this aint like you, you usually on top of things kid....I sure hope you or the cops finds this lipstick killer's bad for business...people scared to come out." said Gus...

This killing was different for all of the wrong reasons....Most serial murderers kill in a pattern....Fat Sam was killed at night....Brenda was killed in the afternoon....and Cecil Taylor had been killed in the morning...Willie neither knew or had any dealings with Cecil Taylor....I wanted to know who did and fast..

I took a run to Police Headquarters and looked up Lt. Sissy Van Buren of Homicide...

"You know Kevin, I expected to hear from you sooner...this being in your neighborhood and all." she said.

''Can I see Cecil Taylor's rap sheet?"I asked.

"Sure."  she said.

Cecil Taylor's rap sheet listed 12 convictions, Petty Theft, carjacking, indecent exposure, possesion of controlled substances, driving under the influence of al...  I looked at the indecent exposure complaint...It was filed two years ago by the same person who had rented the cars, had registered a gun and had probably slashed my wife's tires...Same person that was walking around wearing fuschia colored lipstick.

''See anything interesting?" she asked.

"Enough....Stay close to your phone...I'm going to give you a call later," I said.

"Hope it'll be good news." she said with a laugh.

"I can't promise you that." I said.


I stopped by Peeping Tom's house and got him to wire me up really good and then I drove to Belinda Rhodes's house...I rang the doorbell and she came to the door in a tight Black party dress with yet another new hairstyle and black fishnet pantyhose and  matching black stripper high heels...She was a stunning young woman and Willie Green was a lucky man to be getting this every night and sometimes twice a day.

"Hey Kevin...This is a surprise...All the time I've lived here, you've never visited me...what is the occassion?" she asked so cheerfully that I hated what I was going to ask her next.

"I gotta question to ask you." I said.

"I know...I know...Look I'm sorry, We'll close the window...I know we been pretty loud." she said.

"That's a request Belinda...Not a question." I said.

"Oh.....I see....What is it you had to ask me?" she said.

"Why?" I said with a sigh...

"Why what?" she asked looking very innocent.

"I understand why you might have killed Brenda Green and I know you did...but why did you kill Fat Sam Collins and Cecil Taylor...?? They didn't do nothin to you..." I said.

She looked as if the sun had fallen out of the sky!

"Belinda....I have a gun registration, I have both car rentals that co-incide with the night and the afternoon of both murders...Fat Sam and Brenda Green and I have you on videotape slashing my wife's tires....You knew that Willie was in the mall with Gus...You stalked him....You flattened her tires because you knew that He and Gus would help her, being they knew her and he would have a perfect alibi when you went and shot his wife to death....When you killed Fat Sam...You knew that Willie was halfway across town at Bottom of the C, so no way he could be tied to this and you knew Willie was with me at Josies....So you killed Cecil Taylor...I know the whole story....And I know you wanted him so bad you killed his wife so you could have him...but why the others?" I asked.

"WHY??? WHY??? You ever want someone, sooooo bad, that it just hurt? Huh Kevin?? Huh??? For years I've been wantin that man.....I been doin everything but throwin my drawers at him and he bein the good man that he is, just smiled and ignored me.....That harpy he was married to just treated him all kinds of ways and all the time, I kept sayin...He should be with me...I 'd treat him better, cook for him, clean for him, give him all the love and sex he could want...It wasn't fair...When she pushed him out the door naked..That was the last straw.." she said.

"So you cooked up this bizzarre plan to kill her?" I said.

"Sure did." she said.

"But why Fat Sam?" I asked.

"That Fat bastard was practice...He raped me, six or seven years ago....Was breathin all over me and manhandlin me just like he was doin Brenda in Josies ...You seen him..Only he went further...ripped my clothes off and pulled me into his apartment......I was too scared to report, I knew he ran with them drug boys...I didn't want em comin back on me." she said.

"And Cecil Taylor?" I said.

"That pervert exposed himself to me when I was 12...and again when I was a little older I swore out a complaint against him...I guess you know that...Yesterday,I saw him up at the high school exposing himself again to the young girls up there...I had two bullets left...I had to use I figured if I got him and he had no ties to Willie or me,it would look like a mad killer was loose and throw the trail off of both of us." she said without a hint of remorse...

"Damn girl...that was a brilliant plot...brilliant....You had me stumped for weeks.." I said.

"What gave me away?" she asked.

"You used your real name on the car rentals and the gun registration and you wore the lipstick....If you had left the lipstick out of the equation...I wouldn't have had a clue it was you." I said.

"Danggg" she said.

" I had bits and pieces of the puzzle...but the lipstick was a dead giveaway." I said.

"I thought the lipstick gave my crimes a kind of flair." she said , halfway smiling....

"You always did have style girl.....Always...I always admired that about you." I said.  Surprised that I was starting to tear up.

"You wearin a wire aint you?" she asked.

''Yeah girl, I am.." I said.

''Cops are listenin too huh?"she asked.

"Yeah...They are." I said.

Just then the doorbell rang!...

"You'd better get that." I said.

She did...It was Lt. Sissy Van Buren, two detectives and three uniformed policemen.....

Belinda looked at me and managed a weak smile.....

"I didn't kill much.....Tell Willie, when you see him...that I'm sorry...and that I love him and that I did all of this for him." she said as tears began to flow down her face....

"I will kid....Take care of yourself.." I said.

"I will Kev...You take care of Willie....Be Easy baby.." she said and she kissed me on the cheek....I couldn't believe it, but a tear was running down my face as the police took her to the paddywagon....Tears were streaming down Belinda's face too!

"You gonna be  okay Kevin?" asked Lt. Sissy Van Buren.

" Yeah.. Yeah..Sure" I said....I stood there and watched the police cars pull off...I watched until they were out of sight...I pulled a napkin out of my pocket and wiped my eyes..

Sepia witnessed the whole thing...She walked across the street....

"Got your killer huh?" she asked.

"Yeah....So how come I don't feel so good about it?" I asked.


Belinda Rhodes was convicted of three counts of first degree murder and given three life sentences..... Willie Green however forgave her....He asked her to marry him and Pastor Struthers, his wife Rita, Sepia, Bonita,Robert Foxworth, Deacon Larry Weatherford , his wife Victoria and myself all drove up to the Prison to witness their wedding..Bernadette and Harry Charles came too...Bernadette did her hair and make up...They got married in the prison chapel and were allowed to consumate the marriage in a private cell area for conjugal visits...

Every month, Willie gets a haircut and gets dressed up and drives up to the prison to have a conjugal visit with his wife.  The warden told me that Belinda Rhodes is one of the most well behaved inmates he has ever seen..
No doubt she doesn't want to jeopordize their conjugal visits....

"Kevin, I never met a more pleasent ,decent inmate in my life.....It's hard to believe she's a triple murderer.." he said.

"Yeah...I can't believe it myself.." I said...

"Just one thing.." he said.

"Yeah, what?" I asked...

"Those two are so loud, when they, when know..when they have their visits....They keep the entire wing awake with all of their ....uh...."

"Yeah,I know what'cha mean...I used to live across the street from them..." I said.

''Nice people though." he said.

I laughed and as I walked to my car I thought to myself ...In a strange kind of way...True Love conquers all doesn't it?

(For Anonymous....)

(The Song is for my main man, SLC)