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Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Bill Of Goods






Only a select few people in Philadelphia knew where Arthur ''Fathead" Newton actually laid his head at night.
His drivers license listed an address he hadn't lived at for years...His Mother and Father's house.  Both of his parents were deceased..but he still owned the property and paid the bills on it...He didn't rent it out...He just kept it up...

He actually was renting one of our condos....He had the top floor of a condo far from the West and Southwest Philly street corners where his name rung out..The only people who knew where he lived was his nephew, Chick...who ran all of his legitimate businesses on the street...Roscoe...His number two and chief enforcer...Ralph Mole, his driver and facilitator and Chris and me.....That was all of five people...Fathead didn't take his girlfriends to this place...He had a smaller ,nicer apartment...That he also was renting from Chris and me in yet another part of town , where he took his lady friends...

Now of days...He was rarely seen on the streets...At least not in west or southwest philly...Chick and Roscoe were his" face " in the hood...Ralph Mole stopped by , drove him where he needed to go and brought him news...He communicated strictly by cell phones to these five people when he needed to...Even Donald "Smooth" and Owen Todd and Kool Kat didn't know where Fathead actually lived....

Not that he was paranoid...Just that, this was the way he wanted it!

Chris and I called him of course and then we drove to his spot....He was actually glad to see us...

"Damn Chris..Chess, How long has it been baby?" he said as Roscoe let us inside...Ralph Mole was there...
He and Fathead were sitting at a table eating Pancakes and Suasage and hash browns...

''Want some food guys?" he asked.

Chris smiled -"Nah man, you get down." he said.

I shook my head and also said no....

"I know why you're here...This Frankie Fontaine- Mikey Snow business.." he said.

"Yeah man." said Chris.

"No doubt Theresa has been to see you askin for help huh?" he said.

"Damn Fathead...for a cat that don't get out much, you're on the money today." said Chris...

Ralph Mole, Roscoe and I broke out into gales of laughter......

"I met with Mikey yesterday." said Fathead between gulps of food..

"Yeah? " said Chris Thompson...

"Yeah...the pain in the ass was mad because he couldn't come here or know where I was..." laughed Fathead.

"Where did you meet him?" I asked.

"In the mall...in the sporting goods store..." said Fathead...."We sat in the food court and talked over Chinese food and Coke..Mikey wanted a free hand in hitting Frankie...I told him that I had no ties or loyalties to Frankie and that I didn't care what he did...but that he should bring in his own people...I wasn't gettin involved in any way." said Fathead.

"There in lies our problem....See Theresa wanted us to talk to you and see if you could arrange a sitdown with Frankie and Mikey...you know, broker the peace...Explain to Mikey that Frankie didn't touch his sister." I said.

Fathead...Roscoe and Ralph Mole looked at me like I was crazy...Chris shook his head and started to smile.

"Sister? Is that what she told you? ...Chess...that broad sold you a bill of goods..Mikey aint got no sister...This is about money man...Frankie stole six million dollars of Mikey's money...and enough Heroin and Coke to fuel half of this city...Had been stealin for months...He already sold the dope to guys in Newark,Jersey City,Patterson and Atlantic City....That and the cash he lifted is incredible....I don't think that they can go past this man.." said Fathead...

"I knew it...I knew that broad was puttin us on." said Chris.

"That's probably what Frankie told her...She don't know about his business like that." said Fathead.

Chris thought a minute...then he said...

''You're probably right Fathead....Oh well..we only said we'd talk to you...We didn't give her no guaruntees." he said.

"You aint gone lose no sleep with Frankie gone are you?" asked Roscoe...

"Not a wink." said Chris, laughing....

We all laughed....

II-


Later that afternoon in Josie's...Chris and I sat having a beer and shooting the breeze with Gus, the bartender and owner of Josie's...Reed Nelson and his band was playing tonight...They sounded good...

"Hey Chess...you heard from "Smooth" today?" asked Chris.

"Nah...besides..I've been with you." I said.

"Yeah..He was supposed to look up Nate Athens.." said Chris.

Nate Athens was a mid -level playa who would have you believe he was bigger and badder than what he was.. He owned a barber shop and an arcade and plied his trade in a small pocket of Southwest Philly that Fathead didn't care about...Word on the street was that he had fallen on hard times in recent years and was working a straight job.... He was probably the only friend that Frankie Fontaine still had in Philadelphia.

Donald "Smooth" , Owen Todd and Kool Kat came into the bar and sat down with us...

"Hey guys..What's up Kools?" said Chris..

"Hey Chris, Chess." said Kool Kat.

"I read in the papers that you and Kevin rousted some crooked officials in some small town upstate." said Chris.

''Yeah man..we did." laughed Kool Kat.

"Yall niggas is my heroes." laughed Donald Smooth...

We all, Chris, Kool Kat,Donald Smooth ,Owen Todd and I laughed at that...

''Well Smooth, spill it man...you find Nate Athens?" asked Chris.

"Yeah, I found him." said Donald Smooth.

''What did he have to say?"I asked.

"Not much...on account he was dead when we found him." said Kool Kat.

"Dead?" asked Chris.

''Somebody broke every last one of his fingers man and then burned him with cigarette butts and then put him out of his misery with two shots in the dome......  .22 caliber." said Owen Todd.

I looked at Chris...

"Mikey Snow....He was tryin to find out where Frankie was stayin..." I said.

"I could care less about Frankie...what about Theresa." said Chris...

My android went off just then....I looked at it...

"Speak of the devil..it's her." I said.

"Hello!" I said.

"Chess....It's Frankie...He didn't come home last night..Remember when he said he was going to get cigarettes? He never came back...I called and called and called his cell phone...He never answered..I think Mikey got him." said a tearful and crying Theresa.

"Are you still in Nate's spot?" I asked.

"No...I got out...I'm at my girlfriend's place... Can you and Chris come and get me?" she asked.

"Tell me where you are..sit tight...We on our way." I said.

"Thank you baby." she said and hung up.

"What was that about?" asked Chris.

"It's Theresa...Loverboy never returned last night....She split Nate's spot and is staying at this address." I said and showed him the address she gave me...

"That's in Mayfair....Damn, why'd it have to be so far?" asked Chris...

"Far enough to keep her safe."I said.

"You think they got Frankie?" asked Kool Kat.

"Not yet...but they are gettin closer... Any of you guys know who he called in to do the job?" I asked.

"No, but I can ask around.." said Kool Kat.

"Owen, Smooth, tool up..We goin for a ride." I said.

''Hey Chris..Chess...You guys think you might need some more muscle?"asked Kool Kat.

''What? Kevin don't keep you busy enough?" said Chris, laughing and patting the big man on the shoulders..
"Nah Kools..I think we got this..we just goin to get the babe..We aint involved in anything else." he said.

Kool Kat laughed too and nodded his head....

"Well,if things get heavy Chris...you know how to reach me." he said.

"Of course Big man...appreciate it." said Chris.

"Be easy guys." said Kool Kat.

"Always baby." said Chris as we headed out to my car.

 III-






We drove to the Mayfair section of the city and picked Theresa up....No sooner than we got on the expressway, we noticed we were being followed...

"Chess...we got company." said Donald "Smooth"...

He and I were up front...Chris, Theresa and Owen were in the back....A dark Escalade with New York tags was following us....The driver had on a black turtleneck and dark shades....The man in the passenger seat was dressed the same way...

"Chess...Switch lanes...try to lose em." said Chris...He pushed a very frightened Theresa down...Owen cocked his .45...So did Chris...

I switched lanes and gained some ground on them...They did the same...Pretty soon, they were riding the bumper...

I switched lanes again and pulled up...but a car was in front of me... I looked and they too were caught between cars...

"Chess...get over into the next lane and take the next exit..." said Chris...

"You're an amazing backseat driver Chris." I joked.

"That's how I managed to stay alive all these years." he joked back..

I did and just like that..We were gone!!!!

"Phew...that was close." I said...

Within minutes..These knuckleheads were back on our trail... It was unbelievable!!!

"What the hell?" said Donald Smooth....

"It's this car...they got a GPS tracker under it..." said Chris....

He had to be right...These guys had been trailing us, at least since we left Josies...They knew we knew where the girl was...But how? I wondered.

''Chess, stop the car..Maybe we can reason with these clowns...After all..they want Frankie..not any of us." said Chris.

We stopped the car..parked it. Chris instructed Theresa to stay down...He and Owen got out...Donald Smooth got out...I slid out and looked for the GPS device under the car...It wasn't hard to find and discard!

Chris held both of his palms upward to show that he meant no harm.....We were on a dark and empty street!

The two men got out of the Escalade...One had a shotgun...The other had a .44 magnum like the kind Kool Kat carried , with a laser sight on it...

"Gentleman..gentleman...There is no need for the hardware...What is the problem here?" asked Chris.

"Get the broad out of the car." said the one guy...

"Hey man..She aint got nothin to do with this...And we don't know where Frankie is...and personally,I don't care what you do to him when you find him....I might buy you guys a beer." said Chris..

"Get the broad out of the car...Aint nobody ask you what you thought or who you are." said the gentleman who had been riding in the passenger seat.

"Nah man...I can't do that...Like I told you..She aint got nothin to do with this.'' said Chris...

"Looks like you gotta learn the hard way ." said the driver.....and he cocked his shotgun...

A fatal mistake for him!...because Donald Smooth, Owen Todd and I fired our .45's at him and hit him several times....He was dead ,before he hit the ground...And the other man went to fire, but Chris shot him right between the eyes!...He hit the ground with a thump!

Theresa looked at the carnage and screamed... Chris slapped her in the face...

''Settle down baby...Now I didn't mean to do that...but we got a situation here...Chess..call Roscoe...Tell him to bring his people." said Chris.

I got on my phone  immediately.

IV-





Roscoe and his people showed up in no time and discarded the bodies and took the Escalade...as well as the shell casing ,the gps units and their guns...These guys were good...If they had legitimate jobs, they could work as crime scene cleaners...I shuddered when I thought of how many gangland murders these guys had "cleaned up."

We dropped Owen and Donald Smooth off....They both had girlfriends and Theresa couldn't stay with them..Chris had a woman and I had a wife...So she definitely couldn't stay with us...So we called Gus and she wound up staying in his room above the bar for the night..We were sure that nobody knew she was there!

I dropped Chris off at his spot...While we sat in his car we talked..

"Man...We been so far from this gangster crap and now we into it deep... Those were probably Mikey Snow's boys...tonight." I said.

"No doubt....but Chess man..Something is bothering me about this whole thing..Something that's been bothering me from the door." said Chris.

"What man?" I asked.

"Frankie steals Mikey's money...He flees to Philly...he gives Theresa an address at a hotel..A registration made in his name!! That make any sense to you? " asked Chris.

''Frankie's stupid." I said.

"No. No he aint....He told her to meet him there...Only he didn't know she was gonna stop and see us...Had she of gotten there a little sooner..she'd of been dead!" he said.

"You think the explosion was him?" I asked.

"Damn right. ..and then he crashes with Nate Athens....Hell, everybody knows that Nate Athens was his boy..So who do Mikey's boys snatch? Nate Athens!!  He gives up the spot, only Frankie is long gone and when they get there..They see us leavin...That's when they put the tracker on our car....They figure out that we can lead them to the girl and the girl can lead them to Frankie...He doesn't plan on splitting that money with her." said Chris.

''Only it didn't work out that way huh?" I said.

"No, it didn't...I think Frankie has been stringin these guys along with false clues all along...Decoys...so that when the time was right..He could get his stash and become a ghost.I also think that Theresa knows way more than she's telling us." said Chris.

"Wow..So what are we gonna do?" I asked.

"You gonna go home, hug your kids...Spend some time in the sack with your wife...I'm gonna do likewise with my girl....Then tomorrow..We gonna see that broad and get the real skinny." he said and he got out of my car and walked up the steps to his apartment...

"Be easy Chess." he said.

"Always !" I said and I drove off....


(To Be Continued...)

7 comments:

Lisa said...

WOWWW! Great story...I am loving this...

Halo said...

Love the friendship between Chris and Chess, How they always got each other's back..Nice seeing Kool Kat too!

Vanessa said...

This is gettin good..I too think Theresa knows way more than what she's telling!

Grover Tha Playboy said...

Chris and Chess knocked off two of Mikey Snow's boys...This puts them right in the middle of this mess..Can they depend on Fathead to help them out?

Swaggie said...

Damnnn, I'm lovin this....I've missed Chess and Chris...This slome real gangsta mess man!

Tate 2 said...

Man Keith, this is gettin good!

Queen of My Castle said...

I need more!!!! This was really good. I saw it all playing out in my head.