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Ghostface Killa

Chapter One
“DAY ONE”
SUNDAY, MAY 10th 2005

12:41 A.M    

Mae Taylor watched as two young thugs loaded boxes into the luggage compartment of a Chartered Coach Bus she was on.  It was after midnight and she was tired. She looked around the Casino parking lot, hoping that no one was watching.  It was dark outside and because the bus stop was so close to the water, it was a little chilly.  
      Furtively, she scouted the parking lot again. Mae knew that her deaconess board members were still awake and running around the hotel and casino. Silently, she hoped nobody would come to the bus for anything because she had planned a little excursion some time ago, and she didn’t want her nosey ass church member to mess things up.
     “Manny, tell them muthafuckas to hurry up!” she snapped.   Instead of issuing the hurry up order, Emmanuel “Manny” Stone walked over to the van and unloaded boxes onto a pulley and pushed it over to the bus himself. 
     Every year in the Spring, Mae sponsored and paid for her Deaconess board and some elder members of her congregation to go to Atlantic City to shop and gamble. The sanctified sisters of First Baptist Church didn’t call it gambling, but gambling it was.  This year’s trip had been pushed up a little. It was necessary to make the trip to Atlantic City earlier because she had made a deal with the devil. Glancing back, she caught a glimpse of her nephew, who she nicknamed the devil. He was still loading boxes of cocaine onto the bus.
     As Mae, looked on, she thought about how Manny had always been like the devil. Since he was little, he’d always displayed anti-social behavior and pure evilness. Though family sometimes gets a little offended when you talk about their kids, Mae didn’t sensor her sarcasm and mentioned every chance she got that Manny was evil to Shirley, Manny’s mother.
Snapping back to reality, Mae wished Manny would hurry, as time passed. She grew paranoid knowing the boxes he was loading onto the bus were filled with druApril 8, 2007y. The less she knew the better off she believed it was. All she cared about was the fact that she was being paid fifty thousand dollars to transport his shipment. That boy could be loading up some damn fugitives, for this kind of money, I don’t see shit, I don’t know shit, and I don’t want to know shit, Mae laughed, thinking what she might say if their bus was stopped by the police. Damn, how am I gon’ call my niece’s only son the devil, and I’m a down-low evil bitch my damn self….. Naw… I’m not evil, I’m divinely wicked, she smiled, being interrupted by her nephew.
     “That’s the last box, Aunt Mae. What time are y’all gonna leave in the morning?” Manny asked. His auntie looked at her watch, which had 12:58a.m. on it. They were scheduled to leave at 8 that same morning.  
     “We’re leaving at eight.”
     “Cool. I’m a head back now and I’ll meet the bus at the Church at 1 o’clock.  How does that sound?”
     “That’s fine, but wait until everybody’s gone before you unload your shit.” Manny walked up to Mae to give her a hug.  He kissed her gently on her cheek. 
     “I hear you loud and clear, Auntie. Hit me up on my celly, if you need to holla at a brotha. I’m out.” Mae, stood by the bus and rubbed her cheek.  No Satan didn’t just kiss me talking about some he out, without paying me my scrilla.
“Manny?”  She yelled. Turning on his heels, Manny answered.
      “Yes Auntie?”


     “Boy, where’s my muthafucking money at?”
     “Oh, I almost forgot.”
     “Forgot my ass, you better tear me off right damn now before you make me show my ass out here in front of God and everybody!”
     “Auntie, you off the chain,” he laughed, counting hundreds out to pay her.

     On the way back to D.C., Manny Stone maneuvered the 2 ton Chevy Silverado tow truck, with ease. The van he’d driven to New Jersey was attached to the hoist in back. Looking out of his side view mirror, he noticed the advertisement on the tow truck which read, Jacoby’s trucking. Shit, Duce hooked the little paint job up on that baby, he thought, realizing that anyone observing the truck would easily be thrown off.
     Inside, Izzy Gee slept in the back seat. Manny’s lieutenant and body guard Anthony “Tone Tone” Simmons rode shotgun.  He was hyped about the deal they had just brokered with the Cubans in New Jersey, so they were about to be larger than large. To Tone, Manny’s organization was about to house shit in D.C.
     “Aye moe, we’re about to do the muthafuckin thang. I can’t believe them Cuban niggas came up off of all that shit for that price you gave them. Them muthafuckas must be growing that shit. I wonder does Castro know them niggas is growing that shit in Cuba. Ain’t that nigga Castro on some communist “All this shit is ours together” type shit?” He looked over at Manny who had grown quiet. He waited for a response, but got none. He tried to ignore the loud sounds of snoring coming from the backseat. 
     “The city ain’t seen this kinda weight coming through since Carlos Trinidad, Rosco, Gene, Playful Edwards and them kinda niggas.  I hope—“
     “Do you think snitching started with Playful Edwards?” Manny cut in without taking his eyes off the road. Tone was caught off guard by the question, but he tried not to show it.   
     “What do you mean homes?”
     “I mean what I said. Did telling on your men start in the city with Playful ratting on all his men in 1996?”
     “Fuck naw! Muthafuckas had been telling way before that.  Playful just fucked everybody up with it. Lorton is full of dudes who got told on in the 70’s, 80’s, and 90’s. Playful just kinda sensationalized it. Niggas feel like me, if Playful can tell after all he did, so can they. Muthafuckas told on the “R Street Crew”, P Street Crew, Newton and Fern Street, Kennedy Street Crew, all kinds of niggas. That shit was way before Playful, so naw, telling didn’t start with him”
     “Well, let me ask you this. How long have you been telling, Tone? When did it start with you?” Alarmed at the question, Tone turned to face his friend. Manny was one who joked all the time and Tone didn’t know if he was joking or serious. 
     “Go head with that bullshit, slim.”
     “No bullshit, Tone. When did you start fucking with them people?  80’s, 90’s or the 2000’s?”
     Tone was suddenly very afraid. He saw the venomous look inside of Manny’s eyes. He’d seen that look before. His instincts warned him to reach for his gun, but then he remembered that Manny had made him leave it in the Van. He said something about State Troopers on I-95. In his haste, he had fumbled. It was then that Tone noticed that Izzy was no longer snoring. His next thought was to reach for the door handle and jump out of the truck. He glanced at the speedometer. They were only doing 56, he could survive the jump at that speed, but would Manny and Izzy come after him? That was the million dollar question. He decided to stall. 
     “Manny, you tripping, slim. I ain’t never told on a nigga in my life. You tryna test me or something?”
     “Not at all, homes. Remember the cop that be working for me?  The one from the D.E.A. named Ness?”
     “Yeah--- but-“, that was as far as he got.
     Izzy fired a silenced 380 twice, striking Tone in the back of his head, killing him instantly. Manny Stone pulled the tow truck over to the side of the road. 


     “Clean that shit up, Iz and get rid of this piece of shit.”

9:23 A.M.
     “It had to be you, Tina.  It had to be.  Nobody but me, you and Shane knew about them bodies on Shepard Street. I know good and damn well that Shane ain’t said shit because he been with me everyday since we did that. You, I haven’t seen since then, and inquiring minds wanna know. Where you been home girl and how in the fuck does the bodies know about Shepard St.?” Doe was scaring her. Martina tried to reason with him. 
     “You know how I am, Doe. After we put that work in, I laid low for a while. I always do that. Kill my grandmother; I ain’t never talked to no cops. How’re you gonna come at me with that bullshit like I’m a pussy?  It’s because I’m a broad, huh?”
     “Go head with that bullshit, Tina.” Doe said, pulling out a large zip-lock bag of weed. “I know how you get down, but the fact remains, somebody’s been talking and it ain’t me. Shane never left my side, feel me? Put yourself in my shoes and what would you think?”
     “I hear you, Doe, but that shit still ain’t fair. Every since I moved around this bitch, I been repping the 2-5. I’ve been knocking niggas noodles out their heads and all that shit. Now, you gon’ stand here and tell me that you think I’m fucking with the cops. For what?! What the fuck they got on me? Why the fuck would I tell!”
     Doe leaned on the cast iron gate and blew smoke out of his nose. He knew that Martina was by all means a gangsta bitch. In his heart, he believed her, but still, someone had been talking and he knew it wasn’t Shane. He had known Shane since they were both snotty nosed youngins and they had put in a rack of work together. It had to be Tina.      
     “I tell you what, home girl. How far are you willing to go to prove your loyalty to the 2-5?”
     Martina looked up into the eyes of the man she secretly loved and tried to find the faith that should’ve already been there. As much as she did for the hood, there should be no reason for her to have to prove herself, but Doe was the leader of the 2-5 crew and all decisions were made by him. If he said you had to prove yourself, then so be it. While Doe calmly smoked his blunt, Martina waited patiently to hear what he wanted her to do. She knew that it wasn’t sexual, because they had been there and done that. Doe Doe was the man who had taken her virginity and in return given her courage, family, wealth, and her first gun “Mimi.” Sex with him was something that Martina would have jumped at the chance to do. After their first encounter, there had been no others. Doe with his smooth skin and caramel complexion was breathtaking. At 6’1, he had a body builder’s physique. Martina knew that he had honed it to perfection while doing a five year bid at Lorton. His always present white T-shirt was crispy and new. His Timberland boots were always unblemished, and he repped the 2-5 like a real muthfucking G.
     “I think it’s time we got Hennessey out of our business.  He’s been all over us for years. He shot Lil Tano a couple of years ago and got away with it. That cracka muthafucka thinks the sun rises and sets on his white ass. With him gone, we can really do the muthafucka, feel me?  He’s the only pig at 4th D that be sweating us.” Doe tried to read Martina. He wondered if she was following where he was trying to lead her. “You, feel me?”
     Martina wasn’t stupid. She knew exactly where Doe Doe was going with the conversation. 
     “Yeah, I feel you. You want me to smash Hennessey – for the 2-5, right?” Doe, smiled that gorgeous, mischievous smile she loved.
     “I don’t want you to do shit. You should want to get rid of one of the hoods biggest enemies. All I’m saying is that everybody in the hood would breathe a little easier if that cracker was to disappear. Feel me?” The severity of what he was asking her to do wasn’t lost on Martina. Her eyes watered. 
     “And if Hennessey was to disappear, - as you say, that would prove that I’m no rat, huh?” Doe passed his blunt to Martina. 
     “It would prove that you love the hood more than your own life and it would definitely prove that you’d never rat.” Taking 4 deep pulls off the blunt and coughing, Martina finished off the blunt, threw it down, and stepped on it. 
     “I’ma let you know something later on, aight?”
     “Yeah, aight home girl, holla back.  2-5 for life.”


     Martina stood in that spot and watched Doe Doe walk down 25th street to his Chrysler 300.

     Back at home in her basement, Martina sat on the steps and let the tears cascade down her face freely. She knew that since it was Sunday, her parents would be in church all day, so she could smoke weed and drink until her heart was content. Martina puffed on her blunt and tried to make sense of her dilemma.
     The way she figured it, she was damned if she did, damned if she didn’t. She was at the crossroads and she knew it. If she didn’t kill Hennessey for the hood to prove her loyalty, for sure somebody in the hood would kill her. To be the suspected rat was the worse form of betrayal, so Martina knew that to preserve her life, she had to take Hennessey’s. Her dilemma wasn’t the fact that she had to take a life, she had taken several in her young 15 years, but she had never killed a cop before. She wasn’t a fool, and she knew that killing a cop was the worst thing a person could do in the Nation’s Capital.
     As the effects of the weed really started to take hold of Martina, she became more and more optimistic. What if she was able to pull it off? Could I really get away with this shit? Martina asked herself several more questions as she thought about what she knew about Hennessey. Well he works the evening shift, and he always parks his car in front of the Mama Cole’s carryout on the avenue. Hey, that’s where I’ll catch him slipping, she thought, recalling the number of times she’d seen his white Crown Victoria sitting out in front of Mama Cole’s. 
     “Why put off until tomorrow, what one can do today?”  Martina said to herself as she walked into the basement bathroom. I’ll do it today while my nerves are strong, Martina thought, splashing cold water in her face. She ran her wet hands over her braids.  “I can do it,” she kept repeating over and over to herself, looking in the mirror. If I get away with killing Hennessey, my reputation in the hood is going to skyrocket to astronomical proportions and Doe Doe would finally have to respect the “G” in me. The praise and attention I’d then get from him is unequal to anything. So what the fuck am I waiting fo?


     Maybe – just maybe – she could finally have him. That’s what she really wanted – Clyde to her Bonnie. Martina’s confidence built with every minute that passed. She pulled her girlfriend from her waistband. Fingering Mimi’s cold steel, Martina prepared herself for the task ahead. She checked to make sure that Mimi had a full clip. 17 shots would be more than enough to dispatch the white cop to the other side of life or death.  Grabbing her black Madness baseball cap, Martina went to fulfill her destiny.

     If Hennessey proved to be a creature of habit, Martina knew that he’d be arriving soon. Looking at her watch, she quickly did the math. She had been sitting across from Mama Cole’s carry-out for a little over two hours. It was 13 minutes after 7p.m. and starting to get dark. If the cop didn’t show by 8 p.m., Martina decided that she’d try again another day. 
     Nobody paid her any mind as she sat at the bus stop dressed in an all black sweat suit, black Nike boots, and black cap. The fewer witnesses their are, the better, she thought as she looked around noticing that the street was partially empty. Thirty-two minutes later, severe stomach grumblings reminded Martina that she hadn’t eaten all day. Seeing no signs of Hennessey, she walked across the street to the Lucky Star carryout. Martina looked up and saw a white car double parked in front of Mama Cole’s. “Hennessey!” she whispered, dropping the bag with her food in it. Martina slowly walked down the street passed Hennessey’s car. He was so busy with something in his lap, that he didn’t even notice her. When Martina got close enough to his car, she could see that he was reading some papers. He never even looked up or paid her any attention. Martina walked calmly to the back of the police car and pulled Mimi from her waist. With her free hand, Martina pulled her hat low and walked slowly to the window on the driver’s side of Hennessey’s car. Looking into Hennessey’s lap, something on paper caught her attention. A name, Lashane Dyson. Beside the name were the letters - C.I..  In the second it took for the name and meaning of the letters to register, Martina raised her gun and fired. The unsuspecting Hennessey never stood a chance. 


     Still firing into the car, her adrenaline pumping, Martina never noticed a man running out of Mama Cole’s towards her. A wicked smile crossed her face, as it registered that she had actually done it. Hennessey was gone. Then a hammer like force slammed into her chest over and over again. As she hit the ground, glancing into the night sky, Martina Mason had been shot and was dying. She would never be able to tell Doe Doe that he was wrong. She would never be able to tell him that his childhood “buddy” Shane was in fact a confidential informant.  He was the real “Rat, not her.”

     Detective Leon Cotton, ran up to Martina. He stared down into the face of the cop killer and knew he was dead. Then he glanced into the car, observing what was left of Detective Bruce Hennessey. His head hung in shame as it registered that his partner was dead also. He noticed a tear on the face of the man at his feet. Det. Cotton kicked the baseball cap off of the assailant’s head and cursed under his breath. “Fucking maniac,” he lashed at the body before realizing that the person who’d just killed Hennessey was a young girl not a boy…..Want More? Get your copy of Bossy right now from Amazon.com, crystalstell.com or your nearest book store.  If the stores don’t have it, make them order it, we’re with major distributors who can get you a copy ASAP…


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Hood Rich

November 2005 Essence Magazine Bestseller

“ This is James Peters, Chief Editor, for Big Successors Magazine. We’re interviewing DeMarques Prince this afternoon as he shares from the inside of the Michigan Department Corrections his journey to win an appeal after being falsely convicted of First Degree Murder. Good afternoon, DeMarques.”
“Good afternoon.”
“Many convicted felons often claim they are innocent, when in fact, they are truly guilty. What makes you different?”
“I really was falsely convicted.”
“African American’s often slander the judicial system. What are your views about what happened to you and the manner in which you feel you were railroaded?”
“James, I’m going to stop you right now. Did you come here to ask me all these bullshit questions or do you want to have a real interview?”
“Man, straight up, I want you to tell me your story.”
“Straight up? Are you sure you’re ready for some real, talk ?”
“Man, why do you think I’m here? It took you forever to agree to this interview. Not to mention that I came a long way to get this story. You know I don’t want to waste time BS’in.”
“Okay. Turn off your recorder, get out a note pad, and remember regardless of what I share, there are only small portions of my story you can actually print. I’m trusting you to honor the contract I signed with your company.”
“P, you are about to put me on the map with this story, you know I’m not about to jeopardize the integrity of my magazine or risk being sued. Printing everything isn’t worth the loss to me.”
“Cool, turn the recorder off like I said. Oh, and make sure you put it over here in front of me. I’d hate for it to accidentally get turned back on in the middle of my story.”
“Yeah, right. Here you go, it’s off. I’m ready whenever you are.”
“Man, the city ain’t ready for these dreadful tales I’m about to share. But I ain’t for no half steppin’. With this confession, if I’m gonna tell it, then I’m gonna tell it all. Most often I’m ashamed of my past, but I’ve accepted that only God can judge me; therefore, I’m about to clean out my closet, trash some of these skeletons, and move the hell on with my life. Ken, at one point in time, Me Against the World was my theme song. I swear I had the worst run of fuckin’ luck during my teenage years.”
“ Yeah, I know.”
“ Good, with that in mind I’ll start with this letter I got from my mother back in 1990, and we’ll go from there.


“Mail Call”
Is what the Correctional Officers always yelled before dropping mail in my cell.


September 11, 1990

Prince,

I hope when this letter finds you your health’s well. How are you? Sorry I haven’t written in a while, but things have been very hectic around the house. Renzo and I are still having our little domestic disputes, and last week they got way out of hand. You’d think after getting enough of your brother and uncle’s beat downs, he’d learn not fool with me. Last weekend that idiot lost his damn mind and tried to break my arm. He came in all hours of the morning ranting and raving about some cigarettes he’d left on the coffee table. I told his drunk ass, I work a 9 to 5 and got benefits at the grocery store. Don’t nobody need to steal no damn cigarettes. I guess my comment offended him, and the fight was on from there. I’m doing fine, so don’t worry about me. You know your mom has a survivor’s spirit. I’ll get through this battle as well.
Well anyway, I complained enough and two weeks ago Anthony finally got someone to paint the outside of the house. The paint had been chipping for some time. Boy, our home was starting to look a mess. I don’t know what got into him. I’ve been asking him to get it done for the last year because my funds have been a little tight. With as long as he made me wait, I wish I could’ve afforded to do it myself. I hope I don’t sound ungrateful, but your brother drives me crazy with his split personalities lately. I guess that’s what the stress of living as a Street Pharmaceutical supplier will do to your mind. Nonetheless, it’s done, so I’ll move on.
Oh before I forget, I sent money along with this letter to go on your books. It isn’t much, but Ant said he’s going to take care of you next week.
Prince, you should see KeKe. She’s really growing up. She calls herself being into boys now, which got my nerves bad. I keep telling her don’t bring home no babies, and she knows I’ m not playing with her grown butt. Shoot, Lord knows I’m not ready to be a grandma again.
Boy, bear with me. I know my letter seems odd today. I’m just changing subjects like I’ve smoked a joint. Well, I’m haven’t. I haven’t smoked any weed in a month. I’m trying to quit. Actually, I’ve just been thinking about my life lately. My conscience is uneasy. It’s been eating me up these past few months. Sometimes, with the way I worry, I wonder if I’m about to die. I’ve been beating myself up about some of the poor choices I’ve made in the past, especially how I’ve cheated my kids. Prince, there are so many things I’m ashamed of pertaining to my parenting skills.
Now that I’m older, I know I should have been a better parent to you and your brother. Lately, I beat myself up because of your situation. I feel like I should have shown you far more love than I did. Had I not been so caught up on doing my thing, maybe I would not have neglected you and Ant to the extent that I did. I often blame myself for your situation and wonder had I been more focused on motherhood would you still be in prison today. I bet half of the skeletons I deal with wouldn’t torment me so much if my conscience were clear about that. As a child, I know I didn’t give you what you needed emotionally. Because of that, some days, I struggle to even look at myself.
In the future I hope to sit down and have a heart to heart with you about some things of my past. There are so many family secrets you and KeKe need to know about before I die. Real soon we’re going to talk. Well, I’ve got to go. I wish I could come see you. I love and miss you very much.
P.S. GG and Daddy Ruenae will be out to see you next weekend.


Love you,

Bean

September 14, 1990

Bean,

It’s always good to hear from you. Seems like Renzo ain’t gon’ ever get his act together. I’m glad Silk and Ant are there for you. If not, he’d stay in your ass. Why you stay with that chump for so many years anyway? He’s been beefing with you about nonsense ever since I was a shorty. I keep wondering when you’re gon’ wise up and drop that bitch? You know you’ve tolerated that zero far longer than you should have and I swear you deserve someone way better than his punk ass. Shit, I’m about to change the subject `cause I can feel myself gettin’ mad. I don’t even know why you mention him in your letters to me. You know I got issues with him. In the future, don’t even bother to tell me about your man. Then I don’t have to fantasize on the many ways I could kill him when I see him again.
Hey, how are things going with raising money for my appeal? I’m desperate for y’all to be working on that. It’s clearly obvious that my jailhouse attorney friends and I ain’t gon’ win me no new trial. Recently, I submitted my first appeal to the Circuit Courts and lost. This is why I need to make sure a skilled professional files the few appeals I got left.
I have to hurry up and get out of this dungeon because my minds starting to play tricks on me. I’ve been in solitary confinement since our last visit almost eight months ago, and the pressure is getting me down. Ms. Anderson, my case manager said I was up for a transfer. And get this, they’re moving me to Ionia, Super Max. Talk about pressure, prison ain’t no place for a dapper twenty year old like myself, and super max is going to fuck with my head for real. Twenty-three hour lock down, no windows to see the sun, no communication with other inmates, and yard takes place in a two by four, one hour, a few days a week. Damn Bean, the thought of that place makes me feel troubled. I can’t take much more of this, y’all got to hurry up and get me out of here.
Say, you must’ve been drinking while writing my letter the other day. It sounds like you were on a pity party. You know alcohol is a depressant. I done told you a million times to leave that Cognac alone. Everybody makes mistakes, Bean. Regardless of what kind of mother you were in the past, you’ve been here for me since day one of my incarceration. That may not seem like much to you, but I appreciate your support more than you’ll ever know. I don’t care about your skeletons. We all have them. Huh, I got a few that might blow your mind to this day. So look here li’l lady, you keep your secrets to yourself and I’ll hold on to mine. Deal?
Tell GG and Daddy Ruenae not to come see me. I can’t have contact visits no way, and I don’t want my grandparents to see me under these circumstances. They keep me in belly chains during the entire visit, and GG ain’t gon’ be with that once she see how the cuffs cut into my wrist and leave deep imprints on them. I know you can recall how she tripped the first time she saw me shackled. I still remember the way she cried when I was sentenced. That memory alone haunts me to this day. Sometimes in the middle of the night, I wake up tearing when I think about the judge saying, ‘Life without parole.’ Then I think about G.G. crying out in despair. She and Daddy Ruenae invested so much in me while I was growing up. Bean, I really feel like I let them down.
Being incarcerated is a heavy pill to swallow. Sometimes I wonder why it required me losing everything that matters to me to finally realize that I had a real purpose in life. Survival in this place is like a nine to five. There are cold-blooded killers, rapist, and niggas that simply don’t give a damn in here. Bean, I’m not any of them, but to endure, I have learned to adapt and camouflage who I really am. I will say that I am blending in well with the best of them. Killers, that is, and to defend my manhood or stay alive, I’ll do whatever it takes to protect Prince.

Tell Ant to get at me. Kiss KeKe, and y’all stayApril 8, 2007p>


That correspondence took place between my mother and me almost nineteen years ago. When I reflect on my past and think about all my sacrifices, I must admit that my life was very fucked up. At that time, I was twenty years old, in solitary confinement, and had already served four years of my Natural Life sentence. I was detained at Carson City Correctional Facility, which primarily housed lower level inmates in the Michigan correctional system. It was one of the newer facilities linked to the Department of Corrections, and here I’d sabotaged the lovely time I was doing on a stupid drug trafficking misconduct.
Officials knew narcotics were getting into the prison, so they beefed up security on everybody. Prison officials weren’t stupid either. They knew drugs generally came in, one of two ways, visitors or correctional officers. One day during a visit with Bean, we were caught trying to smuggle drugs. We got busted as she attempted to pass them on to me. I didn’t realize that an observation camera was right above us. Actually, the nosey ass police zoomed in on our visit right after Bean returned from the restroom. That wasn’t a mandatory requirement, but one of the guards monitoring visits that day felt a little suspicious about something, so he watched until he got us.
We were big time slipping, and when the police rushed me, I tried to swallow the balloons containing the drugs. I knew if I could get them down, I’d go to my cell, drink lots of water, and throw them back up when my belly got full. The guards grabbed me around my neck, which cut off my oxygen. His grip not only prevented me from getting air, but swallowing as well. Bean got mad about the way they were roughing me up. Not to mention I was turning red from not being able to breath. Before I knew it, she’d jumped on the back of one of the guards restraining me and punched him.
After minutes of kicking, biting, screaming, and wrestling around on the floor with officers, I was finally under control. So was Bean. They pulled me off to a secluded room, stripped search me, and sent me straight to the hole, bloody, battle scars, and all. Bean went to jail and was banned from visiting me for the next two years. The Department of Corrections decided once her visits were reinstated, we would only be allowed to have non-contact visits. Unless the warden approved a special contact visit, which at the time I couldn’t see happening. She’d never be able to hug me again. So for me that meant I’d never be able to feel the empathy in my mother’s touch for the rest of our lives.
When I look back on how it all began twenty-seven years ago, there are times when I want to slap myself for not paying attention to the lessons of the hood. In July of 1982, I was twelve and living in the heart of Detroit. Like most Shortys in the ghetto, my family was broke, so I was very impressionable. My father was a sorry ass bastard who was missing in action. Early on, he deprived me of the opportunity to know and appreciate a father’s love and guidance. After getting my mother pregnant, he decided that plans for his life didn’t include a full time woman and most certainly not no kids. That’s why Ballas had to serve as my role models.
My mother’s man, Lorenzo, was supposed to be my father figure, but his tired ass was a taxicab driver, and an alcoholic. I couldn’t look up to no knucklehead like him as my hero when I had real playas in my family. Back then, my uncle Silk, and my older brother Anthony were the only ones who could teach me anything about the lessons of survival in the ghetto. My uncle was big time gettin’ em. I mean, he wasn’t paid like YBI, the Young Boys Incorporated or the McGerck Brothers, who were kingpins of some of the largest drug empires in the city. However, he did have the Westside on lock and was paid in full.
I wanted to be down, so I found myself a place in the family hustle and quickly learned the game of grinding from the best. Initially, my uncle used me as eyes. I’d take note of new faces trying to slang in our hood, keep a look out for one-time, and ran off broke junkies before they brought unwanted attention to some of our most lucrative dope houses. After beating down a few crack heads, preventing a bust or two at the family spots, and catching a host of petty charges myself, Silk finally allowed me to get on.
I’ll never forget it. In December 1983, one day before my fourteenth birthday, I was walking around one of our fairly profitable dope houses acting like Baby Scarface. Ant tossed me a stack, which at the time was a lot of money to me. Hell, a thousand dollars in my hands as a thirteen-year-old made me feel super powerful. From them allowing me to kick it like they did, I often walked around acting like this fictitious Superhero. To some people on the block, I sported invisible KPM letters on my chest. (Kingpin & Playa in the Making) Many hated on me and my brother because so few could get on payroll with my uncle.

“Come on Prince, we gon’ go get you fresh for yo fourteenth. Then T, Melvin, and me gon’ let you holla at a few of our bitches.” Ant arrogantly stated.
“Oh, I’m with that. I can tell you right now which one I wanna be on.” I said, smiling like I was the man.
“P, you been checking out my women like that.”
“Hell yeah! Some of them are fine.”
“Which one giving you a hard on?”
“None,” I lied.
“Yeah, right. Every chance you get, I bet you pounding your li’l dick.”
“Okay. If you say so.”
“P, I don’t know why you tryin’ to front.”
“Front,” I repeated. “You can’t be serious.”
“Boy, I’ll put Toni li’l hot ass on you and you’ll bust a nut before you get your pants down.”
“Ant stop tryin’ to dis me.”
“I ain’t dissin’ you. I’m spittin’ facts. If you ain’t packing big nuts or slangin’ major dick, you can’t handle Toni. That coochie is deep, and she likes her man to pound the bottom out of that ass.”
“That sounds like the kind of work I do.”
“Nigga please! You ain’t old enough to concentrate like that. Either you pumpin’ or spankin’, but a combination will get you off.”
“I can handle her and any body else you send my way.”
“Not from the looks of it playa. You don’t look well hung to me. So if you ain’t jacking off, you better start.” Ant stated, giving Melvin five.
“Ant, how you figure I need to be jackin’ off. Hell, I’m packin’ more dick than you, and you got me by ten years?”
“Please, shut up. You’re playing right? Have you seen all that ass Renee’s working with?”
“Yeah.”
“How you think that rump got like that?”
“Not you!” I quickly replied to shut him up.
“Boy, I put in work,” Ant bragged.
“Whatever. That’s not what your ex-girl Peaches said the last time I bust one in her mouth.”
“Damn, Ant, he threw Peaches on you. Now that was low,” Melvin suggested, grabbing me around my neck, before Ant got with me.
“P, you better stop talking shit about that one there and come on before I bust your li’l ass,” Ant replied, looking serious.

I smiled because I’d done something I was never able to do. Shut him up. Ant didn’t know if I was serious about his ex-girl or not. Her reputation was had gotten so bad. He didn’t know what to think, so he didn’t want to play the big dick, little dick game with me anymore. Especially since Melvin was cracking on him along with me.
From the first time I met Peaches, she was always on a mission to get paid. Sleeping with Ballas was her full-time J..O..B. At one time, Peaches was Ant’s main squeeze. She was probably the only girl he ever really loved. However, since there separations her status had been reduced from classy to a straight chicken-head. She was a high dollar sack-chaser who wore the latest hoochie mama fashions, and the oversized jewelry.
Before Ant blew up, and started grinding major weight, Peaches crushed him big time. She kicked him to the curb for a sorry brotha off the Eastside. Ant never had a chance to put closure to that relationship because of the way it abruptly ended, but whenever we saw ole girl, it was clear that she had moved on. Sad part about their entire situation was that he was still feeling her, but she clearly wasn’t thinking about Ant, which is why he was kind of sensitive to jokes about her.

Later that day, I walked out of Fairlane Mall with three Run DMC Adidas trackies, a few pair of Top-Ten sneakers that matched each suit, some Cazal glasses, two Calvin Klein jean hookups, and the leather Max Jullian jacket. Shortly after leaving the mall, we rolled Ant’s Turquoise, 190, Benz to the Gold Plaza on Greenfield to buy a few cable ropes, and some two finger rings. That’s when Ant got his first fat pinky ring with this plushed out diamond. That damn stone was so phat that all the haters acting like they didn’t know he was the man, would be forced to pull out their sunglasses to block the bling. Some still didn’t give him his props on that piece of jewelry, but most couldn’t help but bow down to acknowledge his status.
After shopping, I had Ant run me by the house to drop off my things. I was gon’ chill at the spot with Bean for a minute, shower, and get back with him later that evening. When I first walked up in the house, Bean and Renzo were arguing as always. At first, I tried to ignore them, but as soon as I heard some loud slaps, I walked back to Bean’s bedroom and kicked the door open like I was 5-0.
“Punk Ass Nigga, get your hands off my mama.” I yelled with authority.
“Prince, you better get your li’l ass out of here, close that door behind you, and stay in your place.” He replied, staring me down like he wanted to square off on me.
“Fool, this is Bean’s spot. She’s paying all the bills while you lay around here sleeping and scratchin’ your nuts like a damn dog. Cab Driving ain’t bringing in no major loot to this crib. You better recognize that you’re a temporary tenant. If anybody got to step, it’s gon’ be you, not me.”
“Boy, you better watch who you trying to run up on. I’m a grown ass man. I’m not one of these kids you be around here regulating.”
“You better watch who you disrespecting,” I insisted, giving him direct eye contact.
“Prince, I’ll snap, go off, and break a foot in yo young ass with the quickness. You better take your li’l frail behind out of here talking to me.”
Bean immediately started looking crazy at Renzo. She wasn’t feeling his comment, though generally, she was known for being on his side. She looked him up and down, and quickly intervened on my behalf that day. For a change, I was actually in shock because she’d come to my defense like a parent was supposed to.
“Lorenzo, don’t talk to my child like you’re crazy. You ain’t about to do nothing to him.” She yelled.
At that point, I was impressed. However, like always, she pulled her same ole, I’m gon’ cut for my man nonsense.
“Prince, you’re out of line. Get the hell out of my room, and close my door behind you. I done told you once I don’t need you in my business. I can handle my own affairs,” she screamed, looking at me.
“Yeah, right, I guess that’s why Ant and Silk are over here every other month checkin’ yo man. Right!” I angrily shot back at her, slamming her bedroom door behind me.
I walked to the bathroom thinking, Bean’s a stupid bitch. I know GG taught her better than this old fer-doop mess she over here on. My little sister is watching the stuff she does. I can’t help but wonder what kind of example she’s trying to set for Ke?
Kenyatta also known as KeKe, was my seven-year-old sister. One evening after going to a Christmas party out in Oak Park, Bean and Renzo got mad drunk and came home on one hell of a high. Bean was shocked when she found out she was pregnant with Ke ‘cause she had just celebrated her thirty-eighth birthday. Prior to that, she swore she’d gone through menopause two years earlier. Well, that’s what she was always telling Ant and me because she was moody and hot flashing like crazy.

Anyway, Ant made it to the house about two hours after my incident with Renzo. He sat in the living room mean mugging Zo the entire time he was there. Renzo didn’t say one word to my brother. He feared him ‘cause Ant held grudges. He also didn’t bother Ant like he bothered me because he knew Ant was mentally on something different and crazy. Right before Ant moved out of Beans’ house, him and Renzo got into a big fight. Ant had Zo on the bedroom floor begging for his life. He put a gun in Zo’s mouth and told him, the next time he touched Bean, he was gon’ kill him, then pay to have him cremated.
Renzo knew when Ant said something, it was clearly evident that he meant it. Plus, he wasn’t going to push Ant’s buttons. My brother’s temper and his rep on the streets were too vicious to ignore. Ant had a violent history, and Renzo knew that he wasn’t to be tried or the consequences could be grim.
Right when Ant was about to go off on him for beefing with me, Bean came into the living room popping off at the mouth like always.
“Anthony Lavell Prince, I don’t want any foolishness up in my house tonight. Do I make myself clear?” she asked, reaching for some Coke to mix with her Hennessey.
“Bean, you got to live with that nigga, not me. But I will say this, he better not threaten or put his hands on P or else!” He replied, looking her dead in her face with his cold eyes.
“Well, he is your sister’s father, too, so while you’re making threats, you need to take that into consideration before you do anything to him.”
“KeKe is seven. He ain’t never been a good daddy to her. Hell, I’ve been helping you take care of that girl since she was born, so to me, he ain’t shit more than her sperm donor.”
“You need to leave. Leave my house right now. You ain’t about to sit up in my place and disrespect my man like he ain’t a man himself.”
“He ain’t, Bean. And as soon as you accept that, the better off you’ll be.”
Right then she walked to the door, twisted the lock, and then ordered Ant out.
“Anthony Prince, get the hell out! Get out of my house right now, and don’t come back until you can show some respect for me, my man, and our house.”
Ant stood up to leave, and I went walking right behind him. Ant was not only my older brother by ten years, but he was also my idol. I wasn’t about to stay. If he had to go, I had to go.
“Prince, where do you think you’re going?” Bean asked with clear anger in her voice.
“See there you go. Don’t start trippin’ out on me because you’re mad at your eldest. I ain’t got nothing to do with y’all’s argument. Here I was defending you, and now you going off on me for your man like you always do. You’re never on my side. You let that sorry nigga say whatever he wants to me. I’m getting tired of that. You always show your boyfriend more love than you show me. That’s bold as hell, ‘cause I’m your child.”
“Prince, most of your life I’ve made sure you’ve had what you needed in spite of your trifling father walking out on me. He denied you as his own, but I’ve always loved you. You can say what you want, but don’t try to send me on a guilt trip. You can save that nonsense you’re talking right now for someone who doesn’t know any better. Because I do.”
Bean was right, I knew she’d always treated me the best between my brother and I. However, as a mother there were several instances in which she fell short. I really wasn’t trying to dog her out. Actually, I only wanted to send Bean on a guilt trip long enough for her to let me go with my brother. I figured I better stop while I was ahead, so I didn’t reply to her comment. Instead, I explained my plans for the evening, hoping that would calm her down enough to allow me to depart with her blessings.
“Bean, Ant’s supposed to let me hang tonight. He and the fellas are sneaking me up in My Fair Ladies to kick it. I’m not gon’ be out all night, so why you don’t want me to leave with him?” I asked.
“Prince, Anthony is 24, you’re 13. What’s reasonable for him is much earlier for you. I really don’t want you out in them streets with Anthony period. He’s involved in too much, and anything could happen to you. I don’t need or want any extra-added stress in my life. I’m sick and tired of you trying to be so grown. You need to get some friends your own age, and stop trying to act like you’re Anthony’s equal.”
“I know I’m not his equal, but I will be fourteen in a few hours.”
“So what! You said that like it’s a major difference. You’re still a child. Sometimes you forget that. I’ll let you go this time, but you better have your ass in this house by 2 A.M.”
“I’ll have him in early,” Ant stated, aggravated.
“You better or he’s not going any place else with you,” She responded just as annoyed.

I don’t know what got into Bean that day. She was on some real nonsense talking about I wouldn’t be hanging with my brother. She really didn’t care anyway. All that mess she was talking was a front. I’d been doing what the hell I wanted to do since I was ten. Now all of a sudden she wanted to play the concerned Mom role. We didn’t even refer to her as mom. GG and Daddy Ruenae raised us for the longest because Bean was to busy trying to be young after we were born. When she first had Ant, she didn’t even want him. She refused to let him to call her Mom or Bonita, which was her name. So when Ant started talking, he called her Bean. He was trying to call her BB like we called my grandmother GG, but Bean kept coming out. By the time I came along that nickname was a given.
Just as I was making my way down the walkway, I was nothing more than a few steps away from the porch when Bean came to the screen door yelling, “Prince, you’re so busy trying to be grown, and run behind Anthony. You gon’ keep on and these streets gon’ be the death of you.” I looked at her with clear disgust on my face. I was extremely uneasy about her comment, but what could I say in my own defense.
“P, Bean gone on one of her Henny Henn adventures. She’s been drinking all day like a damn fool. Don’t even let her get at you like that. You know how she trips when she’s been sipping,” Ant suggested.
“Yeah, I know,” I replied, feeling a little like Bean had just put a curse on me, talking about some death shit.
Ant wasn’t about to let her mess up my first major outing with him and his boys. He fired up a blunt, took a few hits, and then insisted that I take a few drags as well.
“Prince, we got to get you ready for tonight. You need to relax. Hit that blunt a few more times before you pass it back to me.”
“Naw, I’m tight,” I struggled to reply ‘cause my lungs were full of smoke.
When I extended my arm to pass the J back to Ant, I started gagging and chocking. I was trying to get the full effects of my hit, but the smoke was overpowering my lungs.
“Boy, this stuff is the bomb, you better slow down,” Ant insisted, looking at his pager. It was beeping like crazy. “799-9952. It’s Melvin. This is his fourth time calling me.” Just when he lifted the joint to take another hit, his pager started beeping again. “That’s Melvin again. Damn, why this nigga keep beeping me.” Ant mumbled, exhaling.
“Maybe something’s up at one of the spots. You should pull up on this payphone and buzz him back right quick.”
“We’re almost at his house. He knows I’m on the way. If there’s a real problem, stopping will only take up more time.”
By the time we rolled up on Melvin, he was standing on the porch bugging out. I could tell he was worried about something, but he was trying to maintain his manhood.
“What’s the problem?” Ant yelled with his arms extended.
Melvin broke down, “It’s T,” he replied, anxiously making his way to us. “We got to hurry up and get to him. While we were on the phone somebody ran up in his spot. I heard someone say something to him about Silk. Then T dropped the phone and started screaming like he was being tortured.”
T, was short for Terrance. He, Ant, and Melvin had been boys since the second grade. They were thick as thieves, too. He was one of the coolest friends Ant had; and was like a second big brother to me. That evening while riding to his house, I remember sitting in the back seat speechless. I was thinking, if something really happened to T, Ant was gon’ nut the fuck up, and Silk was gon’ trip as well. T was Silk’s stepson. Though his mom, Monique and my uncle weren’t still married, Silk was still pushing up in that fatty girl every now and then, so there was still a family connection between T and him.
When we rolled up on T’s crib, the door was pulled up, but it wasn’t locked. Ant told me to stay in the car, but fuck that, I thought, after sitting there for a second. I grabbed his extra heat from under the dashboard and ran in behind them. Before taking the steps two at a time, I remember slowly pushing some chick walking on the sidewalk out of my way, “Is T alright,” I asked, breathing hard, as my heart raced from the excitement of everything. Neither Ant nor Melvin said a word. They didn’t have to either. I could see for myself. T was sitting tied to a chair with his pants pulled down to his knees. His nut sac had been slit open, NGN was carved in his chest, blood was all over everywhere, and I was in shock. I guess that’s why I didn’t realize that his brains had also been blown out the back of his head. When I finally noticed brain tissue splattered all over the wall behind him, I became sick to my stomach. I locked in on this thick brown stuff oozing from his mouth. Then the look of terror I saw in his half open eyes, terrified me.
“Call the police,” Ant screamed, crying like I’d never seen before. But I didn’t move. “Prince!” I jumped. “Call the police, I said.” Ant yelled a second time before I picked up the phone to dial 911. I’d never seen death first hand before, and I never wanted to see it again. I was so nervous that I was literally shaking. Most of all, I was scared, but I didn’t want Ant or Melvin to know. I tried to remain, as calm as I could while the line for the operator rung, but no matter what I did, a queasiness continued to fill my stomach.
“911. What is your emergency?”
“Yes, we need you to send the police to 44441 Rutherford.”
“44441 Rutherford, what’s the emergency?”
“There’s been a shooting. I just arrived at my cousin’s house, and he’s been shot.”
“Sir, can I get you to hold while I dispatch an officer to your address.
“Okay.”
While waiting for her to return, Ant was making me nervous. He kept asking T, “Who did this to you?” I wanted to tell him stop asking that man questions. If T even attempted to answer with him being in the condition he was in, I was bouncing out of that house with the quickness. As I cased the house from the spot I was standing in, my eyes started to wander. There was so much blood in the room that I was becoming nauseous again, especially, when I looked at the large puddle of blood resting beneath T’s chair. I’m glad the operator came back when she did because I was becoming ill, and she distracted me.
“Sir.”
“Yes, I’m still here.”
“ An officer and ambulance is on the way.”
“Okay, but I don’t think we need an ambulance.”
“May I have your name please?” The operator asked.
“Yeah, Prince”
“Prince, I’m going to have you stay on the line until an officer arrives.”
“Alright.”

Finally, after holding for about two minutes, I told the operator a few officers were walking in, so she allowed me to hang up.
After half-ass casing the crime scene, those assholes started asking tons of questions. At first, they were trying to insinuate that we had done that horrific killing. When we told them about T talking to Melvin right before he was killed, they eventually excluded us, but wrote down our information for future contacts. Mrs. Hicks, T’s nosey neighbor, said she observed us running into the house, which confirmed our story and saved our asses. She said the only reason she knew what time we pulled up in front of the house is because once we arrived, Ant skid on his breaks. Lucky for us he was driving like a maniac, but most of all, lucky for us that Mrs. Hick’s snoopy old butt loved peeping out her blinds.
That old lady was not only able to spare us, but she also gave a great description of the assailant’s vehicle. She described their vehicle as a black Laredo Jeep. From her description, it was on rims and had a special paint job. The only problem with that was the fact that there was a bunch of brothas in the city rolling jeeps on rims with custom paint jobs. That meant once an investigation started, finding T’s killer would basically come down to a process of elimination.

At first, seconds, minutes, then hours past. I stood looking around in complete shock, but the reality of T’s death hit home for me when the coroner finally arrived. I stared at him while he remained tied to that chair for the longest. To me, T appeared to be on display for the various people coming to investigate the crime scene. One photo after another was taken. Then the lead investigator pissed me off when he informed us that we probably contaminated the crime scene when we ran up in the house. At that point, who gave a damn about a crime scene? We were more concerned about our boy’s well being, not preserving any evidence.
After several questions and telling our story a thousand times, when we finally finished up, it was extremely late. I was crushed about not getting to enjoy my big birthday celebration. On top of that, I didn’t even get to rock my new Calvin Klein jean hookup or my fresh new Top-Ten sneakers. Most of all, I almost died myself at the thought of missing out on my chance to lie up in some warm mature pussy.
Considering the circumstances, I didn’t even care that I’d missed my curfew. Bean was gon’ swear that Ant had me out ‘til all hours of the morning up in the middle of some drama anyway. I knew she was gon’ nut up when she found out she was half right. I didn’t stress it though.
I finally made it to the house about 5A.M. When I got to my room, I slowly undressed and threw my clothes on the floor next to the foot of my bed. While crawling up onto the mattress, I thought December 5, 1983, what a way to bring in my birthday. When I pulled my blanket a little above my waist, all I kept seeing was T tied to that chair. The slash in his nut sack stood out most. When I envisioned the look in his eyes, I considered the kind of pain he must have endured, and then I grabbed myself a time or two out of sheer compassion for his suffering. NGN, what the hell did that mean, and why would someone carve those letters into T’s chest, I thought, looking through my blinds at the sunrise.
I noticed my clock as 6:58 flashed on the monitor. I was fighting to keep myself awake. Finally, I turned over to get comfortable, but couldn’t. I thought about T one additional time, and again grabbed myself for reassurance. I was tripping so much about the manner in which he’d been mutilated that I must have held my nuts for what felt like a lifetime. For some reason they seemed to feel much safer in my hands, so I kept holding them without shame, until I finally fell asleep.

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