Copyright © 2010
All rights reserved to Miamac
Ray-Ray reveled in the power the fear surrendered and used it to form his own little army. It didn't take long for him to secure top dog position in the broken community and deeply carve his own rock from the flourishing drug business permeating inside the Parkside’s walls.
“How Aunt Angie doing?” choked Ray-Ray. The coarse texture of his young voice aged him to that of someone who’d spent most of their adult life abusing booze and cigarettes.
Ray-Ray flicked a nod. “Good, good.” No matter how dirty some of our cousins got their hands, they remained respectful to the matriarchs in the family, even after the rift mama caused.
He swung his arm around Steven’s neck. “Cuz, why don’t choo hang with me for a bit? I got’s some biz I might need choo to handle.”
Steven wrung his hands in anticipation of finally getting it wet with some real cash. He’d long wanted to be a part of Ray-Ray’s crew and he hoped that maybe today would be the big day.
Ray-Ray usually let his soldiers do his bidding but he’d gotten word there was a snacker amongst them. A snacker was a drug dealer who dipped into and smoked up the product rather than selling it for profit. No solider of Ray-Ray's was allowed such a sweet bite.
“Mane, dat punk azz nigga been fuckin’ up. Goat ‘nem say he dippin’ in my shit, costin’ me money.” He squinted his eyes and tightened his jaw. “Cuz, choo knows I don’t play dat shit!”
They’d reached his door but stayed off to the side so that Boogie wouldn’t see them if he looked out the peephole. Each apartment’s main entry door was made of heavy reinforced steel, the same material used in prisons, which all but guaranteed no force entries, making invitations a must.
“Knock on dat nigga doe, cuz,” he whispered. “If he see just choo, dat nigga won’t thank anythangs up.
Steven took very short breaths as he knocked on the door. Boogie immediately swung it open.
“Whaddup nigga?” Ray-Ray chimed in before he could react. “What…choo ain’t gon’ invite us in mutha fucker?”
Boogie tried to play it off, but he’d just smoked two blunts and was somewhere between heaven and hell. He could barely open his eyes and slurred all his words. “Aw, mane, you knows I ain’t trippin’ like dat. Shit, ya’ll mutha fuckers know ya’ll welcome up in dis joint.”
Ray-Ray, who was practically breathing down on him, sniffed and then walked past him inside the apartment. Boogie knew something was wrong and wanted to run right out the door but was too wasted to make his legs behave they way they should, so he just closed himself inside with the other cubs and one very angry lion, Ray-Ray.
The apartment reeked of freshly smoked marijuana. Ray-Ray spotted two roaches inside an ashtray on the kitchen table. “Nigga, I know yo’ azz ain’t gettin’ fucked up on my time…..and with my shit!”
“Shit nawl, mane,” Boogie laughed.
Ray-Ray got up in his face. “So choo thank dat shit funny, hunh?” he said, the words barely escaping his clenched teeth.
Boogie was visibly shaken and struggled for words. “Ugh…nawl, mane,” he said, eyes darting. “I…ugh…used my own shit.”
“So why yo’ azz hidin’ in dis bitch instead of out dere makin’ cheddar?”
Steven could tell where the conversation was going. He felt bad for poor Boogie.
“Ugh….I, ugh….mane, I sold dat shit. Yup, got rid of all of it. Shoo, I was just gettin’ ready to call yo’ azz to see if I could get another brick. Dat dere shit was so good, mane, ‘dem niggazz been blowin’ up my goddamn pager all fuckin’ day!”
Ray-Ray grinned. “Now dat shit’s funny. ‘Cause nigga yo’ azz sho' did’nt’ hit me back.”
Boogie snatched his pager off his waist and looked at it. “Mane, da damn battery must be low or somethin’.”
“Whatever nigga, just go get me my shit.”
Boggie looked dazed, like maybe he was trying to think of an excuse but just couldn't sort out the words disintegrating in the juices of his numbed brain cells. “Ah’ight,” he finally said before willing himself towards the bedroom located in the back of the apartment.
“Go with dat nigga,” Ray-Ray ordered Goat. Boogie lived on the third floor so he’d assumed he might try and escape by jumping out the window, something that wasn’t unheard of in the projects.
Clothes and trash were strewn about the small, cramped bedroom’s floor. Realizing he was being watched Boogie went through the motions, searching inside the closet, dresser drawers and even under the bed.
“Fuck!” he finally gasped. “Dat bitch don’ took all my shit!” Boogie got up off the floor and stumbled back into the living room. He was talking about his babies’ Mama, Felicia, the woman in whose apartment he lived with their three kids.
“Mane, dat bitch Felicia stole my shit again,” Boogie complained to Ray-Ray. “She probably downtown somewhere shoppin’ like she some damn fool. Mane, I told dat bitch dat shit whatz’nt mine, but you know bitches, dey be spendin’ it faster den we can we make it,” he chuckled. “Ugh…dog, why don’t you let me get at another brick and I’ll have dat for you by tomorrow, for sho’? Dese fuckers want it so bad, dey’ll pay damn near anythang.”
Ray-Ray got up off the couch. “Is dat right,” he slowly nodded. For a split second Boogie thought he was off the hook until he saw that nobody else was moving.
“Mutha fucker, choo thank I’m stupid?! Thank I don’t know what da fuck is really going on!?”
Boogie could see the bulging veins in Ray-Ray’s neck that too matched the anger bulging out his eyes. In a bad attempt to escape down the hall, he lost balance, bumping alongside the wall.
“Look at yo’ azz, all fucked up and shit! Nigga, sit yo’ silly azz down fo’ you break yo’ mutha fuckin’ neck!” Relieved, Boggie stumbled over to the couch and gladly plopped down next to the others.
“Choo know what?” Ray-Ray chuckled into the back of his hand, “Niggah, I’ma give yo’ azz a break, since choo my boy ‘n all.”
Boogie heavily exhaled. “Ah’ight, dog. Dat’s cool. Mane, I promise I’ma fix dis shit. And I’m gon’ have yo’ money tomorrow like I said, ah’ight?”
“Choo sho’ in da fuck will,” Ray-Ray told him before pulling out his gun and shooting him in the leg.
The others were caught off guard and had to move quickly to get away from the target.
“Damn, mane,” Boogie cried grabbing his bloodied leg, “I thought you said we was cool?”
“We is now,” Ray-Ray half-laughed before cocking his head and again tightening his jaw. “Nigga, da next time yo’ azz dip in my shit, dere ain’t gon’ be no mo’ breaks. You heard?” Boogie almost choked on Ray-Ray's hot breath. Whimpering, he gave him a shaky nod.
“And quit actin' like some lil bitch!” Ray-Ray bellowed. “Carry his azz next doe ovah to Sherita’s house fo’ she can get his azz to da hospital.” Waiting on 911 was suicidal for Parkside tenants unless your goal was to let the victim die, which sometimes was the case.
Steven was shell shocked and tried to conceal his growing fear. I mean, this was Boogie. He was as close as being family so he'd never expected Ray-Ray to shoot him….and right in front of them? Damn, this nigga is tougher than nails, is all he could think.
“Cuz, do me a solid. When dat nigga get outta the hospital, I won’t choo to run with his punk azz to make sho’ dat nigga ain’t fuckin’ me,” Ray-Ray ordered. “Ah’ight?”
Mama had set our curfew to when the street lights came on, which was around sunset. They’d been on for almost fifteen minutes before Steven strutted in.
Her arms were locked in place across her heaving chest. “Boy, you better have a good reason for why your black behind is just getting home.”
"And what’s this about some dead girl?” Mama-Hyde questioned."