Tuesday, February 14, 2006

...Ain't Gold (Part Twenty-Four)

"So when do we do this?"
Maxell stroked his clean shaven face. He was deep in thought, wondering how, oh how and more importantly, when he was going to get Rich back. He had an idea, a very good idea, deep in the back of his mind. He would need them to pay rapt attention and swear allegiance for it to work, but if and when they did he was more than certain it would work.
"I'm still thinking about that. He murdered both of my children without a second thought. And for what? To prove a fucking point? I want him to die with my face the last thing he sees. I want him to go to hell knowing that I sent him there. I want him defeated, betrayed, hurt," Maxell paused for emphasis, "broken."
He breathed the words savagely enough for the hair on both their necks to rise. They looked at one another, sure this was what they wanted, but unsure of Maxell's mental stability. They were standing in front of the second most powerful man in New York. He was counting on them to take Rich out.
And if he commanded, so it would be.

To get her mind off other things, Rich made Nicole start planning the wedding. The moment he made that decision he regretted it. She drove him wild talking about it. Since he wouldn't allow her to go back to her office in the city she took up all her time planning. It was the only thing she could do with any freedom. Her planning was bugging the hell out of him though.
“How about June?”
“Whatever you want, baby.”
Nicole say back on her thighs, her body covered in one of his oversize dress shirts. She looked tired but happy, like a kid that wanted to ride every attraction at Disney World. “Can you give me something, Rich?”
He looked up from his place on the couch where he sat cleaning his gun over the coffee table. “How about fall?”
Nicole bit the tip of the pen she was writing with. “Fall? You like that?”
He went back to his gun. “Sure. October sounds cool.” Nicole was happy that he helped make at least one decision. For the past three days, all she kept hearing was “Whatever you want, baby.” She looked in her daybook. “How about October 25th?”
He looked up. “I think that’s good.”
Nicole quietly went back to writing her beginning plans before she transferred them to the laptop Rich bought her. Rich was just going along with her because he really could not care less. Weddings were for women. As far as was concerned, the whole affair could be summed up as follows: give me a tux, give me a date and a time, give me the rings, and I’ll be there. He didn't want to deal with the intricate details. Like now.
“What kind of flowers do you like?”
He gestured with his full hands. “Baby, I don't like flowers. You like flowers.”
“I don't know what I should have.”
“Use your favorite flower.”
“Tiger lilies? They’re only a summer flower. They don't ship them after summer because it gets expensive.”
“So I’ll pay for them then,” he said.
“You will? Ooh, thank you baby.” She leaned back over her book. For the next hour, he watched as Nicole pulled out the calculator and took voracious notes, entering this, deleting that, trying to get the basics down. He was beginning to think his plan was backfiring. In his haste to get her mind off her family, he’d turned her into a Bridezilla. Now he had to get her mind off the wedding. He was horny, but every time he made an advance, she told him she was busy working.
After a while, Nicole went to start dinner. She left her notes there, and he waited a while before he flipped through them. One whole page was filled with things like Mrs. Nikki Knightley. Nicole Anisa Knightley. Mrs. Knightley. Mrs. Richard Knightley. Nicole Anisa Baisden-Knightley. Rich smiled. He was glad he made her feel like a schoolgirl. It meant he was doing something right. He walked over to the peek hole and watched her wash her hands and turn down one of the pots.
“Mrs. Nikki Knightley. I like that one best.”
Her head snapped up. “You went in my notebook?” She threw a dishtowel at him.
“It was already open. The breeze must have moved the pages over.”

“Ooh, I’ma get you, Rich. Watch.”
He was walking into the kitchen to get her back when his pager went off.
"Rich, we know where Stretch is."
Rich recognized the voice as belonging to Mookie. "Where?"
"Well, being as you're the only person that can fucking understand Shadow, you'll have to ask her."
Less than ten minutes later Rich was on his way out the door. He, Shadow, Mookie and Toots met at Rich's home in upstate New York. None of them had been back since the police closed their investigation into Prage's death. He knew Shadow was there, he could feel her. He motioned for the others to wait for him outside, then walked into his house alone.
As usual, Shadow resembled her name. He had to search for her for a moment. She sat in a chair in the corner of the room, in the dark, the only light coming from the cigar she smoked. He walked toward her, stopping at the edge of the darkness, speaking after a few moments of quiet had passed.
"Good to see you again."
He chuckled. "Have it your way. They say you know where Stretch is?"
She stood, at least he thought she did, as the lit end of the cigar suddenly jumped in the air. His assumption was confirmed when he heard her heels click toward him. She reached out her hand and revealed its contents. Black and whites, a familiar face...
"Where did you get these? How the hell did you get so close to him?" He flipped through the photos of Stretch, knowing she would not answer. In his search to look far and wide, Rich had neglected to look right under his own nose.
The man had been in his house.
"And he never saw you?"
The lit end of the cigar shook back and forth, indicating a no.
"How long was he in here?"
She lifted her hand.
"Five months?"
"Five days?"
A nod.
"Where is he now?"
The first sign of emotion Rich ever saw Shadow display was pulling itself across her face at that very moment. She had perfect teeth, he noticed. She seemed shy, bashful, to reveal what she knew.
"What? What's so funny? Where is he?" She walked away, a hand in her coat. Rich followed her as she kept up a brisk pace, all the way upstairs. Breathing sweet smelling smoke out of her nose, she opened a bathroom door and gestured with a flick of her head. Rich frowned and went inside.
Folding his arms and cocking his head to one side, Rich leaned back on his heels and admired Shadow's handiwork. She had made Stretch die a long and painful death and the bloody, grotesque grimace on his face, not unlike that of a haunted circus clown, proved it.
She had flayed him, opening his chest to the bone. His throat was cut from ear to ear and the tongue was pulled through the incision. Rich fought back a shudder as he duly noted that the mans' eyeballs were missing. Blood was all over the walls of the shower, some spray reaching as far as the door. The tub was soaked red. She must have changed, he thought. There wasn't a drop on her. Stretch had been there for a little while, the smell announced.
"Am I cleaning this up?"
She shook her head.
Rich nodded and reached into his pocket. His girl had never failed to disappoint him, and even now, she was still a master at what she did. He smiled as he brought of two very thick stacks of cash and handed them to her. She flipped through them and put them on her person, turning and fading into the recesses of the house.

Rich exited the house a few moments later, the only cheese smile present on his face. Mookie was shaking the flame out of a match and laughed aloud at the look pictured on his homeboy's face.
"She finally stop frontin and come off wit the pussy?"
Toots slapped him hard in the arm. "Well?"
"Stretch is dead. I can die happy," Rich said, unlocking his car and getting in.
Mookie smiled as well. You sure can.


Post a Comment

<< Home

MusixZone Harlem: Diary of a Summer
Listen to this album
Listen : Jim Jones , Harlem: Diary of a Summer
Free Guestmap from Bravenet.com Free Guestmap from Bravenet.com

Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep. If I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take and may this song play all the way, through. And if it skip a beat, hit repeat, this the realest shit I ever wrote, this is me. If it skip a beat, hit repeat, This the realest shit I ever wrote, this is me. -Juelz Sanatana, This Is Me, What The Game's Been Missing