The boy who got killed on Corona Ave. – Stand Alone Short Story
By Rock Kitaro
Date: May 13, 2013
Big Bang – “Stay” –
The following work is completely fictional. Some spelling is incorrect intentionally for flavor.
“…I’m sorry what?”
“English, motherfucker! Do you speak it!” Said another officer before laughing his ass off and wandering down the hall.
“…Royes…” Det. James mumbled as a double-stream of smoke blew out of his nose. “I apologize on his behalf. The graveyard shift on a Tuesday night is boring for all the uni’s.”
I rolled my head and batted my eyelashes. My head was bangin from two white Russians and rum and these pigs was asking me every damn question in the book.
“Mmmhmm…Whatever muthafucker. Go ahead on… talkin about the graveyard duty. I got a double shift at Home Depo in four hours!” I wasn’t yelling at him. Just stessin ma point.
“Then, what were you doin at a bar on Corona Avenue?” James asked.
“That’s my business, you pale face motherfuckuh. Don’t worry about it!”
“You’re right. That is your business. So I won’t worry about it. Instead, I’ll handle mine. All right? And my business is all about figuring out what the fuck happened at the Smooth Umbrella at around 10:30pm on a goddamn weeknight.”
“So why are you asking me!?” I shouted, raising my voice to match his.
“Because you literally puked all over the hood of my Buick!” He said, squinting his eyes and moving his chair closer.
“What? You wanna a special certificate? You want a cookie for being dragged down here? You’re an adult, princess. Get your shit together and answer my goddamn questions! And let me tell you. You better drop the attitude before I run an intoxilyzer on ya ass. Toss a DUI in your lap. Yeah! Believe me, princess. That shits hard to get off your record. Mugshots all over the goddamn internet. Good luck picking up a guy who Google searches ya ass. Try me.”
Detective Patrick James. I saw from his badge that he was a senior officer and from the way he switched it up on me, I can see why. Caucasian, but he could talk like a nigga if he wanted to. Didn’t blame him. In fact, I respected it. I don’t like talking to cops or suits but James got raw on me all the sudden. Made me smile. But if he ain’t stop waving that muthafuckin pen all up in my face, they might had to be somethin.
“Tell me what happened, Michelle. Start from the beginning, alright. Tell me what you saw.” James said as he moved a Dixie cup of coffee my way.
So I crossed my legs in my sexy tightass little skirt and got comfortable. I looked around. The closest other cop was on the other side of the room feelin up a couple of hookuhs against the wall. They was loud, so I wasn’t worried about them overhearing me.
The bar packed up pretty fast. I didn’t want to go out with my upcoming double shift, but my girls Sherry and Trish was telling me about this new nigga in town. I’m going through a break-up right now, so they was lookin out. But I don’t know…I’m not a big fan of the light-skinned bruthas. They be stuck up some times. Like they too good for us thick sistus.
“Michelle! Please…This ain’t The View.” Det. James said, cutting me off.
I leaned back in my chair, letting out a sharp chuckle. It was embarrassing the way he caught me rattling off. It’s funny cause he was just nodding his head like he was actually interested in what I was sayin…before cutting me off with this thick eye-browed expression like, come own lady! Hahaha!
Anyways… I was in there, just kickin it with my girls. The club was packed with about 100 to 120 of us. Not noisy though. Most of the mens was just watching the playoffs, so it was relatively quiet. Especially since that boy got killed last week.
“Did you know him? The boy that got killed, did you know him?” James asked.
“He tried to call himself tryin to hit on Sherry a couple of weeks ago. But he was your run of the mill stray, hitting on everything that moved. Cute, but you could tell he was triflin. Like, he was just there on some money that he borrowed from one of his friends or whatever.”
“Did he have any friends? Did you ever see him with anyone?” James asked.
“I saw him leave with a couple of girls. Skinny bitches, basically the scum of the pot. Other than Marcus, Kev seemed cool with Jamaul’s clique…but they seemed more so annoyed with him. You know…too polite to tell him to get the fuck on somewhere. So he stuck with them. But I wasn’t there the night he got killed. So I don’t know.”
James shook his head. “That’s alright. We know about that. We want to know about tonight. Tell us what happened tonight.”
Well, around the start of the third quarter, this tall soldierly looking brutha walked in. And it was weird, because he got like, everybody’s attention. I mean, he was tall, black and handsome, but he didn’t seem like everyone else. He looked like some celebrity that you’d expect walking the runway. While everyone else was dressed in a cocktail dress, or looking sharp in a suit or collared shirt, this guy was dressed in some casual blue jeans and a bright orange graphic t-shirt with a white cross on it. Obviously no stranger to the gym with those bulging biceps and veins poking out of his arms.
But there was something else strange about him. I mean, this here is Hot-lanta! The bruthas and sistas have a natural swag about us like we got some smooth R&B song stuck in our heads at all times. From the way we talk, to the way we walk. To the way our eyes even look at anyone and everyone, we just smooth it. Not too subtle, not to obvious. But this brutha…He had everyone’s attention in the room and he knew it.
He was a text-book Oreo, mixed with something. He was smiling, flashing those pearly whites. Looking everyone in the eye and nodding to them as if he’s known them for years. It was so weird. We was thinking to ourselves, who the hell did he think he was? So obviously, me and the girls was fascinated with him. Like a sexy alien who had just crash-landed to earth.
Everyone watched as he made his way to the bar and leaned over. That t-shirt…showed off those back muscles too. The boys must have been intimidated because this stranger didn’t show an ounce of fear. It was like he owned the place. And every one of us was just his guest.
Me and the girls…we were already a little tipsy and feeling a bit adventurous…So we all giggled like school girls as we picked up our stuff and moved to a closer table. Once we got ourselves situated, we looked around to see who else was eyeballin him. Everyone was eyeballin him! I told you. Hahaha! Like a celebrity.
Then, he turned ever so slightly and looked over his shoulder at me. Those eyes…like a tiger. He had deep piercing eyes…but still. He was smiling. The feeling is similar to like…looking into the rough waves of a stormy sea. It’s amazing to stare at, but I got the sense that I may be in danger. So it pulls you in.
“Mmhmm..Yeah. Did he say anything to you?” James asked, cutting me off, yet again.
I smiled. “He didn’t say anything to me directly. We locked eyes for only second and he smiled politely. But looking back, I don’t think he was looking at me. I think I was just obstructing his view. He was looking at the spot where Kevin was killed.”
James nodded. “What happened next?”
“Then, Robert rolled up on him.”
Robert was one of the regulars who acted like he owned the joint. Him and his friends work down at the stadium running security for the Braves. So you know…they used to actin all brody, alpha males. Trying to punk other bruthas and all that. So they roll up on him.
It starts off with everyone smiling, very courteous and what not. Feeling each other out, that kind of thing. That’s what Robert was doing. But I’m not sure what the other brutha was doin. Until finally I hear his name.
“Sup bro! I’m Jermaine. Are you regular here?” The stranger asked Robert. His voice…definitely an Oreo. Clear and coherent, without any slang or accent one way or the other. But at the same time, not preppy like he attended some boarding school.
“Yeah bro, I practically live up in this muthafucka, maine. Shiet!!” Robert said, garnering laughter from his boys like a pack of hyenas.
“Good good.” Jermaine said, laughing along with the boys, almost like he was mocking them. “Then, you can tell me what happened here last week.”
“That’s what he said?” Det. James asked. “He just cut straight to the chase and asked about that incident?”
“Yes!” I answered. “I was surprised too.”
When he axed about it, everything got quiet. It was like…even the TVs turned down a bit all by themselves. Robert and his boys were stunned. I assumed they knew what happened and probably had some part to play in it. Either that or they were afraid of whoever did it. I heard that the police tried to question a few individuals, but nobody spoke up. Everyone gave contradicting statements. So no one was convicted.
“Nigga, who is you supposed to be? You a cop or something?” Robert asked him.
“No.” Jermaine said, still polite and gregarious.
“Then, why do you wanna know.” Robert growled, just mean mugging all up in Jermaine’s face.
Jermaine still didn’t seem too phased, but I could tell Robert was wearing on his nerves. He turned to the bartender and asked for a Sprite. The bar tender, Gregory or Gary, delivered that Sprite but warned him to take it outside if he was going to start trouble.
“No trouble at all. Just here to get some answers.” Jermaine said before raising the glass to his lips.
“Well this ain’t CSI Miami, my nigga. So if you got questions, Google that shit. Ya heard?” Robert said before getting some dap from one of his boys.
“The fuck he think this is.”
“Best to step on with all that Colombo bullshit.” His boys mumbled under their breaths.
They started to walk off and get back to their game until Jermaine put down his glass and casually said… “Funny you should mention Miami. You’re not too far off.”
“My nigga! You’s starting to annoy me.” Robert barked.
“Hey hey hey!” Gregory shouted from behind the bar. Still smilin, Jermaine held up his hand like a reasonable negotiator…but those eyes. I couldn’t shake that there was more to him.
He said, “Allow me to introduce myself again. The name is Jermaine Dumas. The name might not mean much to you boys up here, but down in south Florida…around the way of Miami and Tampa. Well…Let’s just say that I’m the kind of guy adults warn other adults about.”
“So what? You like…in the black mafia or something?” I asked him. I shocked myself when I said it. But he turned and smiled at me, not bothered by the question. Instead, he kinda seemed relieved that someone finally asked him.
“Let’s just say that what happened last week has a lot of people concerned. No one was arrested or convicted. That’s uh…that’s not good. I mean, I’m sure I’m not alone in expressing a lack of respect for law enforcement. But at the same time, letting a death like that go unanswered for…Doesn’t look good. Ya know. What kind of world do we live in where shit like that happens?”
“Happens everyday, son. Shit happens everyday.” One of Robert’s boys told him.
“Indeed it does, my man. But not to me. Not to the people I work for.” Jermaine replied.
“You threatinin us, boy?” Robert said, once again steppin up like he was about to do something.
And that’s when Jermaine’s eyes…I swear there was fire in em. He looked up from his glass of Sprite and stared deep into Robert’s soul. Fuckin, stunning him! “Depends. Did you kill him?” Jermaine said.
“Hey!” Gregory interjected. “Now I done told you. You come startin trouble, you better take that nonsense outside. Alright, we can’t have another incident like this again. They’ll close the place down for good.”
“Then listen up!” Jermaine shouted, loosening up with a roll of his shoulders, as if he didn’t already have everyone’s attention.
“I don’t want to cause any trouble. There doesn’t need to be trouble. I just need to know what happened last week. The guy’s name was Kevin Faison. He succumbed to blunt force trauma from brain hemorrhaging. He got his ass beat on this floor in front of dozens of customers and no one knows who did it? Kevin Faison is the nephew of a very powerful cartel leader based out of Tampa Bay. So, Mr. Bartender. You want me to bounce. I’ll bounce. But I’ll tell ya… if I walk out these doors without some solid answers, trust me. You’re gonna wish your bar was closed for good.”
Detective James started laughing. “He said all that? Word for word?”
“Yeah. When you catch the guy, you’ll see for yourself how good he talks.” I said.
“Okay. Then what happened?” James asked.
“Then, everyone was on edge. The man basically said, give us some answers or the mafia would slit our throats in our sleep. And everybody…Well most of the people who were there the night Kevin got killed. They were all staring at Marcus.” I explained.
“Marcus? Marcus Crews. The body from tonight?” James asked.
“Yep. I guess the rumors were true about Kevin borrowing money from Marcus. I heard that they got into an argument a couple of days earlier and Kevin started jawing off about how he wasn’t gonna pay a damn thing, pretty much daring Marcus to do something about it. Nobody cared for Kevin anyway, so…anyways…”
With all eyes on Marcus, he had no choice but to rise to the occasion. He wa-un’t no punk. So he stepped up to Jermaine. Marcus was a former bouncer and cool with Robert, so he pretty much palmed Robert out of the way. Standing about three inches taller than Jermaine, Marcus looked down on him, trying to intimidate him.
“I’m sorry about what happened to Kevin. But the boy ran his lip. Talkin all that shit. Just an ungrateful motherfucker.” Marcus said.
“And you put him in his place?” Jermaine asked. “Who else?”
Marcus skulled him cross-eyed and insulted. As if he needed help to beat the crap out of Kevin. So, rolling his head and licking his lips, Marcus stepped up to him. “Nah, baby. Ain’t nobody else. He was my problem. So I handled that shit. Shiiet. Whatchu got to say about that? Huh, playa? Comin up in here, bumpin them gums like you bout it bout it. Let me tell ya playa, I ain’t the one to fu–”
“Now while Marcus was saying all of this to him. Jermaine…he seemed to be more focused in preparing himself to throw them hands. He casually took off his watch and tossed it over to me for safe keeping. Marcus was in the middle of a sentence when Jermaine punched him hard across the face, sending him sprawling back, taking a couple of glasses off the table with him. I can still hear the hard meat packing sound that came with it. The punch caved in his eye. It was nasty.
Robert and his boys rushed Jermaine…but it was like…Hahaha! I feel bad for saying this considering a man died tonight and all. But it was like some ole Transporter shit up in that bar. Jermaine got hit, but he just rolled with the punches like they were nothin. He was mixing it up with punches and kicks..and man…his elbow drew blood.
With his boys all scattered about, Robert was the last one to rush him. He swung at Jermaine, but Jermaine caught the arm and like…swung him over his hip in some judo move, smashing him through a table. But before he let go of his arm, he popped it out, hyper extending the elbow.
Then Marcus got back up with puss and blood all oozing out of his eye. Yuck..that shit…His swoll ass tried swinging at Jermaine, but Jermaine ducked under the punch and struck him in the neck. After that, Marcus went down holding his neck and Jermaine was walking back towards me.
“He extended his right hand out towards me, which was weird because he was a south paw. As I cautiously handed him watch, I saw that his left hand was bleeding. But there was something in it. Like, he had his left hand wrapped around something.”
“But you didn’t see exactly, what it was?” Det. James asked me.
“It was pointy, but blunt at the same time. Like some old rusty spike or sharp piece of rock that he probably picked up out of the street or something.” I said.
After that, Jermaine didn’t say anything else. Everyone else was panicking, shouting for someone to call 9-1-1. But Jermaine just stood there, watching as blood gushed out of Marcus’s neck. The smile and charm was no longer there. He was scary. Like a monster.
“Then what happened?” James asked me.
“Then, he walked off. He stood there and watched Marcus die with, you know, sirens wailing in the background. Then he walked off. Like Shaft in a MMA t-shirt.” I said.
It was strange the way my mind worked. Retelling the story, I couldn’t stop thinking about how charming and good-looking Jermaine was. Then gradually…it’s like…the thought of him chilled me to the bone.
“Is there anything else you’d like to add?” James asked.
By that point, I was shaken up…Too cold to think about anything else. “No…I’d really like to just go home and try to get in at least a couple hours of sleep.”
“You can’t call off for the night? You did just witness a traumatic event.” James suggested.
I took it upon myself to stand up and brush the back of my skirt off. “Awe. You’re sweet booboo. But no thanks. Medical loans aren’t gonna take care of themselves.”
“Well thank you for your statement. Let me walk you out.” James offered.
I declined the detective’s offer. From the way he kept looking into my eyes as I finished my story… I just didn’t want to give him the wrong idea. You never know with his type. So, after double checking to make sure I got my pocketbook and ID back from him. I began to make my way toward the exit in my tired high heels.
Then it just occurred to me. I wasn’t sure why I cared. Maybe I secretly wished I’d see him again, or maybe something inside was afraid that he’d come after me because I saw his face…but I needed to ask one more question.
With a timid smile, I turned around to see the detective’s eyes already on me, his eyebrows raised. “Soo….” I began as sweet and innocent as I could. “Do you know who that Jermaine Dumas person was? Are you guys on your way to catch him? Is his cartel members gonna come up here? What’s up with that?” I said before busting out in an embarrassing laughter.
Det. James was smitten…as well he should be. With a chuckle, he closed a folder on his desk and told me. “Jermaine Dumas is an alias used in one of Rock Kitaro’s novel. Rock Kitaro is an up and coming novelist out of Tampa Florida. He’s taken some acting classes and is an avid mixed martial artist. But he has a clean record. No gang or cartel affiliations. Not even a traffic citation.”
“What?!” I involuntarily shrieked out in a high-pitch tone. “Then, what about all that crap he was goin on about? Why did he give a damn what happened to Kevin?”
Det. James nodded with a smile that said he was impressed. “Kevin Faison was Kitaro’s little brother. Half brother. That’s why they barely look alike. Anyways. We called Faison’s parents and the only person who hasn’t returned from the funeral services is his second oldest. We showed Kitaro’s photo around. And sure enough. It’s him alright. It’s only a matter of time before he’s apprehended.”
I walked back to James desk to see the photo he just pulled out of the folder. It was him alright. Amazing… Even in the photo he seemed peaceful and inviting, like he wouldn’t hurt a fly. But I have older brothers…Men who would’ve done worse to whoever did me like they did Kevin. Again, I feel bad about it because someone just died that night. But I hope Rock Kitaro gets away with it. I think he will.