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Original stories by Shmolnick that humorously explore the dark side of humanity.

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An Audience with Lord Porkington

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Criminal Mastermind

1 – Chillin’ with AJ

AJ sat on the worn brown sofa, his attention fixed on the video game playing on the shiny new flat screen TV.  His fingers played deftly over the controller as the explosions and screams from the game filled the room.  Jamal, his neighbor and frequent gaming opponent, sat next to him desperately trying to avoid another catastrophe.

“You done, dawg,” said AJ, not taking his eyes from the action on the giant screen.

“Dag!” muttered Jamal as he watched his character get blown to pieces by one of AJ’s video minions.

The video game’s hip hop announcer boomed his post-game announcement over some loud and angry generic rap music.  “Dawgs, time for another DRIVE BY!”

AJ unceremoniously threw the controller aside and laughed.  “Dawg, NOBODY can beat me at Drive By.  Nobody.”

Jamal tossed his controller aside and frowned.  “I hate this game,” he complained, then quickly covered his mouth with his hand, realizing too late his mistake.

AJ glared at him.  “But I like this game, bitch.” he said, with emphasis on the last word.  “And that means YOU like it too.  Right?”  He poked his finger at Jamal’s arm, hard.

Jamal rubbed his arm.  AJ was insistent.  “I said YOU like it too, right BITCH?”

Jamal quickly nodded his agreement.  “Sure AJ, it’s a great game.  I’m just sick of losin’, is all,” he said apologetically.

AJ snickered and stood up.  “Too bad for you, dawg.  Ever’one be losin’ to AJ.”  He walked to the kitchen and poked his head in, sniffing the air.  “Yo Moms, how come I don’t smell no supper cookin’?”

His tall and extremely large mother quickly pulled her head out of the closet at the back of the kitchen holding a few boxes.  “Oh hi honey, I’m just startin’supper now.  I thought you might like extra time to play your games with yo’ friend.”

AJ walked up to his mother and delivered a vicious back-handed slap to her face.  “Just get that fat ass to cookin’ my supper, and leave the thinkin’ to ME!”

His mother clutched her burning cheek and stifled tears.  “Yes honey, right away.”

AJ chuckled to himself and watched his mother’s wide ass move around the kitchen.  He whistled and thought to himself, “Damn woman, if you wasn’t my moms I’d tap that ass good.”  He reached for an open bag of Doritos sitting on the cluttered kitchen table and disappeared with it into the living room.

Jamal was heading for the door as AJ returned.  “Dawg! Where you think you goin’?” asked AJ in a loud but slightly menacing voice.

Jamal turned, his hand still on the doorknob.  “I…I have to get home, yo.”  He kept the door slightly ajar, waiting for AJ’s permission to leave.

“Shit dawg, you gots to go, you gots to go.  Get yo ass here later for a rematch.”

“Sure AJ, I’ll be over after dinner.”  Jamal quickly left the apartment, relief showing on his face the moment the door closed behind him.

At that moment, AJ’s cell phone rang.  He jumped onto the couch to dig the phone out of the crevice into which it had fallen, and flipped it open.  “Yo G-MAN!” he shouted into it.  “Where you at?  I need you here dawg. NOW!”

The voice on the other end belonged to AJ’s trusted lieutenant Geoffrey.  “On my way, AJ.”

“You take care o’ that shit like I said?”

“It’s all good, dawg.  I be there in ten.”

“Get me some smokes on the way, dawg.  Later.”  AJ closed the phone and ended the call, then returned to the bag of Doritos.  He picked up the television remote control and switched the TV from video game mode to cable TV mode, and began flipping through channels until he found an episode of Spongebob Squarepants.

“Spongebob you be one STUPID motherfucker!” he laughed, and he quickly became transfixed with the cartoon.

AJ Franklin was the gang leader in his rent-control neighborhood.  His frequent mood shifts and violent temper kept everyone around him in a state of constant fear.  But even criminals needed to relax.  And being only eight years old, AJ liked to relax with cartoons.  Spongebob was his favorite.

2 – G-Man

Geoffrey Townes eased the big black Escalade around the corner from the convenience store where he had just purchased a carton of Kools for AJ.  He glanced at his watch and breathed a sigh of relief when he saw that he still had six minutes to get to the diminutive gang leader’s apartment. The little side street was clear of traffic so Geoffrey gave the lumbering SUV some gas.  He turned up the volume on the rap music, which was already blasting, filling the street with the familiar low BOOMBA BOOMBA BOOM.

All of a sudden, an unremarkable tan-colored Ford Taurus swung out in front of him, blocking the street.

“Motherfucka!”  Geoffrey was forced to pull off the road onto the sidewalk.  Two middle-aged white men jumped out of the tan car and approached the SUV, grinning.  “Shit, fuckin’ five-oh again,” he thought.

One of the men slammed his fist into the side of Geoffrey’s SUV while the other moved quickly around to the passenger side.  “Yo, G-Man how’s it hangin’?” asked the man on the driver side in a mocking tone.

The other man tried to open the passenger side door, but it was locked. He banged his pudgy fist on the window and frowned.  “Open up, Geoffrey. NOW!”  His hand went under his jacket; Geoffrey unlocked the door.  The large man climbed up into the Escalade and eased his bulk into the seat with suprising agility.

“Damn, why you motherfuckas always hasslin’ me, yo?  I’m mindin’ my own business.”  Geoffrey glanced at his watch, getting worried.  He knew AJ hated being kept waiting.

Detective Bubble, the man who was now seated next to him in the SUV, smiled and opened the glove compartment.  “So Geoffrey, where ya’ going in such a hurry?”  He openly rifled through the contents of the compartment, tossing papers and miscellany onto the floor without a care.

“Yo man, why you gotta mess with my ride?” complained Geoffrey.

The other detective, Shmolnick, was now leaning into the vehicle, his goateed face inches from Geoffrey’s.  “So G-Man, what do you hear about this Blacktop thing?”

Geoffrey frowned angrily.  “Who? Never heard of him.”

Shmolnick snickered and suddenly his hand was in Geoffrey’s kinky hair, slamming the gangster’s head into the steering wheel several times.  “Oww, ooh, shit, owww!” cried Geoffrey.

Bubble shook his head.  “Shit Geoffrey, you don’t want to make my partner mad now, do you?”

Shmolnick released Geoffrey’s hair and wiped his hand on Geoffrey’s windbreaker.  “Now I’ll ask you again.  The Blacktop hit – what do you hear about it?”

Geoffrey rubbed his forehead, which was throbbing dully from the detective’s assault.  “Yo man, police brutality!”

Shmolnick’s expression darkened, and he yanked open the car door and dragged Geoffrey out onto the curb, throwing him to the street.  He ignored Geoffrey’s plaintive “Yo man” whining.

Shmolnick let his anger build.  He wanted to scare the gangster.  “Listen you scumbag, we know you had deals with Blacktop; we’ve got his cell phone.”  Geoffrey stayed down, but now there was fear in his eyes.

Detective Bubble had come around from the other side of the SUV and was now standing above Geoffrey.  “You know Geoffrey,” he said calmly, “You can make it easy on yourself by just telling us what you know.”

Shmolnick made a fist and cocked it.  “Don’t piss me off, G-Man.  Tell us what you know.”

Geoffrey was shaking.  Not at the threats from the cops, but from what he imagined his boss, AJ, would do if he found out his chief lieutenant was a snitch.  “Yo man, I don’t know nothin,” he said, his eyes looking away from the cops.  He wiped sweat from his face.  “Yeah, I had a deal with Blacktop but he never showed.  Motherfucker disappeared on me.”

Shmolnick grabbed Geoffrey’s jacket collar roughly.  “Don’t bullshit me, scumbag.”

“Yo yo yo, no bullshit man.  I swear! I swear!  Yo, you gots to let me go, man.”

Bubble rubbed his chin in a gesture of deep thought.  “Geoffrey, you seem to be in a real hurry tonight.  Where ‘ya goin’?”

“Yeah G-Man, what’s the rush?” sneered Shmolnick.

Geoffrey started to get up from the ground, glancing at his watch again.  Damn! He was definitely going to be late.  “Yo, I told you all I know man.  I got to go, I gotta date, man.  You know.”  He gave the cops a sly knowing gesture, hoping it would satisfy them.

Shmolnick laughed and let go of Geoffrey’s windbreaker.  “Gonna tap some ass tonight, eh G-Man?  Alright, get the fuck outta here.”

“You better be telling us the truth about that Blacktop thing, Geoffrey,” said Bubble.

“Yeah that’s right G-Man.  Oh, and we’re gonna be in your face from now on, so you better keep your skinny ass on the straight and narrow.  Now GET!”

The two detectives walked back to their unmarked car and drove slowly down the street.  Geoffrey brushed the street dirt off his clothes and hurriedly got back into the Escalade, once again glancing at his watch.  “MotherFUCKA!” he shouted, starting up the car.  He had less than one minute to get to AJ’s with the cigarettes.  He suddenly remembered the package and put his hand underneath his seat.  It was still there!

Breathing a sigh of relief, Geoffrey took off down the street, the tires squeeling.

As the gangster hurried to his young boss, the two detectives pulled over in front of their favorite coffee shop a few blocks away.  “We better watch that sneaky motherfucker,” said Bubble, turning off the ignition.

“Well he knows something for sure,” replied Shmolnick.  “Did you see how scared he got when he looked at his watch?”

“Yeah, somebody’s got ol’ G-Man in a real sweat.”

“I wish I knew who this new Mister Big was.  G-Man usually has balls of steel.”

“Fuckin’ captain man.  We shoulda followed him.”  Bubble opened the car door.

“You know Ironpants Bick.  He’d slap us both down to traffic cops if we did that.”  The two detectives got out of the car and headed for the coffee shop entrance.  “Anyway, I’m not interested in staking out G-Man and his whore girlfriend’s apartment.”

Bubble laughed.  “Dude, fuck THAT.”

3 – Doritos

AJ licked the excess sauce from the bowl of Spaghetti-Os and pushed the bowl away.  He got up from the kitchen table and saw that his mother Tawanda was watching him.

“Whatchoo lookin’ at?” he said, furrowing his brow in anger.

“Baby, did you like your dinner? Was it hot enough?”

“Damn woman, you want a motherfuckin’ medal or somethin’?”  He shook his head and went into the living room.  “Fuckin’ stupidass needy ho,” he grumbled, as his mother proceeded to clean up after him, tears filling her eyes.

AJ glanced at the clock.  “Yo ‘Nessa! Where you at?” he shouted.

Vanessa, his 14 year old sister, came running out of the bedroom.  “What is it AJ?” she asked, fear in her eyes.

“What time that say?”  He jerked his little thumb at the clock.

“Quarter to six, AJ,” answered Vanessa.  AJ couldn’t tell time.  He didn’t need to; he relied on others for that information.

“Where mah dawg at?” he spat, staring at the apartment door.  “I think he’s late.  Fuckin’ G-Man keep pushin’.”

“I’m sure he’s on his way, AJ,” offered Vanessa.

AJ glared at her.  “Did I AXE you what you thought, BITCH?”  He fingered the belt that held up his outsized pants.

Vanessa backed away and put her hands up reflexively.  “I didn’t mean nothin’ by it, AJ.”

“You BETTER not mean nothin’ by it, you stupid bitch.”  He stroked his belt again.  “You KNOW what you gonna git otherwise.”

Vanessa blinked back tears and nodded.

AJ snickered and plopped onto the couch.  “Dag, fuckin’ ho’s always be cryin’ an’ shit.”  He started flipping through the channels.

At that moment, a rapid knocking came at the door.

“That be G-Man.  Let him in, bitch,” ordered AJ.

Vanessa hurried to the door and unlocked it, letting in a sweating and nervous Geoffrey, who held a small brown package in one hand.

“Bout time, dawg.  Where you be at?” said AJ, looking around for his Doritos.

Geoffrey and Vanessa exchanged worried glances, then Geoffrey walked over to stand next to the TV.  He knew better than to block AJ’s view of the TV.  “Mothafuckin’ construction trucks yo, blockin’ the damn street.  I’m on time, ain’t I?”

AJ looked up from the TV at his lieutenant.  “Nessa, he on time or what?”

“Oh yeah AJ, he just on time,” answered his sister.

“You got my package I see, dawg.  Gimme.”  AJ held out his hand.

Geoffrey handed the package to the boy and stood waiting for the little gang leader’s reaction.  The boy tore open the paper and whistled at the neat stack of hundred dollar bills.  “I trust it be all here, dawg.”

“Oh yeah AJ, the whole ten grand.  Just where Blacktop left it.”

“That stupid nigga.  He be done now, hah.”  AJ rifled through the bills.  “Count it, bitch,” he said, handing the bills to Vanessa.  Geoffrey glanced at the girl sympathetically.

“Sure AJ,” replied Vanessa, who began counting the bills silently.


“Hundred, two-hundred, three-hundred….”  Vanessa’s voice broke slightly as she obeyed her little brother.  She kept counting.

AJ looked at Geoffrey.  “Dawg, it all set up with the fat man?  I want my taste o’ the West Side.”

“Talked to the fat man’s peeps an hour ago, AJ.  The meet’s all set for later tonight.  Under the old highway bridge.  We gonna get us a good deal I think now that Blacktop be gone.”

AJ glared at him.  “We betta git a good deal, or YOU be done, dawg.”  Vanessa continued her counting in the background.

Geoffrey held his tongue.  He hated the little punk of course, but he dared not defy him.  He’d seen what the boy had done to others who had crossed him.  G-Man had a strong sense of self-preservation.

“Make sure my boys be ready, G-Man.  I want a show of strength in case that fat pimp tries anything funny.”

“Oh yeah AJ, they all be ready,” answered Geoffrey.

“Nine thousand seven hundred, nine thousand eight hundred, nine thousand nine hun-“

“Motherfucka!  Will you shut up bitch!!”

“But AJ, you told me-“

AJ burst from the couch, rage in his eyes.  “What I tell you about back talkin’ me, girl?”

“I’m ….I’m sorry AJ.  I – I’m goin to my room now, if that’s okay.”  Vanessa was visibly shaking.

AJ snatched the money from her and laughed.  “That’s okay, girl, I just fuckin’ with yo’ dumb ass.  Now GIT!”  Vanessa quickly ran back to her room and shut the door.

“Yo G-Man, you see my Doritos anywhere?”

Geoffrey looked around the room.  He didn’t see the Doritos bag.  “Naw, I ain’t seen ‘em, AJ.”

“YO MOMS! Get yo ass out here.”  AJ was fuming now.

Tawanda came running out of the kitchen clutching a half washed dish and a dish towel.  “What is it baby?”

“Wheah my Doritos be at?”

Tawanda looked at Geoffrey.

“Don’t be lookin’ at the G-Man.  I AXED you a question.”

“No honey, I ain’t seen ‘em,” answered his mother, backing into the kitchen.

AJ started throwing couch pillows around angrily.  One of them flew across the room, breaking a vase.  “Nobody knows where AJ’s Doritos be at? NOBODY KNOWS?”

His eyes scanned the living room, then stopped at his sister’s door.  “YO NESSA!!! GIT YO ASS OUT HERE NOW!!!”

Vanessa opened her door and came out on command.  “Wh-what is it, AJ?” she asked nervously.  She brushed a crumb off her mouth without realizing it.

“What’s that shit on yo mouth, bitch?  You been at my Doritos again?”  AJ was shouting now, and poked his finger into his sister’s overdeveloped breasts.

“Uh, uh….”

AJ’s eyes narrowed.  “G-Man, see if my Doritos are in her room.”

“Okay AJ,” said Geoffrey, who went into the room to check.

“You in big trouble bitch if he find my chips in there.”

Vanessa started to cry.

Geoffrey found the bag of chips on Vanessa’s bed.  He shook his head wearily.  This would be bad for the poor girl.  But he knew well enough to stay out of it.  Sighing, he picked up the bag of chips and went to the living room.  “Found ‘em,” he said, giving Vanessa a sheepish look.

“DAG! DAG!  You stupid cunt!!  Now you gonna git it good bitch!”

“No please AJ, I didn’t mean nothin’ by it.  I forgot they was yours!  Please!”  Vanessa was crying now.

“Gonna give you something to cry about, you stupid ho! Git in that room!!”  He shoved his sister into her room and closed the door behind him.

Within seconds, the sounds of shouting and whipping and crying could be heard from inside Vanessa’s room.  Geoffrey and Tawanda looked at each other and shook their heads in silent agreement.  Best not to get involved when AJ was meting out punishment.  Tawanda returned to the kitchen to finish washing the dishes.

Geoffrey shook his head.  “Motherfuckin’ nightmare,” he thought.

4 – The Fat Man

Geoffrey sat behind the wheel of the Escalade as AJ sat in the back sit fidgeting.  “Where the fuck is that fat bitch?” complained AJ.

“Big Willy always likes to make an entrance, AJ.” offered Geoffrey.

AJ said nothing but frowned, and his fingers went to the large automatic weapon that sat on the seat next to him.

Suddenly a large black Lexus pulled into the dark space under the abandoned portion of the highway.  This was a favorite meeting place for the city’s gangster elite.  Deals were often negotiated in the dead of night in the area.  The empty factory buildings and condemned row houses that ringed the place had seen many criminal activities and told no tales.  The police knew all this of course, but city politics tended to get in the way of vigorous law enforcement.  Unless bodies started appearing, police activity was directed elsewhere as ordered by the mayor’s office.

The Lexus stopped several yards away from the Escalade and the lights went out.  The driver got out of the vehicle; he was a tall, well-dressed muscular man with short cropped hair.  Even in the dark shadows, there was no mistaking Red McClendon, the fat man’s second-in-command.

“That be Red,” said Geoffrey.

“I know who the motherfucker be,” snapped AJ.  “My boys in position?”

“All ready, AJ.  They cells be on; if we need ‘em.”  Geoffrey’s hand nervously rested on the door handle.

“They better be,” said AJ.  “Yo G-Man, turn the headlights on.  I wanna see how fat he be.”  Geoffrey complied, groaning inwardly at this obvious violation of accepted protocol.

Red squinted at the sudden light, then opened the rear door of the Lexus and stepped away from the car.  A pudgy beringed brown hand emerged and clutched the top of the open door.  Using the door as leverage, an incredibly large and obese black man stepped slowly out into the light.  He was dressed in a multicolored silk shirt, imported suit (custom-made to fit his size), and Italian shoes.  Leaning on his trademark silver-handled cane, Big Willy frowned at the light, which reflected off his great bald head.  He appeared to say something to Red.

Big Willy Jones was the undisputed gang leader of the area of the city known as the West Side.  He was greatly respected by the city’s gangs, and his influence was felt all the way to City Hall.  He kept his people in line, and was generally recognized as the city’s crime lord.  His quiet genteel manner and expensive clothes contrasted with his great bulk and reputation.  Tipping the scales at 350 pounds, Big Willy was called “the Fat Man” but only behind his back.  There were numerous unpleasant stories of what happened to those who called him Fat Man to his face.

In the current business arrangement, Big Willy got a piece of every action in the city.  In return, Big Willy’s gang left everyone pretty much alone.  This arrangement had held for the past four and a half years, up until two months ago when the leader of the east side gangs, Anthony Franklin, turned up dead, his face shot away at close range.  The murder was never solved, and a string of similarly brutal and unsolved murders followed.  Blacktop McAdam, a well-known and well-liked drug dealer unaffiliated with any gang, had been the latest victim.  Big Willy had expected a payment from Blacktop; when the dealer became the latest victim a few days ago, Big Willy was out ten thousand dollars.  As Blacktop had been last seen on the east side of the city, the large crime lord had called for this meeting.  Somebody was calling the shots on the east side, and Big Willy had had enough of the increased pressure from the police.  He finally insisted on meeting Anthony Franklin’s mysterious successor, confident that an agreement could be struck.

“Yo kill those damned lights!” yelled Red.

AJ grinned.  “Dag, he sho be one fat mother fucker!”

Geoffrey frowned.  “We better kill the lights, AJ.”

AJ snickered.  “Yeah yeah, turn ‘em off.  I made my point.”  G-Man complied and darkness returned.  AJ continued to finger the weapon on the seat.  “Well, what you waitin’ fo, G-Man?  Let’s get this party started.”

Geoffrey stepped out of the SUV and sighed.  He walked slowly toward Red and Big Willy, his arms outstretched to demonstrate that he was unarmed, a condition of all such meetings.

“’Sup, G.” said Red.  One hand was neatly tucked under his half-zipped windbreaker.

“Yo Red,” answered Geoffrey, noting the location of Red’s hand.

“G-Man, it’s been too long,” greeted Big Willy in his deep but quiet voice.  He reached out to grasp Geoffrey’s hand in a gesture of friendship, his other hand leaning on the cane.  “Now, leave us get down to business.  As you know, I am eager to conclude a mutually beneficial arrangement.  You speak for the east side?”

“My man be in the car,” said Geoffrey, jerking his head slightly in the direction of the Escalade.  Inside the SUV, AJ fidgeted anxiously.

“Well, do I get to meet him or what?” said Big Willy, a trace of impatience in his voice.  “I have some issues that need ironin’ out.”  He stared at Geoffrey in the dim light.  “Somethin’ wrong, G?  You look nervous.”

Geoffrey forced a smile.  “Naw Big Willy, everythin’s fine,” he lied.

AJ could stand no more.  Tucking the big gun under his over-sized overcoat, he pushed open the heavy door of the SUV and jumped out.  “Yo yo yo!!” he shouted gleefully as he approached the three men between the two cars, leaving the door open behind him.

Red frowned angrily.  “Yo G, what da fuck is this shit?” he spat, his hand moving under his windbreaker.  Big Willy shook his head and placed his big paw on Red’s arm.

The diminutive AJ joined the trio, placing himself between Geoffrey and Big Willy.  He whistled and looked Big Willy up and down.  “Dag, you be the fattest man I ever seen!”

Big Willy looked at Geoffrey.  “G, who’s the pup with the mouth?”

Before Geoffrey could answer, AJ spoke up.  “Don’t talk to mah dawg, fat man, talk to me.  I’m AJ.  An’ I wan’ my taste o’ yo west side shit.”  He placed his hands on his hips.  He waited for answer.  “Well?” he demanded impatiently.

Big Willy’s eyes widened, then he smiled and started chuckling.  The chuckles turned into laughter, and the contagion of the big man’s laughter caused Red to smile.  “Aww shit,” thought Geoffrey, shaking his head slowly.

AJ spat, the lunger landing between the fat man’s polished Italian shoes.  “Oh, you think that’s some funny shit, you fat motherfucker?”

Big Willy’s laughter faded.  Smiling, he looked down at the boy.  “Now now, who do we have here?  This can’t be little AJ, Anthony’s boy?”

“I AIN’T no little boy, fat man,” said AJ.  “AND I wan’ mah taste!”

Geoffrey tried to intercede to defuse the tension.  “AJ, I don’t think-“

“Dat right bitch, you DON’T think. I think,” said AJ, his little finger poking his lieutenant’s chest.

Big Willy was getting angry.  “Geoffrey?  You better have an explanation for this, he said.”

“Goddammn, you fuckin’ whale, do I gots to repeat myse’f?”  AJ’s hand went unseen in the darkness under his overcoat.  “I’m in charge now, you deal wif ME.  My pops was too much of a BITCH to tell you what’s what, but I’m runnin’ things now, and I want my taste.”  He put on his angriest face and stared up at the shocked fat man, allowing one quick glance and nod at Geoffrey.  He returned his hateful gaze to Big Willy.  “An’ when I say taste I mean a big taste.”

Geoffrey’s hand went into his pocket and his finger found the correct button on the hidden cell phone.

Big Willy nodded to Red.  “Let’s go Red.  I do not appreciate being treated with such disrespect, especially from a little fucking half-pint like this PUP here.”

He turned to leave, and suddenly AJ pulled out the gun, which he had to hold in both of his small hands.  “Don’t you TURN yo fat ass to ME, motherfucka!”

“AJ NO!” shouted Geoffrey, but his warning was too late.

BLAM!  AJ fired the gun at Big Willy’s back, and the big man fell onto one knee.

Red turned quickly around, pulling his own gun out, but at that moment, a series of loud clicks sounded from all around him.

“I’d put it away if I was you, Red,” cautioned Geoffrey.

Big Willy was sputtering and gasping for air.  Red looked at his boss, then he looked all around him.  He was loyal to the big man, but he wasn’t stupid.  He slowly lowered his weapon.  “Motherfucker,” he muttered angrily.

“Dat be better,” said AJ.  He walked over to Big Willy.  “Now you know who be in charge, huh?”

Big Willy looked up at him, unable to speak.  His fat arm tried desperately to reach the pain in his back.

AJ smiled confidently and pointed the weapon at the fallen crimelord.  “Do I get my taste, you fat motherfucka?”  No answer, just more sputtering and heavy breathing.  AJ kicked Big Willy in the face, his iron-tipped shoes putting a nasty gash in the big man’s cheek.  “Well nigga?”

Big Willy fell forward onto the ground, no longer able to hold himself up.  Rivulets of blood ran from the hole in his back, staining his expensive suit.

AJ shook his head and looked down.  “You done, dawg,” he said, and emptied half the gun’s chamber into Big Willy’s head.

Geoffrey and Red exchanged looks.  Geoffrey shook his head in warning.

AJ laughed.  “Dag, even his brains be FAT! Hawwe!”  Big Willy’s head was no longer recognizable.  The fat corpse lay prone, topped by a mass of blood, brains and skull.  Geoffrey turned away.

AJ giggled.  “Dag, that was some cool shit, “ he said.  He turned to Red.  “You now in charge o’ the west side, musclehead.  Understan’?”

Red gritted his teeth and held his rage.  He nodded his agreement.

“What that?  I didn’t hear you nigga.  You MY nigga naw, right?”  AJ pointed the gun at Red’s head.

“Yeah, I’m yo nigga, AJ,” replied Red in a tight voice.

AJ dropped the gun on the ground and jauntily walked back to the SUV.  “G-Man, make sho dis mess be cleaned up.”  He turned to look at Red.  “We be talkin’ later, nigga.”

Geoffrey pulled out his cell phone and pressed a few numbers.  He looked at Red.  “You betta get outta here, dawg.  I be in touch.”

Red slowly retreated to the Lexus, giving his dead boss one last look.

After both cars had left the scene, several of AJ’s boys silently removed the body and the gun.  Within hours, word spread across the city – Big Willy was dead and there was a new boss in town.  His name was AJ.

5 – Five-Oh On the Case

Detectives Shmolnick and Bubble wearily plopped down on their respective chairs in the squad room, tired from pulling double shifts, tired of chasing after every snitch in the city.  Big Willy’s bloated and nearly headless corpse had been washed ashore on a deserted stretch of beach near the city docks, triggering a frantic and ultimately fruitless citywide investigation.  The newspapers had taken up the cry – “GANGWAR ENGULFS CITY!” and painted an unflattering picture of police efforts to end the violence.

Shmolnick and Bubble had questioned every known and suspected gang member but had come up empty.  Nobody knew anything, but they were all scared.  Bubble glanced at the lab report on the cluttered desk.

“SHMOLNICK AND BUBBLE IN MY OFFICE NOW!”  Ironpants Bick, their commanding officer, yelled sharply from across the busy but tired office.

“Just what we need,” grumbled Shmolnick, getting up slowly.  Bubble followed, clutching the lab report on the late Blacktop’s cell phone.

The two detectives entered Captain Bick’s office.  “What’s up, Cap?” he asked, being deliberately cheery.

Bick sat behind his impeccably neat desk, his hands folded tightly before him.  He got right to business.  “Any progress in the investigation?” he asked curtly.

Shmolnick and Bubble exchanged glances.  “Well, ahh, we questioned everyone and nobody’s talking,” replied Shmolnick.

“They’re all too scared to talk,” added Bubble.

“I’m getting a lot of heat from upstairs on this, gentlemen.  I need results and I need them yesterday.”  Bick glared at the two detectives.  “This string of homicides is right in our backyard, the gang power structure has been completely upended, yet nobody knows anything?”  He stood up and began pacing.  “Get back out there and try again.”

Bubble cleared his throat and caught Shmolnick’s eye.  He held up the lab report.

“Oh yeah Cap, there is one thing,” said Shmolnick.  “We got the labs back on Blacktop’s cell phone.”

Bick stopped pacing and folded his arms.  “And?”

“And,” continued Shmolnick, “There are three sets of prints.  Full set for Blacktop, partial match to Geoffrey Townes –.”

“Townes,” muttered Bick, “isn’t that Anthony Franklin’s sidekick?”

“That’s right,” said Shmolnick.

“What’s the third set of prints?” asked Bick.

Shmolnick scratched an itch on the side of his face.  “Well that’s the odd thing.  No known record, but small enough to be a woman’s prints.  But there are no women involved in the gang leadership that we don’t have prints on.”

Bick held out his hand.  “Let me see that,” he demanded.  Bubble handed him the report.

The captain read silently, frowning.  “Partial prints are good enough.  Bring Townes in for questioning.”

Shmolnick sighed.  “He’s got an alibi, Cap.  For the Blacktop murder.”

“I don’t care what his alibi is, bring him in. NOW.”

The detectives looked at each other again.  “Captain, we’ve been pulling double shifts the last two days,” said Bubble.  “We could really use some sleep.”

Bick sneered.  “Oh, you could, could you?  Gee, would you like me to set up a cot back here and tuck you in?”  He suddenly grew angry.  “Get your asses out there and bring in Townes.  He’s our best lead.”

Bubble got up from the chair.  “He’s our only lead.”


Geoffrey Townes knew things would be hot after the Big Willy hit, but this was ridiculous.  He had been questioned once already by the police, and every time he showed his face on the streets, he was followed by the cops.  AJ was getting impatient with the police pressure, but thus far had followed the advice of Geoffrey and Red to lay low and let the heat die down before resuming full scale business activities.

AJ reached his hand into the bag of Doritos and pulled out crumbs.  “Yo, I need more chips!”  Nobody answered.  AJ stood up angrily.  “YO!! I SAID I NEED MO’ CHIPS!  Wheah is everybody in this motherfuckin’ dump anyway?”

Tawanda and Geoffrey quickly emerged from the kitchen.  AJ’s mother hurriedly rebuttoned the top buttons of her blouse, an action she hope her son wouldn’t see.

“What up, AJ?” asked Geoffrey, trying to sound nonchalant.

AJ frowned and glared at him.  “Don’t be all ‘what up’ with me, dawg.  You been at my moms again?”  Geoffrey’s eyes grew wide with fear.  “Well dawg?”  demanded AJ, moving closer to the two.

“Now baby,” his mother started to say sheepishly.

“SHUT THE FUCK UP YOU STUPID HO! I WASN’T TALKIN TO YO’ FAT ASS!”  AJ turned back to Geoffrey.  “Well G?  You know I’ll find out anyway.”

Geoffrey sighed.  “AJ, your moms and I like each other is all.  Ain’t no harm done…”  His voice faded as he looked at the floor.  AJ glared at him.

Suddenly the boy burst out laughing.  “Oh dawg, you should see yo face!”  he slapped Geoffrey on the arm as hard as he could.  “I’m fuckin with you dawg, oh man.”  He was still laughing as Geoffrey grabbed his arm where AJ hit him.

The two adults breathed sighs of relief.  “Dawg,” said Geoffrey, “you had me goin’ there.”  He was visibly relieved.  He looked at Tawanda and jerked his head toward the kitchen.  She meekly obeyed and left the room.

AJ jumped back on the couch.  “Now G, go out and git me some chips.  I be all out.”

Geoffrey turned toward the door, almost relieved to be out of the little apartment and away from the volatile AJ.  “Dawg, I get you two bags,” he said.

AJ snickered.  “Just git ‘em, motherfucka,” he said without turning, and picked up the TV remote controller.  “Where the fuck is Jamal, that bitch.  He be avoidin’ my ass all WEEK!” he said, to nobody in particular.

Behind him, G-Man left the apartment.


Geoffrey held the grocery bag in one arm as he made his way through back alleys back to the apartment.  He was careful not to crush the bags of Doritos; AJ would be most displeased to receive crushed chips.  Suddenly a car squeeled in front of the end of the alley and out jumped Detectives Shmolnick and Bubble.

They quickly grabbed the surprised Geoffrey and slammed him up against the wall of the alley, causing the grocery bag to pop out of his grasp onto the ground.  “ Yo man,” he complained.

“Aw, whats the matter G-Man, don’t tell me you’re not happy to see us?”  mocked Shmolnick, who was already roughly frisking the gangster.

“Y’know, Geoffrey, you’re gonna give us a complex,” offered Bubble, whose gentle tone belief the fact that he was aiming his gun point blank at Geoffrey’s chest.

Geoffrey squirmed.  “Man, I already told you everything I know.”

The two cops stepped back.  Shmolnick shook his head slowly.  “G-Man, G-Man.  What are we gonna do with you?”  He reached under his jacket and pulled out handcuffs.

Geoffrey’s eyes darted left and right, seeking an escape route.

“Unh unh unh, Geoffrey.  Don’t even think about it,” cautioned Bubble.

Shmolnick roughly turned the gangster around and slammed him against the wall again.  “Now G-Man, we’re taking you in for questioning.  Seems you prints are all over Blacktop’s cell phone.  Our captain would like you to come down to the precinct and explain it to us.”  He twisted Geoffrey’s arm behind his back, eliciting a sharp cry of pain.  “And our captain can be very unpleasant when he doesn’t get his way.”

“That’s right Geoffrey,” said Bubble, “and we don’t like it when the captain gets unpleasant.”

“Ow man, that hurts,” complained Geoffrey, as Shmolnick snapped the cuffs onto the man’s wrists behind his back.

“Oh I’m sorry,” mocked Shmolnick.  “Is this better?” he growled, and dragged the handcuffed man over to the detectives’ car, then slammed him face first into the side of the car.

Geoffrey yelped.  Bubble grimaced.

Shmolnick put his face inches from Geoffrey’s pain-contorted face.  “Feel better now, G-Man?” he asked, menace dripping from his voice.

“Yo man,” whined Geoffrey.  “Why you gotta mess with me?”

The two detectives ignored Geoffrey’s whining and threw him into the back seat of their car.  They drove off, headed for the precinct.  As they pulled away, a figure emerged from the shadows of the alley.

Jamal had been secretly watching from behind a dumpster.  “Dag,” he said.  He picked up the fallen bag of groceries and ran out of the alley toward AJ’s apartment.

6 – The Setup

Detective Shmolnick paced back and forth in the small interrogation room as his partner Bubble sat calmly at the table across from Geoffrey Townes.  They’d been at it for several hours already, and G-Man still wasn’t talking.  In fact, the longer they questioned and harassed and threatened the gangster, the more stubborn and belligerent he became.  Captain Bick was watching through the two-way glass, arms crossed, growing impatient at the lack of progress.

“You ain’t got shit on me,” said Geoffrey defiantly.

Shmolnick was trying to keep his rage in check, but he really wanted to pound this creep.  Suddenly he stopped pacing and turned.  “Okay G-Man, I think I have it all figured out,” he said, smiling.

Geoffrey smirked.

“You thought you’d make a little power play on the east side.  So you took care of Anthony Franklin, and don’t worry, we will find the body, and you were on your way.  Even took the wife as spoils.  I can understand that, a man has needs.”

Bubble turned to face his partner.  “That’s right,” he agreed, and turned back to Geoffrey.  “We know a man has needs, Geoffrey.  Nothing to be ashamed of.”

“You don’t know what the fuck you talkin’ about,” spat Geoffrey.

“So then, you have some deal with Blacktop.  Now now, don’t try to deny it, we’ve got you all over his cell.”  Shmolnick leaned on the table and moved closer to Geoffrey.  “So now maybe you start getting a little power trip, you’re liking being number one on the east side.  You look across the city and see the fat man, with all his fancy clothes, and all the respect he gets.”

“The man sure knew how to dress,” said Bubble.

Geoffrey snorted derisively.

“And then you get the idea that maybe YOU deserve all that respect, all that power, the expensive suits.  So you lure the fat man to a meeting, and then you execute him.  Probably cut a deal with Red McClendon on the side, although I didn’t think you were that clever.  Did I leave anything out, G-Man?”  Shmolnick’s face was inches from Geoffrey’s.

Geoffrey glared at the detective.  “Fuck you,” he muttered.

Shmolnick’s eyes went wide with rage and he grabbed the stubborn gangster by the shirt, lifting him out of the chair, and threw him against the wall.  “FUCK ME?!” he bellowed, ignoring Geoffrey’s cries of pain.

Bubble immediately tried to take hold of his enraged partner, “Take it easy, man,” he said, trying to calm Shmolnick down.

Shmolnick reared his fist back, a fearful grimace on his face.  Suddenly the door burst open and Captain Bick and a uniformed officer ran in to separate the prisoner from the detective.  Shmolnick was held back by the officer and Bubble.  “Give me five minutes with this asshole,” he huffed and puffed, “just five minutes.”

Bick nodded to somebody outside the interrogation room, and two more uniforms streamed in.  “Get him out of here,” he ordered.  The two cops escorted the dazed Geoffrey out of the room.

“I do NOT want another incident, Shmolnick.  Especially with everybody breathing down our necks.  Your lack of control is unacceptable,” barked Captain Bick.

Shmolnick was still breathing heavily, although he felt the rage dissipate.  “I know he’s our boy, cap.”

“Yet you still don’t know anymore than you did before you brought Townes in.  I have no choice but to release him.”

Both detectives started complaining instantly, but the captain held his hand up.  “I can’t hold him without more evidence,” he said.  “You know the law as well as I do, gentlemen.”  He turned to leave.

“Wait cap,” said Shmolnick.  “At least let us tail him.”

“Yeah, maybe we’ll get lucky,” offered Bubble.

“Fine, but BY THE BOOK.  Do we understand each other?”

“Yeah yeah, by the book,” replied Shmolnick.


AJ was seething.  He sat stone-faced on the couch, his angry stare passing right through the colorful noisy chaos of the TV.  Jamal had come right back to report what he’d seen; that G-Man was picked up by the cops.  That was hours ago.  Who knew what they’d gotten out of him by now.  He rewarded Jamal for the information.  Even now, AJ’s older neighbor and frequent video game victim could be heard grunting behind the closed door of Vanessa’s room.

AJ glanced over at the door.  “Dag, keep that shit DOWN, dawg,” he growled.

Suddenly his cell phone rang.  “Talk me to dawg,” said AJ, flipping the phone open.  He nodded.  “Uh huh.”  “He did?  Good.”  “You mah dawg, yo.”  He flipped the phone closed, ending the call.  He immediately opened it again and pressed a few buttons.

“DAWG!” he said cheerfully.

“Yo, what up?” replied Geoffrey on the other end of the call.

“I heard you was picked up by five-oh.  Talk to me, dawg.  Do I gotta be worried?”

“Naw man, they hassled me and let my ass go.  They got nothin, dawg.  It’s all good.”

“Yeah dawg.  I hope its all good.”

“No worries, they don’t know nothin’ about nothin.’”

AJ’s eyes narrowed.  “Yo we got shit to do.  Meet me at the place.”

“When, now?”

“Yeah dawg, you too hot, I don’t want your dumb ass over here.  I’ll get moms to drive.  She ain’t doin’ nothin’ but fillin’ her fat face anyhow.”

“You got it, see you later.”

“Yeah, later.”  AJ closed the phone and stood up.  He smiled and walked to the door of his sister’s room.  He pressed his ear to the door and snickered at the low gurgling sounds coming from the room.

He banged on the door.  “YO JAMAL, GIT YO ASS OUT HERE!”

After a few minutes of frantic rustling of clothing, Jamal emerged from the room.  “What up?”  Vanessa, AJ’s sister, was still moaning softly in the background.

“You had yo fun, motherfucka, now get out.”  AJ handed him the cell phone.  “Here, you can have this.  You done good today, dawg.”

Jamal grinned.  “Gee thanks AJ.”  He stared at the shiny cell phone.

AJ grabbed him by the shirt.  “I said GIT!”

Jamal hurriedly left the apartment.

“YO MOMS!  GET YO FAT ASS OUT HERE!! I NEED A RIDE.”  He opened the closet door and rummaged through the pile of disorder, finally pulling out a semi-automatic weapon.  Checking to make sure it was loaded, he tucked it into his pants and put on his long coat.  “Muthafucka, where is that fat ho!” he complained.


Tawanda came rushing out of the kitchen, clutching the car keys.  “I’m all ready, baby.”


Geoffrey smiled as he made his next phone call.  He was well hidden, certain that he had ditched the cops’ clumsy attempt at following him.  “Yo,” he said.

“Yo, G?”

“Yeah man, we all ready?”

“Yeah, we ready.”

“Ten minutes.  Under the old Route 10 junction.”

“See you there,”  said Red McClendon, clicking off the phone.  His normally grim facial expression softened, allowing a tiny smile if only for an instant.  He patted the large gun hidden beneath his windbreaker.

7 – Criminal Masterminds

Tawanda Franklin eased the Buick into the shadows on one end of the large space under the abandoned Route 10 highway junction.  AJ sat in the back seat and tried to see out the car windows into the darkness.  There was no sign of movement.

Tawanda was nervous.  She’d been through this routine a hundred times with her late husband Anthony, but this was different.  AJ was her baby.  “Baby, be careful okay?”

An angry look crossed AJ’s face.  “Dag woman, did I ask you for your opinion?”

“Well no baby but…”

“Don’t ‘baby’ me, you stupid ho,” spat AJ.  He peered out the car window again and thought he detected movement.  Reaching for the car door with both of his eight-year old hands, he ordered, “Stay in the motherfuckin’ car until I get back.”

“Okay AJ,” said Tawanda, but as AJ opened the car door her hands went up to her face and she gasped quietly, which led to tears.  She was afraid for her little boy.

AJ quietly shut the car door and saw his mother’s emotional outburst.  “And stop THAT shit too,” he said, pointing his finger at his mother.

He slowly but confidently walked to the middle of the abandoned area.


On the other side of the area, Geoffrey Townes and Red McClendon waited.  Geoffrey had imagined this moment in his head for weeks and now that it was almost upon him, he felt strangely calm.  Red stood silently gritting his teeth and opening and closing his hands nervously.

They both saw the car pull in and turn its lights off, than a few minutes later the car door opened and AJ emerged.  “Yo, here he be,” said Geoffrey quietly.

“Not for long dawg,” said Red, a grim smile forming on his face as he stroked the gun hidden beneath his windbreaker.  “Not for long.”

The two gangsters waited until AJ was standing alone, then made their way slowly to the boy.  When they stopped, AJ put out his arms and greeted them.

“My dawgs!  G, you sure had be worried yo.”  He was smiling broadly.

“Yeah? What you be worried about?” asked Geoffrey.

“Don’t be pullin’ no attitude with me, bitch,” AJ said.

“Let’s cut all this bullshit, G,” muttered Red.

“Yeah, let’s,” agreed Geoffrey, pulling his gun.

Red smiled and pulled out his own gun.

AJ frowned and held his hands up.  “Yo yo yo, what’s this shit?”

“You KNOW what this shit is,” growled Geoffrey.  “This be the end of yo’ reign o’ terror, you little motherfucka.  That’s what THIS shit is.”

Red’s finger closed on the trigger of his gun.  He felt beads of perspiration form on his forehead.

AJ laughed, exaggerating the laughter by bending over and slapping his knee.  Suddenly he was standing upright, his own gun trained on Geoffrey.  “G-Man, I be surprised at you dawg.  I was beginning to think you didn’t have any balls.  Red, I already know you one crazy ass motherfucker, so I’m NOT surprised at you.  I was gonna kill yo dumb ass anyway, dawg.”

“I’m gonna do the little bitch,” said Red, nodding at Geoffrey.


Tawanda watched the three figures from her car.  It was too dark, so he got out of the car quietly to get a better look.  She made her way quietly along the edge of the area, far enough away and in shadow to avoid detection but moving closer to get a better look.  When she saw movement among the three, she didn’t even think.  She ran toward the gangsters, driven by a mother’s instinct to protect her child at all costs.

She heard herself start screaming, “DON’T TOUCH MY BABY! DON’T TOUCH MY BABY!”


Geoffrey smiled at AJ.  “Now YOU done, dawg.”  He nodded to Red.

They pulled the triggers just as Tawanda leaped in front of her son.  Her large form effectively blocked AJ from the hail of automatic fire that riddled her body in mid-jump.

The bullets kept coming, their force causing Tawanda’s stricken body to jerk this way and that in a macabre aerial dance of death.  Her bloody body was a corpse as it struck the ground and bounced horribly before coming to a halt.  The gunfire stopped momentarily as the three gangsters looked at the body of Tawanda, then at each other.  AJ grinned and raised his gun.


Red and Geoffrey turned quickly to see Detectives Shmolnick and Bubble aiming their police issues at them.

“I SAID DROP YOUR WEAPONS!  NOW!”  Shmolnick held his gun out in front of him, aimed directly at Geoffrey Townes’ chest.  Bubble’s gun was similarly aimed at Red McClendon.

Behind them and momentarily unseen, AJ thought quickly.  He dropped to his mother’s dead body and forced the gun into her dead hand, then began to cry loudly, as any child would who had just seen his mother’s violent death.

At the sound of the cry, Red’s finger twitched and his gun fired.  The two cops didn’t hesitate, their own guns firing at the two gangsters.  The gangsters returned fire.  Shmolnick’s first bullet struck Geoffrey in the chest, then one threw his head back as it went through his forehead.  The detective quickly rolled to the ground to avoid the returning fire.  Bubble fired three shots into Red’s body, and dodged his own set of incoming bullets.

In a few seconds that seemed to last much longer, Geoffrey and Red lay on the ground, G-Man dead, Red bleeding to death.  The two cops only now recognized the crying as the sound of a child.  They brushed themselves off and, holding their guns before them, approached the carnage cautiously.

AJ kept crying, then began moaning hysterically when he saw the cops approach out of the corner of his eye.

“Jesus, it’s a kid,” said Bubble, lowering his weapon.  “He shook his head when he saw that the boy was clutching a dead woman.

Shmolnick lowered his weapon.  “Hey kid, are you alright?” he said, trying to console the boy.

AJ sobbed out the words.  “They…SOB…killed my mommy….SOB.”

Shmolnick bent down to pat the boy’s shoulder.  “Okay little guy, it’s all over,” he said gently.  “Call it in,” he said to his partner.  Bubble took out his phone and made the call.

“And….SOB…..Uncle Geoffrey….SOB….”

“What about Geoffrey?” asked Shmolnick.  He jerked his head the dead gangster.  “You mean this man here?”

“Unh-huh….SOB,” cried AJ.  “He….SOB…killed my daddy….SOB SOB.”

“What’s your name, son?” asked Bubble, switching off his phone.


Shmolnick put his arm around the boy.  “AJ, what’s your daddy’s name?”

“Anthony….SOB…..Anthony Franklin.”  AJ let the sobbing subside and stared up at the cop.

Shmolnick whistled.  “AJ,” he said to the boy, “how do you know that Geoffrey killed your daddy?”

“Cuz I seen him do it.  I heard his yellin’ at my daddy, “She be mine now,” he yelled.  Then he killed my daddy.”

Shmolnick stood up and took the boy’s hand.  “Come on with me, AJ.  It’s all over now.”

Bubble stood staring at the three dead bodies.  “Jesus christ,” he muttered.

8 – Key to the City

The media had a field day with the story.  The headlines shouted across the city and within a few days, the country.







And the entire city had really taken to the boy AJ, who quickly became a popular figure in the press.  Everyone marveled at the boy’s positive spirit and friendly, precocious manner.  The entire affair was a boon to everyone, including Detectives Shmolnick and Bubble, who were due to receive medals from the mayor in a nationally televised ceremony, Captain Bick, who was now in line for a plum promotion, and Mayor Pubberton, who was claiming credit for the success.

Cameras whirred and flashed as the members of the press and the crowd gathered in the large square adjacent to City Hall.  Mayor Pubberton beamed as he stood at the lectern, the sun reflecting off his bald head.  Not only was this gold for his ratings in the polls, but he was now being mentioned as a possible candidate for governor.  The two detectives who had broken the case and their captain sat behind him on folding chairs looking uncomfortable in their dress uniforms.  The boy AJ sat behind him on the other side next to the woman from Child and Family Services who was handling the boy and his sister’s cases.

The mayor held up his hands to quiet the crowd.  He lived for moments like this.  “Ladies and gentleman,” he began.  “LADIES AND GENTLEMAN, it is my extreme pleasure to stand before you today to honor these two heroic officers, whose recent bravery and quick thinking has helped not only break a string of murders but break the backs of the largest crime ring in the city.”  Raucous cheering.

The crowd cheered as the mayor continued his speech for another ten minutes, talking on about bravery and our fine law enforcement officers and how this heralded a new start for the worst sections of the city.  Finally he turned around and beckoned the three cops to stand next to him.

First he thanked Captain Bick for his leadership and awarded his a small medal and certificate.  Bick shook his hand but betrayed no emotion.  Then the mayor handed Shmolnick and Bubble their medals, and stood between them, arms around their shoulders for the cameras.  Shmolnick winced slightly as he felt the mayor’s arm on his shoulder.  He hated to be touched.

The cops waved to the crowds and held up their medals for the cameras.  Then the mayor brought little AJ to the lectern.  The crowd quieted.  Mayor Pubberton bent down to listen to something AJ was saying, then spoke into the microphone, grinning.  “AJ says he can’t see from down there!”  The crowd roared approvingly, and the mayor lifted the beaming boy up on his shoulders.  The boy waved to the crowed.

The press ate it up.



The car pulled to a stop in front of a very large white house in an upscale suburban neighborhood.  The woman from the CFS got out, then walked around to the passenger side and opened the door.  Out stepped AJ, clutching a small overnight bag.  The bag, as well as the contents of the bag, were all gifts from well-wishers.

“Now don’t be nervous, AJ.  The Wendels are very nice people and are very eager to meet you!”

She took AJ’s hand and the two walked up the sidewalk to the house.

AJ whistled as his eyes took in the large house with its stone porch and white pillars and spacious, manicured lawn.  “Dag,” he thought, “I done stepped in it for real.”

They mounted the steps to the ornate red door and the woman rang the doorbell.  In a few moments, the door opened to reveal an attractive blonde woman in her late-thirties wearing a smart-looking blouse and jeans.  The two women embraced, and the blonde woman hugged AJ tearfully.  AJ looked around, marveling at the size of the place and the fancy furnishings.

“AJ, I made some lemonade.  Would you like some?  You just make yourself comfortable on the sofa, and I’ll be right back.”  She skipped out of the room.

AJ watched her ass jiggle in her pants as she left the room.

The CFS woman turned to the boy and put her hand on his knee.  “Well AJ, what do you think?” she asked.

AJ smiled.  “I think I’m gonna like it here,” he answered happily.



2007 Michael S. Cohen

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