We Are More Than Hashtags: Death of Sterling and Castile 

  Black men are dying. Black men are dying at such an alarming rate it’s downright scary. They were our brothers, uncles, fathers and husbands. Now they are reduced to nothing but a mere hashtag. 

What has our country become when black men can’t even live without being in constant fear of their lives. Wives, mothers and sisters living in fear if they will return home at the end of the day. 

 

 
Simply selling CDs or exercising your right to bare arms is reason enough to kill?!? (Alton Sterling)

I think not! 

No one bats an eye until the murder of police officers are in question. Although the lives of innocent people is a devastation in an of itself. But just like police officers lives matters so does black lives. 

We are not saying other lives don’t matter but we need to get the same amount of sympathy for our slain black men just like those slain officers. 

Something needs to be done. But destroying innocent civilians isn’t the answer. We need love not hate. 

We need to come together and fight injustices. But until the ones with all the power and wealth change the way they think nothing will ever change in this crazy world. 

The girlfriend of Philando Castile live streams her boyfriend’s murder. Please be careful everyone you are worth more.  Don’t become the next hashtag. 

School Shootings vs Police Brutality 

By Jasmin Wells  
 Imagine being in class and thinking that everything was normal only to find out that fact would quickly change. Students on the campuses of a Sacramento city college were alerted to stay in classrooms and take safety precautions after campus police learned that there was a shooting. Three students were shot, leaving one student dead and the two others injured. Even though police don’t know what happened before the shooting, they believe that it escalated over an argument before the shooting accrued and the suspect left the scene. Sacramento police also believe that the suspect that they are looking for is also involved in another shooting that was committed that same morning.

“You are the lucky one. I will not shoot you if you give this to the cops,” a student in Oregon at Umpqua community college, Matthew Downing, was told by the shooter that was involved in the shooting on campus that killed nine students and injured nine others. Downing told police that he felt he was living inside of a horror film because he couldn’t believe that this was happening to him. He gave full details of what happened from inside the classroom, pointing out that the shooter was killing students because of their religious beliefs. Even though the killer did not shoot Downing, he feels he was left with something to live life by, by saying, “You never know when it’s going to be your last minute, so take it upon yourself to be more nicer to people.”

 pres. Obama 
A fight between two groups of students in Arizona is what escalated a shooting on Friday. One person was killed and three were injured in the first shooting at Northern Arizona University that involved a fraternity. The shooting at all three schools has given President Obama the fuel he needs to do something about gun control, and was the topic of decision when he talked to the families of all the persons involved. After reading all the articles on the different schools it made me wonder as to why when African Americans are killed, we don’t get this type of exposure from the media, or if we do, it doesn’t stay the topic long.

We never hear about what happens when an African American is killed by the media first. It is put on social media and then once it has been passed around enough the families might get lucky to get a fifteen second clip about their family member. I don’t know if we can ever change how society looks on our lives but just know that just because they are not reporting it doesn’t mean it’s not happening. I am not trying to take anything away from the lives lost in these different events but I am furious to know that this is the type of stories reported inside of the loss of other races through the same senseless violence. Condolences to all the families for their lost ones you are continuously in our prayers.

Fferguson riots

Brutality On The Battlefield: Are Blacks The Only Target?

By Randall Rydell Russell

The racism of this country is at an all-time high. We are reverting back to the times of the civil rights movement. But it’s 2014 isn’t it. A lot of African Americans are caught in the cross fire and have always been profiled just for the color of our skin. But one thing is very evident, a lot of African Americans play the part and embrace their ‘hood and tend to make other African Americans look bad so the narrow minded world has a view of most African American males as thugs and gangsters. These gangsters also shoot first and ask questions later, leading to unnecessary death to innocents and police officers.

Through the years, there have been police officers who have corrupted their power and it continues to go on and effect the community, but at the same time, some of those police are innocents doing their job and lose their lives in the process because of ignorance. That goes beyond race, whites, Hispanics, Italians, Asians, whatever, criminals who want to get away come in all colors and that is the problem.

We are quick to blame police officers because of the past, and yes there are cops all the way up to right now who are doing some shady things because they can, but there are a lot who are just trying to do their job and go home, and like wrongfully convicted African Americans who have died due to police brutality, the same goes for gang brutality where police have lost their lives too.

To point fingers to who is at fault will just cause more of an uproar that we do not need. But the fact of the matter is that something has to be done about the narrow mindedness of this country. The views white America feels about black America and vice versa, and police need to think about their actions before just assuming someone who is who they say because of the color of their skin.

Riots and violence are not a wakeup call AMERICA, hearing each other’s side and coming to an understanding is the only way. If you think that is too much, then you are a part of the problem. It’s almost 2015, wake up and take a stand to better this country and this world.

The Bigot’s Goodbye

A short story by YUV Contributor Randy Russell

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Every time I go to the store, there’s one on a magazine cover, or they work in the store.  Hell, sometimes when I buy some foods, they’re on the damn cover of the box. But worse of all, one’s our president. Yet niggers still complain about everything. Makes me fucking sick.

I work with them. Only time I ever have to interact with one is in meetings or when we both so happen to be in the bathroom together. We should take all of them, and put them on one other planet so then maybe things could go a little more smoothly with a pure planet again. It makes me smile to think of that.

My boss happens to be one too, Julius Elliot. That’s a nigger name if I didn’t say so myself. He knew I didn’t like him or his kind. But he could never get rid of me. I’m Wendell Jackson, and even though I’m black, don’t mean I can’t hate my own race.

This is usually the night that my daughter calls me, so I make sure I get home early and pass the ‘homeys’ outside on the curb, doing nothing just standing there wasting time. Shooting each other. Keep going, you’re not doing it fast enough.

It makes me sick that even though they complain about silly ass white people are holding them down, or look at them wrong, or some shit like that, they’re putting themselves in a box because they’re too afraid to succeed, they don’t want to try. They want to sell dope,  gangbang and pimp women because it’s the ‘nigga’ thing to do. Well go on ahead. I won’t be a part of it. I stay out of everyone’s way and live my life. As I sit at my desk writing my report for the magazine, Mr. Elliot walks by my desk.

“May I see you in my office, Mr. Jackson?” says Mr. Elliot. “Why not?” I tell him. I stand up, following him down to the office. We go into his wannabe hip office as he sits behind his kiss ass desk to scold me about God knows what. “Do you have a problem with me, with this job?” He asks me. “No not at all.

I love my job,” I tell him.

“Then what’s with the constant attitude and standoffish behavior towards so many of your employees at this ad agency?”

“I don’t like you people,” I tell him straight up. He looks at me with a confused look like I should be on his side.

“You people?” He asks. “Yes you people. The black race. It angers me that I’m stuck in a world where because of how you act, I am criticized and ridiculed for no reason. In media, in movies and in real life” I tell him.

“Do you hear yourself? You’re a black man, and you’re speaking to me like this?” says Mr. Elliot.

I don’t want to hear it. I’m over this conversation.

“Mr. Elliott, I bet you’ve been through more women than an NBA player. Kids by two different women, priors, and a large drinking problem. But because you twisted the system, and hustled some money, you opened up an Ad firm where even though you do the books, that nice car outside is probably the reason so many lay offs have been made. Once a nigga, always a nigga. Isn’t that what ya’ll say?” I tell him. He just looks at me.

“Grab your things, you’re fired,” He tells me.

At first I think he’s kidding until he turns away from me to go through paperwork.

“Wait, you’re kidding right. You can’t fire me, you need me,” I say.”

“I’ll find another,” He tells me.

He turns back to his paperwork. I sit there truly blown away. Yes what I said was harsh to a nigger like him, but it was the honest truth. I don’t bother anybody, I do my job thoroughly, yet because he has some power, he’s using it to get rid of a real African like me. Well what the fuck ever.

“Go fuck yourself Mr. Elliot,” I tell him. I get up, slamming his door as hard as I can. I walk through the office, all eyes are on me. I don’t care. Everyone can go fuck themselves right about now. As I collect my things, I yell every screwed up racial slur I know for niggers to let them have a piece of my mind. Security guards appear to escort me out. I guess now I can go home and collect unemployment and not get a job like other niggers. Good riddance to this place. Maybe I can work from home. Safer that way and less chance someone will ask me for fifty cents so they can get a Swisher to smoke up the ten dollars they have.

I walk into my small house. It is very clean, tidy, and not niggerish. I refuse. No pictures of strong black people, rappers or porn stars on my wall. I don’t have three video game systems connected to an overly loud and big TV. Stupid niggers. I also don’t have an assortment of ashtrays with Newport buds and blunt roaches filled to the brim of each of them.

Niggers are a breed of their own.

My answering machine is not blinking. That’s strange. Tasha always calls me. This is not like her. She must’ve gotten tied up with work and school. She’s not like other black girls that spend their days in the city human resources offices, talking at the top of their lungs while real people keep to themselves so that they can get actual business done and don’t bother anyone. Tasha is far from that, I raised her right.

Dinner consists of leftover spaghetti and garlic bread, with tossed salad that I whipped up from the other night. It was quiet, just like I like it.

After having a quick Vodka Tonic. I turn in. Today was a long day that I want to forget. I crawl into bed turning the light off. It takes me a second to go to sleep. I keep hearing a creaking sound, but it’s probably the niggers across the way doing their nigger things. So I doze off.  Something is on my face, I assume it’s my blanket. I look to the clock in my room. It reads ‘1:05’. I flick whatever is on my face off. But as quick as a bolt of lightning, I feel it again. I turn the light on in my room, this is where I begin to freak out.

Dozens of tarantulas are all over my bed. I jump up like a scared girl screaming and throwing a fit. How’d they get into my house? I look to see that they are all over the ground, and even my walls. I take back that comment about the dozens, there are hundreds of these eight legged bastards.

As I walk over as many of the tarantulas as I can, I get to the door of my room. Before I can open the door, a figure with a mask pulls out a syringe and injects me in the neck. I black out before I hit the floor.

My vision is very blurry before I come to. I try getting up but realize that my ankles and wrists are taped up and I’m gagged. Home invasion is all I can think. Someone is trying to rob me for everything I have. I begin screaming under the gag until the dark figure walks out to me. He takes his mask off to reveal Mr. Elliot. Son of a bitch. I begin screaming even louder. He walks over, covering my mouth to lower the sounds of my screams.

“Now, now. We wouldn’t want to wake the neighbors would we?” He tells me. I scream even more now until he punches me in the gut, rendering me powerless to do anything.

“You said some mighty bold things today in the office. Things, I would think are bullshit to be honest. You think you know every black person huh? Every black is a nigger right?” He asks me. I try to come to, but I cannot breathe through the gag.

He takes a sharp bowie knife out, cutting my pajama top to reveal my gut. “I grew up  in a rough household. My mother was an addict, and my father, was never there. It was just me and my sister. So you know what I did at age thirteen? I got a job to support my sister and I because my mother wasn’t going to do this. I did all of this while going to school, and taking college courses to get my business license. But I pimp women right?” He tells me.

He takes the bowie knife and cuts me deep. He covers my mouth as I scream some more. The pain is excruciating. I can feel it in my back. Blood begins covering my stomach.

Mr. Elliot goes to his bag to pull out a jar. He walks it over to show me that it is filled with thousands of red fire ants.

“After I got my business license, I opened a small Ad agency with just three people, and it became what it is today. And yes I like Hip Hop and R&B, and dress hip like the young people in this world. It’s because I like it. I’m not out killing people or dope dealing or whatever the hell you said I was doing. Also, I have a strong love for God’s creatures, and I love learning about all the things that they can do. Take these red ants for instance. They love blood, they gravitate towards it, it’s a huge meal for them. So an open wound is like all you can eat night at the China Buffet. I’ll show you,” Mr. Elliot says.

I start to scream as he covers my mouth. He opens the jar, pouring the ants onto my open wound. I feel their little bodies crawling into my stomach, and attacking my wound. The worse feeling in the world. Mr. Elliot sits there looking at me. No emotion in his face like this doesn’t faze him at all. Tears begin dripping down my face. I want to fight back, but that is virtually impossible.

“We’re almost done Wendell. We’re almost done. Hold on,” He  says. He walks over to his bag pulling out a small box with holes in them. He cautiously pulls out a King Cobra snake. The king of all snakes. He walks over to me once more.

“I learned to be a snake tamer in India when I went on a vacation. Yes, niggers who work hard can go to India. This bad boy can kill you with one bite. I call him Percy. So long story short Wendell, before you go accusing ‘black’ people of being all in the same class and all that shit. Make sure you get your facts straight. Because this ‘nigger’, just took one of the most ignorant niggers, out of the picture,” Mr. Elliot tells me.

That’s it. There’s nothing I can do at this point. Mr. Elliot lets Percy go. He slithers towards me. Paying the ants no mind. He goes straight for my neck and lashes out. The pain of his fangs subdues me to the point, I can’t even scream out. The cold feeling of my body shutting down begins to take over. Percy slithers back to Mr. Elliot who carefully picks him up, putting him back into his box. Mr. Elliot packs up all of his things and walks towards me.

“I’ll send Tasha flowers,” He tells me. He walks out of my place. I lie on the ground paralyzed, dying from the venom put in me, plus the ants having a field day on my stomach, now only death is on my mind, what a way to end my day.

The End.

   

The Late Night Hour

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Late Night Hour

by

Randall Rydell Russell

The one thing about grand theft auto I love so much, is the rush. At any moment, at any time, at any second, the owner, a pedestrian or a black and white can stop all of that, putting you in handcuffs. But that doesn’t happen to me. I’m not one to get caught.

I have a certain ritual that I always go by when I carjack. Never steal anything during the day. Never carjack outside of my own city. And never carjack, without my crew. People think I’m crazy to have a crew to lift cars. Half of these people don’t even come close to the amount  of cars we steal on a nightly basis.

I run a seven man crew: Cedric, who I consider my right hand man, is the one I would leave in charge if something happens to me. I’ve known him since 7th grade, where we met in detention. Granted, he’s a bit loud, has a quick temper, can’t go a day without getting in a fight and loves the ladies a little too much. There have been a few occasions where he and Serena Gallegos screwed in a car we’d just stolen. But he bows down to no man, in any situation. He helps me keep things in order no matter what.

Rabbit is my left hand. He is the only white member in the crew, so most people in this neighborhood think he’s a ‘wigger’. A wannabe. He’s far from it. He’s just more comfortable around us than others. He is the flyest Jewish kid around. Rabbit is also a car fanatic who has and knows every tool you need to successfully break into any car. A year or so ago, back in our junior year in high school, he broke into every teacher’s car that school year, then parked them in different spots around the area. He was never caught. He may love carjacking more than I do. I feel that’s a good guy to have around.

Byron is the least likely person you think would be in our crew. He is a bookworm. He’s at his first semester at California Lake College, he’s a computer and electronic freak too.

Byron created a police scanner way better than the ones the cops have. The best tool we could have. He’s very level headed, sometimes bumping heads with Cedric over the right way to handle a situation. But he brings brutal honesty to the crew. He too is another that is good to have around.

Junior is the youngest of the crew. We met him when he lifted Cedric’s wallet out of his back pocket. Before Cedric could beat him down, I took an interest in him. His skills come in handy when car keys needed to be lifted. So I put him on. He’s mostly lookout, and every crime needs a lookout. We all truly look out for him.

Hector is our weapons specialist. He is a pyromaniac, and even though I very seldom use or need him for that, you’d be surprised how many times I have. During jobs in the Hispanic part of town, he can let us know if we’re being set up or not.

Larone is the oldest member of our crew. I don’t care much for him, but my brother Marcus who is locked up and the original leader of this crew, says we need him. The other original members are dead or in jail. I usually act like Larone’s not there, even though I feel his condescending eyes on me. It’s pointless that he always has to come.

Besides my brother’s orders from the pen, we also need Larone because he is our direct connection to Vinnie Carcatta, our employer.

Vinnie Carcatta, was an Italian mobster, who pretty much was kicked out of the organization, owing every made man in the city and the next city over. So what Vinnie does is give us specific cars to jack. We bring them to him, and he pays us. Simple as that.

We decided to meet in Larone’s SUV a few blocks away from Vinnie’s place. “Ya’ll was a little rusty the other night when you jacked that Infiniti,” says Larone. “Vinnie still got the car.

Cuz we got it. You stayed in the car from what I remember?” says Cedric. Larone looks to Cedric with the ‘fuck you’ eyes. “Your ass is talking like you wanna walk little nigga?” yells Larone. “It’s two blocks. You suppose to be tough now?” asks Cedric.

As Cedric and Larone go back in forth. I jump in. “Hey! Squash this shit. We here to do a job. Get the car from Vinnie, and go on with our night. Ya’ll just don’t say nothin to each other. You got me?” I say. “You lucky Malcolm has some of his brother’s good sense. Ya’ll tough. You can do this on your own tonight. Get the fuck out my car,” says Larone.

I motion for the others to exit the car. As I am getting out, Larone grabs my arm.

“Don’t fuck this up. And don’t fuck with me Malcolm,” Larone says. I look him up and down then exit. He speeds off down the road. I’m actually glad. I can steal in peace for once.

“Larone has the emotions of fuckin’ female. All he needs is tampons and some Midol and he’ll be all good,” says Rabbit. “You shouldn’t piss him like that,” Byron tells Cedric.

“Whose side are you on B? Last I checked, we don’t need babysitters. We over the age of 18 except for the little nigga,” says Cedric. “This little nigga will get tried as a minor, and ya’ll will be doing real time. Sorry to say. Fifteen is the shit,” says Junior. “Fifteen or not. I’ll straight break my foot off into your ass Junior. On my Mama I mean that,” Cedric informs Junior. This just makes him laugh. “I think I’m gonna take your Mama out later. I’ll lift your wallet in a little bit. The date’s on you,” says Junior. Cedric playfully tries to run after Junior.

Rabbit grabs Junior so Cedric can lay in some punches into Junior’s arms. Cedric and Rabbit love torturing Junior. It gets on Junior’s nerves, but it means he’s accepted.

“All right, all right. I feel good about tonight. And with Larone not playing our chaperone tonight, I know we can do the job the way we want,” I say to them. “Hopefully tonight Vinnie will give us a challenge. My little sister can steal the cars Vinnie be telling us to get,” says Rabbit. “Then let’s find out,” I say.

We begin approaching a large building near the edge of the city. I knock on the door.

The door slightly opens. A large, muscle bound Italian man sticks his head out. This is Nico, Vinnie’s guard. “Where’s Larone?” asks Nico. “He’s got his own shit he’s doing. I can still handle my business with Vinnie,” I say. “See to it you do. I know he isn’t very enthusiastic about the kind of business he keeps,” says Vinnie. “Well we doin’ something right cuz we’re still in business. Can you open the door?” I ask.

Vinnie’s hideout or whatever you want to call it, is a large garage. That’s his front so the man doesn’t come down on him. It’s Vinnie, his guard Nico and Vinnie’s son Michael. Michael is around our age and tried so hard to be a wise guy, but was just too soft and almost as fat as his father too. Michael is in the back playing Call of Duty or some game on XBOX360.

Vinnie sits at his desk eating a bowl of Cheerios and going through paperwork and pictures. I walk to his desk while the others hang back by the door.

“Where the fuck is Larone?” asks Vinnie. “He took the night off,” I tell him. “Well, you’re late. We don’t work on CP time here,” says Vinnie. He gives me a picture of a Mercedes Benz CLS550. It is gorgeous and it will be ours.

“This beauty is on Grand and Estimate Drive,” says Vinnie. “Yeah, by the bus depot. I know,” I say. “Look here nigger, I can let you in on a bunch of shit you don’t know. But what we both know is, that I need that car here, before midnight. Ya dig?” says Vinnie. “Yeah,” I say. I take the picture, and walk to my boys. “Yo, did I hear him say nigga but with the er again?” asks Cedric. “Let it go,” I tell  Cedric. “I ain’t lettin’ shit go. I call him a guinea fuck I bet he’d throw a damn fit,” says Cedric. “You notice how you’re the one bent outta shape. Mal played it cool unlike you,” says Byron. Cedric looks at Byron hard for a second. “I didn’t ask you all that,”

Cedric tells Byron. “Would you two come on. Unbelievable,” I say. I open the door and guide everyone outside. “He’s right though. You was sounding kind of sweet on your words back inside bro. Sounding kind of menstrual,” says Rabbit. “Shut up, Rabbit,” says Cedric.

We make it to Wallace Park near the benches. I show them the picture of the Mercedes.

“Finally, something I can pull all my gadgets out on,” says Rabbit. “With Larone gone, I can’t wait in the car with him with the scanner,” says Byron. “It’s pocket sized Byron. It’s not like we’re robbing a bank bro,” says Rabbit. “Fuck Larone. We don’t need him. Better off without him any damn way,” says Cedric. “I agree. Now Rabbit, what do you know about the Mercedes?” I ask.

“An RFID microreader can unlock the electric signal of the alarm and lock. Multimeter.

After I disable the alarm, you and Cedric can break in. Use my multi key thing I got from my Uncle Kenny, or a screwdriver and then we’re home free,” says Rabbit.

“Yo, need anything to go boom?” asks Hector. “We want to steal the car, not blow the shit up,” says Cedric. “Yeah no shit Hector. I know your itching to use those illegal fireworks your prima sent but take it down a notch,” Rabbit adds to the conversation. “Why don’t you go open a movie studio Jew?” says Hector. “Already did ese, just waiting to sign on the dotted line,”

says Rabbit. “This is gonna be good,” says Junior. “Relax you two,” I tell them. “I know, shut the hell up. When ya’ll argue, you sound like a damn married couple and the shit is annoying as fuck.

So please keep your Jew and Beaner arguments to a low. Please,” says Cedric. “Then the next subjects is you black folks,” Rabbit jokes. Cedric, Byron, Junior and I couldn’t help but laugh at that comment. That’s what this is, friendship, loyalty, trust, we are soldiers.

“All right. Byron, Junior and Hector hang back a block away near the bus depot. Me, Rabbit and Cedric will do the rest. Everyone cool with that?” I ask. Everyone nods. I look over the picture one last time. It was time to move.

Walking was going to be the quickest way due to the number 84 bus doesn’t run anymore,

so hoofing it is the way it has to be. While on the walk, Rabbit lights up a joint. “Rolled one for

the occasion boys, enjoy that shit,” says Rabbit. He passes it to Cedric he coughs after hitting it.

“That’s fire,” says Cedric while he is coughing. He hits it again then passes it to me. I passed. I

smoke after the GTA, not before. He hands it to Byron. “I’m good. It just makes me lazy and

hungry,” says Byron. “Don’t let the weed do you. You do the weed,” says Cedric. “I know, but I have finals coming next week guys,” says Byron. “Quit being a pussy and hit the weed bitch!” says Cedric. Byron reluctantly hits the joint. “Jesus, you jack cars, but you can’t hit the weed on an occasion. I worry about you sometimes Byron,” says Cedric. Byron hands the joint to Junior.

“That’s funny because I’m sure everyone here will vouch for me when I say that you’re the one everyone worries about,” says Byron. “Is this about me banging Angela Young? Don’t worry, she wasn’t that good,” says Cedric.

We just talk shit to each other. It’s all in fun, we just see how far we can take it. We’re a mixed bunch so there’s a lot to make fun of. Rabbit is Jewish. Junior is mixed with black and Native American. Cedric, Byron and I are black. Hector is Hispanic. For North Highlands, this is

very diverse.

L&D Liquors is a stop that we make. Rabbit and the others wanted to get snacks before

we did the deed, also because they are stoned out of their minds. Cedric and I wait outside

discussing life. “Did your Pops come back to the crib yet?” Cedric asks. “No. I think he came

home for a second the other night, but it was to get something and go back with all them other

Ice-heads and shit. He did nothing for me, so I do everything for me and mine. Period,” I tell him.

Cedric is quiet for a minute. “You know bro, it’s okay if you want to talk about what happened,”

Cedric tells me. I’ll never talk about the beatings he put me and my mother through. 7th grade on

is all he needs to worry about. “Yeah. But I’m not,” I tell him. The look of embarassment is on his

face. But I just don’t wanna go there. Not tonight. There is something about tonight, so thinking

about my past is not what needs to happen. “Yeah okay. Just remember whose house you came

to bro when shit was thick,” Cedric tells me. Words hurt.

The others walk out with snacks. “We ready to do this?” says Rabbit. “You must be

blazed Rabbit,” I tell him. “I am,” he says with a stoner look on his face. “Let’s go or we’re gonna

be late” says Byron.

Fifteen minutes later, we make it to Grand. We hide behind Gino’s Deli. The street is

bare except for a few pedestrians and bums. I look down the street to see the Mercedes parked

in a parking lot across from the bus depot. As I notice how off the job feels, I start to worry.

“Malcolm man, the car is in plain sight of the street and the bus depot man. Vinnie trying

to get us caught up bro,” says Cedric. “We should bounce guys,” says Byron. “Man he’s right.

There’s a security guard right over there and all it takes is him calling one time and we’re dead,”

says Junior. “We got a job to finish. And we are going to finish it. Vinnie needs us to steal this

shit cuz he can’t do it himself. We never back down,” I say with the best confidence I can bring

out of me.

“I’m with Mal. We got a job and we don’t back down,” says Rabbit. “So we go as

planned?” Cedric asks me. “Without a doubt. Byron, get your scanner out. If that rent a cop sees

us, Junior and Hector go handle it,” I say. The three of them nod. “Let’s go,”. Cedric, Rabbit and I

are about to cross the street until the security guard walks directly in front of us.

“What, you thought I didn’t see? You stand out like a sore thumb?” says the big, buffed

out security guard. “We ain’t even doin’ nothing, we just sitting here,” says Cedric. “Loitering.

One phone call to one time, and away you little thugs go,” says the security guard. “Does it

bother you that you have to call real law enforcement?” asks Rabbit. No one but me notices

Junior walking out of the alley slyly. The security guard continues scolding us until Junior

begins speaking and holding up a wallet. “Melvin Turner. 5341 Billow Way, Alta Arden Ave

95608. 211 dollars in the wallet, which is now mine. Your wife is hot man,” says Junior.

The guard tries grabbing Junior but he isn’t fast enough. Hector quickly grabs his radio.

“You don’t need this anymore,” says Hector. “You little shits are through. I’m going to call 911

with my phone and get them down here now,” Junior holds up the security guards cell phone.

“This phone right here?” says Junior. The security guard takes off after Junior as he runs down

the opposite side of where the Mercedes is.

“All right, Junior’s buying you guys some time. And the police chatter I’m getting right

now is like ten blocks down. You’re good,” says Byron. “All right. Get at us as soon as something

else goes down. All right?” I tell Byron and Hector. They nod. I turn to Rabbit and Cedric. “You

ready?” I ask They nod, so we take off across the street.

We pass an alley, then something grabs my eye. A high tech looking sports car. Like

nothing I have ever seen before. “Hold up. Check it,” I say. Rabbit and Cedric walk over to me

to see the car. “What kind of car is that?” asks Cedric. “Not like one I have ever seen before,”

says Rabbit.

The three of us walk down the alley towards this James Bond-Japanese looking four door

sports car. I was in awe at this. It was just sitting in this vacant alley. It is also way more simple

to steal this car in the dark, then steal the Mercedes so everyone can see us. The windows are

tinted, the rims are chrome and by the looks of it, it’s worth way more than a Mercedes.

“I seen Pierce Brosnan’s ass driving this in GoldenEye I think,” says Rabbit. “We’re

taking this one,” I say. “You serious? Vinnie gonna get pissed off if we don’t jack the one he

wants,” says Cedric. “Vinnie shouldn’t care. All the money he owes, he should be happy we are

getting him something more expensive,” I say. Rabbit begins going through the tools in his

backpack. He hands Cedric and I slim jims and flashlights. He pulls out his multimeter and a

small gun looking contraption that disables car alarms. He begins scanning on the front of the

car. The contraption begins beeping. He types a number on the multimeter that disables the

electricity in the car. “We’re good,” says Rabbit.

I begin using the slim jim to pop the lock. I open the door to the car. I look inside this

perfect sports car in awe at all the toys on the dashboard. Everything is dustless, fresh out he

factory, still has the new car smell. The perfect car.

“Yeah. This is money for real,” I say. I hop in the driver’s seat, to pull a screwdriver out

of Rabbit’s backpack. I mess with the ignition until it starts. “We’re good. Let’s go,” I yell. “Yo,

Mal. Someone’s here,” says Cedric.

I get out of the car. At the front of the alley there is a man standing in the darkness just

staring at us. “That’s the owner. We gotta roll before he comes man,” says Cedric. “I knew it was

too good to be true,” says Rabbit.

The man in the dark begins walking towards us. A gun goes off. The bullet hits the man

taking him to the ground. The three of us turn around to see Larone by his car at the other end of

the alley. Byron, Junior and Hector are already in his car. “Get yo asses in that car and come

on!” Larone yells.

We don’t think twice. The three of us hop in the sports car, back out of the alley and

drive off down the road. Leaving the supposed owner of the vehicle, bleeding on the ground to

his death.

The car drives like a champ. You can barely feel the engine at all, but I am doing 90

down the road, and it feels like nothing. “I’ve seriously never seen any kind of car like this before

in my life,” says Rabbit. “Neither have I. I think we stole a prototype or something,” says Cedric.

The symbol on the center of the steering wheel looks almost like Batman’s symbol, but more real.

New brand, new symbols to know. I’m going to have to write this down I take it.

When we get back to Vinnie’s, all there is yelling and bickering. “Are you

fucking stupid? This is not the car I asked you to steal. Did it need to be in ebonics or

something?” yells Vinnie. “This car is worth way more than the stupid ass Mercedes you wanted

us to steal,” I say. “Vinnie man, it’s a mistake. We can go back and get the Mercedes for you, no

sweat,” says Larone. “It’s too fuckin’ late! It’s midnight and they need something damn it. From

now on, you take Larone with you at all times. I don’t need the Boyz N the Hood on their own

anymore,” says Vinnie. “No problem,” says Larone as he drags me away from Vinnie. But for

some reason, the rage in me lets loose. I pull away from Larone and walk back over to Vinnie.

“You’re the one in debt. Not us. You can sit at your desk, eating your cereal and trying to

be hard, but your own kind doesn’t even want you. And you talk shit to us. You’ll let niggas steal

for you, because it’s too much for your wop ass,” I say. This sets Michael off. He gets up from his

XBOX360 and walks his 300 pounds over to get into my face. “The fuck you say to my dad?”

demands Michael.

Cedric and the others walk over to back me. Cedric grabs a metal bar ready to swing.

“What’d you say fat boy?” asks Cedric. All at once, everyone is arguing and talking all at once.

Then, a sound we would have never heard gets us all quiet. A woman’s scream.

“The hell was that?” asks Larone. I shake my head. The scream is heard again, followed

by pounding from the inside of the trunk. “It’s coming from the trunk!” says Junior. We walk

over to the trunk while Vinnie and Michael hang back. “Rabbit, get that trunk open,” I tell him.

Rabbit begins going through his bag so  he can pick the lock. “We don’t know what’s in there,”

says Byron. “We about to find out,” I say. Rabbit gets the trunk open. As soon as he opens

it, a screaming brunette woman jumps out screaming at us. She runs into a wall, falling to the

ground with her hands up.

“Why’d you take me? What do you want with me?” demands the woman. We are all in

awe. “Lady listen, we didn’t do nothing to you okay?” I tell her. “Bullshit!” she says. “You

kidnapping women now? I don’t do human trafficking,” says Vinnie. “You kidnapped her?”

asks Larone. “Hell no. That ain’t Malcolm’s style. We jacked the car and she just so

happened to be in it. We didn’t know,” says Rabbit. “That’s a bullshit story!” screams the woman.

I slowly walk over to the woman. She backs up into the wall some more. “I’m not gonna hurt you.

Listen, my name is Malcolm. What’s your name?” I ask. “Julie,” says the woman. “We’re gonna

get you out of here okay?” I say. “How do I know I can trust you? I don’t even know what’s going

on,” says Julie. “Neither do we,” I tell her.

Junior walks to the trunk. He pulls out her purse, handing it to Rabbit. Rabbit looks

through the purse, grabbing her wallet. He pulls out her ID examining it. He walks it over to me.

“She’s telling the truth. Julie Parrish. She lives on J Street. She’s all dressed up look at her. She

must’ve been drunk at some club or function and got picked up by some dude looking to get in

her goods tonight,” says Rabbit. Jule grabs her purse and wallet from Rabbit. “Give me that. And

you really think I’m stupid enough to fall for a roofie?” Julie asks. “I don’t know. It’s a roofie for a

reason, cuz even genuis girl, with high IQ’s cam still get banged out and not know it. So it’s just

an assumption that it happened to you too,” Rabbit tells her. “Someone gave her a roofie?” asks

Junior. “What do you think Junior? It ain’t rocket science,” says Rabbit.

I walk over to the others trying to figure things out in my head. “You ain’t really gonna

trust this chick are you? The minute we take her back or let her go, she’s gonna say five niggas, a

white boy and a Mexican kidnapped her and that’s life in prison man,” says Cedric. “He’s right. I

read up on this,” says Byron. I take in all they’re saying. It’s too much. I need a chance to breathe,

take everything in. I look to Julie who looks like she’s been through a war. I look to my boys

who look as lost as I do. What is going on?

“You need to get the fuck out of my garage. Now,” says Vinnie. “Vinnie, let me think of

a plan then we can,” I say. “I’m not gonna tell you again. Get the fuck out!” yells Vinnie. “You

heard my father,” says Michael. “You ain’t heard shit cuz I’m not done here fat boy,” I say.

“Malcolm, I don’t care who your brother is, you watch what you say in here. I still have friends

who can have you go…missing, if I want to,” says Vinnie. My blood begins to boil at that point.

Larone grabs me to pull me away from Vinnie again. As he does that, the car phone in

the sports car starts ringing. I turn to it. I look inside to see the caller ID reading “Owner” calling

the phone. “It’s the owner calling,” I say. “No way. Larone shot the owner of the car,” says

Rabbit. “Maybe he got to a phone,” says Cedric. I open the car door and answer it. “I want the

girl. Or I’ll kill all of you,” says the voice. “Who the fuck is this?” I ask. “Don’t worry. But I’m

outside the garage,” says the voice. I drop the car phone and look to everyone.

“What’s up man?” Rabbit asks. “He’s outside,” I say. “The owner?” asks Larone. “Yeah.

He says we give him the girl, or we’re all dead,” I tell them. Everyone is in a panic. Except Cedric

of course. He clenches the large metal bar he has. It’s like a rush to him. “Man let me out there.

I’ll drop his ass and keep his whip,” says Cedric. “Naw. Something don’t feel right,” I say.

“Nico’s outside, he’ll take of the problem. Then you get out of my garage,” says

Vinnie. “He’ll kill us,” says Julie. We all turn to her. “Thought you didn’t remember?” says

Cedric. “You just said you guys shot him, and now he’s outside. He’s not playing around at all,”

says Julie. “The look he had. Something wasn’t right about him,” says Julie The sounds of a

grown man screaming, accompanied by the sounds of flesh being ripped is heard outside. We are

all standing still. Frozen stiff going nowhere.

Vinnie collects his things and runs upstairs like the bitch he is. “You serious?” says

Junior. Michael stands there stuck with fear. For a mobster’s son, he seems very bitch made.

Larone takes his gun out, pointing it at a door. I pull out my switchblade and squeeze the cross

that hangs around my neck. Cedric continues clenching the metal pipe. Rabbit has a police issued stun gun in hand. Byron is holding a hammer. Junior is holding a large wrench. Hector pulls out

a large M-100 and lighter. I make Julie stand next to a car in the garage without an engine. Don’t

know what to expect.

“Stand here. Bend down and don’t move. We don’t know what’s going on. Okay?” I tell

her. “Yes,” she says. “Do you know what it is?” I ask. She shakes her head at me. “I don’t know

anything,” says Julie. Yeah right.

“Hector, Junior. Go to the door and see what’s up. Keep your eyes open,” I say. They

nod, walking to the door.They get to the door and slowly open it. “Oh, shit!” screams Hector. Me,

Cedric and Rabbit run to the door to see Nico the guard, dead on the ground with his throat

ripped out.

“Oh, fuck! Looks like a dog got him!” says Rabbit. I turn outside to see a dark figure

go into one of the buildings across from Vinnie’s. “Hector come with me. You guys stay here,” I

tell them. Hector and I walk over to the building to open the door. The door is locked. Hector

breaks the window with his elbow. We see the dark figure inside. Hector quickly lights a M-100,

throwing it in. It explodes with the sounds of a loud screeching scream is accompanied with a

loud boom.

“I got that conchetumare,” says Hector. “You don’t know that yet,” I tell Hector. He

lights another M-100. He throws it in, it is followed by the screams of the dark figure are heard

again. “See, who needs a gun when you have fireworks from my country,” says Hector. He

makes a point, but something doesn’t feel right with this situation. “I think you stunned him or

something,” I tell Hector. “Good. Teaches him to fuck with us,” says Hector. In an instant, the

door from the building is kicked off. The door flies past me, causing the hinges to scratch the side

of my face, taking me to the ground. I turn to Hector, only to see the dark figure holding Hector

up by one hand, biting into his neck. Blood begins to pour down Hector’s neck, dripping on the

ground in a puddle as he screams in pain.

He drops Hector’s lifeless body, turning to me. “Give me the girl, and my car, and I’ll

make your death quick,” says the dark figure. “No,” I say. “Wrong answer,” says the dark figure.

He grows fangs and begins to approach me until he is shot four times, but they do not faze him.

My boy’s are screaming in fear at what is going on. I grab Hector’s bag, trying to run but the

dark figure grabs me by the throat. “Not so fast. I’m thirsty,” says the dark figure.

This is totally not happening. I went from car jacking, to fighting a real live vampire. He

goes to bite me, but instantly freaks out when he sees my cross. He screams, dropping

me to the ground. From out of nowhere, Cedric hits him in the head hard with the silver pole

several times. Kicking the dark figure away and helping me up. “We gotta go, come on!” says

Cedric. We run to the others in the garage, locking the door trying to catch our breaths. He is

banging and trying to come inside the garage. “Thanks man,” I tell Cedric trying to catch my

breath. “Don’t mention it,” he says.

I sit down trying to get myself together. Michael has moved Nico inside. He covers him

with a long car cover with tears in his eyes. Julie is sitting on the ground hugging her legs, lost

in thought to the situation upon us.

“Is he dead, is Hector dead?” asks Byron. “Very dead,” says Junior. I am trying to grasp

what has just happened because something in my mind isn’t clicking. Larone is pacing back

forth, mumbling to himself. That’s usual for him when he’s confused.

“What was that guy? Cedric asks. I don’t know what he or what it is, until Rabbit takes

the words right out of my mouth. “He’s a vampire. Freaked out when he saw your cross. Grew

fangs and killed Hector. Vampire,” says Rabbit. “Vampires. Really white boy?” Larone says.

“Did you not see that guy pick Mal up with one hand? Mal weighs at least a buck sixty. He

kicked the door off that building over there. And like I said he grew fangs and drank Hector’s

blood. That’s a vampire,” says Rabbit.

Julie covers her ears, screaming out when she hears the word vampire. “That’s such

horse shit. He’s a damn whack job or PCP or Crystal or some shit, you pissed him off and now he

wants to kill us cuz you took his car,” says Michael. “Good observation fat boy,” says Cedric.

“So say this is a vampire we’re dealing with. What do we do?” Byron asks. “Stakes, holy water,

garlic, crosses, silver, sunlight, roses,” Rabbit tells us. “Your dad have any of that here?” Cedric

asks Michael. “Yeah, this is just the vampire arsenal garage. I don’t fuckin’ know,” says Michael.

“The firecrackers messed with him somehow. Maybe there’s something in them,” says

Junior. “Maybe. Look, we need to look around here for stakes or anything that could help fight

off this guy,” I say. We begin splitting up to look around.

“If this guy is a vampire, and all those stories are true, if you get bit you turn. So why did

Michael let Nico in?” Junior asks. Nico slowly rises with the blanket over him. The blanket

slowly drops to the ground. A now vampire Nico grabs Michael, biting into his neck. Blood

streams down his body as he screams out in pain.

Rabbit grabs Julie and puts her behind the staircase. He runs to join back with us in the

center of the garage. Nico stands there staring at us. His eyes as black as night, his fangs sharp

as lions. Blood slowly oozes down his mouth as he looks at all of us. “Whose next?” asks Nico.

He runs towards Cedric who slugs him in the head with his metal rod. It barely fazes him, but

gives Rabbit enough time to stun him. Larone stands there, holding his gun and doing nothing. I

look around seeing a mop in a bucket. I run and break it in half. I quickly run towards Nico. I

stab him in the back. He eerily turns to dust and is no more. This takes me by surprise so I give

it a minute to kick it.

My boys stand there staring at me. “Yo, Mal. You the shit my nigga. For real,” says

Cedric. “You staked him like Blade bro. You a full on vampire killer,” Byron says. “This why Mal

is in charge. He stepped it up and said bring it, and gave it to Nico,” says Rabbit. As my boys

congratulate me. I can’t help but think of what I just did Hell, what we all saw. We’re dealing with

vampires and the virus is spreading.

I turn to Julie. I can’t help thinking that she may know more than she is saying. Then I

wonder if she knew this guy was a vampire too.

“Did you know he was a vampire?” I ask Julie. “No,” says Julie. “Don’t lie to me Julie

Parrish. We got your address and every so often, we like going shopping for new TV’s, jewlery

and things like that,” I tell her. Cedric snickers when I say that. He knows when I get sick, I

always let him get a piece. So he’s loving me in this mode. I don’t give a shit, this is a life or death

situation.
“Are you going to let me talk?” asks Julie. “If he feels like it,” Cedric tells her. “Speak,” I

tell her. Julie is utterly offended. “Okay look, I don’t care what set you claim, what you do to get

by and end up finding me in the trunk of a car, but I am dealing with the same shit that you are. I

see exactly what you see. So do not treat me like I am just some ain’t shit woman you decided to

rob or something. Doesn’t sound right huh? Are we clear? All of you,” Julie says to us. She points

at Cedric. “Especially you,” she says. Cedric blows her off and turns away from everyone.

“So you got in the car with the vampire, then what?” I ask her wanting to know every

piece of evidence she can give about everything happening. “I was waiting for a taxi at the bar

I was at for my friend’s birthday. He came up to me asking if I needed a ride. I kept telling him

no. So I started walking down the street. And like a flash, he grabbed me, pulled me into an alley

and put me to sleep or something. The next thing I knew, you guys were pulling me out of the

trunk,” says Julie.

“You need to check her ass to make sure she ain’t a bloodsucker,” says Cedric. “That’s

probably a good idea Mal. He could be using her to get to us,” Rabbit says to me. “I wasn’t bit”

Julie tells us. “Let Mal be the judge of that,” Cedric says. “We aren’t gonna hurt you,” I tell Julie.

“You better not,” she tells me. Rabbit starts trying to get a peak at Julie as I begin searching her.

“Back off you little perv,” says Julie. “I’m overseeing the procedure. Sue me. There’s vampires

outside,” says Rabbit.

I examine her neck, her arms, and her legs. Nothing. “She’s clear,” I say. A gun goes off.

We all turn to see Larone shooting Michael’s dead body in the head. “What’d you do that for?”

Junior asks him. “Because ya’ll brought vampires here,” says Larone. “Ain’t like we planned on

it,” says Byron. “I ain’t gonna die here. And I’ll die by God’s hands. Not man or vampire,” Larone

says. “They all are created by God. So in a way. You got your wish,” I tell him.

“Enough with the fighting and bickering. What are we gonna do?” Julie asks. I proceed

to the broken mop. I break the rest of it in half. I give one to Cedric and one to Rabbit. In the

kitchen area of the garage, I go through the fridge, finding two balls of garlic and garlic powder. I

throw those to Junior. I give Byron a large picture of Jesuis that is on Vinnie’s wall. “What am I

gonna do with this?” asks Byron. “Vampires hate religious stuff. And I think seeing someone like

Jesus will for sure piss him off,” says Rabbit.

I walk over to Julie, giving her my switchblade. I look around her neck to see a gold

cross. That now shows me that she is not a vampire. “You’re gonna need this,” I tell her.

“Thanks,” she says.

“What are we gonna tell Hector’s uncle?” Junior asks. “Tell him the fucking truth. Ya’ll

let a vampire in here because you stole the wrong car. Now we’re stuck like sardines in a can,

just waiting to get picked off. All the blood that spills tonight is on you Malcolm. You fucked

up,” says Larone.

Larone walks off away from us. I can’t read him, but he looks pissed beyond belief. I

don’t like that look at all. “Don’t listen to that nigga Mal. You a motherfucking vampire killer my

nigga. We got this,” says Cedric. “Mos Def,” Rabbit adds on. That’s why I love my crew. When I

feel low, they bring me back up.

The sounds of static and radio voices begin coming from Byron’s pocket. He pulls it out.

“Checking in on a possible breaking and entering on Lien Drive,” the radio voice says. “They’re

coming here. Someone must’ve reported all the noise,” says Byron. “We’re way out in the middle

of nowhere,” says Junior. “You can hear those M-100’s from three blocks down. Someone

probably thought someone was buckin’, so they called one time,” says Rabbit. “We gotta be

careful about a cop situation now,” Cedric says for only me to hear.

Cedric and I walk to the door. A slowly crack the door open to look outside. A black and

white begins pulling in. I close the door a tad bit. “The cops here?” asks Cedric. I nod my head.

“Then let’s get their attention and get out of here,” asks Julie. “Because all they’ll do is take you

to the station for questioning. We all got priors. They’ll lock all of us up,” says Rabbit.

I open the door again. The cops are examining Hector’s body. Before they can radio for

back up, Hector turns to a vampire and attacks both cops. He bites into the first cop’s neck,

sucking the blood from his neck and dropping him. He turns to the other cop, breaking his neck.

He licks the blood coming from his open wound. Hector stops, smelling the air. He turns to the

garage door and sees me. He screams running towards us. I quickly close the door, holding the

stake out.

“Hector’s one of them now. He killed the cops,” I tell them. Hector continues banging on

the door like a madman. “He’s gonna get in,” says Julie. “No way. Can’t come in without an

invitation,” Rabbit says. “That shit only works in movies,” says Cedric. “Or on the CW,” says

Byron. “Trust me, he can’t get in without an invitation. It’s one of the main rules vampires cannot

break if they haven’t been in the building,” says Rabbit. Everyone of us looks to Rabbit when he

says that. “He’s been in the building Rabbit,” Byron tells him.

The banging stops. It’s quiet. I look to everyone with a confused look on my face. The

door is kicked open by Hector who is growling at all of us. “I’m gonna love this,” he says. He

runs towards us but Byron holds up the picture of Jesus. Hector screams holding his hands up for

dear life.

The first instinct I have is to stab Hector with the broken piece of broom, get the easy

kill. But he is quicker than I, throwing me across the garage into Vinnie’s economy van. I get to

my feet quickly, grabbing the piece of broom, and running to the others. Byron continues holding

the picture of Jesus up. Hector still remains unable to move towards us.

Michael jumps up near Larone, fully vamped out. Larone gets away from Michael

holding up his gun. “You think that will stop us?” he tells Larone. Larone unloads his entire clip

onto Michael with no effect. Michael looks at him laughing.

Junior takes the top off of the garlic powder, throwing a handful of the powder at

Michael’s face. He screams in pain holding his eyes. Cedric uses this oppertunity to stab Michael

in the chest, turning him into dust. “Nice one bro,” says Junior. “I know,” says Cedric. Junior gives

him props and walks over to the others. Cedric kicks at his ashes then he spits on the ground.

“Motherfucker,” he says.

Hector continues laughing. “It doesn’t matter. My master will never let you see

morning. He’ll come in here, get the pure heart, and kill you all. You’re dead!” Hector says while

laughing in that demonic tone. I see that he is standing under a car that is raised up on a large

jack. I push the button, sending the car on top of Hector. A quarter of his body is still visible, but

he is not moving. Rabbit walks over to Hector looking at him.

“You shouldn’t have turned bro,” Rabbit says. Hector magically comes to life, grabbing

Rabbit’s ankle and ripping a chunk out it. Rabbit falls to the ground screaming. Hector eats the

flesh from Rabbit’s ankle laughing. Cedric and Byron pull a screaming Rabbit over to Julie.

Junior grabs Cedric’s stake and runs to Hector. “Junior, no!” I yell. As Junior goes down to stab

Hector in the chest, Hector grabs Junior, quickly biting him in the neck. Junior screams in pain.

“No!” he yells to us. Hector drops Junior to the ground laughing hysterically at us. “One down,

five to go,” says Hector taunting us.

Like a bolt of lightning, I run, slide on the ground over to Junior. I grab the broken

broom, stabbing Hector in the chest. He quickly turns to dust. Hector is now dead for good. My

reaction is not what I expected, neither is the situation.

Junior is crying as I hold him. “I’m sorry man, I’m sorry,” I tell him. “It hurts Mal! It

really hurts man!” cries Junior. He is sweaty all over and pale looking. Julie walks over with

her sweater to put pressure on Junior’s neck. “The bleeding won’t stop,” she says. “He got bit, he’s

gonna turn regardless,” says Rabbit who is in pain trying to to tend to his torn ankle. Cedric kicks

one of Vinnie’s car’s out of anger as Byron is tying a rag to Rabbit’s injured ankle. Larone stands

off away from us like always, with a distraught look on his face. “This is bullshit. Not the little

nigga. That’s ain’t right. You hear me! It ain’t fuckin’ right,” screams Larone as he walks over to a

wall, punching it in anger. I take Junior’s hand, he looks to me like a little kid who was lost and

found his parent. My eyes begin to water because I know it’s only a matter of time.

“I don’t wanna become a vampire man,” Junior says. I don’t know what to say to that. No

one does. The expression on their faces when I look to them for some kind of back up. But that

can’t happen. I’m the leader of this crew. But for some reason, holding this kid in my arms while

he is bleeding to death, turning into some bloodsucking monster like Hector and that’s when I

feel in my chest. The feeling of emotion, tears turning into rivers.

Then Junior does something totally unexpected, he holds up my wallet with a smile on

his face. Cedric laughs while wiping his tears. I’ve never seen him shed a tear in my life. This

makes me laugh as I look at him in pain, yet he’s still trying to give me strength. “I don’t want to

become one of them Mal,” Junior tells me. “I know,” I tell him. Then he says it. “Kill me. Before

I turn into one of those things. I’m dead serious Mal. I chose to be down, and I’d die for you guys.

But die as a human, not a vampire. So do it man,” Junior tells me with content to his decision. I

turn to Cedric, Rabbit, Byron and even Larone for clarification. Each one of them nods with a

go-ahead. I still refuse to do it.

“I’m not gonna do that,” I tell him. “I don’t care. I don’t want to one of those things, kill

me! It’s my choice, and if you’re gonna kill me, it’s gonna be as me! Do you get that through your

head damn it! Just do it!” he yells to me. I turn to my crew who didn’t know what to do. I look to

Larone. “Give me your gun” I tell him. He walks over and reluctantly gives it to me. I stand up

with tears dripping down my eyes. “I’m sorry,” I tell Junior before I send a bullet into his head. I

turn away in anger at the fact that I just had to kill the youngest member of my crew, because he

was going to become something much worse. I give Larone his gun back and wipe my tears.

“Do you see where we at little homey, I mean do you really see the shit? Do you?”

Larone tells me. “Don’t give me your preachy, OG, 1999 shit okay. It’s a new time, and there’s a

reason why we doing things and you’re not. It happens. But we have other things to deal with

right about now bro. So not now. All right?” I say walking past him.

“Maybe we should give up. Seems like the thing to do?” Bryon says. “No. We aren’t

giving up,” I tell him. “It’s only gonna be a matter of time until he comes in and turns us all,” says

Byron. I get upset, grabbing Byron by his jacket, slamming him into the car. “We don’t give up?

We make either fight or make it to sunrise you understand me! I’m not losing anyone else you

hear me?” I tell Bryon. He looks at me almost scared. I let go of him. I walk away from everyone

to get a hold of myself.

Julie walks over to me. “I’m sorry about your friend.” she says. “He was my crew. We

watched out for him,” I tell her. Suddenly, a voice spoke, “That’s nothing compared to what I’m

going to do to you,” I turn to see the vampire who started all of this.

“Fuck you! What do you want?” I ask. “I want the girl. The pure heart, the last of her

bloodline. The lone soldier. It was just a matter of time, and then I was able to get her. So, you

give me her, I’ll let you all live…maybe till tonight,” says the vampire. “Who are you?” Julie

asks. “Tonsey. You look so much like your mother, grandmother, great grandmother and so on,”

he tells her. “I never knew them. I was adopted,” says Julie. “It won’t matter. We’ll spend eternity

together. Just come with me,” says Tonsey.

Me and Cedric quickly stand by in front of her. “I don’t think the girl wants to go with

you  dawg,” says Cedric standing strong. “Is that a fact boy?” says Tonsey. “Yeah motherfucker

that is a fact. I killed one of you already, I’d love to do it again,” Cedric tells Tonsey. “Brave

words for a warrior who will be dead soon,” says Tonsey “You can’t have her,” I tell him. “That’s

absolutley fine. I’ll just find another way in,” Tosney says then vanishes.

It is so quiet in the garage, you can probalbly hear a pin drop. Everyone is in stuck mode,

and there is probably no coming back. I grab a car cover to cover Junior’s body. Fifteen years

old is all I can think. “What time is it?” I ask. “One fifty two,” says Byron. “What time does the

sun usually come up?” asks Cedric. “Not until at least 6 or 7,” says Rabbit. “We need to arm up

as much as we can, and make it to sunrise. Then we’ll be in the clear,” I tell everyone. “You don’t

think this fuckin’ Tonsey guy won’t just look for us when the sunsets?” Larone asks. “I don’t

know. I’m just worried about right now,” I tell him without sounding too annoyed.

“Why does he want you so bad?” I ask Julie. “I don’t know what he’s talking about. I was

raised in a Catholic orphanage until I was adopted when I was five and lived with them until I

left for college. I knew nothing of my biological family,” Julie tells us. “Well it’s your bloodline

he wants. He’s obviously been looking for you for a long time,” says Rabbit as he ties the rag

around his ankle tighter. “Then we watch her back until this shit is over. He’s gotta come through

us if he wants her that bad,” I tell my crew. “Fuck yeah,” says Cedric. “Been a while since we

had to defend a broad anyway. I like the sound of that,” says Rabbit. “Only this time I ain’t gonna

reap the benefits of defending her,” says Cedric. “Keep it in your pants, Cedric,” says Byron.

“Why, you not hungry?” Cedric says to Byron.

Rabbit is on his phone looking something up. “So, as far as I am concerned, the situation

going on is Julie is kinda like Winona Ryder in Copolla’s Dracula, a reincarnation of a part love.

He failed to get her descendants, so he’s going after Julie. She is roughly over the age of 18 so it

was perfect to get at her now,” says Rabbit. “I did not know you knew this much about vampires.

Don’t get me started on, blame my Mom,” says Rabbit. “Well…he’s not my type for one thing.

We have to stop this, if that is really what’s going on here?” says Julie.

Larone points his gun at all of us. “Kick her out and give her to him. I ain’t gettin’ killed

over this bitch,” says Larone. “Larone, are you serious? He’s gonna kill her,” I tell him. “Better

her than us. I’ve seen what this thing can do. And it sure the hell ain’t doin’ it to me. And I’ll kill

all of you, just to survive,” says Larone. “Well, you better because he’s at the door again,”

says Cedric.

He turns to the door, but nothing is there. Larone quickly turns back to us but doesn’t

have time to duck from the metal bar Cedric is swinging at his head. Larone hits the ground cold.

Cedric quickly grabs Larone’s gun. “Should throw his ass outside with Tonsey,” says Cedric. “I’m

with that plan,” says Rabbit. “Naw, just leave him. Figure it out later,” I tell him. “You serious?

He was gonna kill us Mal?” Cedric says. “It’s not the way I do things. Just leave him,” I say.

Rabbit looks to Cedric nodding his head. Cedric is visibly pissed. Cedric kicks him in the head

one more time before rejoining us.

We place the door in the doorway to at least fill the open space to outside which lead to

our deaths. We all are suddenly famished. Rabbit pulls out the snacks he had bought from the

store earlier and hands them to all of us. “Ain’t a full course meal, but it’s something,” says

Rabbit. He throws me some Gardettos and a soda. Cedric is eating a Nutri Grain Bar and water.

Byron is eating fruit. Rabbit has Funyuns and a Cinnabun left. He turns to Julie. “Funyuns or

Cinnabun. Your choice?” he tells Julie. “Funyuns,” says Julie. Rabbit rolls her eyes. “I thought

you would for the Cinnabun. Damn. He hands it to to her and they begin eating. No one saying a

word as the events of the night have suddenly sunk back into them.

Julie is on her cell phone going through pictures of her family. This chick is very

different. Very down to earth. Most people see us and freak out. She didn’t. This goes to show

that there are some people in this world who see past skin color. Julie has and that has been

within her, her entire life probably.

Three hours goes by and we continue to sit and wait. Byron is messing around on his

iPhone. Cedric and Rabbit are self medicating with a Swisher Sweet filled with Purple Kush. I sit

with Julie sharpening more wood I found to turn them into stakes.

“So why do you steal cars?” Julie asks me. “Something my older brother got me into.

He’s been in the life our whole lives. Our old man was all messed up and on dope and drinking

all the time. So he never came home. My mom worked two jobs to support me and Marcus. Only

problem it wasn’t enough. Marcus, Larone and some other niggas they was cool with started

stealing cars, and making good money. One thing led to another, and I joined, then Cedric,

Rabbit, Byron, Hector. And eventually Junior. Then we got into the business with Vinnie and

now we’re stuck in his garage with a vampire trying to kill us. And none of this never would’ve

happened if I had just stolen the car Vinnie told us to,” I tell her.

“But then I would be dead,” says Julie. I don’t say a word, I just continue sharpening the

stakes. “Malcolm, I thank you. No one has ever stuck up for me like this. I couldn’t wait to

get out of my adopted parents house because everything was religion, religion, religion. Every

night we were at the church for something else. In bed by ten every night even at 18. That’s why

I moved to Sacramento to go to Sac State. Get away from Rocklin for a while. They would never

tell me about my past. But now I know that there was more than I could handle. That’s for sure,”

says Julie. I agree with her. As tough as I am acting, this was a shit load to handle within a night.

Ten minutes later, everyone is equipped with at least three stakes for themselves, a couple

pieces of garlic, homemade crosses made from pencils and tape, our large picture of

Jesus, and a gun filled with bullets marked with small crosses. We are ready.

The five of us continue standing around until the entire garage goes dark. “The power

went out,” says Byron. “Thank you Captain Obvious,” says Cedric. “Watch yourself, keep your

eyes open,” I tell everyone. The power comes back on. I look to everyone but notice someone is

missing. “Where’s Larone?”

Larone comes from out of nowhere, jamming a screwdriver into Byron’s throat. Blood

oozes out of Byron’s mouth as he tries to breathe. “Byron!” yells Rabbit. Larone begins dragging

Byron over to the door. Cedric holds the gun up to Larone, but risks shooting Byron in the

process. Larone kicks the door down. Tonsey appears. “I invite you in, you spare me, get the

girl?” asks Larone. “What the fuck are you doing?” I yell to Larone. “Consider it done,” says

Tonsey. “You’re invited,” says Larone. Tonsey walks into the garage, eyes directly on Julie.

Byron stops struggling, his arms fall to his sides. Larone throws Byron’s lifeless body

down, walking to Tonsey. He tries to speak but Tonsey jams his hand through his chest. Blood

comes from his nose, mouth and open wound as Tonsey grips his heart. “Thank you,” Tonsey

tells Larone before he pulls his hand out of Larone’s chest.

“Go, go!” I tell everyone. We all begin going for the stairs. Cedric and Julie help Rabbit

up the stairs. I get a stake ready and hold up the cross to Tonsey. “I hope you don’t think that

cross of pencils is going to stop me?” Tonsey asks me. I don’t say a word, I just look at him.

“Mal, come on!” Rabbit yells to me. “No use running, it’s almost over,” says Tonsey.

The sounds of several fireworks going off is heard. Rabbit throws Hector’s backpack

down at Tonsey. It explodes sending Tonsey to the ground screaming. “Mal, come on!” says

Rabbit. I take off up the stairs until Tonsey grabs me by the back of the neck. “Not so fast

Malcolm,” says Tonsey.

Cedric jumps down to us, hitting Tonsey in the head. He turns to Cedric like he is stupid,

taking his head off. Cedric’s body falls to the ground. I rip my cross off, putting it on Tonsey’s

head. He lets me go, screaming in agony as the cross brands his head. I have no time to mourn

for Cedric, so I run into the room with Rabbit and Julie. This is where we find Vinnie’s body,

wrists slit, and as pale as snow. “Sorry bastard killed himself so he wouldn’t have to deal with

what we’re dealing with,” says Rabbit.

Julie turns away in disgust. I close the door trying to calm down, but crying at the same

time. Rabbit has the same look, wiping tears from his face. “I’m killing him. No if’s and’s or buts.

I’m killing him. This won’t end later, this ends now,” I tell both of them. I gather the rest of the

stakes, garlic and the gun and look to the others. “You can’t do this Mal. We’re all that’s left,”

says Rabbit. “That’s why I have to,” I tell him. “You’re risking yourself for a complete stranger. I

was nobody to you until earlier tonight,” Julie says. “That don’t make it right. No one else is

dying because of this thing,” I say.

“Mal man, if something happens to you, then what?” Rabbit asks me. “Then you takeover

the crew. Bring new blood in,” I tell Rabbit. “Malcolm, you’re very brave to do this, for me. It

makes me feel good that you’re doing that for me. But don’t,” Julie tells me. “You’re not changing

my mind. Neither one of you,” I tell them.

I see a bottle of Vodka and make a Molotov cocktail when I put a towel in the bottle and

hand it to Rabbit. He already knows, I don’t have to say anything. “Like the incident with the

Russians down on Patterson?” Rabbit asks me. “You already know, just different scenario. Much

different scenario,” I tell Rabbit.

I am completly armed to the tee with everything I need to protect myself against Tonsey

and whatever he is going to be throwing my way. The feelings flowing through me are surreal to

the point of living them. “Be fucking careful bro,” says Rabbit. “Don’t get dead,” Julie says to

me as I get to the door.

A sound is heard from the window directly behind. We turn just in enough time to see a

dark figure quickly move from behind the blinds. Tonsey. It has to be. “What the hell was that?”

asks Rabbit. “You already know what that was. And he has fangs,” I tell him. “What is he

doing?” asks Julie. “Messing with us. Look stay here. I’m gonna draw him out, then you guys get

away all right?” I tell them. Rabbit and Julie nod.

As I prepare to exit the room, Tonsey jumps up from out of the ground. He kicks me and

Rabbit to the side of the room. Tonsey grows fangs, sinking them into Julie’s throat. “No!” I

yell. He continues sucking her blood as she screams in pain. Tonsey slowly starts looking at her.

“Me and you are one now,” he says.

I turn to Rabbit, giving him that ‘look’. Rabbit lights the cocktail, throwing it at Tonsey’s

feet, he instantly catches on fire. I jump to throw Julie out of his reach. He grabs me with his

burning arm, biting a good chuck out of my arm. I scream in pain, but manage to stab him in the

chest. Missing the heart. Tonsey begins laughing at me. “Wow. Missed”. “I know,” I tell him. I

put the gun in his mouth pulling the trigger. The bullet with the cross goes through his head,

turning him into dust.

I fall to the ground, grabbing my wounded arm. The silhouette of Tonsey’s aura or

whatever vampires have is turning into a white light. Ghostly orange flames come out of the

ground, taking Tonsey’s aura with it. There is one more bright flash that instantly blinds the three

of us for a short time.

Julie and I scream in pain as the venom Tonsey puts in both of us exits our bodies. Julie

and I are all better and our wounds are healed. The three of us look at each other. “Is he

dead?” asks Julie. “Oh yeah,” I tell her. “Thank Christ,” says Rabbit. The three of us laugh and

hug each other.

Sunlight is creeping into the window. The light hits us a little bit, giving us the greatest

feeling of relief. “Let’s get out of here,” I tell them. Julie and I help Rabbit up as we leave the

area of the final battle.

We go through the war zone downstairs, visions I want out of my head. I pick up my cross as a souvenir of the night. We go through the door letting the warm sun rays touch us to the core. But something grabs my attention, so I look back to the garage from outside. Larone’s body is gone.

The End.

   

The De-Feminization of the Black Woman

YUV Contributor Jenene
YUV Contributor Jenene

 

Within the past week I’ve seen CNN report on two separate instances where a male law enforcement officer has been caught on video beating a Black woman. I’m not talking about a light slapping or shoving, even though that would also be inappropriate; I’m talking about a man wrestling, punching, and manhandling a woman in something similar to an MMA or UFC cage fight. The words “difficult” and “horrifying” don’t even begin to describe how tough it was nor the emotions that I felt watching both videos. It was shocking to say the least.

What was more shocking, however, was, both, the justification given for this violence and the seeming lack of outrage over these incidents. Ironically, both incidents involved pedestrian jaywalking. Pause, and let that marinate in your mind for a moment. Yes, I said jaywalking, not murder, drugs, or any act of violence or terrorism, but jaywalking is the crime that prompted such a violent response from the White male law enforcement officers. I make a distinction, here, because I believe that it is relevant. In both cases, the law enforcement officer held a distinct size advantage over the woman, besides the fact that the officers were male and both citizens were females.

In both cases, the person introducing the news story warned viewers of the horrific nature of the videos before airing them. It is immediately clear from the videos that both cases involved the use of excessive force, yet the anchors and the organizations responsible for the officers both maintained a falsely objective stance when discussing the actions of the officer(s). They even seemed to side with the officers in speaking of each case in its totality, thus prompting my use of the term “falsely objective.”

In the first case, which involved a doctoral-level university professor who was jaywalking as she walked home from the university after teaching her evening class, the university stood behind the officer, even going as far as to issue a statement on the officer’s behalf. Both the officer and the professor were both employees of the university, but no such support was given to the university professor even though a video clip of the officer literally slamming the 5’2″ woman into the ground was visible proof of his aggression.

The second incident, occurring on a California highway, was so similar to the first that it looked like a copycat case. Again, a Black woman was accused of jaywalking and approached by an officer. Again, the officer slammed the woman into the ground without being physically provoked. This time, however, the officer went a step further, punching the woman in the face and also repeatedly slamming her head onto the concrete. Again, the organization in charge of the officer issues a statement in support of the officer in the face of visible evidence that suggests otherwise.

This doesn’t end the similarities between both cases. Additionally, both cases failed to even address the severity with which the officers defended a somewhat minor traffic violation. Now, I want to be clear; I do believe in following the law. In fact, I’m often teased by those who know me because I am a staunch rule-follower and am often annoyed when people don’t follow the rules. I do, however, believe that the punishment for violating said rules should fit the crime, and in both cases, such was not the case. Getting caught jaywalking by an officer should never result in getting the living day lights beaten out of you. There’s no justification for that, especially if there was no violence to or endangerment of the officer during the initial confrontation.

In the interest of objective journalism, I will also share that the university professor did kick the officer that punched her and slammed her on the ground AFTER she was restrained and placed in handcuffs, which was also after he had repeatedly beaten her. There was, however, NO VIOLENCE from her (nor the other woman in the second incident) BEFORE being physically assaulted by the officer. This prompts me to ask the question that no one seems to want to address, the proverbial elephant in the room. Why do these law enforcement officials believe it’s ok to use such brute force on Black women for such minor infractions?

I ask this question out of sincerity and not out of a desire to be a shock jock. I have seen, throughout my life, a huge disparity in the way that Black women are treated in American society, as opposed to other women. I wrote an article earlier about Black beauty and Eurocentric standards where I addressed some of these same concerns. In essence, because Afrocentric features and cultural practices are almost the polar opposite of Eurocentric features and cultural practices, Black women aren’t valued on the same scale as others in American society.

This valuation system pervades every area in society.   For example, in terms of beauty, Black women aren’t celebrated as beautiful to the extent that White women or non-White women who possess European features are because of Eurocentric standards of beauty in America. This belief also affects how the American psyche views Black femininity.

Again, because Black women are seen as the polar opposite of that which is beautiful, that which is European, Black women are often assigned a harder, de-feminized, and pseudo-masculine role in American society. In short, America has created an image of the Black woman that is hard, harsh, and manly, while women that have European descent and/or features are preserved as soft, delicate, and in need of protection.

This is not to say that women should be seen as weak and defenseless. It is, however, a statement about the injustice and discrimination that Black women must face within a society that has characterized Black women as less than women, as brute and evil monsters who deserved to be attacked for even the smallest indiscretions. In watching these news programs, I had to ask myself, “Would the response from the officer had been the same if the citizen would have been a White woman?” Sadly, my answer was a firm and honest, “No.” Why…because the American psyche sees White women as soft and delicate, as a prize needing to be treasured and protected. This is not to say that White women don’t experience discrimination, but it is not the kind of discrimination that would result in over-aggressively violent responses by an officer for jaywalking.

Black women in America, however, are not seen in this delicate light. Black women in the collective American conscience are seen as slightly (if at all) above animals. If you think that I’m spouting conspiracy theories, look at how the media characterizes First Lady Michelle Obama. Even though she has been tapped as a fashion icon, the media repeatedly attempts to paint her as an angry, almost animalistic figure. She is almost never characterized as soft and feminine even though she is the first First Lady since Jackie O, decades earlier, to be painted as a notable fashion icon. Why…because that does not fit into the role played by Black women in the American narrative. It is this same narrative that allows Black women to be beaten, unjustly and unmercifully, without the collective outcry of her fellow countrymen. Why…because she is not viewed as a woman and thus not afforded the same sympathy and protection of her counterparts.

It is truly sad that near the time when America celebrates its independence, it still holds some of its earliest inhabitants captive. I guess American society is less like utopia and more like Animal Farm.   All Americans are free, but some are more free than others.

Jenene

Black America: A Documentary Film

Documentary Filmmaker Randall Rydell Russell
Documentary Filmmaker Randall Rydell Russell

BLACK AMERICA: A DOCUMENTARY FILM BY RANDALL RYDELL RUSSELL

Sacramento Filmmaker Randall Rydell Russell brings us a documentary about the struggles and search for hope in America when people still judge by the color of our skin. Black America will be released later this year.

Concerns For the Future

By Randall Rydell Russell

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We live in a day in age where everyone wants everything right and now without having to answer to anybody. But this epidemic is showing it’s true colors through our youth. Most kids between 9 and 17 in low income areas are becoming more drawn to drugs, fighting and violence than usual. Kids smoking pot, drinking and engaging in sex is nothing new, but the ages of the ones starting are getting worse.

Most of these kids are being raised by parents who are barely 30 and they themselves are the products of bad upbringing and they have instilled these mindsets onto their children, giving most people who have their stuff together bad views on these kids.

Here’s the thing coming from an at risk youth myself, you have to find your balance or thing you’re good at that’s positive and embrace it in a big way. That can be anything from art, filmmaking, music, sports, agriculture to maybe even helping other kids like I did.

The one thing these kids need to understand is that the world isn’t against you unless you put yourself in the situation to not be helped. To the point you are so disillusioned with what you’ve learned that that is the only thing that crosses your mind, leading to a life of crime, debauchery and violence.

We have to do better in this world or our next generation will see the crumbling of society. There is hope left in this world people. We just have to be strong enough to dig deep and find it. If  I can make it, anyone can.

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Is America Killing Our Black Youth

Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis two teens murdered through "Stand Your Ground Law"
Trayvon Martin and Jordan Davis two teens murdered through “Stand Your Ground Law”

Is America Killing Our Black Youth

We begin to wonder what is really going on when the lives of our African American youth begin dwindling away. Why is it that we stand at the forefront of tyranny? Two male teens gone within less than five years and these are just the murders being reported. Who knows how many countless travesties have gone unmentioned? News media will only report so much that if not reporting will hurt their ratings as well as its credibility.

What exactly is a “Stand Your Ground” law anyway? The state of Florida passed this law which allows someone in fear of his or her life to use deadly force to stop an attacker. But if you ask me, what exactly were these two teens doing to provoke such “fear” in these men: George Zimmerman (a neighborhood watchman who murdered Trayvon Martin in February 2012) and Michael Dunn who murdered Jordan Davis for his music being too loud. What? Besides being NORMAL AMERICAN TEENAGERS. When did listening to music and going to the store for snacks begin to pose such a threat to society that they had to pull out guns and murder innocent children?

What makes matters worse? George Zimmerman was going to do a celebrity boxing match with famed rapper DMX. This is not just a joke but a damn slap in the face towards Trayvon Martin’s entire family. The media attention it received was simply disgusting. On the other hand Michael Dunn feels he was justified by killing Jordan Davis although no one in the SUV was armed with any weapons. Dunn himself sees his self as both the victim and the victor. It is a sad cold day in America when our young children can’t live to see their adulthood and create families of their own.

Sybrina Fulton (Trayvon’s mother) and Lucia McBath (Jordan Davis’s mother) have come together to attempt to ban this, “Stand Your Ground” law. Which we honestly know is only successful for whites. Allegedly, only 3% of African Americans shooters received the same treatment for shooting a white person and filing a “Stand Your Ground” claim. What does that mean folks? The law does NOT support the minority. How so? You may ask? Neither of these men has “truly” been convicted yet. Michael Dunn still awaits his fate for a retrial May 5th on which he may face up to 60 years in jail. Meanwhile Zimmerman is a free man making a mockery of the incident.

We hope that someday things change in this world. Even as we stand in a brink of a new era and an African American holds chair in the White House. We still have to deal with the mistreatment of Blacks. Teens shouldn’t have to live their life as if they may die tomorrow? What has truly happened to this world?

JM – OUT