seaslug

I am so lame

Darryl didn't see Tyrone coming across the street until...

"yo Yo YO MAN!!"

Darryl looked up and into the barrel of an old, beat up .38.

We were half a block down and across the street when we heard the pop! pop! pop! We ran, fast as we could, toward the sound but we had already missed it. Darryl was laid out, his legs on the sidewalk, the rest of him in the street. Darryl's head was a ruin. Bright arterial and dark venous blood, as well as grey brain matter, slithered down the gutter and into the sewer. Already it was congealing and the sickly-sweet smell was everywhere.

Darryl's arms flailed and groaning sounds came out of his mouth like an animal. His back arched as if he was trying to get up and run. Run away from Tyrone, run back to his shit hole project apartment, run out of this city, run anywhere instead of having to be dead.

Tyrone had tried to run, too, but the cops had been faster. They had heard the gun shots from their project substation down the block, just as we had, and had seen Tyrone, with the gun still in his hand, racing down the street. They had caught him and now he was sitting in the back of a police car, sweating in the summer heat, his head hanging down, looking at no one.

A crowd had started to gather and the cops unrolled yellow tape, stringing it from telephone pole to police car and back again, sealing off the whole sidewalk in front of the Dourgenois Grocery, where Darryl and his friends had been standing. Big Daddy came out of his sweet shop, next door, and looked on, hands on his hips. Big Daddy ran the drug trade in this project and sold heroin to junkies in the alley behind his store, through a hole in the wall. Murder he hadn't ordered was not good for business. People in the crowd were talking:

"Darryl disrespected him, man."

"Didn't have ta be like dat."

Women had brought out their young children and were pressing against the yellow crime scene tape. A cop tried to get the women to take their kids away but they looked at the cop like he was crazy. Another cop barked to no one in particular that if the owner of the grocery hadn't let people loiter in front of his store this never would have happened. The owner of the grocery gasped in outrage and looked for someone to support him then walked back into his store and shut the door. Tomorrow there would be "Do Not Loiter" signs posted all over his walls.

From where I was standing I could see, plain as day, where Tyrone had shot at Darryl. There were three perfect grooves in the roof of a Buick LeSabre, looking like a plowed field, like a giant pigeon foot print, like a road map pointing the way for three bullets, straight from Tyrone's hate to Darryl's head.

Darryl's body had been tagged and bagged. Tyrone had been driven away. The grocery had closed. The crowd drifted off. It was getting dark but the street lights didn't come on. They had been shot out long ago. The yellow police tape, left behind, looked grey in the dusk. Darryl's blood was black. A black hole in the street. A singularity from which nothing could escape. Except maybe Darryl.