This collage was based on a Christopher Johnson true story.

I wonder what ever happened to them three boys. Them boys that shot that boy on a Texas back road and left him for dead. It wasn’t three boys, it seven. There was True, Hugh Gaither, Troy, Jon, Lester, Owen, and…… And me.

It was simple really. A small situation gone awry, kind of like “A fist full of dollars,” only with a girl, and of coarse I playing the role of Clint Eastwood. That’s neither here nor there. So I’m in this room, my bedroom, and I’m surrounded by these six guys. Four of them work for me, I had an illegal civilian hustling ring while I was in the army, but, that’s another story. And they’re telling me I’m on this list. A hit list. A list of people to kill, people who had somehow offended this gang that had moved in from California. Enter Peace. Peace was this girl. Chinese eyes, high cheek bones, caramel skin, b cups, four pack flat stomach, hair all they way down her back and what a back it was. Perfectly curved with that muscular separation at the middle, those three divots, right where the spine meets the hips. Waist like a wasp, ass like a horse! I met peace through Tony. Tony was a civilian from New Jersey, had a brother stationed on the base.

I met Tony through Celeste. Celeste was my woman. There actually was two Tony’s. We called ourselves TNT moving company. Right outside of any military installation in the country you’ll find a number of Storage facilities. Right before Desert Storm hit, covering Ft. Hood in a blizzard of abandonment, these facilities became full. It was beautiful. Military styled accurately beautiful. Skinny Tony would run down the aisles, popping the locks and opening the storage units. My job was to pick anything of value and put it in the aisles, while Big Tony would move the newly acquired merchandise to the car, where with the engine running, the doors open and the back seat down would be Celeste. Beautiful Celeste. But Back to Peace. I was cheating on Celeste with Peace, who was cheating on her man, the leader of the incumbent gang, the Crips, with not only me, but with the challenging newcomer gang leader of the Bloods. And then there was the target. That kid. The one that got shot on that dusty, back Texas country road. His name was on the list, right above mine, and all I did was sleep with the gang leaders girlfriend, and as pretty as she was, No Pussy Is Worth Dying For! But here it is. On a crumpled piece of paper, out of the pocket of Troy, my sixteen year old, personally hand picked protégé was this problem. Troy and the other three youngsters that worked for me wanted to join this gang. Blood in, Blood out, only it would be my blood spilling for them to get in.

Enter the proposition. True says to me “If you help us get Mo, we’ll talk to Black and get this thing squashed.” I’m sitting there. Nine millimeter berretta sandwiched by the mattress and box spring between my legs. In the towel closet above Hugh Gaither head is a fully loaded mac eleven. The Three eighty Big Tony gave me right before getting arrested, tucked snuggly in a bed of ankle skin and cotton sock. Chrome pearl handled twenty five caliber pistol, full metal jacket in pocket. All I could hear was Drill SGT Carrington screaming “DON’T PANIC! The number one reason solders die is because in tight situations there is an urge to panic !” The mood was silence and the only thing I could think to do, which is what I’ve always done, was take the easy way out and suffer the repercussions.

It was a simple plan really. We would pack two cars, leaving room in mine for one. Enter Mo. Mo saw my crew in the park one Sunday stacking papers hand over fist after a Saturday night Wal-Mart smash and grab. WE HAD EVERYTHING HOT!

Levis Jeans, VHS movies, swatch watches skids in multiple plaid arrangements and Batman T-shirts to match He wanted to get down sooo bad He took me to his Brother-in-laws apartment for a B and E THE SAME DAY WE took everything Stereo, TV of coarse comforters, clothing nick nacks we even at the last minute right when we heard the key in the door just barely got out of there with the steaks, chicken and sausage from the freezer Mo nineteen years old from Brooklyn Just as caught up in the *“New Jack Hustle” as I In a state as free as Texas When at the time All one needed to buy a gun was a Texas drivers License Mo It was rumored that Mo had relations with the incoming gang leaders’ brother. What was known was he shot that brother point blank with a twenty five caliber pistol in the face and took his car Now Mo’s name sat above mine on the list The first one to kill there was message to be sent to the city of Killeen “Don’t Fuck with the Crips” And I was being afforded an opportunity to remove my name from the sentence. (pause) eleven AM I found myself creeping the car to a stop I waited for the four people in the car behind of me to fully exit their vehicle before emptying my ride walking back towards them it was True who was the pick blocking our line of sight from what was going on behind him approaching first asking

“you got your gun” I nodded in reply Next Troy “you got your gun” He nodded

Then Mo “you got your gun” “Naw!” he said POP POP Hugh Gaither came from Mo’s blind spot

behind True shooting Mo in the neck from right over Trues’ shoulder I turned to seeG Gaither straddle Mo’s body POP POP POP He emptied the whole thing in that boy Five thirty-two caliber rounds swallowed by the flesh of a nineteen year old boy from Brooklyn.

It was over I went walking back to my car relieved *it was over Then came the yell “He’s still moving” Gaither walks up to me with a look The “it’s not over” look a look that said it before the words “You do it” left his mouth There he was the crimson liquid mixing in with the dark brown dust of the road creating these crystal like red sugar clumps on his shirt in puddles on the ground around the wound on his neck eye’s closed left hand limply trying to lift I raised the chrome twenty-five I had in my pocket aimed for his head shot three times The first time his body jerked mine did two I walked backwards my eyes couldn’t move off the gray matter ooze pushing from a small hole in his forehead with each step I saw more of him his face the two wounds in head and neck his shoulders his chest the position his body held framed by the fading of grass and road the contrast of his skin his blood to the dirt until finally I got into my car When I pulled the trigger to kill Mo I realized how true it is that when you have to kill a person something inside you some part of you dies What died in me I didn’t morn I couldn’t at that moment True and Gaither were in there own ride My car now full with the juvenile gang members to be They looked to me They looked up to me! and that was not a time to morn what I’ve done What I’ve lost All I could think about was the liter of knotty head on the kitchen counter I could cry to her ever since I could remember full bottles of liquor held my tears comforted my weakness Thirty days later I was in the Killeen City Jail the detectives had an affidavit signed by True stating that it was all my idea. As I read it, I wasn’t even there. I was with Celeste I was with my mother I was with my younger sister I started to mourn the unidentifiable part of me that died that day that became a nameless head stone inside of me that day I cried.

Christopher Johnson


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