TOUCHED BY AN ANGEL, TWICE?

THE ADVENTURES OF D & T

How many times can you count, using your fingers and/or toes, that you were blessed by a higher power?  Can you count or figure out the ways how many times you had an angel, in human form, come directly into your path?  I don’t know how many times this has happened to me personally, but I can count possibly twice that my wife and I dealt with a blessing we didn’t see coming at all.  The two accounts I can recall aren’t long and drawn out experiences, but just something I wanted share with you and see what you think.

The first one I can remember was when my wife and I were shopping in one of the craft stores, Jo Ann’s or Michael’s.  On this particular day we were inside searching for certain items, I believe for my wife, and we headed down one aisle.  While we were looking at different items in the aisle, this lady walks up behind us, out of nowhere, and starts talking to us.  Within the first few seconds of us having this conversation, she hands my wife and I a coupon worth 50% off for anything in the store if we spend over a certain amount.  We were definitely surprised to receive something like this as she possibly passed other customers in the store to hand us this coupon.

We told her thank you and expressed our appreciation for the sudden gift.  As we continued down the aisle, I decided to turn around and see if I can find this lady for whatever reason.  I believe she couldn’t have been gone from us for no more than thirty seconds to a minute.  To my surprise she was nowhere to be found.  Now, it is quite possible that she was truly a human person being very nice and giving up her 50% coupon, but if so she moved very quickly.  My wife and I spoke about this situation for a while and never forgot that moment of how she bypassed others in the store to bless us with this generosity.  In our second time dealing with another mysterious woman, my wife and I were in Sports Authority, I think, and shopping for new shoes.

While we were in one aisle searching of what pair of boots my wife should get, this mysterious woman walks up to us from behind and quickly hands us a savings coupon.  She didn’t say much as to basically tell us that she had no need for it and wanted us to have in case we needed it.  My wife and I looked at each other and thanked her for the generosity.  Once again I walked down the aisle and see if I could find her leaving the store, but never saw her near the counter.  We continued shopping for another several minutes and still never saw the woman.  Now, I know I was much quicker this time in seeing if I could find her, but once again I was unsuccessful.  This struck us with disbelief as we tried to make sense of what just happened, but knew that it must’ve been a blessing from God.

Both incidents came close within each other and something that we never expected to ever happen to us.  It hasn’t happened to us since that I can think of, but this definitely lets us know that blessings can strike anywhere, anytime and by anyone.  I’ve had numerous angels in human form come to my rescue, and when you turn around they are nowhere to be found, but still as I get older I am amazed how this happens.  Pay attention to your surroundings out there and understand that anyone can be a blessing to your life, and how much they can impact your path through said life.  Some are known right away, others are known as time goes on when your eyes aren’t closed or blocked.  You never know!

Henry Scott

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“THE GREEN CURTAIN” – CHPT. 8

Characters in the story are based off real people. Names have been changed to protect those individuals.  Situations and events in the story are fictional, although some real events may be included.  Some content may include violence and sexual depictions.  Reader discretion is advised.

Chapter VIII

[NEW YORK CITY]

It surely didn’t take long for Mercedes and Sapphire to receive news that one of her businesses in Brooklyn, New York was raided by the collaboration of NYPD and the F.B.I. While receiving this shocking news from one of her foot soldiers, she quickly asked for which business was involved.  Needless to say, Mercedes was not happy to hear that one of her most hardworking business partners slipped and fell off his game, and allowed the raid to take place.  Furiously, she sends the word to everyone, and anyone, to bring her the business manager that is responsible for this to take place.  It would be several minutes later that she would receive a call from one of the family members telling her that the business manager was released from police custody, and is now located at a warehouse secured.  Pleased with the news, she orders her driver to head to the specific warehouse and fills in Sapphire on what will take place once they are there.  Another fifteen minutes passes before they pull up to the side entrance of the warehouse, where Mercedes and Sapphire are led to a retail space.

Once they entered the retail space, which had a for sale sign posted on the entrance door, Mercedes first sight was the business owner sitting in a chair bound by his hands and feet. She could see at least three other foot soldiers, who are providing security over the captured business owner, wondering around the huge open space.  The business manager looked up and saw Mercedes slowly walking towards him with the echoing of her high heel boots striking the concrete floor.  Shadowing her on her strong side was Sapphire, who was also wearing knee high-high heel boots, red leggings and a black trench coat that swayed about knee length.  Mercedes kept her slow stride, starring at the eyes of the business owner, until she was about a few feet from his presence.  In front of her, was a chair that was facing backwards, which she used to take a seat with her legs slightly spread apart because of the chair’s backrest.  Crossing her arms on the peak curve of the backrest and leans forward to make sure she can see his eyes staring back at her.

Before words were spoken, Sapphire positioned herself at the five o’clock angle of the owner’s backside. Mercedes releases a huge sighs before opening up dialogue with the frighten man.

MERCEDES: Explain to me…….what happened? Carlos.  How did you allow the NYPD and the F.B.I. gather enough information to conduct a raid on my business, which you was in charge of?

BUSINESS OWNER: I…I….I….am not exactly sure what happened. I was in the back of the store and heard a huge commotion.  The next thing I know I’m being thrown to the ground and detained behind bars.

MERCEDES: BULLSHIT CARLOS!!  How dare you sit here and lie to my face?!  I trusted you with this business and you didn’t do what I asked you, what I told you to do!  Now I have lost a business and possibly one of my best partners in this expansion effort.  I was going to promote you to becoming my right hand man along with Sapphire, but I see you have disturbed that dream, that goal I hand in mind.  You got sloppy and carried away with your operations, and now you have to face the punishment you deserve.  However, you can redeem yourself and be on the road to regaining my trust.

BUSINESS OWNER: How can I regain your trust, my lady?

MERCEDES: Well, I should say you will need to fight for your freedom and then you can become my right hand man.

BUSINESS OWNER: Who am I to fight?

MERCEDES: My right hand woman, Sapphire. If you can beat her in hand to hand combat, then you will at least secure your freedom for a brief moment.  To gain promotion and regain my trust, you have to dispatch her.

BUSINESS OWNER: I have to kill her? He sees Sapphire slowly making her way back into his view still wearing her sunglasses.

MERCEDES: She is very skilled and trained. A trained assassin who has been around the globe in learning from different people and dispatching men, women and sometimes children.  So, what do you say to this challenge?

BUSINESS OWNER: What if I refuse to fight her? I’ve never fought or even hit a woman before.  Now you’re telling me to not only beat her up, but to kill her as well just for my freedom? 

MERCEDES: Yes or no? Which will it be?

BUSINESS OWNER: After a long pause and contemplates about the idea of fighting Sapphire, who he knows is highly skilled and trained, he reluctantly gives his answer. Yes. I’ll do it.

MERCEDES: Great. She motions to one of her security personnel to untie Carlos so the entertainment may begin.

Carlos’s hands and feet are quickly freed with a sharp knife, which is then placed in his hand to use against Sapphire. Sapphire takes off her sunglasses and gently hands them to one of the security personnel to hold on too.  Almost immediately, Carlos lunges at Sapphire with the knife blade pointed straight at her, which becomes a very bad tactic as he thought catching her off guard was the best way.  He was punished quickly when Sapphire stepped quickly to the side delivering a kick to the stomach, side kick to Carlos’s knee, which causes him to drop down on that knee and receives a drop kick to the face.  Carlos falls hard on his back knocking out the air in his lungs.  Sapphire slowly walks around him like a lion measuring its prey for weakness.  After gathering himself from that quick assault he received, Carlos jumps up and begins to swing the knife harshly towards her, but she dodges every attempt to slice her.

He once again lunges at her and misses when she turns her body sideways facing him. As he attempts to strike her with his elbow, Sapphire blocks his strike and delivers a karate chop to his mid-section, hard knee to the side of his thigh, a kick to his face, a knee to his stomach and a knee strike to his face.  The last strike stuns him in confusion and causes him to stagger backwards a few steps.  With the knife still in his hand, Carlos raises the knife in the air and swings downward and striking nothing but air.  Enough toying with him, Sapphire drop kicks him in the face, which makes his head snap backwards, forward kick to the groin and a roundhouse kick to the side of the head.  Once he falls to the ground, on his side, Sapphire kicks him in the stomach and delivers another kick to his face causing him to rollover to his back.  She stomps on his chest with the heel of her boot, and immediately following, drops her ass on his chest facing his legs.  Sapphire glances behind her at the defeated face of Carlos and finishes him off with several strikes to his stomach and abdomen causing internal bleeding to immediately erupt.  The internal bleeding was clearly known when he began to cough up blood.

She turns herself around to face him and reaches behind her grabbing a handful of his family jewels, while using the other hand to choke him out. Increasing the pressure on both ends, Carlos finds himself in a compromise position that he can’t get out of.  With the hand grip so tight and fierce between his legs, Sapphire lifts his lower body up off the ground a few inches as she could feel the bones in his neck slowly breaking under her grip.  She could also, which felt like, blood pooling inside his pants under her grip.  Neither one of her fierce grips were loosened until she knew for sure that every ounce of breath in his body was gone.  About a couple of minutes after the death of Carlos, Sapphire slowly releases her grips and stands over him staring down at his lifeless body.  Sapphire steps over him and walks up to Mercedes staring her in the eyes.

SAPPHIRE: Am I still worthy of your service?

MERCEDES: Hmm..I suppose I can keep you a little longer. In a sarcasting manner.

Both women of stature walk out of the retail space leaving the men to clean up the mess, and to deliver a message to all business managers around the city that serve under her reign. Soon all business managers are served with a warning to not allow any information to be leaked to the police for any reason or suffer the consequences of doing so.  Needless to say a picture of his naked body was sent to ALL, and every single bruise on his body was clearly visible through the photograph, which sickened nearly everyone who saw it.

[VIRGINIA CORRECTIONAL FACILITY]

As the minister is awaiting his extradition hearing, he stands in line behind his cellmate in the cafeteria while checking out his surroundings. In the midst of checking out his surroundings, he glances behind him and sees a muscular black guy staring directly at him.  In the few seconds he had looking back at the muscle guy, he noticed the angry look on his face and just made a mental note to himself about the situation.  Not too long after that brief encounter, he is being served the lunch slop that he even hates eating on the outside of the jail walls.  Going down through the lunch line grabbing other items, he is bothered that his first meal inside the grey concrete walls is ham slice, white rice and chicken gravy.  He remembers getting meals like this when he used to stay with his grandfather for the summer, who was a WWII veteran and probably scarred for life from the packaged meals he was receiving at that point.  Khalid often thought at times that his grandfather was just different from a lot of people, but at times that idea was challenged when his grandfather would dress up in old military gear; and just walk around the house in military precision.

After leaving the lunch line, James tells the minister to follow him over to a particular table where he would like to introduce some people. The minister waited for James to take his seat first and then sat down at an empty spot across from him.  Without too much delay, James introduced the minister to his friends and vice versa with some apprehension in the air since they don’t know each other.  To break the awkward silence between them, James started speaking about how much the minister is willing to help them out with some resources of his own, which got the attention of one of the guys.  This is when the minister filled in the blanks and began to speak about how much he can help them and what he can bring to the table.  Of course, the other guy that wasn’t all that impressed with the minister to begin with, challenged that thought and wanted to know how his ideas would be accomplished with him being extradited to Massachusetts.  From the get go James can see that his friend and the minister are going to have some bumps in the road, but hopefully working together can still be achieved.  While all three of them are engaged in conversation, the muscular black man that appeared to have a problem with the minister, walks by.

The minister feels this hard bump on his back, which causes him to spill some of his food in his lap off his fork. All three of the men sitting there with him just stare in confusion of why that was necessary and what his next move was.  Other prisoners in the lunch hall, who knew or saw what happened, also focused their attention on the minister to watch his reaction.  As the muscle man continues to walk to his table, the minister looks up from his dropped food and stares at the back of the muscular foe.  He waits a few seconds after the man sits down and slowly stands up with his eyes burning a hole in the back of his head.  All the correctional officers in the area saw what happened and didn’t make a move to intercept the minister as they were eager to see what his reaction would be.  As the minister gets closer and closer with each step, other prisoners begin to take notice and move to spots around the lunch room for any unobstructed view.  While the muscle man continues to ignore the situation around him, Khalid stops directly behind him and pauses before saying something to him.  After a few seconds of no response from the muscle man, Khalid looks up and around him and can see a crowd gathering and every correctional officer staring.  Once Khalid made eye contact with one of the correctional officers on the upper deck, he looked back down at the back of the muscle man.

Without warning Khalid shoved the muscle man’s face into his food and forcibly rubbed it all over the tray. Knowing that he would get a response from the muscle man, he backs up and watches him clean off his face and stands up facing him.  Khalid looks into the muscle man’s eyes and can see the fire of anger just burning out of control.  It was at this point the minister took a fighting stance as the muscle man advances towards him slowly, fist balled up and his veins trying to bulge out of his ebony skin.  Knowing that he can’t avoid him forever, Khalid goes for the first strike, but quickly found out that the muscle man was too quick.  Khalid’s punch was caught in the muscle man’s hand and immediately felt the bones in his hand beginning to get crushed.  Yelling out in pain, Khalid attempts to strike with his other hand, but suffered the same situation, which now puts him in a very vulnerable position.  The pain that was being delivered to his hands was too much to concentrate through as he felt the size 13 foot make contact with his chest, sending him back first on top of a lunch table.  Trying to compute in his mind of his hands being temporarily disabled, he was able to look in front of him and see the muscle man advancing.  When the muscle man got close enough, Khalid kicks him in the face, which stuns him for a few seconds and strikes him across the head with one of the steels trays.

The muscle man grabs his head bending over in obvious pain, but then gets kneed in the face by Khalid; breaking his nose. Taking advantage of the upper hand, Khalid continues his assault, but gets repelled very quickly when the muscle man blocks one of his punches, delivers a punch to Khalid’s mid-section and body slams him on top of a table.  With the muscle man’s huge hands wrapped around his neck, Khalid finds himself trying to breath; and striking his forearms with all his might was not loosening up his grip.  In his mind, Khalid knew he only had a few more seconds before it was lights out for good and kept fighting and wouldn’t give up until every ounce of breath was completely gone.  Feeling his body beginning to shutdown, Khalid starts reaching for anything he can find to repel this muscle man from killing him and leaving his body for the pickings.  Just before he was about to go out, Khalid reach for a plastic utensil and jammed it in the eye of the muscle man.  Screams came out of the muscle man that was not expected, but his hands were released from around the minister’s neck.  Getting up coughing and quickly gathering air back into his lungs, and rubbing his throat, Khalid decides it was time to end this fight now.

With all his might and energy he had left, Khalid just unloaded on the muscle man and took advantage of his weakness. Delivering blow after blow to the muscle man’s face, blood is just spewing and flying from his mouth, nose and bloody eye.  Blood flying everywhere and even gets on some of the prisoners in the immediate area.  As the muscle man stands in front of him unable to defend himself and his face covered in blood, Khalid kicks him in both knees dropping him onto his knees on the solid concrete floor.  One last kick to the face of the muscle man sends him immediately to the ground, lying flat on his back not moving and barely breathing.  His victory was short-lived when he felt a hard strike in the back of his knees, which was followed up with repeated baton strikes to the upper back and arms.  All the other prisoners were forced to the ground and to assume the position as the quick response team stood over them.  James and the other two guys watch Khalid get hauled off with his hands and feet bound through a door, which was slammed quickly behind them.  Now, the question that surfaced in James mind was the uncertainty that he would see the minister again, at least anytime soon.

END OF CHAPTER VIII

APRIL 13, 2016 – CHAPTER 9

THE APPLE CORE JOURNAL

THE APPLE CORE JOURNAL – VOLUME I (My Second Year)

As we get further into the new spring season, not only does this encourage our senses to do some spring cleaning and home restoration projects, but also this month marks my second year living in upstate New York. There have been small trials and tribulations since making this area my home, but when you move 400 plus miles away from your home state Maryland, you are bound to have some hurdles to jump over and mountains to climb.  Many people have asked me numerous times, “What brings you up here?” or “What made you decide to come here?” with both questions being asked in a concern or confused tone of voice.  Usually my answer is the same towards everyone, which is that my wife got a job with a private company that allows her to work from home, but requires her to be within driving distance of her assigned territory of Long Island (New York).  Then usually the next questions that follow after that explanation are about what she does for a living and, sometimes, what my previous employment was.  To give a quick summary of what my wife does and to better help people understand what she does, she basically does a lot of medical fraud investigations, on the basic level, and transfer information to those that can do better with that information.  That is, of course, not her entire job description, but instead of going too far into it and confusing the person this is the easiest explanation of her job.

This past March also marks two years that I left my previous employer, University of Maryland Police Department, College Park. The 11 years that I spent there being a police officer was both entertaining and very stressful; with the stress levels coming from the command staff, or anyone that was closely associated with them.  Hell, the job itself was exciting and it puts a smile on my face knowing the things I experienced and who I shared the experiences with, but the added politics and the inconsistent actions from our leaders made working there very dreadful and caused me to think of just quitting many times.  However, I thought better of it, didn’t want to make any rash decisions and I didn’t want to harm my chances in going to another agency, whether it was still in Maryland or out of state.  While growing up in the D.C. area, I had no intentions and no plans to ever move this far away from my family, especially from my mother.  As we all know when you start to experience life, you experience things that still shape your mind and your way of thinking and develop friendships in other parts of the world, or even from different cultures, you tend to have different views, wants and desires.  Out of all that I experienced being in the military and through my early years in law enforcement, I still had no idea or desire to move out of state, especially north of the Mason-Dixon Line.

Now, I am very happy that I made the decision to come north, and leave the pains and stresses of living in the D.C. Metro Area. It became obvious to me that I had out grown the area and felt like I couldn’t stretch my arms, get air and just breathe.  I even attempted to leave UMPD and go to other agencies within the same state, but that didn’t work out as well as I had hoped at that time.  It was discouraging for a while seeing others that I developed friendships and great working relationships with, leave and go elsewhere to better their career.  Don’t get me wrong, I was very happy that they left a place that was suffering from low morale and favoritism galore, but at the same time I was screaming in mind, ‘DON’T LEAVE ME BEHIND’.  I’m still friends with some of them and still connect with them on Facebook from time to time, and even send a random text to them to let them know I’m still alive.  This also brings me to the point of my health and mental awareness since leaving UMPD and the entire state all together.  It is amazing how much your health improves when you leave behind a scene or situation that was not good for you to begin with.  Although it was bitter sweet leaving behind my friends and wonderful co-workers, I knew deep in my heart that it was the right time and situation to pursue a different path.  However, I do send a special thanks to my wife, labellanoire, for accepting her current position, which gave us the ticket to get out of the hustle and bustle.

Since becoming a resident of New York, I have enjoyed each and every step that comes with newcomers to the region. Although I still have many things to experience to encase myself as a New Yorker, what I have learned in my first two years has been exciting.  I was already excited in going apple picking before I permanently moved here, but since moving here this is definitely an annual thing we MUST do every late summer – early fall (September – October).  Delis here are, to me, the best in the world!  The meat and cheeses that are part of your enormous sandwich that is wrapped in deli paper, with the fresh made smells getting your taste buds popping, are just DELICIOUS!  Not something you can do every day here, which can become very expensive, but when I sink my teeth into these deli sandwiches I am a happy guy, and do my best to save the other half, but sometimes that becomes a FAIL!  The only pizza place that even comes close to how the pizza pies are here in NY, is a pizza joint that we used to order from in Howard County, Maryland, near the Route 108/29 corridor.  They, to me, had the best pizza in Maryland, but could easily give a run to some of the parlors up here.  Since I don’t have them near me, I have fallen in love how pizza pies are made and taste here in the upstate region.  Don’t worry, for those that are probably saying I need to eat pizza that is made in the city, I can honestly say I have had pizza there and it is AWESOME!  You can’t beat it!

To many people that live south of the Mason Dixon Line, I did often get the question about the cost of living up here. From talking to alot of them I believe they were confused and thinking of the cost of living in New York City, which is a good two hours south of us.  Oh, while I am speaking about New York City and the geography of New York State, Albany is two hours north of NYC, six hours east from Buffalo, six to eight hours south of the Canadian border and just 45 minutes west of Vermont and Massachusetts.  Many people became concerned about my employment in Vermont when I told them I was going to change my law enforcement career venue.  For some reason many people thought that Albany is closer to New York City, like near Westchester County, and made it sound like I would be driving for hours on a daily basis.  Some even thought that I would stay in a separate apartment during my work week, which is just asinine.  So hopefully with the small explanation of where I moved to in relation to NYC, Buffalo and Boston, you will have a better understanding where I am now.  I do miss some parts of Maryland, most definitely the people, but the hustle and bustle of the area I do not miss.  Often times I wondered how come I didn’t move up here sooner, but I know it wasn’t God’s time for to do so, but very happy that I did!

Henry Scott

“THE GREEN CURTAIN” – CHPT. 7

Characters in the story are based off real people. Names have been changed to protect those individuals.  Situations and events in the story are fictional, although some real events may be included.  Some content may include violence and sexual depictions.  Reader discretion is advised.

CHAPTER VII

[Northern Virginia]

It didn’t take long for the correctional system to process the minister into the same system he tried to dodge. In fact, the same system that he had always tried to fight and state that it doesn’t treat the black man with respect, is now part of his reality going forward.  The only thing that is working in Khalid’s favor, is that the extradition order to send him back to Boston will take some time.  For right now, Minister Cure is being locked up and detained inside the county jail awaiting the first part of his extradition process, a hearing of whether the extradition will be granted or denied.  With little time on his side, Khalid request to make a phone call to his stand-by attorney to fight the extradition, which is a 50/50 chance success rate.  After speaking with his attorney on the phone, Khalid is returned back to his cell to only find out that he now has a cellmate to share the cell with.  When Khalid stepped through the cell doors, and heard it slam behind him, the new cellmate looked up at him and didn’t say a word to him for the first few minutes.  Khalid took a few more steps further into the cell to step pass the new inmate, which apparently irritated the man.

JAMES WINSTON: Excuse you, minister!

KHALID X. CURE: What?

JAMES WINSTON: You heard me.

KHALID X. CURE: I wanted you to repeat it.

JAMES WINSTON: Whose you? My father now?  I don’t listen and take orders from nobody.

KHALID X. CURE: Listen slim, umm, I don’t know you, but since we have to cell together, I think swinging attitudes around won’t help the situation.

JAMES WINSTON: Oh okay. So you think preaching to me is going to help us get along?  Nigga please!

KHALID X. CURE: What?! You just got here and you already trying to claim shit and step?  You don’t know who you messing with, slim.  I suggest you calm down and just take it easy.

JAMES WINSTON: Take it easy?! Listen, minister!  You are supposed to be the leader of the black community, but yet you are stuck in the same system that you once tried to fight.  I’ve been in and out of the system for years, to the point where if a bitch in blue even looks at me, I’m thrown behind the slammer.  You don’t know what that is like, do you?

KHALID X. CURE: You think I just got where I am without any trials and tribulations of my own? You honestly think that I got to where I am now without having to step on some toes and bust some heads?  I’ve gone through more shit in this life it feels like then Jesus Himself went through dying for our sins in this white man’s world!  Don’t talk to me about struggles and pain like I don’t know what you are talking about.  I’ve seen things that even men older than me haven’t seen and dealt with.  I tell some of my adventures to old war veterans, and even some of them say they still had it better than I did growing up.  The system we are in right now don’t want us to strive after we leave, they want us to continue the same cycle so they can show all those that agree with them that we are out of control.  There’s no need for hostility towards me son, just understand that I am still on the right side fighting for our existence okay?

COUNTY INMATE #1: Hey! Minister! Nobody wants to hear that shit in here!

JAMES WINSTON: Shut the fuck up!!

COUNTY INMATE #1: Why don’t you come over here and make me? I got something for that ass!!

KHALID X. CURE: You gotta problem me? What’s your name, son?

COUNTY INAMTE #1: They call me ‘BC’! Black Curtain!  I make niggas go to sleep anyway I can!

KHALID X. CURE: Okay, Black Curtain! If you think that scares me or anyone with great substance to stand on, you aren’t helping the situation!  We need to stand together as a black community to get the respect that we so deserve! 

COUNTY INMATE #1: I got respect! You don’t understand that kind of respect!  I….

CORRECTIONAL OFFICER: Hey! Shut the damn noise!  We don’t need to hear any of this shit!!  Especially you, minister.  Don’t start shit!  Walks away.

KHALID X. CURE: Talking to his new cellmate. What’s your name, son?

JAMES WINSTON: James Winston. They call me GG.

KHALID X. CURE: Let me guess. The Green Gangsta?

JAMES WINSTON: Nah. Green God. 

KHALID X. CURE: Explain Green God to me.

JAMES WINSTON: I’ve made a lot of money over my time in the game. I’ve made money in situations that no one dared to pursue.  I’ve made money in the most fucked up places you can imagine, man.  I’ve had fake businesses scraping in the dough at one time, you know?  Shut’em down and build elsewhere.  Repeat the same process over and over again until the blues caught up with me just a few months ago.  I try to find the weakness in the financial game and…

KHALID X. CURE: …exploit it. Maybe you need some fine tuning on your skills.

JAMES WINSTON: I need people that I can trust to get shit done.

KHALID X. CURE: Well, James, I think I have an opportunity for you awaiting once you are released.

JAMES WINSTON: Seriously?

KHALID X. CURE: Yes.

JAMES WINSTON: However, I’m not the only GG around here. There’s a GG Jr.

KHALID X. CURE: I see that the color Green is in the name here. Anyone dealing money that deals with you has green behind or in front of their nickname?

JAMES WINSTON: Something like that, but we try to exploit the financial system and gain from it. Some men have died doing shit like this.  There is a reason for the color and it’s not all about the color of money.

KHALID X. CURE: I’ll protect you and your partners if you share me in on the 411. Don’t need an answer right now, but think about it, talk it over with your friends and get back to me.  Gets on the top bunk to take a nap.

[Harrisburg, Pennsylvania]

For several minutes after the service is over, and standing inside a candlelit sanctuary, Shelly awaits to be summoned to the back by one of the leaders. While she walks around the sanctuary glancing at the artwork posted on the walls and staring at some of the beautiful structured statues, she notices one of the members leaving the building in a hurry, with a quick pace walk.  Although this sparks her interest, she doesn’t put it together that what was about to come next will be life changing.  Immediately after the last member walks out the front doors, Shelly hears her name called waving her to the back door of the sanctuary.  Shelly takes one more glance at the statue she was standing in front of and quickly goes to meet the parishioner at the door, who holds it open for her to enter through.  Once she walks through the door, the parishioner escorts her down the hallway to a set of stairs leading to the basement, where she mentions that Ruby and the others are waiting.  Shelly stares down the steps and looks back at the lady before proceeding down the wooden, creaky steps to her secret meeting.

When Shelly gets to the bottom of the steps, she looks around and sees three women in dark red robes standing at the end of a tunnel. She begins to walk towards them down the dark, partially lit hallway and comes within a few steps of their presence.  All three women look at her and directs Shelly to follow them through a door, which unknown to her was a room set up for sacrificing needs.  Immediately, after Shelly entered through the door she saw Ruby and another lady standing by a table with arm and leg straps prepared for her.  This sends fear through Shelly’s heart as she tried to escape through the door she just came through, but ran into the three women that led her there.  At this point, Shelly tries to fight all three women with very little success, who quickly overpower her and drag her to the table against her will.  Her struggle to avoid being sacrificed was an annoyance to Ruby, who gave her a powerful backhand across the face nearly knocking her unconscious.  Once the women were able to place Shelly on the table, and strap her arms and legs down tightly, all the women took their places around the table to be a valuable witness to what was about to happen.

As the women around the table, including Ruby, began to chant and repeat the sacrificial covenant, Shelly looks above her head and could see a large, long knife being held over her. Ruby slowly raises the knife above her head to the max point of where she couldn’t raise it anymore, preparing to strike Shelly directly in the chest.  Shelly started crying and began to beg for her life as she thought she was facing the reality of her life ending in the dark dungeon of where she served with loyalty and respect.  The women began to get louder with their sacrificial chant as it was near the point of no return for Shelly to be spared, but just before Ruby was to strike down with all her force, the door to the sacrificial ceremony was busted open.  The loud noise of the door being busted open got the attention of all the women, who all quickly shifted their focus on the open door with no one standing in front of it.  Ruby snaps her fingers for two women to go check out the hallway and to see who is hiding out.  Two of the women peeped out the door down both sides of the hallway, and as they stepped out to see if anyone is around, Ruby hears the two women screaming before they were silenced.  The other two went to quickly close the door the best they could, but it was blown open once more sending both women to hit the wall banging their heads, knocking them out cold.

To the amazing sight of Ruby she was now face to face with the shadow figure, who only made his eyes visible in bright white hue. Ruby slowly began to back away from Shelly with the knife still in her hand at about neck level, while the shadow figure just stood there staring at her.  Once Ruby backed up as far as she could with her back up against a wall, she grabbed her throat and made the choking sounds and gestures dropping the knife on the cement floor.  Shelly raised her head to watch Ruby struggle for air as she slowly slid down the wall to the floor, which she thought was the end of her ordeal.  After Ruby passed out, and was silenced, the shadow figure focused his attention to Shelly being sprawled out on the table still strapped down.  The figure slowly entered the room and stood by her, which just made Shelly extremely nervous to even say anything or look at it.  As she laid there with her eyes tightly closed, she felt her arms and hands were free, and before she dared to move them, she opened her eyes to see no one standing there.  Shelly quickly sat up on the table and glanced around the room and could see three women on the floor motionless.  Once she jumped down off the table and ran out the door, and down the hallway, she saw a stone figure in the middle of the hallway.

Shelly quickly realized that the stone figure she was seeing was one of the women that fled the room earlier. Squeezing her way around the statue, she made it to the sanctuary and made a mad dash to the front door.  As she is running towards the door, things behind her begin to catch fire and anything on the way starting falling to the floor shattering into pieces.  Once Shelly made it through the front doors of the building, she fell and looked back at the building, which very quickly engulfed into flames.  Unknown to Shelly outside, Ruby was the only one still alive in the building, who started to come too when the building began to collapse on itself.  Ruby does her best to gather herself and struggles through falling debris to escape through a back tunnel that was not known to many people.  Just as Ruby made it through the tunnel entrance, the building exploded sending a fireball partially down the tunnel, which had enough force to send Ruby off her feet landing face first on the ground, but avoided being burned to death.  At the same time when the building exploded, Shelly was just close enough for the force to send her flying backwards through the air landing on a hood of a car.  Lying there on the hood of the car, Shelly was barely conscious and before losing consciousness, the last thing she heard were people in the distance and the sound of the fire crackling.  In the tunnel, Ruby was able to escape with her life, but her colleagues had perished in the fire, which left her standing alone.  Ruby took one more glance at the first before disappearing into the dark of night, not to be heard from or seen again until the time to fight back has presented itself.

[Safe House in Russia]

After Aya and Daniel arrive at the safe house location provided to them prior to undertaking the assassination mission, Daniel runs around to clear the house making sure no one else was inside. Once the coast was clear, he helped Aya in through the front door, who was nursing a thigh injury from a bullet wound and blood streaming down her leg.  Aya was laid on the couch supporting her wounded leg on the arm rest to slow down the bleeding while Daniel rushed into the kitchen to grab the first aid kit.  Daniel brought the first aid kit over to Aya and grabbed the Quick Clot application and tore it open, which made Aya just imagine the pain that would soon come after.  The Quick Clot was poured on her would, which made Aya scream out for a brief second and several grunts followed before Daniel was able to seal off the wound from further infection.  Knowing that Aya was taken care of, he sat down on the floor next to the floor trying to catch his breath and calm his heart rate while watching the reaction of Aya.

A few minutes passed before Daniel went into a room to alert his handler that they are safe and sound for the time being. As Daniel is communicating with his bosses back in the United States, Aya sits up on the couch to gather herself and started to limp around the house to see what was around.  The curiosity of Aya got the best of her and she just started going into room after room, and after going into the last room was something she didn’t expect to see.  She found herself staring and looking through evidence that showed the United States attempting to undermine the influence of the Russian government in the Balkan region, which spelled out the possible assassination of the Russian president.  What Aya was seeing was completely different from what she was told and led to believe why she was defying her own people.  By the time Daniel found her snooping around in the last room in the house, Aya was standing there holding papers in her hand feeling mixed emotions of what she discovered.

Daniel slowly walked up to her in the midst of explaining it all to her, but at that point Aya mustard up enough strength to punch him right in the face for lying to her. He stumbled backwards a little bit holding his mouth, checking for blood as he felt it and the taste of iron in his mouth.  She looked at him saying, “If I didn’t have a hurt leg right now, I’d kick your ass for this shit!  You lied to me about why we did what we did!  I thought I was saving my family from further tyranny, but yet I might’ve just put them in danger believing your lies.”  As he stood there he could see the anger in her eyes, which teared up for a few seconds before she wiped them away.  Just before he could respond to her, the phone line rings and he goes to answer it as it could be from his handler.  When he answers the phone to speak, Aya comes out of the room in a bothered-depressed state of mind and goes to sit down on the couch, holding her fresh sealed wound.  Many things are running through her mind at this point, but with her fear of her family being killed or kidnapped for her betrayal of the motherland.  While she sits there soaking in her own sorrow, Daniel slowly comes out to deliver some news to her that she should know.

He walks around the couch and finds a seat next to her as she just stares straight ahead into space. While watching the tears coming down her face, he delivers to her that her family is now safe and has been pulled out of the area by American Special Forces, who were undercover working the area.  This breaks her stare and switches her eyes to his and he could see the relief being lifted off of her knowing that she didn’t put them in harm’s way.  However, she made it clear to him that he wasn’t completely out of the dog house with her, and that she demands a complete explanation of what is going on.  Before he went into explanation of what the true reasons for what they did, he hands her a piece of paper with his writing on it stating that tensions between the two countries have been risen.

AYA SILVERMAN: What does this mean? What are you trying to tell me?

DANIEL STORM: The Russians are blaming the United States for the assassination attempt of their president, and stating that they will put their forces on high alert in the Balkan region. This is why your family was pulled out of the area undetected.  An assassination attempt of a president, of any country, is considered an act of war and this could lead out two nations on the brink.

AYA SILVERMAN: So our two countries will go to war because of what I did? You getting caught and I getting wounded in the process to save your American ass!

DANIEL STORM: To break it down to you in a quick summary of what is going on, is that some members of the Russian military were operating within the Balkan region to annex the area. Knowing how much this would put into fear of the people in Eastern Europe, and our allies, not to mention your government would ultimately stash self-defense weapons in the region to fight off anyone trying to come in to remove them.

AYA SILVERMAN: Why not just create chaos in the Balkans instead of going after President Gustavof?

DANIEL STORM: We didn’t want to get into another campaign overseas that we potentially couldn’t get out of without it escalating. So the idea was to assassinate the president of Russia, who is calling the shots directly, to at least delay the annexation so we could have time to figure out what to do next.

AYA SILVERMAN: Now since we failed to do that, this situation may have escalated anyway to a point of no return. We will have the entire breath of the Russian military searching us like dogs, with dogs, to capture us and kill us immediately!  What’s the plan now?  Run?

DANIEL STORM: We need to get to Poland, but we need to go through Belarus to meet one of our contacts. Then once in Poland, we seek asylum and wait for a representative of the United States to get us into the United States where we will be debriefed and released from our mission.

AYA SILVERMAN: What about my family? Where are they being held right now?

DANIEL STORM: Your family are on their way to the United States, where you will meet them and where you will have the choice of staying to receive citizenship or seeking asylum elsewhere of your families choosing.

AYA SILVERMAN: If we are successful, I may find it in my heart to forgive you! Until then we need to work together to make sure this plan works and not get caught up our nations affairs any more than what we have already. 

DANIEL STORM: I understand. We’ll succeed.

[Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania]

As Dawn pulls up into the parking lot at the doctor’s office to see her son, she pauses in the car for a few moments when her thoughts really start to swirl about her future with or without her husband. She catches herself staring into space through the windshield and realizes that she is there for her son, not her soon to be ex-husband.  Almost immediately after she entered through the doors of the doctor’s office, she meets with her mother in the lobby area, giving each other hugs.  Then once they exchanged personal gestures, her mother escorted her to the back where her son was waiting for the doctor to return.  Dawn saw her son, gave him a hug and rubbed his head in trying to give him some comfort, and letting him that mom is there.  When the doctor returned into the room, he greeted Dawn and gave her the rundown of what her son was suffering from.  Apparently, in the doctor’s notes and results he believed that Dawn’s son was suffering from IBS and a severe case of the stomach flu.  Although hearing this was still somewhat bothersome, she was also relieved to hear that her son is going live.

After the doctor visit, and the medication for Troy was filled, all three of them began to make their way out to the parking lot. This is where Dawn’s mother felt it was the time to speak to her daughter.

DAWN’S MOTHER: So, have you decided what to do?

DAWN PERRY: I’m assuming you are speaking about Vincent and I?

DAWN’S MOTHER: Yes, of course.

DAWN PERRY: I’m still trying to decide what to do with this. Mom, I caught him in the bed with another woman, in mid-stroke mind you.  I don’t know who this woman was, nor do I care who she is.  The fact remains that he brought this behavior into our home where things were already teetering on the ledge.  Thank God none of our kids were there to witness it.

DAWN’S MOTHER: Well, some would say it is an easy decision to make based on what you just explained and saw that night. I can’t say what you should do or what the right thing for you to do.  I just know you need to follow your heart on this one.  Pray to God and see what He says about it.

DAWN PERRY: I’m still waiting for an answer from God. My heart hurts for what happened and has happened in our marriage, but at the same time I feel bad for him because maybe I could’ve prevented this or could’ve contribute to it.  I don’t know.  I just know the love that was once there is not there and now our kids are going to be caught in the middle of it.  On top of everything else, I have a job interview in Birmingham, Vermont for the court paralegal position.

DAWN’S MOTHER: Do you think you will take the new job if everything lines up correct?

DAWN PERRY: Maybe. It’s too early to tell what I will do at this point.  I’m basically allowing things to take its course and I’ll decide then.  Things aren’t black and white anymore to me like they used to.

DAWN’S MOTHER: Try not to stress over it too much. Just let things take its course, just like you said.  Sometimes we won’t always have the answer before we need it.  Do you deed as a mother and as a responsible citizen and things will work out as they should.

DAWN PERRY: Thanks mom. Hugging each other. Thank you for bringing Troy to the doctor’s office and taking care of the kids for me.

DAWN’S MOTHER: No problem dear. I’ll have your father bring over your other rebels to you later today.  I love you dear.  Take care Troy and feel better.

Dawn and her mother parted ways into their respective cars and left the parking lot in two different directions. Now, it is time for Dawn to really think about the future and see what will happen next.  Just like her mother told her a few moments ago, sometimes you have to just let things happen and you will then know what your next course of action will be.  Well, we will all see what is going to happen next!

END OF CHAPTER VII

APRIL 1, 2016 – CHAPTER 8

WHAT HAPPENED?

THE SMOOTH JAZZ CHANNEL

I remember growing up in the D.C. area many years ago and listening to the smooth jazz channel of 105.9.  This was indeed my favorite channel to listen too, and often times got me in the mood of relaxation and meditation.  One of my favorite artist to listen to was Boney James and how his tunes would set me in that mood I was looking for.  Especially late at night when it was near bedtime or just those nights I wanted to just lean back, relax and just drift off into my fantasy land.  Then suddenly one day the station was replaced by some sports or talk station!  Now if you want to listen to music like this you have to have satellite radio.  Well, I don’t have that ability right now in my Pathfinder, so I am stuck listening to CD’s, which skip way too much in my BOSE System or the local stations here in the northeast.  The only station I can listen too regularly is 95.5 and sometimes 99.5 or 92.3.  There are no more smooth jazz channels on regular stations anymore!!  What the hell happened!!??  In dedication to my man, Boney James, I’ve listed a few of the tunes I love listening too.  Let me know if you have problems viewing them!  For some reason I can’t get the videos to load properly.

“BUTTER” – https://youtu.be/vrFFzeeU_bE?list=PLxCU8U6lOk6WSD2aedQ9qkO1lhi-CRkRC

“STOP, LOOK, LISTEN (TO YOUR HEART)” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wsTmzb1HHvM&list=PLxCU8U6lOk6WSD2aedQ9qkO1lhi-CRkRC&index=3

“GRAZIN’ IN THE GRASS” – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qu3qlNXMP90&list=PLxCU8U6lOk6WSD2aedQ9qkO1lhi-CRkRC&index=39

Henry Scott