It had been about 3 minutes since Raz’s pager had started blowing up.
The “153-4487” meant the page was from his dawg Lil’Troy.
12-118? 12th and 118th street.
The #911 meant something was seriously fucked up.
Raz knew he should be in a hurry. This nonsense with Jazzy was over. What the fuck did Jazzy-fuckin’-sellout-Jeff know about The struggle anyway? He turned his back on the movement as soon as his first single dropped and he never looked back. Raz quickly determined that Jazzy would pay for this stunt tonight. Somehow or another he would make him pay. It was just a matter of time. Something which Raz knew he had in abundance these days. He grabbed his coat and stormed out, stepping on Jazzy’s sneaker as he crossed in front of him to go. Air Jordan’s, typical.
12 minutes later, Raz rolled up and walked down a weeded overgrown path to a derelict looking house on the North side of Gary. The porch light flickered as the front door stood wide open. The place otherwise looked empty. When he stepped through the front door, he stopped – listening to the frantic whispering and labored breathing he could hear down the hall to his right. At his feet was a faint trail of blood and plasma, streaked across the floor, leading down the hall. His eyes flashed and his nostrils flared as it took every ounce of willpower he had not to immediately frenzy at the sight, ripping through the house and tearing anyone who might be inside limb to limb. He took a deep breath and slowly walked down the hall.
At the end of the hallway, two bodies were slumped against the wall, one cradling the other in it’s arms. Upgrade lay lifeless in Lil’Troy’s arms as he rocked him back and forth, frantically whispering over and over…
“don’t die on me man… stay with me… don’t you fucking die on me…”
Raz walked over and stood looking down on them, like a father looks down on a child.
“Get off the floor Troy.”
“Raz he’s fucked up, he’s dyi..”
“I said get the fuck up!”
Raz reached down with an inhuman like quickness, grabbed Lil’Troy by the collar and pulled him up to his feet, pinning him against the wall.
“You wanna tell me how this shit happened?”
“Somebody stabbed him dawg, I don’t know, deal went south and before I knew it some jacked up crack-head pulled a knife, grabbed the shit and flew outa’ here faster than I ever seen a cracker move in my life… like he had wings or sumptin’ dawg.”
Raz sucked his teeth as he contemplated what he had just heard.
He threw Lil’Troy down the hall causing him to stumble and slip on the blood streak on the floor as he scampered out of the house. When he was gone, Raz kneeled down and grabbed Upgrade by the chin, looking straight into his near lifeless eyes.
“What you gone and got yo’self into now my cousin? Huh? You careless lil’ punk. Gimme one good reason I shouldn’t just leave yo’ butter face ass lyin’ on this floor. Huh? You aint got nuttin’ to say fo yo’self? Huh? Whats that? You’ll owe me? Yes my brotha. You will. You sure as fuck will.”
Upgrade stared back into his eyes, unable to talk as a spit bubble started to form on his lips. Raz shook his head in disgust. After a quick moment, Raz brought his own wrist up to his mouth, drew one of his fangs across his vein and quickly thrust his palm into Upgrade’s face, stopping just short of shattering his nose in the process. With his other hand, he grabbed the back of Upgrade’s neck, slowly pulling his mouth to the exposed vein. Raz raised his chin, took a deep breath, and looked up at the ceiling for a minute.
Two minutes later, Raz walked out of the house, stepping over Lil’Troy who sat on the porch, head hanging in his hands. Lil’Troy stood up slowly and looked coldly at Raz’s back as he walked down the path away from the house.
Lil’Troy jumped in fright as he spun around to see Upgrade standing in the doorway behind him, looking like nothing at all had happened. Upgrade started to laugh.
“dont die on me man… dont you fucking die on me…” He said in a mocking tone as he brushed by Lil’Troy and walked down the path after Raz, laughing all the while.
“Come on my brothas!”
Raz looked back over his shoulder as he walked away from the house into the night.
“We got ourselves a lil’ cracked-out cracker to hunt down…”