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The Downtown Massive-Chapter One

 

          Bobby Deacon, it looks like Shadow’s men have stopped fighting,” Dixie shouted.

         They were in a building that was guarded by high concrete walls all around but had no roof.

         Reds, who was sitting on a cement block, shouted.  

        “Shadow’s men are pulling out, Bobby Deacon.”

        “What happen to Lambie and Delhi?” Bobby Deacon asked.

       “They are both dead,” he heard Linkman say.

        “What happen to our fighters on the road?” Bobby Deacon asked.

         Dixie got on his cell phone to Norris.

       “Norris says they can’t hold out any longer and Shadow’s forces have surrendered,” he reported.

        Bobby Deacon looked at Reds and saw when the youth gave a scream, pitched forward and lay still. Men dived for new cover.

        Bobby Deacon crawled on his belly over to the youth and examined him.

        “He’s dead.”

           Bullets were flying all around, loud explosions could be heard and dust spewed into the air as the heavy gunshots ripped into the concrete walls.

         Their attackers were getting nearer. Linkman crawled on the ground and came up to him.

       “We have to leave, Bobby Deacon.”

         Bobby Deacon looked at him.

      “And leave our fighters, we have to stay and fight, Linkman.”

        Dixie crawled on his hands and knees up to him.

       “They are coming along Amber Street, Bobby Deacon, they are surrounding us. We have to get out now!

        “Tell the men to pull out, Dixie,” Bobby Deacon said.

         “We have to leave here, Bobby Deacon. If we stay they are going to wipe us out,” Linkman said as Norris reversed down the lane in a F 150 and they all piled in.

 

 

  • Errol Douse went to prison for slashing up Shorty Paul. Now that he has paid for his crimes, will these men leave him in peace or will they force him to join Bobby Deacon’s syndicate and take up the gun again?
  • Bobby Deacon was running a thriving syndicate when he was forced out by Coltrane and betrayed by Shadow. He is now lying low as he builds up his forces for a push on Coltrane and take his revenge on Shadow for his treachery.
  • Shadow, the former top ranking Don, lost his hold on power when he allowed Coltrane to operate freely in his territory. Now he is sliding down the ranking ladder, can he find a way to regain his hold on power?
  • Coltrane was allowed to operate freely in Shadow’s territories but soon became bigger than the latter. He sees Bobby Deacon as a threat and begins to marshall his forces to destroy him in an all out war from which there can only be one winner.
  • Norris ‘Digger’ Lobban has been sent on a hunt by Coltrane with orders to destroy Bobby Deacon and Douse. ‘Digger’ Lobban’s savagery knows no bounds. He has just 
    returned to the island after performing a series of hits in black communities in England and the United States.
  • Shorty Paul Grant was wounded by Douse in a fight over a woman. Called Shorty Paul because of his short temper, he has one ambition in life and that is to destroy Douse and all his associates as he seeks his revenge.     
  • Myra has lost her load of coke when she was betrayed by her friend, Del. Now she has to be repaying the money and although she has got another source, she still swears revenge on Del.
  • Del was forced to steal Myra’s valuable supply of coke in a desperate bid for survival. She knows that only her marksmanship can save her when she and Myra finally meet up.

 

 

                                                          

The  Downtown Massive

 

Austin Mitchell

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2014 Austin Mitchell

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

 

If you purchase this book without a cover you should be aware that this book may have been stolen property and reported as ‘unsold and destroyed’ to the publisher. In such a case, neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this ‘stripped book.’

 

Published by

Austin Mitchell

 

For my late granduncle, Corporal Francis Phipps, (Mass Brother). Also to my other granduncles, Jay, Mass Texie, Ivan, Percy, Tiny. My grandaunts, Miss Vannie, Miss Hilda, Blackie, Miss Maud and finally to all descendants of the Phipps of Streadwick Hill, Glengoffe, St, Catherine, Jamaica, West Indies.

 

 

 

Other Books by the same Author:

Uptown Lovers (Novel)

Undercover Soldier (Novel)

Bring back the good old Days (Collection of Short Stories)

Waiting to cross the Bridge (Collection of Short Stories)

Going to the bushes to cut Firewood (Collection of Short Stories)

Taking a short cut Home (Collection of Short Stories)

Days up the River (Collection of Short Stories)

The Fire by the Wayside (Collection of Short Stories)

Riding the milk truck to School (Collection of Short Stories)

     Making grass mats to Sell (Collection of Short Stories)

     Life at 22 Lane ( One Act Play)

     The Free Loaders ( One Act Play)

     Going into the hills to each (Collection of Short Stories)

     Glengoffe Days (Collection of Poems)

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, institutions, places, and incidents are creations of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual or other fictional events, locales, organization or persons, living or dead is entirely coincidental.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

           Douse had changed after nine months in prison on a wounding charge. Since his release two weeks ago, he had decided to cool out a bit and not hang out at any of his usual haunts. He had urgent business with Bobby Deacon, one of his former cellmates. He had promised to let him in on certain deals, but he had lost his number and had no way of contacting him.

            As he stood at the corner of Orange and Beckford Streets, a hand dropped on his shoulder and he spun around to find a short thickset man in front of him.

        "Douse, what’s going on? It’s a long time I haven’t seen you!”

          The two men shook hands vigorously.

         "Tad, what are you doing here? I heard that you were in the

     States," Douse said as they finished shaking hands.

           "Yeah, I was over there, but they deported me."

           "What are you saying, Tad? I can’t believe it."

           "I spent three years over there, a couple more and I would have almost made it.”

           Tad cast his eyes to where some loader men were jostling to get passengers into their buses.          

          “It’s a business marriage I did but when I went over there it’s a different thing the woman was dealing with. I have to turn gardener, butler, chauffeur, everything. Well I did what they                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         wanted, to get my stay. Then I left and went to live with a girl I knew from out here. After a while my money ran out and I had to go and sell marijuana.”

        “I was going on good in the business until one day I only saw my wife turn up. She said that I had to help her or else she was going to tell the police about me and what I was doing.”

        “So why did they deport you?”

          Tad looked over at the bus park. He saw two loader men having a tug of war over a female passenger.

         “I gave my wife some money, but you know how the hustling with the marijuana is. Lots of people have to get a cut out of it.”

           “One day the police raided my house and found some marijuana. I suspected that it was my wife and a rival marijuana seller who tipped them off.”

              Douse looked around, wondering if anything had changed. The place was still crowded with vendors hawking their wares while keeping a wary eye out for the authorities. Shoppers wandered by, some only feasting their eyes on the shop windows, while others carried several parcels as they went from store to store. Extortionists thrived in the chaos that was Downtown, Kingston. Douse recognized several three card men. Grocery shops and wholesales lined both sides of the streets. Music blasted from various jewelry stores.

            “You’re not the only one who got into trouble,” Douse said.              “I’m just coming from the General Penitentiary.”

          “What are you saying, Douse? What did you go to G.P for?”

            “I was managing a store for a woman by the name of Hortense. Her boyfriend, Shortie Paul, got jealous because she liked me. He told lies on me, that I was robbing her blind and came after me with a knife and I slashed him up.”

             “Right now he’s in prison on a wounding charge, but I have to watch out for his friends because I don’t know what they might do.”

          “Those guys can’t do you anything, Douse. It’s a long time you’ve been firing guns, those guys are a set of novices.”

          Douse chuckled and moved out of the way of the juice vendors hustling through the crowd.

        “Bag juice, juice with ice, guava, orange, pineapple,” they cried.

          "I want go to England,” Douse said. “I hear that they have lots of women over there just ready to get married to you so that you can stay there permanently.

       "I have to reach back New York to deal with that guy, who set the police on me. As for my wife I heard that she ran away and is now living in Florida.” 

          Douse slapped Tad on his back.

         "Let us go and eat some food."

***

           At Cross Roads, Bus-up got on a bus headed for Downtown, 

Kingston. A man on Orange Street had offered to let him in on a business deal and he wanted some more information. As he sat down, he noticed a man staring at him through the bus window. He looked familiar, but he couldn’t place him.

           An elderly woman came to sit beside him and he gave her the window seat.

          A woman shouted from the back of the bus.

          “Driver, aren’t you going to drive off the bus? Don’t you see that it’s full?”

          “That’s how they behave, if the bus isn’t packed like a sardine tin, they aren’t satisfied,” a man said.

          “All of you can go on talking. Does anyone of you know how much gas oil cost?” the conductor asked.

          “Conductor, lock the door, I’m going to pull out now,” the driver shouted.

          As the bus drove off, Bus-up glanced through the window and saw the man still staring at him. Rahtid it was Sam! He looked over his shoulder as the man pulled out a cell phone and ran to a nearby motorcycle.

         He had to get off the bus. He jumped up and pushed  through the crowded passage.

       "Bus stop, driver!"

       "What happen to this man? He doesn’t know where he’s going?”

        The conductor closed the door tighter.

       "It’s the wrong bus I took."

       "Big man, you don’t know town?"

        The driver glared at Bus-up.

       “You make little school children better than you.”

        The conductor and a few of the passengers laughed. Bus-up grounded his teeth.

        “Didn’t you hear what I said, driver? Let me off the bus.”

         The driver went faster and looked over his shoulder.

       “Your face looks like you were running and buck up in a  wall.’’

        Some of the passengers snickered. 

      The driver drove past two bus stops ignoring several would 

be passengers. Bus-up was sorry he wasn’t going as far as Parade so he could deal with both the driver and the conductor.

        Standing on the bus step, he saw his opportunity; a trailer was emerging out of a side road blocking traffic coming from 

behind the bus. Bus-up pushed away the conductor, jerked the door open and ran across the road. He spotted a taxi letting off a passenger.

      "Drop me up at Barbican."

      "It’s three hundred dollars from here."

      "Don’t worry yourself driver, I have enough money to pay my fare."

       Bus-up had no money for his fare, but he would do what he had to do when he reached his destination.

                                          ***

      Tad and Douse sat in the restaurant and waited for their order of stewed peas. Both ordered the same meal.

      "I’m down here looking for a guy who robbed some money from the Don last month."

    "Plenty money, Tad?"                              

      Tad leaned in close and whispered, “More than half a million dollars.”

      "What! Anybody rob that amount of money from the Don must dead."

     Their food arrived and both men dug into it.

     “We held him several times, we bust up his face and yet

he doesn’t want to talk."

       “So what do you think he could have done with so much money?”

       Tad swallowed before replying.

       “He said that some men held him up and took it away. He can’t tell us who it was and he can’t describe them.”

      “Maybe he gambled it off or gave it to some woman.”

     “We’ve heard all sorts of rumors as to what he did with the money.”

        Douse decided not to ask him about how the Don got such a large amount of cash. It was unlikely that he could have collected it at any one time from the extortion business. It had to be from cocaine or marijuana.

         A steady stream of customers passed through the restaurant while they ate.

       "The next time we see him if he doesn’t come up with the  

money, we are going to kill him."

        Tad pushed away his plate and finished drinking his lemonade. After they paid their bill and got up, his cell phone rang. He went into the passageway to answer it. He came back to Douse, frowning.

       "The man I was telling you about, was coming Downtown and Sam was trailing him but he gave him the slip. We have to find him  and deal with him," Tad said, as they left the restaurant.

        “You want to come with me?”

       Douse nodded.

       “Sam is around? I thought he was in Canada?”

       “Some slip up with his papers and they turned him back.”

        Douse ran behind the man up a lane past some Chinese shops. 

         He was surprised when he jumped on a Trail motorcycle. Douse got on the pillion and they roared away.

        They rode up Orange Street to where Sam was waiting for 

them. He was swearing when they reached him. Douse stared at his motorcycle which was a shiny Kawasaki Ninja.

           “Douse, what’s going on? You’re back on the streets again,”   Sam greeted him and the two men touched fists.

             “It’s about two weeks now since I came out,” Douse told him.

           “I can’t find any trace of the guy, Tad."

         "Nobody didn’t see where he went ?" Tad asked.

        “It looks like when the trailer blocked the road he escaped.            Those people over there say they didn’t see anything."

      "I wonder if they know who they are dealing with ?" Tad asked

as he cranked up the motor-cycle.

         “Douse, don’t feel any way, if those boys want to try a thing you know where to find me and I’m sure Tad will go too,” Sam said.

           Tad nodded in agreement and Douse touched fists with the two men.

           "I feel that the boy is hiding out somewhere around here. I am going to ride up the lane and see if I find any trace of him," Sam told Tad as they parted.

***

          Tad dropped Douse in Parade and shared some information about his Don with him. Before they split up Douse assured him

that he would come and see him.

           Douse decided to take a look at some places he hadn’t seen in a long time. He avoided areas that he knew enemies were likely to be hanging out.

            Many businesses had relocated Uptown because of the extortionists and those that remained did so at their mercy. He wondered whether businesses Uptown were also at the mercy of those guys. He finished his tour by having a beer at a bar on Harbor Street. He took a taxi back to his sister’s house. Things were moving too slow for his liking and he had to make contact with Bobby Deacon very soon. He relaxed in his seat behind the driver and took another glimpse at the front seat passenger who looked familiar. A young girl was sandwiched between him and another man.

          They drove on East Queen Street and continued into

Windward Road. Douse got more comfortable in his seat. Out of the corner of his eyes he caught the girl looking at him and smiled to himself.

           The front seat passenger said something to the driver that Douse didn’t hear. The man eased sideways and reached into his pocket. The action was fast, Douse wasn't sure if the man had a gun jammed into the driver’s side.

          "Hey guy, turn into the next lane."

             A thought flashed through Douse’s mind that the other man could be in league with this man.

             He sprang across the girl and grabbed him.

           "Turn in where? If you try anything with the driver I’ll cut your friend’s throat."

            He pressed his knife to the man’s neck. The girl screamed and  

then burst into tears. He fished into the man’s pocket and took out his ratchet knife and drew him across the girl to sit beside him. The girl scrambled out of their way and huddled in a corner of the car.

      "Stop over there so, driver," he shouted.

       The driver brought the car to a stop and Douse flung the door open, pushed the man out, still holding the knife to his neck. The other man jumped out too, but hesitated when he saw Douse holding his friend.

       "What happen, aren’t you going to let him go?" the man demanded, holding his hand close to his body.

       Douse could smell the man he was holding, perspiration.

      “You’d better give me your knife or else I’m going to take your friend away and kill him.”  

        Still the man hesitated. Douse pressed the knife to his victim’s throat and blood trickled down his neck.

      The man jerked and cried out.

      “Are you going to let him kill me, Distant?”

           Distant stood still as if he didn’t know what to do.

        “Watch me and him if he cuts you again, Phil.”

            Douse drew his knife across Phil’s neck and blood dropped on his shirt collar.

            “You want to do something about it, bad boy?”

           Distant edged towards Douse who held Phil tighter.

           Distant at last shut the knife and threw it at Douse’s feet.      But Douse wasn’t fooled.

         “Lift up your shirt and empty out your pockets.”

            The man did as he was ordered.

            Douse released his hold on his prisoner, and pushed him away from him as a small crowd began to gather.

           He picked up Distant’s knife and got back into the car.

         "I must meet you again,” Distant warned.

          “The two of you are idiots,” Douse shouted at them as

the car drove off.

        “Driver, you are really brave to have hung around,” Douse said. “Several taxi men I know would have run away, probably even leaving their car.”

           “I couldn’t do that. It’s so they prey on us and the police aren’t doing a thing to stop it.”

          The driver refused to take any fare from him.

           “Lord, I have to thank you because I don’t know what those two guys would have done to me,” the girl said.

          “That’s nothing, my sister. I wasn’t going to hang around and let them harm you.”

             She gave him her name, cell phone number and told him where she lived. He guessed her age to be about twenty, but he wasn’t sure if he wanted to venture into her area as he didn’t want any boy screwing up their face at him.

***

             "Drop me out right here so driver," Bus-up said leaning forward.

           The driver brought the car to a halt and turned around.

           "Your fare, big man."

             His mouth dropped open when he saw the knife in Bus-up’s hand.

          Bus-up pulled the car door open and jumped out.

          “You old thief, it’s so you expect to get free ride in people’s car.”

           The driver grabbed his machete, flung the car door open and charged after Bus-up. Bus-up looked around and saw the driver gaining on him. He jumped over a wall, landed in a lane, on both sides of which were zinc fences. He then slipped into a nearby track and followed it until he was sure he had outrun the taxi driver.

                                      ***

         When Douse reached home, Barry was cooking. He had been married to Douse’s sister, Cherry, for eight years now.

          "Cherry said that you are to finish up here, so that I can come for her.”  

           Barry knew that he was a good cook. Whenever they had a cookout he was always in the mix of things.

           "Cherry loves studying, I wish I was like her. I just hope that she gets through this time,” Douse stated.

          "Those children must be asleep by now. She says that she feels more confident this time. I just feel that she is going to get through,” Barry said.

       "Two guys tried to hold up the taxi that I was in. I had to grab  

  one of them and put my knife at his throat.”

        "That’s why I have my machete in my car all the time. I want 

one of them to try anything against me.”

         "I’m going for Cherry now, so later, Errol, " Barry said and

went towards his car.

          After the man left, Douse finished the cooking, he didn’t feel

like eating and decided to take a nap.

            Later on that evening, Cherry tried to wake him up.

           “Errol, how come you’re sleeping so much? Why are you so tired and you’re not working? Aren’t you hungry?”

          “No, I’m all right, I will eat something later,” he told her and 

 dropped off to sleep again.

           Some time later that night, there was a series of gunshots.

Cherry shook him.

       "Errol, wake up, they’ve shot Barry.”

         I must be dreaming, he thought, as Cherry hit him in his back and he sat up.

        "What happen?"

       "They’ve shot Barry. You have to take him to the hospital.”

          She ran outside as he flung on some clothes. He glanced at his watch before putting it on, midnight.

           Rushing outside, he saw some men putting Barry into the

car. There was a lot of shouting in the yard as the neighbors 

converged on the scene. He took the keys from Cherry.

          "He’s not dead?"

             "He got shot in his left side."

              She was crying.

             He helped Cherry into the car where Greta, one of the neighbors was holding Barry.

            Douse got in the car and started it. Clinton, Greta’s husband got in the front seat with Douse.

             He sped out to Windward Road and in no time they were 

in the yard of the Kingston Public Hospital.

            Cherry shouted to some orderlies on duty.

            "Help me with my husband, gunmen just shoot him."

          Some male workers rushed to the car with a stretcher and

wheeled Barry towards the emergency ward.

        "Is he dead?" Cherry shouted at one of them.

        "The doctor has to look at him first, lady," the orderly told her.

            Douse then parked the car in the parking lot, locked it up  

and went into the waiting area, joining Greta Cherry and Clinton.

            "He’s dead, I’m sure of it. He wasn’t breathing nor moving.”

              Cherry stared into space, talking to herself.

            "Let’s wait on the doctor, Cherry," Greta tried to comfort her.

            "Those men are very wicked. It’s about ten years now I know 

Barry and he is not a troublemaker," Clinton said.

            “All Barry do is to run his taxi from Downtown to Airport. I’ve never heard of him being in any war with anybody,” Greta put in.

         “He went outside to lock up the car and when he was coming back inside they shot him. They didn’t take anything from him. It’s only God know why they shot him,” Cherry said.

           Douse met her eyes and then looked away. He had an idea of what she was thinking. He edged towards the door.

           Sirens wailed outside and orderlies rushed inside with victims. ‘Gunshot wounds’ floated to Douse several times. A couple of men with serious knife wounds were also brought in.

            He turned around in time to see the grim look on the doctor’s face as he approached Cherry. He heard her cry out.

            “Lord, my husband is dead.”

              She fell against Greta, crying as if she would never stop.

              Greta made her take a seat on one of the benches.  When she recovered, she requested that Douse drive them home.

         The hospital didn’t release the body until two weeks later as they had to do an autopsy on him.

             Douse acted as his sister’s chauffeur taking her around as   

she made preparations for the funeral. They held a wake in Barry’s

village of Guava Ridge on Saturday night after which the funeral took place the following day.

            After the funeral Douse was in a pensive mood. He suspected that it might be friends of Shortie Paul, who had killed Barry. On the other hand it could be the two men involved in the carjacking that he had prevented. In any case the gunman’s bullet had been meant for him. Although he had decided to stay out of trouble he might have no choice but to take up the gun again.

          Bobby Deacon, it looks like Shadow’s men have stopped fighting,” Dixie shouted.

         They were in a building that was guarded by high concrete walls all around but had no roof.

         Reds, who was sitting on a cement block, shouted.  

        “Shadow’s men are pulling out, Bobby Deacon.”

        “What happen to Lambie and Delhi?” Bobby Deacon asked.

       “They are both dead,” he heard Linkman say.

        “What happen to our fighters on the road?” Bobby Deacon asked.

         Dixie got on his cell phone to Norris.

       “Norris says they can’t hold out any longer and Shadow’s forces have surrendered,” he reported.

        Bobby Deacon looked at Reds and saw when the youth gave a scream, pitched forward and lay still. Men dived for new cover.

        Bobby Deacon crawled on his belly over to the youth and examined him.

        “He’s dead.”

           Bullets were flying all around, loud explosions could be heard and dust spewed into the air as the heavy gunshots ripped into the concrete walls.

         Their attackers were getting nearer. Linkman crawled on the ground and came up to him.

       “We have to leave, Bobby Deacon.”

         Bobby Deacon looked at him.

      “And leave our fighters, we have to stay and fight, Linkman.”

        Dixie crawled on his hands and knees up to him.

       “They are coming along Amber Street, Bobby Deacon, they are surrounding us. We have to get out now!

        “Tell the men to pull out, Dixie,” Bobby Deacon said.

         “We have to leave here, Bobby Deacon. If we stay they are going to wipe us out,” Linkman said as Norris reversed down the lane in a F 150 and they all piled in.

 

 

  • Errol Douse went to prison for slashing up Shorty Paul. Now that he has paid for his crimes, will these men leave him in peace or will they force him to join Bobby Deacon’s syndicate and take up the gun again?
  • Bobby Deacon was running a thriving syndicate when he was forced out by Coltrane and betrayed by Shadow. He is now lying low as he builds up his forces for a push on Coltrane and take his revenge on Shadow for his treachery.
  • Shadow, the former top ranking Don, lost his hold on power when he allowed Coltrane to operate freely in his territory. Now he is sliding down the ranking ladder, can he find a way to regain his hold on power?
  • Coltrane was allowed to operate freely in Shadow’s territories but soon became bigger than the latter. He sees Bobby Deacon as a threat and begins to marshall his forces to destroy him in an all out war from which there can only be one winner.
  • Norris ‘Digger’ Lobban has been sent on a hunt by Coltrane with orders to destroy Bobby Deacon and Douse. ‘Digger’ Lobban’s savagery knows no bounds. He has just 
    returned to the island after performing a series of hits in black communities in England and the United States.
  • Shorty Paul Grant was wounded by Douse in a fight over a woman. Called Shorty Paul because of his short temper, he has one ambition in life and that is to destroy Douse and all his associates as he seeks his revenge.     
  • Myra has lost her load of coke when she was betrayed by her friend, Del. Now she has to be repaying the money and although she has got another source, she still swears revenge on Del.
  • Del was forced to steal Myra’s valuable supply of coke in a desperate bid for survival. She knows that only her marksmanship can save her when she and Myra finally meet up.

 

 

                                                          

The  Downtown Massive

 

Austin Mitchell

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2014 Austin Mitchell

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

 

If you purchase this book without a cover you should be aware that this book may have been stolen property and reported as ‘unsold and destroyed’ to the publisher. In such a case, neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this ‘stripped book.’

 

Published by

Austin Mitchell

 

For my late granduncle, Corporal Francis Phipps, (Mass Brother). Also to my other granduncles, Jay, Mass Texie, Ivan, Percy, Tiny. My grandaunts, Miss Vannie, Miss Hilda, Blackie, Miss Maud and finally to all descendants of the Phipps of Streadwick Hill, Glengoffe, St, Catherine, Jamaica, West Indies.

 

 

 

Other Books by the same Author:

Uptown Lovers (Novel)

Undercover Soldier (Novel)

Bring back the good old Days (Collection of Short Stories)

Waiting to cross the Bridge (Collection of Short Stories)

Going to the bushes to cut Firewood (Collection of Short Stories)

Taking a short cut Home (Collection of Short Stories)

Days up the River (Collection of Short Stories)

The Fire by the Wayside (Collection of Short Stories)

Riding the milk truck to School (Collection of Short Stories)

     Making grass mats to Sell (Collection of Short Stories)

     Life at 22 Lane ( One Act Play)

     The Free Loaders ( One Act Play)

     Going into the hills to each (Collection of Short Stories)

     Glengoffe Days (Collection of Poems)

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, institutions, places, and incidents are creations of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual or other fictional events, locales, organization or persons, living or dead is entirely coincidental.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

           Douse had changed after nine months in prison on a wounding charge. Since his release two weeks ago, he had decided to cool out a bit and not hang out at any of his usual haunts. He had urgent business with Bobby Deacon, one of his former cellmates. He had promised to let him in on certain deals, but he had lost his number and had no way of contacting him.

            As he stood at the corner of Orange and Beckford Streets, a hand dropped on his shoulder and he spun around to find a short thickset man in front of him.

        "Douse, what’s going on? It’s a long time I haven’t seen you!”

          The two men shook hands vigorously.

         "Tad, what are you doing here? I heard that you were in the

     States," Douse said as they finished shaking hands.

           "Yeah, I was over there, but they deported me."

           "What are you saying, Tad? I can’t believe it."

           "I spent three years over there, a couple more and I would have almost made it.”

           Tad cast his eyes to where some loader men were jostling to get passengers into their buses.          

          “It’s a business marriage I did but when I went over there it’s a different thing the woman was dealing with. I have to turn gardener, butler, chauffeur, everything. Well I did what they                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         wanted, to get my stay. Then I left and went to live with a girl I knew from out here. After a while my money ran out and I had to go and sell marijuana.”

        “I was going on good in the business until one day I only saw my wife turn up. She said that I had to help her or else she was going to tell the police about me and what I was doing.”

        “So why did they deport you?”

          Tad looked over at the bus park. He saw two loader men having a tug of war over a female passenger.

         “I gave my wife some money, but you know how the hustling with the marijuana is. Lots of people have to get a cut out of it.”

           “One day the police raided my house and found some marijuana. I suspected that it was my wife and a rival marijuana seller who tipped them off.”

              Douse looked around, wondering if anything had changed. The place was still crowded with vendors hawking their wares while keeping a wary eye out for the authorities. Shoppers wandered by, some only feasting their eyes on the shop windows, while others carried several parcels as they went from store to store. Extortionists thrived in the chaos that was Downtown, Kingston. Douse recognized several three card men. Grocery shops and wholesales lined both sides of the streets. Music blasted from various jewelry stores.

            “You’re not the only one who got into trouble,” Douse said.              “I’m just coming from the General Penitentiary.”

          “What are you saying, Douse? What did you go to G.P for?”

            “I was managing a store for a woman by the name of Hortense. Her boyfriend, Shortie Paul, got jealous because she liked me. He told lies on me, that I was robbing her blind and came after me with a knife and I slashed him up.”

             “Right now he’s in prison on a wounding charge, but I have to watch out for his friends because I don’t know what they might do.”

          “Those guys can’t do you anything, Douse. It’s a long time you’ve been firing guns, those guys are a set of novices.”

          Douse chuckled and moved out of the way of the juice vendors hustling through the crowd.

        “Bag juice, juice with ice, guava, orange, pineapple,” they cried.

          "I want go to England,” Douse said. “I hear that they have lots of women over there just ready to get married to you so that you can stay there permanently.

       "I have to reach back New York to deal with that guy, who set the police on me. As for my wife I heard that she ran away and is now living in Florida.” 

          Douse slapped Tad on his back.

         "Let us go and eat some food."

***

           At Cross Roads, Bus-up got on a bus headed for Downtown, 

Kingston. A man on Orange Street had offered to let him in on a business deal and he wanted some more information. As he sat down, he noticed a man staring at him through the bus window. He looked familiar, but he couldn’t place him.

           An elderly woman came to sit beside him and he gave her the window seat.

          A woman shouted from the back of the bus.

          “Driver, aren’t you going to drive off the bus? Don’t you see that it’s full?”

          “That’s how they behave, if the bus isn’t packed like a sardine tin, they aren’t satisfied,” a man said.

          “All of you can go on talking. Does anyone of you know how much gas oil cost?” the conductor asked.

          “Conductor, lock the door, I’m going to pull out now,” the driver shouted.

          As the bus drove off, Bus-up glanced through the window and saw the man still staring at him. Rahtid it was Sam! He looked over his shoulder as the man pulled out a cell phone and ran to a nearby motorcycle.

         He had to get off the bus. He jumped up and pushed  through the crowded passage.

       "Bus stop, driver!"

       "What happen to this man? He doesn’t know where he’s going?”

        The conductor closed the door tighter.

       "It’s the wrong bus I took."

       "Big man, you don’t know town?"

        The driver glared at Bus-up.

       “You make little school children better than you.”

        The conductor and a few of the passengers laughed. Bus-up grounded his teeth.

        “Didn’t you hear what I said, driver? Let me off the bus.”

         The driver went faster and looked over his shoulder.

       “Your face looks like you were running and buck up in a  wall.’’

        Some of the passengers snickered. 

      The driver drove past two bus stops ignoring several would 

be passengers. Bus-up was sorry he wasn’t going as far as Parade so he could deal with both the driver and the conductor.

        Standing on the bus step, he saw his opportunity; a trailer was emerging out of a side road blocking traffic coming from 

behind the bus. Bus-up pushed away the conductor, jerked the door open and ran across the road. He spotted a taxi letting off a passenger.

      "Drop me up at Barbican."

      "It’s three hundred dollars from here."

      "Don’t worry yourself driver, I have enough money to pay my fare."

       Bus-up had no money for his fare, but he would do what he had to do when he reached his destination.

                                          ***

      Tad and Douse sat in the restaurant and waited for their order of stewed peas. Both ordered the same meal.

      "I’m down here looking for a guy who robbed some money from the Don last month."

    "Plenty money, Tad?"                              

      Tad leaned in close and whispered, “More than half a million dollars.”

      "What! Anybody rob that amount of money from the Don must dead."

     Their food arrived and both men dug into it.

     “We held him several times, we bust up his face and yet

he doesn’t want to talk."

       “So what do you think he could have done with so much money?”

       Tad swallowed before replying.

       “He said that some men held him up and took it away. He can’t tell us who it was and he can’t describe them.”

      “Maybe he gambled it off or gave it to some woman.”

     “We’ve heard all sorts of rumors as to what he did with the money.”

        Douse decided not to ask him about how the Don got such a large amount of cash. It was unlikely that he could have collected it at any one time from the extortion business. It had to be from cocaine or marijuana.

         A steady stream of customers passed through the restaurant while they ate.

       "The next time we see him if he doesn’t come up with the  

money, we are going to kill him."

        Tad pushed away his plate and finished drinking his lemonade. After they paid their bill and got up, his cell phone rang. He went into the passageway to answer it. He came back to Douse, frowning.

       "The man I was telling you about, was coming Downtown and Sam was trailing him but he gave him the slip. We have to find him  and deal with him," Tad said, as they left the restaurant.

        “You want to come with me?”

       Douse nodded.

       “Sam is around? I thought he was in Canada?”

       “Some slip up with his papers and they turned him back.”

        Douse ran behind the man up a lane past some Chinese shops. 

         He was surprised when he jumped on a Trail motorcycle. Douse got on the pillion and they roared away.

        They rode up Orange Street to where Sam was waiting for 

them. He was swearing when they reached him. Douse stared at his motorcycle which was a shiny Kawasaki Ninja.

           “Douse, what’s going on? You’re back on the streets again,”   Sam greeted him and the two men touched fists.

             “It’s about two weeks now since I came out,” Douse told him.

           “I can’t find any trace of the guy, Tad."

         "Nobody didn’t see where he went ?" Tad asked.

        “It looks like when the trailer blocked the road he escaped.            Those people over there say they didn’t see anything."

      "I wonder if they know who they are dealing with ?" Tad asked

as he cranked up the motor-cycle.

         “Douse, don’t feel any way, if those boys want to try a thing you know where to find me and I’m sure Tad will go too,” Sam said.

           Tad nodded in agreement and Douse touched fists with the two men.

           "I feel that the boy is hiding out somewhere around here. I am going to ride up the lane and see if I find any trace of him," Sam told Tad as they parted.

***

          Tad dropped Douse in Parade and shared some information about his Don with him. Before they split up Douse assured him

that he would come and see him.

           Douse decided to take a look at some places he hadn’t seen in a long time. He avoided areas that he knew enemies were likely to be hanging out.

            Many businesses had relocated Uptown because of the extortionists and those that remained did so at their mercy. He wondered whether businesses Uptown were also at the mercy of those guys. He finished his tour by having a beer at a bar on Harbor Street. He took a taxi back to his sister’s house. Things were moving too slow for his liking and he had to make contact with Bobby Deacon very soon. He relaxed in his seat behind the driver and took another glimpse at the front seat passenger who looked familiar. A young girl was sandwiched between him and another man.

          They drove on East Queen Street and continued into

Windward Road. Douse got more comfortable in his seat. Out of the corner of his eyes he caught the girl looking at him and smiled to himself.

           The front seat passenger said something to the driver that Douse didn’t hear. The man eased sideways and reached into his pocket. The action was fast, Douse wasn't sure if the man had a gun jammed into the driver’s side.

          "Hey guy, turn into the next lane."

             A thought flashed through Douse’s mind that the other man could be in league with this man.

             He sprang across the girl and grabbed him.

           "Turn in where? If you try anything with the driver I’ll cut your friend’s throat."

            He pressed his knife to the man’s neck. The girl screamed and  

then burst into tears. He fished into the man’s pocket and took out his ratchet knife and drew him across the girl to sit beside him. The girl scrambled out of their way and huddled in a corner of the car.

      "Stop over there so, driver," he shouted.

       The driver brought the car to a stop and Douse flung the door open, pushed the man out, still holding the knife to his neck. The other man jumped out too, but hesitated when he saw Douse holding his friend.

       "What happen, aren’t you going to let him go?" the man demanded, holding his hand close to his body.

       Douse could smell the man he was holding, perspiration.

      “You’d better give me your knife or else I’m going to take your friend away and kill him.”  

        Still the man hesitated. Douse pressed the knife to his victim’s throat and blood trickled down his neck.

      The man jerked and cried out.

      “Are you going to let him kill me, Distant?”

           Distant stood still as if he didn’t know what to do.

        “Watch me and him if he cuts you again, Phil.”

            Douse drew his knife across Phil’s neck and blood dropped on his shirt collar.

            “You want to do something about it, bad boy?”

           Distant edged towards Douse who held Phil tighter.

           Distant at last shut the knife and threw it at Douse’s feet.      But Douse wasn’t fooled.

         “Lift up your shirt and empty out your pockets.”

            The man did as he was ordered.

            Douse released his hold on his prisoner, and pushed him away from him as a small crowd began to gather.

           He picked up Distant’s knife and got back into the car.

         "I must meet you again,” Distant warned.

          “The two of you are idiots,” Douse shouted at them as

the car drove off.

        “Driver, you are really brave to have hung around,” Douse said. “Several taxi men I know would have run away, probably even leaving their car.”

           “I couldn’t do that. It’s so they prey on us and the police aren’t doing a thing to stop it.”

          The driver refused to take any fare from him.

           “Lord, I have to thank you because I don’t know what those two guys would have done to me,” the girl said.

          “That’s nothing, my sister. I wasn’t going to hang around and let them harm you.”

             She gave him her name, cell phone number and told him where she lived. He guessed her age to be about twenty, but he wasn’t sure if he wanted to venture into her area as he didn’t want any boy screwing up their face at him.

***

             "Drop me out right here so driver," Bus-up said leaning forward.

           The driver brought the car to a halt and turned around.

           "Your fare, big man."

             His mouth dropped open when he saw the knife in Bus-up’s hand.

          Bus-up pulled the car door open and jumped out.

          “You old thief, it’s so you expect to get free ride in people’s car.”

           The driver grabbed his machete, flung the car door open and charged after Bus-up. Bus-up looked around and saw the driver gaining on him. He jumped over a wall, landed in a lane, on both sides of which were zinc fences. He then slipped into a nearby track and followed it until he was sure he had outrun the taxi driver.

                                      ***

         When Douse reached home, Barry was cooking. He had been married to Douse’s sister, Cherry, for eight years now.

          "Cherry said that you are to finish up here, so that I can come for her.”  

           Barry knew that he was a good cook. Whenever they had a cookout he was always in the mix of things.

           "Cherry loves studying, I wish I was like her. I just hope that she gets through this time,” Douse stated.

          "Those children must be asleep by now. She says that she feels more confident this time. I just feel that she is going to get through,” Barry said.

       "Two guys tried to hold up the taxi that I was in. I had to grab  

  one of them and put my knife at his throat.”

        "That’s why I have my machete in my car all the time. I want 

one of them to try anything against me.”

         "I’m going for Cherry now, so later, Errol, " Barry said and

went towards his car.

          After the man left, Douse finished the cooking, he didn’t feel

like eating and decided to take a nap.

            Later on that evening, Cherry tried to wake him up.

           “Errol, how come you’re sleeping so much? Why are you so tired and you’re not working? Aren’t you hungry?”

          “No, I’m all right, I will eat something later,” he told her and 

 dropped off to sleep again.

           Some time later that night, there was a series of gunshots.

Cherry shook him.

       "Errol, wake up, they’ve shot Barry.”

         I must be dreaming, he thought, as Cherry hit him in his back and he sat up.

        "What happen?"

       "They’ve shot Barry. You have to take him to the hospital.”

          She ran outside as he flung on some clothes. He glanced at his watch before putting it on, midnight.

           Rushing outside, he saw some men putting Barry into the

car. There was a lot of shouting in the yard as the neighbors 

converged on the scene. He took the keys from Cherry.

          "He’s not dead?"

             "He got shot in his left side."

              She was crying.

             He helped Cherry into the car where Greta, one of the neighbors was holding Barry.

            Douse got in the car and started it. Clinton, Greta’s husband got in the front seat with Douse.

             He sped out to Windward Road and in no time they were 

in the yard of the Kingston Public Hospital.

            Cherry shouted to some orderlies on duty.

            "Help me with my husband, gunmen just shoot him."

          Some male workers rushed to the car with a stretcher and

wheeled Barry towards the emergency ward.

        "Is he dead?" Cherry shouted at one of them.

        "The doctor has to look at him first, lady," the orderly told her.

            Douse then parked the car in the parking lot, locked it up  

and went into the waiting area, joining Greta Cherry and Clinton.

            "He’s dead, I’m sure of it. He wasn’t breathing nor moving.”

              Cherry stared into space, talking to herself.

            "Let’s wait on the doctor, Cherry," Greta tried to comfort her.

            "Those men are very wicked. It’s about ten years now I know 

Barry and he is not a troublemaker," Clinton said.

            “All Barry do is to run his taxi from Downtown to Airport. I’ve never heard of him being in any war with anybody,” Greta put in.

         “He went outside to lock up the car and when he was coming back inside they shot him. They didn’t take anything from him. It’s only God know why they shot him,” Cherry said.

           Douse met her eyes and then looked away. He had an idea of what she was thinking. He edged towards the door.

           Sirens wailed outside and orderlies rushed inside with victims. ‘Gunshot wounds’ floated to Douse several times. A couple of men with serious knife wounds were also brought in.

            He turned around in time to see the grim look on the doctor’s face as he approached Cherry. He heard her cry out.

            “Lord, my husband is dead.”

              She fell against Greta, crying as if she would never stop.

              Greta made her take a seat on one of the benches.  When she recovered, she requested that Douse drive them home.

         The hospital didn’t release the body until two weeks later as they had to do an autopsy on him.

             Douse acted as his sister’s chauffeur taking her around as   

she made preparations for the funeral. They held a wake in Barry’s

village of Guava Ridge on Saturday night after which the funeral took place the following day.

            After the funeral Douse was in a pensive mood. He suspected that it might be friends of Shortie Paul, who had killed Barry. On the other hand it could be the two men involved in the carjacking that he had prevented. In any case the gunman’s bullet had been meant for him. Although he had decided to stay out of trouble he might have no choice but to take up the gun again.

          Bobby Deacon, it looks like Shadow’s men have stopped fighting,” Dixie shouted.

         They were in a building that was guarded by high concrete walls all around but had no roof.

         Reds, who was sitting on a cement block, shouted.  

        “Shadow’s men are pulling out, Bobby Deacon.”

        “What happen to Lambie and Delhi?” Bobby Deacon asked.

       “They are both dead,” he heard Linkman say.

        “What happen to our fighters on the road?” Bobby Deacon asked.

         Dixie got on his cell phone to Norris.

       “Norris says they can’t hold out any longer and Shadow’s forces have surrendered,” he reported.

        Bobby Deacon looked at Reds and saw when the youth gave a scream, pitched forward and lay still. Men dived for new cover.

        Bobby Deacon crawled on his belly over to the youth and examined him.

        “He’s dead.”

           Bullets were flying all around, loud explosions could be heard and dust spewed into the air as the heavy gunshots ripped into the concrete walls.

         Their attackers were getting nearer. Linkman crawled on the ground and came up to him.

       “We have to leave, Bobby Deacon.”

         Bobby Deacon looked at him.

      “And leave our fighters, we have to stay and fight, Linkman.”

        Dixie crawled on his hands and knees up to him.

       “They are coming along Amber Street, Bobby Deacon, they are surrounding us. We have to get out now!

        “Tell the men to pull out, Dixie,” Bobby Deacon said.

         “We have to leave here, Bobby Deacon. If we stay they are going to wipe us out,” Linkman said as Norris reversed down the lane in a F 150 and they all piled in.

 

 

  • Errol Douse went to prison for slashing up Shorty Paul. Now that he has paid for his crimes, will these men leave him in peace or will they force him to join Bobby Deacon’s syndicate and take up the gun again?
  • Bobby Deacon was running a thriving syndicate when he was forced out by Coltrane and betrayed by Shadow. He is now lying low as he builds up his forces for a push on Coltrane and take his revenge on Shadow for his treachery.
  • Shadow, the former top ranking Don, lost his hold on power when he allowed Coltrane to operate freely in his territory. Now he is sliding down the ranking ladder, can he find a way to regain his hold on power?
  • Coltrane was allowed to operate freely in Shadow’s territories but soon became bigger than the latter. He sees Bobby Deacon as a threat and begins to marshall his forces to destroy him in an all out war from which there can only be one winner.
  • Norris ‘Digger’ Lobban has been sent on a hunt by Coltrane with orders to destroy Bobby Deacon and Douse. ‘Digger’ Lobban’s savagery knows no bounds. He has just 
    returned to the island after performing a series of hits in black communities in England and the United States.
  • Shorty Paul Grant was wounded by Douse in a fight over a woman. Called Shorty Paul because of his short temper, he has one ambition in life and that is to destroy Douse and all his associates as he seeks his revenge.     
  • Myra has lost her load of coke when she was betrayed by her friend, Del. Now she has to be repaying the money and although she has got another source, she still swears revenge on Del.
  • Del was forced to steal Myra’s valuable supply of coke in a desperate bid for survival. She knows that only her marksmanship can save her when she and Myra finally meet up.

 

 

                                                          

The  Downtown Massive

 

Austin Mitchell

 

 

 

 

Copyright © 2014 Austin Mitchell

 

All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording or otherwise, without the prior written permission of the publisher.

 

If you purchase this book without a cover you should be aware that this book may have been stolen property and reported as ‘unsold and destroyed’ to the publisher. In such a case, neither the author nor the publisher has received any payment for this ‘stripped book.’

 

Published by

Austin Mitchell

 

For my late granduncle, Corporal Francis Phipps, (Mass Brother). Also to my other granduncles, Jay, Mass Texie, Ivan, Percy, Tiny. My grandaunts, Miss Vannie, Miss Hilda, Blackie, Miss Maud and finally to all descendants of the Phipps of Streadwick Hill, Glengoffe, St, Catherine, Jamaica, West Indies.

 

 

 

Other Books by the same Author:

Uptown Lovers (Novel)

Undercover Soldier (Novel)

Bring back the good old Days (Collection of Short Stories)

Waiting to cross the Bridge (Collection of Short Stories)

Going to the bushes to cut Firewood (Collection of Short Stories)

Taking a short cut Home (Collection of Short Stories)

Days up the River (Collection of Short Stories)

The Fire by the Wayside (Collection of Short Stories)

Riding the milk truck to School (Collection of Short Stories)

     Making grass mats to Sell (Collection of Short Stories)

     Life at 22 Lane ( One Act Play)

     The Free Loaders ( One Act Play)

     Going into the hills to each (Collection of Short Stories)

     Glengoffe Days (Collection of Poems)

           

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, institutions, places, and incidents are creations of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously, and are not to be construed as real. Any resemblance to actual or other fictional events, locales, organization or persons, living or dead is entirely coincidental.

 

 

CHAPTER ONE

 

           Douse had changed after nine months in prison on a wounding charge. Since his release two weeks ago, he had decided to cool out a bit and not hang out at any of his usual haunts. He had urgent business with Bobby Deacon, one of his former cellmates. He had promised to let him in on certain deals, but he had lost his number and had no way of contacting him.

            As he stood at the corner of Orange and Beckford Streets, a hand dropped on his shoulder and he spun around to find a short thickset man in front of him.

        "Douse, what’s going on? It’s a long time I haven’t seen you!”

          The two men shook hands vigorously.

         "Tad, what are you doing here? I heard that you were in the

     States," Douse said as they finished shaking hands.

           "Yeah, I was over there, but they deported me."

           "What are you saying, Tad? I can’t believe it."

           "I spent three years over there, a couple more and I would have almost made it.”

           Tad cast his eyes to where some loader men were jostling to get passengers into their buses.          

          “It’s a business marriage I did but when I went over there it’s a different thing the woman was dealing with. I have to turn gardener, butler, chauffeur, everything. Well I did what they                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                         wanted, to get my stay. Then I left and went to live with a girl I knew from out here. After a while my money ran out and I had to go and sell marijuana.”

        “I was going on good in the business until one day I only saw my wife turn up. She said that I had to help her or else she was going to tell the police about me and what I was doing.”

        “So why did they deport you?”

          Tad looked over at the bus park. He saw two loader men having a tug of war over a female passenger.

         “I gave my wife some money, but you know how the hustling with the marijuana is. Lots of people have to get a cut out of it.”

           “One day the police raided my house and found some marijuana. I suspected that it was my wife and a rival marijuana seller who tipped them off.”

              Douse looked around, wondering if anything had changed. The place was still crowded with vendors hawking their wares while keeping a wary eye out for the authorities. Shoppers wandered by, some only feasting their eyes on the shop windows, while others carried several parcels as they went from store to store. Extortionists thrived in the chaos that was Downtown, Kingston. Douse recognized several three card men. Grocery shops and wholesales lined both sides of the streets. Music blasted from various jewelry stores.

            “You’re not the only one who got into trouble,” Douse said.              “I’m just coming from the General Penitentiary.”

          “What are you saying, Douse? What did you go to G.P for?”

            “I was managing a store for a woman by the name of Hortense. Her boyfriend, Shortie Paul, got jealous because she liked me. He told lies on me, that I was robbing her blind and came after me with a knife and I slashed him up.”

             “Right now he’s in prison on a wounding charge, but I have to watch out for his friends because I don’t know what they might do.”

          “Those guys can’t do you anything, Douse. It’s a long time you’ve been firing guns, those guys are a set of novices.”

          Douse chuckled and moved out of the way of the juice vendors hustling through the crowd.

        “Bag juice, juice with ice, guava, orange, pineapple,” they cried.

          "I want go to England,” Douse said. “I hear that they have lots of women over there just ready to get married to you so that you can stay there permanently.

       "I have to reach back New York to deal with that guy, who set the police on me. As for my wife I heard that she ran away and is now living in Florida.” 

          Douse slapped Tad on his back.

         "Let us go and eat some food."

***

           At Cross Roads, Bus-up got on a bus headed for Downtown, 

Kingston. A man on Orange Street had offered to let him in on a business deal and he wanted some more information. As he sat down, he noticed a man staring at him through the bus window. He looked familiar, but he couldn’t place him.

           An elderly woman came to sit beside him and he gave her the window seat.

          A woman shouted from the back of the bus.

          “Driver, aren’t you going to drive off the bus? Don’t you see that it’s full?”

          “That’s how they behave, if the bus isn’t packed like a sardine tin, they aren’t satisfied,” a man said.

          “All of you can go on talking. Does anyone of you know how much gas oil cost?” the conductor asked.

          “Conductor, lock the door, I’m going to pull out now,” the driver shouted.

          As the bus drove off, Bus-up glanced through the window and saw the man still staring at him. Rahtid it was Sam! He looked over his shoulder as the man pulled out a cell phone and ran to a nearby motorcycle.

         He had to get off the bus. He jumped up and pushed  through the crowded passage.

       "Bus stop, driver!"

       "What happen to this man? He doesn’t know where he’s going?”

        The conductor closed the door tighter.

       "It’s the wrong bus I took."

       "Big man, you don’t know town?"

        The driver glared at Bus-up.

       “You make little school children better than you.”

        The conductor and a few of the passengers laughed. Bus-up grounded his teeth.

        “Didn’t you hear what I said, driver? Let me off the bus.”

         The driver went faster and looked over his shoulder.

       “Your face looks like you were running and buck up in a  wall.’’

        Some of the passengers snickered. 

      The driver drove past two bus stops ignoring several would 

be passengers. Bus-up was sorry he wasn’t going as far as Parade so he could deal with both the driver and the conductor.

        Standing on the bus step, he saw his opportunity; a trailer was emerging out of a side road blocking traffic coming from 

behind the bus. Bus-up pushed away the conductor, jerked the door open and ran across the road. He spotted a taxi letting off a passenger.

      "Drop me up at Barbican."

      "It’s three hundred dollars from here."

      "Don’t worry yourself driver, I have enough money to pay my fare."

       Bus-up had no money for his fare, but he would do what he had to do when he reached his destination.

                                          ***

      Tad and Douse sat in the restaurant and waited for their order of stewed peas. Both ordered the same meal.

      "I’m down here looking for a guy who robbed some money from the Don last month."

    "Plenty money, Tad?"                              

      Tad leaned in close and whispered, “More than half a million dollars.”

      "What! Anybody rob that amount of money from the Don must dead."

     Their food arrived and both men dug into it.

     “We held him several times, we bust up his face and yet

he doesn’t want to talk."

       “So what do you think he could have done with so much money?”

       Tad swallowed before replying.

       “He said that some men held him up and took it away. He can’t tell us who it was and he can’t describe them.”

      “Maybe he gambled it off or gave it to some woman.”

     “We’ve heard all sorts of rumors as to what he did with the money.”

        Douse decided not to ask him about how the Don got such a large amount of cash. It was unlikely that he could have collected it at any one time from the extortion business. It had to be from cocaine or marijuana.

         A steady stream of customers passed through the restaurant while they ate.

       "The next time we see him if he doesn’t come up with the  

money, we are going to kill him."

        Tad pushed away his plate and finished drinking his lemonade. After they paid their bill and got up, his cell phone rang. He went into the passageway to answer it. He came back to Douse, frowning.

       "The man I was telling you about, was coming Downtown and Sam was trailing him but he gave him the slip. We have to find him  and deal with him," Tad said, as they left the restaurant.

        “You want to come with me?”

       Douse nodded.

       “Sam is around? I thought he was in Canada?”

       “Some slip up with his papers and they turned him back.”

        Douse ran behind the man up a lane past some Chinese shops. 

         He was surprised when he jumped on a Trail motorcycle. Douse got on the pillion and they roared away.

        They rode up Orange Street to where Sam was waiting for 

them. He was swearing when they reached him. Douse stared at his motorcycle which was a shiny Kawasaki Ninja.

           “Douse, what’s going on? You’re back on the streets again,”   Sam greeted him and the two men touched fists.

             “It’s about two weeks now since I came out,” Douse told him.

           “I can’t find any trace of the guy, Tad."

         "Nobody didn’t see where he went ?" Tad asked.

        “It looks like when the trailer blocked the road he escaped.            Those people over there say they didn’t see anything."

      "I wonder if they know who they are dealing with ?" Tad asked

as he cranked up the motor-cycle.

         “Douse, don’t feel any way, if those boys want to try a thing you know where to find me and I’m sure Tad will go too,” Sam said.

           Tad nodded in agreement and Douse touched fists with the two men.

           "I feel that the boy is hiding out somewhere around here. I am going to ride up the lane and see if I find any trace of him," Sam told Tad as they parted.

***

          Tad dropped Douse in Parade and shared some information about his Don with him. Before they split up Douse assured him

that he would come and see him.

           Douse decided to take a look at some places he hadn’t seen in a long time. He avoided areas that he knew enemies were likely to be hanging out.

            Many businesses had relocated Uptown because of the extortionists and those that remained did so at their mercy. He wondered whether businesses Uptown were also at the mercy of those guys. He finished his tour by having a beer at a bar on Harbor Street. He took a taxi back to his sister’s house. Things were moving too slow for his liking and he had to make contact with Bobby Deacon very soon. He relaxed in his seat behind the driver and took another glimpse at the front seat passenger who looked familiar. A young girl was sandwiched between him and another man.

          They drove on East Queen Street and continued into

Windward Road. Douse got more comfortable in his seat. Out of the corner of his eyes he caught the girl looking at him and smiled to himself.

           The front seat passenger said something to the driver that Douse didn’t hear. The man eased sideways and reached into his pocket. The action was fast, Douse wasn't sure if the man had a gun jammed into the driver’s side.

          "Hey guy, turn into the next lane."

             A thought flashed through Douse’s mind that the other man could be in league with this man.

             He sprang across the girl and grabbed him.

           "Turn in where? If you try anything with the driver I’ll cut your friend’s throat."

            He pressed his knife to the man’s neck. The girl screamed and  

then burst into tears. He fished into the man’s pocket and took out his ratchet knife and drew him across the girl to sit beside him. The girl scrambled out of their way and huddled in a corner of the car.

      "Stop over there so, driver," he shouted.

       The driver brought the car to a stop and Douse flung the door open, pushed the man out, still holding the knife to his neck. The other man jumped out too, but hesitated when he saw Douse holding his friend.

       "What happen, aren’t you going to let him go?" the man demanded, holding his hand close to his body.

       Douse could smell the man he was holding, perspiration.

      “You’d better give me your knife or else I’m going to take your friend away and kill him.”  

        Still the man hesitated. Douse pressed the knife to his victim’s throat and blood trickled down his neck.

      The man jerked and cried out.

      “Are you going to let him kill me, Distant?”

           Distant stood still as if he didn’t know what to do.

        “Watch me and him if he cuts you again, Phil.”

            Douse drew his knife across Phil’s neck and blood dropped on his shirt collar.

            “You want to do something about it, bad boy?”

           Distant edged towards Douse who held Phil tighter.

           Distant at last shut the knife and threw it at Douse’s feet.      But Douse wasn’t fooled.

         “Lift up your shirt and empty out your pockets.”

            The man did as he was ordered.

            Douse released his hold on his prisoner, and pushed him away from him as a small crowd began to gather.

           He picked up Distant’s knife and got back into the car.

         "I must meet you again,” Distant warned.

          “The two of you are idiots,” Douse shouted at them as

the car drove off.

        “Driver, you are really brave to have hung around,” Douse said. “Several taxi men I know would have run away, probably even leaving their car.”

           “I couldn’t do that. It’s so they prey on us and the police aren’t doing a thing to stop it.”

          The driver refused to take any fare from him.

           “Lord, I have to thank you because I don’t know what those two guys would have done to me,” the girl said.

          “That’s nothing, my sister. I wasn’t going to hang around and let them harm you.”

             She gave him her name, cell phone number and told him where she lived. He guessed her age to be about twenty, but he wasn’t sure if he wanted to venture into her area as he didn’t want any boy screwing up their face at him.

***

             "Drop me out right here so driver," Bus-up said leaning forward.

           The driver brought the car to a halt and turned around.

           "Your fare, big man."

             His mouth dropped open when he saw the knife in Bus-up’s hand.

          Bus-up pulled the car door open and jumped out.

          “You old thief, it’s so you expect to get free ride in people’s car.”

           The driver grabbed his machete, flung the car door open and charged after Bus-up. Bus-up looked around and saw the driver gaining on him. He jumped over a wall, landed in a lane, on both sides of which were zinc fences. He then slipped into a nearby track and followed it until he was sure he had outrun the taxi driver.

                                      ***

         When Douse reached home, Barry was cooking. He had been married to Douse’s sister, Cherry, for eight years now.

          "Cherry said that you are to finish up here, so that I can come for her.”  

           Barry knew that he was a good cook. Whenever they had a cookout he was always in the mix of things.

           "Cherry loves studying, I wish I was like her. I just hope that she gets through this time,” Douse stated.

          "Those children must be asleep by now. She says that she feels more confident this time. I just feel that she is going to get through,” Barry said.

       "Two guys tried to hold up the taxi that I was in. I had to grab  

  one of them and put my knife at his throat.”

        "That’s why I have my machete in my car all the time. I want 

one of them to try anything against me.”

         "I’m going for Cherry now, so later, Errol, " Barry said and

went towards his car.

          After the man left, Douse finished the cooking, he didn’t feel

like eating and decided to take a nap.

            Later on that evening, Cherry tried to wake him up.

           “Errol, how come you’re sleeping so much? Why are you so tired and you’re not working? Aren’t you hungry?”

          “No, I’m all right, I will eat something later,” he told her and 

 dropped off to sleep again.

           Some time later that night, there was a series of gunshots.

Cherry shook him.

       "Errol, wake up, they’ve shot Barry.”

         I must be dreaming, he thought, as Cherry hit him in his back and he sat up.

        "What happen?"

       "They’ve shot Barry. You have to take him to the hospital.”

          She ran outside as he flung on some clothes. He glanced at his watch before putting it on, midnight.

           Rushing outside, he saw some men putting Barry into the

car. There was a lot of shouting in the yard as the neighbors 

converged on the scene. He took the keys from Cherry.

          "He’s not dead?"

             "He got shot in his left side."

              She was crying.

             He helped Cherry into the car where Greta, one of the neighbors was holding Barry.

            Douse got in the car and started it. Clinton, Greta’s husband got in the front seat with Douse.

             He sped out to Windward Road and in no time they were 

in the yard of the Kingston Public Hospital.

            Cherry shouted to some orderlies on duty.

            "Help me with my husband, gunmen just shoot him."

          Some male workers rushed to the car with a stretcher and

wheeled Barry towards the emergency ward.

        "Is he dead?" Cherry shouted at one of them.

        "The doctor has to look at him first, lady," the orderly told her.

            Douse then parked the car in the parking lot, locked it up  

and went into the waiting area, joining Greta Cherry and Clinton.

            "He’s dead, I’m sure of it. He wasn’t breathing nor moving.”

              Cherry stared into space, talking to herself.

            "Let’s wait on the doctor, Cherry," Greta tried to comfort her.

            "Those men are very wicked. It’s about ten years now I know 

Barry and he is not a troublemaker," Clinton said.

            “All Barry do is to run his taxi from Downtown to Airport. I’ve never heard of him being in any war with anybody,” Greta put in.

         “He went outside to lock up the car and when he was coming back inside they shot him. They didn’t take anything from him. It’s only God know why they shot him,” Cherry said.

           Douse met her eyes and then looked away. He had an idea of what she was thinking. He edged towards the door.

           Sirens wailed outside and orderlies rushed inside with victims. ‘Gunshot wounds’ floated to Douse several times. A couple of men with serious knife wounds were also brought in.

            He turned around in time to see the grim look on the doctor’s face as he approached Cherry. He heard her cry out.

            “Lord, my husband is dead.”

              She fell against Greta, crying as if she would never stop.

              Greta made her take a seat on one of the benches.  When she recovered, she requested that Douse drive them home.

         The hospital didn’t release the body until two weeks later as they had to do an autopsy on him.

             Douse acted as his sister’s chauffeur taking her around as   

she made preparations for the funeral. They held a wake in Barry’s

village of Guava Ridge on Saturday night after which the funeral took place the following day.

            After the funeral Douse was in a pensive mood. He suspected that it might be friends of Shortie Paul, who had killed Barry. On the other hand it could be the two men involved in the carjacking that he had prevented. In any case the gunman’s bullet had been meant for him. Although he had decided to stay out of trouble he might have no choice but to take up the gun again.

Copyright © Austin Mitchell 2018

About book excerpt

• Errol Douse went to prison for slashing up Shorty Paul. Now that he has paid for his crimes, will these men leave him in peace or will they force him to join Bobby Deacon’s syndicate and take up the gun again? • Bobby Deacon was running a thriving syndicate when he was forced out by Coltrane and betrayed by Shadow. He is now lying low as he builds up his forces for a push on Coltrane and take his revenge on Shadow for his treachery. • Shadow, the former top ranking Don, lost his hold on power when he allowed Coltrane to operate freely in his territory. Now he is sliding down the ranking ladder, can he find a way to regain his hold on power? • Coltrane was allowed to operate freely in Shadow’s territories but soon became bigger than the latter. He sees Bobby Deacon as a threat and begins to marshall his forces to destroy him in an all out war from which there can only be one winner. • Norris ‘Digger’ Lobban has been sent on a hunt by Coltrane with orders to destroy Bobby Deacon and Douse. ‘Digger’ Lobban’s savagery knows no bounds. He has just returned to the island after performing a series of hits in black communities in England and the United States. • Shorty Paul Grant was wounded by Douse in a fight over a woman. Called Shorty Paul because of his short temper, he has one ambition in life and that is to destroy Douse and all his associates as he seeks his revenge. • Myra has lost her load of coke when she was betrayed by her friend, Del. Now she has to be repaying the money and although she has got another source, she still swears revenge on Del. • Del was forced to steal Myra’s valuable supply of coke in a desperate bid for survival. She knows that only her marksmanship can save her when she and Myra finally meet up.

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My Book

Author: Austin Mitchell
Writing-Profile of Austin Mitchell Austin Mitchell has so far written two novels and is completing another. He has written many short stories, a few plays and poems. Several of his short stories have been published in his homeland. He has read hundreds of novels and has read widely on the subject. He has also attended a few writing workshops.

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