I’ve got a very short story with a twist for you today:
Scene: a street corner in Chicago.
LeVar’s mouth was cotton dry with fear.
He was surrounded by a group of 18th Street Boys showing guns. As a Loco Boy he was fair game and LeVar knew they would toy with him before killing him.
LeVar’s thoughts turned back into his past. He saw his mother and father, alive then, smiling at him and telling him he was a smart boy. He was protective of his little sister Diedre. He was a good son.
A police siren shrieked somewhere nearby. Startled by the sound LeVar looked around him for an opening. There were four of them. Heavily armed, bad ass killers, with no souls. Their dark eyes were pinpoints of hate.
Just yesterday someone warned LeVar that some 18th Street Boys were looking for him. He said quit messing around with one of their women, they’re crazy. He should have listened to his homie.
LeVar rallied his courage. His voice sounded high and almost girlish as he told them he was sorry and that he would give them all a lot of money if they let him live. One of the gang knew who LeVar was. His uncle, who he lived with, was a rich retired athlete.
The possibility that LeVar could come up with a lot of money had them thinking. Silence while LeVar sweated. Waiting for their answer. The leader put his Glock down and walked up to LeVar…breathing in his face he was so close.
We want a million dollars. Tomorrow. Call your uncle. LeVar pulled his cell phone out of his back pocket. In moments his fate would be decided. When his uncle came on the line and he explained the situation his uncle simply said, “Where do they want it delivered?”
A rush of relief that he was going to live made LeVar’s body tremble with joy.
When the police discovered the body of a young black man full of bullet holes on 18th Street, they sighed and went to work on the crime scene. Another death. They knew who did it. What they didn’t know was why.
My apologies to the great American writer Ambrose Bierce who wrote the classic “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge,” one of the most famous and frequently anthologized stories in American literature.
As It Stands, Bierce’s story showed there was no glory in war. My take on it is there’s no glory in being a gangster.