Ghetto Mystics

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Original poster
The sound of a lighter flicking awake and a light glistens in the shadows of a rundown looking complex in the midst of the city. The building itself an eye sore to those who pass by it, many call it home, few call it safe, and none wish to stay. That is the life of people who live in similar buildings, apartments complexes that house the economically challanged, or the projects to those who are street savvy. Pimps, whores, dealers, killer, and the innocent reside inside, doing there best to make it with there job or hustle they have set up in the city. One in particular, a dealer who lived on the top floor, resident rebel who had his run in with cops and gangs alike, escaping many times, and bribing others. A black man with Jamaican heritage, long black dreadlocks that reach down to his shoulders, a lean build and two decades of life under his belt. His eyes a soft yellow, a gift from his mother, and a handsome face that was lined with the stress of living in such a harsh place.

Currently, he sits in his delapidated apartment with bags stacked on a run down looking coffee table, a joint in his mouth with a cherry at the end already burning bright, a lighter in one hand, a cell phone in the other. His attire a pair of faded gray jeans, Black street boots, a silver chain about his neck with his initials J.M. on a dog tag that dangled at the ended of his chain and glistened softly, and his own skin that had a few tattoos on is arms and a large one on his chest that read, "Freedom isn't free". In the background, the soft sounds of Bob Marely and the wailers give the dilapidated apartment a very relaxed feel. It was his day to cash in a crop of grass that he had gotten for a steal of a price. He breathed the smoke of the burning herb as he thought about how well he had done for himself. He had worked for this pusher for some time and if he were to pull off this sell, he'd move up in the game and sell larger amounts, a free ticket out of the ghetto, and perhaps out of the city. He dreamed of his time in a mansion like house as a gray haze filled the room and exited out into the streets, he sighing with relief as he awaited a knock on the door or a ring of his phone.
Breathing hard, face flushed with effort and sweat gleaming on his face as he walked down the hallway, Burt took a quick look over his shoulder to see if anyone was following him. There was no one but the regular rundowns, barely taking notice of him. He wiped his forehead using the sleeve of his long green canvas coat, it had a couple dark stains and holes in it but he still liked it. Plus it was the best coat he had. Under it he wore a gray hooded pull over sweater with the sleeves ripped off. He wore a tattered brown cap on his head, his hood was down and some beads of sweat rested in his unruly beard.

Stopping in front of a door he knocked on the door urgently, looking down the hallway again. Immediately after knocking he tried walking in, but the door was dead bolted, of course. He cursed and talked through the door. "Hey man, open up" he knew his occasional associate would recognize his level voice, with it's tinge of emergency "Clayton's boys are coming for you, and they're bringing flowers." 'Bringing flowers' was a term he used that meant they were going to kill who ever the recipient of the flowers was. "They tried taking the elevator but I shorted it out, you better hurry the fuck up because they'll be out any minute."
Jahdin rose a brow to the constant beating on his door, he getting up slowly and responding in a tired sounding but annoyed tone, "Da fuck's yer problem mon? Keep yer damn shirt on..."he said as he opened the deadbolts and listened to the warning, he used to being raided by gangs, police, and the occasional crack head. The Irish bastards that burt referred to were no different. A bunch of mob flunkies that had never liked the Jamaican's way of making money, having tried to snuff him on more than one occasion. "Those Irish bastahd's couldn't kill me if I handed dem the pistol me self. Now get yer arse in 'ere before they see ya mon." he said as he grabbed the rugged looking man into his room. He stayed relaxed, calm and cool as he pushed the bags of his product into a duffle bag set ready when the need arose. He the opened a drawer that he had and pulled out a can of hair spray, a bottle filled with old whiskey and another lighter, all while keeping his joint in his mouth.

He then looked to burt and tossed him the whiskey, "Throw that der bottle of brown at the elevator door and get ready to break for it mon." he said as he put out his joint and blew out a plume of thick smoke. "Dey always try to muscle me out of 'ere...don't see why dey don't give in's getttin really old, really really fast..." he then readied his can of hair spray as he saw the elevator reach the top as he stepped out, a look of mild annoyance on his face as he watched the doors slowly but surely open, waiting for Burt to toss the bottle as he had requested.
Burt pulled himself out of Jahdin's grasp as he came inside and straightened out his bedraggled appearance. "I think they heard about your big deal" he said gruffly while hefting the bottle "even if they don't kill you the buyer will probably keep their distance." Burt positioned himself and was ready to throw. He wound up like a pitcher and launched the bottle toward the opening elevator doors. The neck of the bottle smashed against the opening door and then smashed against the back of the elevator, it's contents sprayed everywhere. The two men ducked away from the door to the sides of the elevator. One pulled out a gun and squeezed off a shot. "Gah!" the bullet struck Burt's shoulder and spun him a little bit as he jumped to the side. Great, another hole in his coat, and another stain.
Jahdin, looked calmly as he waited for th ebottle to smash, he flicking his lighter open making it spark to life when he heard the crash. After the shot went off he tossed the lighter which ignited the whiskey into a ball of flame. The two inside roared in pain and started to rush out, they covered in flames as they tried to go for Jahdin. As the got closer he pulled out the bottle of hairspray and chuckled darkly, "See now..dis is what happens when you mess wit da ganga mon." He then aimed the spray at the two already burning and lit his second lighter from before, spraying into the small flame and causing the spray to ignite. it sprayed out in a large fireball that looked as if it would take the entire hall. Using his make shift flamethrower, he engulfed them both in flames, watching as they fell to the ground, writhing in pain. The stink from the burning bodies started to rise, the smell of burning flesh and cloth almost overpowering. After some time, the sprinkler system came to life and sprayed down the bodies as well as the two of them. One could hear the cries and complaints of the entire hall as the sprays went on.

Jahdin then coughed a little, seeing a few of his neighbors walk out and convey the damage. He looked to them all, they knew full well what happened and that it would have the authorities around. "Everything thing alright Mr. Mirdeen?" asked an elderly looking woman, worn from more years that Jahdin would ever think he'd see. "We alright marm...just taken out de trash..." he said as he eyed her down. She nodded, not wanting to get involved and closing her door, a few others doing the same. He then went to Burt and grinned, "Sorry der glad it be ya arm and not ya 'ead." he said with a grin, picking him up by his good arm, "You earned ye'self me gratitude and a little somethin special mon..." He then tried to move him over to the couch, "And I'll get ya somethin for dat wound der..."
"It's much more debilitating." Burt said as he hauled himself up with Jahdin's help and walked back over to his apartment. "I was in the area when I heard." He said plainly. Letting out a sigh he looked at his wounded shoulder, gritting his teeth through the pain as he started removing his arm from the sleeve of his coat. If this thing gets any more holes and blood on it, it's going to be religious. "Sorry about your couch" he apologized in advance for any blood he might be getting on the thing. Extracting his arm from the sleeve he used the same sleeve to put pressure on the wound and help stop any bleeding.
Jahdin laughed a little as he opened a window to his apartment, he letting out the burning smell as he spoke, "Hey, no problem mon. Not da first bit a red rum been spilt in dis 'ere place." he said as he went to the duffle bag and pulled out a bag that was a tad bigger than the others, it containing a bit of Mary Jane that was dark, almost purple in color. He tossed it to Burt and chuckled a little as he went toward his bathroom, "Just try not to use da 'ole bag in one night mon. Dat shit is 'ard to come by you know." He then went and grabbed a bottle of pain pills, a bottle of everclear liqour, and a peiece of wood that seemed to have its fair share of bite marks on it. He came back, tossing him the pain pills and the wood. "Dat should help for de long run. But dat bullet gotta be taken out mon. Less you wanna lose dat arm of yours." he said as he looked to the whole, he seeing bits of metal and debris from his jacket. He waited for burt to take the pills and spoke, "Now bite down on dat wood less you think you can take it mon." he said as he hovered the liquor over his wound.
"I'll keep that in mind" he said as he set the bag aside. He wouldn't exactly need the pain pills, or to have Jahdin remove the bullet, but he went along with it. After all Jahdin didn't know who he really was, he didn't need to know anyway. Nobody did. Picking up the bit of wood and noting the bite marks he questioned the cleanliness of it for half a second before biting into it. In his years Burt had felt great pain, of all kinds, but he didn't want to risk biting off his tongue, which would just be more of a hassle. Nodding to Jahdin, he signaled that he was ready. Even though he braced himself, it still smarted a good deal.
Jahdin saw that burt was ready, he pouring a splash of the extremely high proof alcohol. It would burn like acid going into the wound, but it would clear up any signs of infection. As it did, the bits of metal and debris started to rise out of the meat that had been damaged and swirl in the liquid. Jahdin was then able to pluck out the bigger peices, as well as the actual bullet. He chuchkling as he looked the bullet itself, "Be glad that Irish dog was a bettah shot dan you, ha ha." he tossing the bullet out the window and picking up his joint he had set aside. He got up and grabbed a nearby cloth, pressing it to the wound to soak up any blood and liquor that had poured out. Once done he breathed in a bit of the ganga he had in his joint, holding it in as he concentrated his vision on the shoulder. His eyes seemed to glisten lightly as he gazed, he transfixed on the red mass of torn muscle. He envisioned the shoulder before it had been shot, and when he could see it perfectly in his mind, blew the smoke onto the wound, it passing over it like a blanket. If Burt were to look upon what was happening, he would see the effect that smoke was having on him. It covered all about the wound like a seal, entering into it. Then he would feel as if it were being repaired, muscles being reattached, bones being put together bit by bit, and soreness leaving the shoulder. After a good minute, the gun shot was completely healed, save a black mark where the bullet had entered in. "Jus be glad I know what I'm doin mon. Me brothah nevah could get healin down..." he said as he rose up, and started to smoke his joint normally, looking to Burt, "T'ink you'll be a'ight mon? Nothing out of place?"
Oh yeah it hurt. Burt grunted and growled against the piece of wood between his teeth and did his best not to squirm from the burning sensation. It was quite unpleasant but Burt didn't really freak out or anything. It wasn't the worst he'd felt. When the burning in his wound subsided and Jahdin cleaned it out and took the bullet Burt spat the bit of wood into his hand, satisfied it hadn't been crushed into splinters and tossed it aside. Burt watched the smoke on his wound. "You just blew smoke into my wound..." Burt shook his head, discontinuing his criticism of Jahdin's healing methods. He had seen weirder, and it saved him the hassle of doing it himself anyway. Checking his shoulder by rolling it around he nodded "Yeah it's fine." After he got his arm back into the sleeve of his coat Burt spread his arms across the back of the couch. "I wonder what the cops will do" he said with little interest in his tone.
"Cops? Ha, no cop be dumb enough to poke 'is 'ead 'round 'ere mon. Dey drop fastah dan a whore on a pole." he said with a laugh as he locked his door back, not expecting any visitors after such a spectacle. "Da best we see is dem voo doo boys dat live a few streets down. Dey love da corpses dat be fallen in dis 'ere ghetto. Dey be usin bad magic mon..." he said as he sat across from Burt in a broken down easy chair, "Even me brethren don't tread near dem waters mon. They take what dey want and we turn da blind eye to it mon. Best for da both of us you know." He then started to grab for his bag when something hit him, " dey know 'bout me any ideas mon? Me sources don't leak less dey starin down a barrel mon." he said as he looked to Burt with a questioning gaze.
Burt shrugged deeply as he examined the blackened mark on his shoulder through the new bloody hole in his coat. "If you don't think it was one of your people then maybe there are spies" he grimaced annoyingly at the blood "Unless they are putting the squeeze on your comrades." Burt stood up and looked around "Do you have one of those stain pens or something?"
Jahdin shook his head with a chuckle as Burt asked for a stain pen, he never wanting to spend money on something he saw as completely useless. "You mus' be kiddin mon. You tink I be spendin me 'ard earned cash on some bullshit like dat? You must be smokin' somet'in far strongah than da herb." he said with a chuckle as he looked out his dingy looking window to the streets below, he wondering who was bold enough to cross him. No one in the building would, they'd be dead from someone rattin them out for a few free bags. It was no one low on the drug trade either. They either had a lot of hate for him, or they saw Jahdin as a threat, and he didn't want to find out. "Tell ya what mon. I'm gonna have to make me self scarce for a few days. Dem irish putbulls found me, no tellin what one wit a brain could do to dis ganga mon" he said as he grabbed his duffle bag filled with herb and went into his dingy looking bedroom. It was just as bad as the previouse ones, filled with various bits of clothing, empty food boxes, and smoking apperatices barely hidden. When he stepped in, he set the bag on his bed and started to pack it with clothes and a small bong he had whenever he was on the move. He then pulled on a long sleeve black T-shirt and a short sleeve brown and green T-shirt with a graphic of Jimmie Hindrix on the front. He then stepped out of his bedroom and looked to Burt, "Feel like stayin 'ere and gettin shot up or makin tracks mon?"
Burt didn't say anything as Jahdin went on about the stain pen only shrugging in response and stopped messing with his coat. It was the last thing from his previous life that he had. It was probably wasn't a good idea to always have the same article of clothing on all the time, knowing the people he knew, it made him easier to identify. He didn't care, it was his and despite there being so much of his blood in it (mostly his), and bullet holes, and knife holes, burns, claw marks, he was still going to keep and wear it. He didn't expect Jahdin to understand.

As Jahdin packed some things, Burt contemplated this situation. His theory was that there was something big moving around beneath the surface of the usual business going down in the ghetto, a whale of a situation. It could be good or could be bad, Burt didn't bother guessing which. Then again this could just be as simple as some guy wanting to expand his territory. Shortly, Jahdin came back into the room. "I can watch your back for a minute" Burt said, standing up and tucking the bag of appreciation into his coat. "Anything happen lately between you guys and those guys." By you guys he meant the Jamaicans, and with a jutting thumb toward the door 'those guys' meant the Irish.
As Jahdin grabbed himself a few other items from the front room, he laughed a little at Burt's question, "Ha ha ha, course it's notin new. Same 'ol bullshit they be doing sense us black boys came over in dem slave ships. Ain't notin changed mon, probably nevah will." he said as he grabbed a long piece of black thread and used it to tie back his long dreads into a large tail. He then looked to the door and opened it, carring with his his things and a set of keys, "Course dey be a few who 'ave a different opinion but dey be few and far between. Ya self included mon, less you be sayin shit behind me back." he said with a chuckle. "Den a gain, you been a good mon to me for some while now...I owe ya a little more than any ganga could evah do." He said as he made his way to the scorch marks and was then face to face with the men he had spoken of before. A group of Hattie men with blood marks on there arms and faces, they looking at Jahdin with a curious look.

One of them walked over teh burnt corpses and looked down at Jahdin, he standing a clear 6' 7" and marked head to toe with tattoos, blood marks, brands and scars; a man high up in the streets. "You be da one dat made this 'ere mess?" said the brown skinned giant, he motioning his head to the two burnt ones. Jahdin nodded, he saying calmly, "Dey had it commin. Clayton's lil guard dogs lookin for a morsal to chew on." The hations then nodded and started to tear bits from the corpses, inspecting what could be used as there leader continued to speak. "I see...seems like Clayton might be tryin somting...but it's not something we worry about. Thanks for the offering, but next time, leave some flesh uncooked..." The hation leader then spoke a few words to his followers, they understanding it was time to leave. By the time they left, almost nothing was left of the two dead men save a few digits and burnt clothes. Jahdin let out a sigh of relief, he knowing that that could have gone far far worse than it had.
Burt joined Jahdin outside the apartment as the flesh messer-withers were almost done, chomping on some stale crackers he'd found. As they were leaving Burt rumbled "That could have been worse" and dusted some crumbs from his beard. He looked around and kicked at some fingers that were left behind. "What's your plan Jahdin? I can watch your back for a while if you need." The cracker box was empty, he tossed it aside. "I don't know how persistent Clayton is going to be on this, maybe until your client forgets about the whole deal. If he does have spies they're probably where you usually visit or where you meet your contacts or some shit. He might be targeting you specifically or several of you guys at once. Clayton's been closed up more than usual so it's hard to get word on what his motives are lately."
"Dat's rather unsettlin news mon...I figured we'd work sometin out ovah a little smoke you know..." Said Jahdin in a joking tone. "Din again, I should best stay away from dat mad mon if he be aimen for me 'ead. I don' know what I did to piss 'im off, but I'll keep to me brethen's streets. I usually don' go dere less it's some bad juu juu goin down." he said as they both started into the near elevator, he pressing the button for the downstairs lobby. The elevator roared to life after a moment of jostling the two in side and slowly creaked its way down. "But ya don' have to follow me into da rebel streets mon...just keep me informed of what's goin to happen around town. But if ya be wantin too, just stay close and keep quite. Dey don' know you from adam and dey be a bit triggah happy."
Burt didn't respond to the joke. But he almost smiled when he mentioned the potential danger of the trigger happy folks. "Yeah Jahdin, I'll be quiet." He observed the button panel as Jahdin pushed the button for the lobby, the metal around the buttons was scorched. The elevator itself was old and clunky, ungraceful and made not for precision but just to get people from point A to B. Which was a good thing. "If you have a brand new cellphone it may not work while I'm around. Payphones and old corded phones work okay though." He shoved his hands into his pockets and ignored the look that Jahdin might be giving him.