INMATES & BOOKS

by Rodney Fenner

Hello world. This excerpt is from the second book I wrote. This book was the second in and urban trilogy. Maybe the story is a little rudimentary and the language is crass. I wrote this in 2013 and I wanted to change it in places a year or two after I was done, but I didn’t because I wanted people to see my growth as a writer and as a person through each of my projects. That being said, all feedback is welcome. Peace.

Quadeem sat around talking and smoking until about nine o’clock. He went up to his room and turned on his stereo while everyone else held their positions in the den. Tameka left around eight forty five because she was getting sleepy and had to pick up her baby from the sitter. Greg and Theodis were still playing the game while the woman who came with him took his car to go pick up some food. They were so engrossed in their gameplay, they never noticed Shekeeva enter the house.
Shekeeva had spent the past few days in a near catatonic state. She ate the bare minimum only because she was pregnant. The bags had arrived beneath her eyes from lack of sleep. She didn’t talk to anyone and her phone was a testimony to that, boasting one hundred twenty seven missed calls. Her stare was emptier than the bowels of a man with diharrea. In her mind, she tried to create a reality that didn’t involve her fiance` murdering her uncles. She did, but she couldn’t erase the mysterious call or the curiosity that ate at her brain like a starved person eating their own flesh. She had to feed it. She had to ask. She had to know.
The door was left wide open behind her. She went to the den after she heard the voices, deciding not to go upstairs. Seeing only Greg and Theodis, she was disappointed and continued through the room to look in the kitchen.
“Dam, Keeva.” Theodis paused the game when she walked in front of the screen. “What’s up wit you yo?”
“Yeah,” Greg chimed in. “You act like you don’t know niggas no more.” He lit a cigarette. “What’s up with the Whodeenie shit?”
At first, she paid them no mind, thinking they were unimportant. Then she thought about it. If what the caller said was true, they would have known. They would’ve been keeping this from her for over a year. She digested that, but stayed on track. Quadeem was her focus and she would get upstairs to where she knew he had to be, but she couldn’t help poking at these two.
“You knew. Didn’t you?” Her eyes ping-ponged between the two men as she sat down across from them. She sat her purse on her leg.
“Knew what?” ,Theodis asked. He felt uneasy under her glare. He knew something was wrong.
“About Quadeem.” Her eyes left Theodis and grabbed Greg. “About what he did.”
“What he do?” Greg was completely lost.
“Ooohh shit.” ,Theodis moaned. “I knew you was trippin’ on something as soon as I saw you.”
“Shut up nigga.” Greg turned back to Shekeeva and sighed. “What are you talkin’ about Sis?”
Shekeeva was quiet for a moment as derisive thoughts ran through her mind about him calling her Sis. Then, her mind grasped something she shouldn’t have missed. “You were there.”
“I was where?”
“I told you yo.” Theodis briefly stole Greg’s attention. “Shorty girl buggin’ out.”
Shekeeva heard him, but knew she wasn’t. She was perfectly fine. Maybe her calmness was making Theodis uncomfortable, but she knew Greg had to have been with Quadeem that night. They left and returned together. She wouldn’t be stupid enough to believed he wasn’t there. He was Quadeem’s best friend and brother.
Theodis’ companion had returned and appeared in the entryway to the den with the bags of Wendy’s. “Why y’all leave the door wide op-”
Her sentence was cut short by Shekeeva’s hand to her throat. She was sitting right behind the entrance and her move was so unexpected, the woman had no time to defend herself. The men were too stunned to stop her. While they were talking, Shekeeva had slid her hand in her purse to accompany her waiting .380. Originally, the gun had been for the men, but she was tired of her intelligence being insulted and the woman was just closer at the moment. Casualty. She spun out of her seat, removing the gun and jamming her open hand into the base of the woman’s throat. The woman gagged and stumbled backwards as Shekeeva closed her hand around her throat and pushed to make her fall. Shekeeva ended up on top of the woman, pressing the barrel of the gun to her windpipe with her hand still wrapping her neck.
“Bitch, if you scream, umma put a bullet in your vocal cords.” From her position on the floor, Shekeeva could look to her left and see Greg and Theodis. She could also see the door the woman came through on her right, but neglected to close. Wendy’s burgers, fries and drinks surrounded them on the floor.
“A, yo.” Theodis tapped Greg. “I think she serious G.”
“Ease up Keeva.” Greg slowly got up. He was still in a state of disbelief. “Just chill out and tell me what’s going on.” He started moving in the direction of the women.
Shekeeva cocked her gun, loading one in the chamber. “You better fall back or this bitch gon’ be talking through a auto tune box.”
Greg stopped.
Quadeem was up in his room doing some numbers with Yo Gotti playing softly in the background. He counted out money to give Tia when she showed up and was in the middle of changing clothes when he heard the loud thump downstairs.
“Stupid ass niggas.” ,he mumbled to himself as he pulled on some sweatpants and walked barefoot and bare chested out of his room. “Y’all better not break none of my shit.”
Sometimes the men would horseplay, wrestling and slamming each other around. So, the tumbling and thumping wasn’t anything new. Quadeem didn’t really care about anything being broken. He just wanted to see who was being thrown around so he could talk trash to the loser. He was smiling when he left his room, but when he went down a few steps and saw the scene at the threshold of his den, his smile fell.

He almost fell with it, missing a step.
“What the fuck?!” Quadeem leapt down the remaining steps. Three at a time. He came to a halt a few feet from the ladies. “Keeva, Baby what are you doing?”
“Wildin’ the fuck out.” ,Theodis mumbled.
Shekeeva looked up at Quadeem and her world shook. Some of her resolve dissipated and she felt weak. Her expression softened a little as she stared at his hansom face and her heart whispered that it wasn’t true, that she was crazy for doing what she was doing. She felt her hand loosening on the gun. Then, she thought of her uncles and her moment of weakness was gone. She tightened her grip on the gun and the throat. She could feel the woman’s muscles jump beneath the gun as she swallowed and tears ran from her eyes looking at the crazy woman on top of her. Shekeeva never looked down to see the woman cry, nor did she hear the whimpering. She was focused and fixed on Quadeem. “Is it true?”
“What? Is what true?” Quadeem took a step in their direction. “Baby-”
“Stay away form me!!” She breathed hard. “Just tell me.” She strained to force the inquiry out. Her voice cracked and sounded squeaky. “Did…did you kill my uncles?”
Quadeem’s eyes widened ever so slightly as he nearly lost the battle of trying to hide his surprise at her knowledge. His jaw lowered almost imperceptibly. He recovered so quickly, the untrained eye would’ve missed the signs. Shekeeva missed none of them.
“What? Where did you get that from?” Quadeem asked as cooly as he could.
To Shekeeva, in the instant of his hesitation, everything fell away from her. The woman was no longer under her and the ceiling was no longer above her. Her heart beat sped up until it felt like a constant vibration in her chest. Quadeem was saying something, but she couldn’t hear him. Her vision distorted and everything looked to be emitting a pulse in tune with the thrumming of her heart. He didn’t even deny it, was the thought her mind used to convince her heart he was guilty. That was the last thought she had before her mind went blank. Her hormones went into overdrive, supercharging the most dominant emotion she was feeling. Rage.
Shekeeva lost all control. She screamed so hard, her vision blurred. The hand with the gun lifted up and out like a bird showing off its wing span before it too became a blur. It swept down and connected with the woman’s face. To and fro, swing after swing her hand swung like a pendulum with the gun connecting every time in a sickening smack. Broken sounds of anguish came from the woman every time the gun touched her face. Twice, a cracking sound was heard. After the second cracking sound, she stopped, but still had a rabid look in her eyes. The woman’s head lolled to one side and Shekeeva pointed the bloody gun at Quadeem. Her vision still wasn’t clear and she realized it was because her eyes were full of tears.
“Why?” She was crying softly now. ” I loved you Quadeem. Like nobody else ever has or ever will. I put up with you because I understood you. I was faithful to you. I would do anything you ever asked me.” She wiped her face with her free hand and only succeeded in smearing blood across her face. “IM CARRYING YOUR FUCKING BABY NIGGA!!!” She stood up.
“It’s not true Keeva.” Quadeem tried his best to talk in a soothing manner. “I didn’t do-”
“You said you’d never lie to me!” She took a step towards him and lowered her voice. “You’re lying to me Quadeem.”
“Listen, Baby. Calm down.”
Before Quadeem could get another word out, Greg leapt, tackling Shekeeva from behind. The gun went off and Quadeem spun around with a grunt. The gun hit the ground at the same time Greg hit the ground on his back with Shekeeva on top of him. She was laying face up, limp and crying.

Rodney Fenner
DOC #1436377

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