by JD Leven
The rise from a child to a Chicago druglord, in the notorious Austin neighborhood.
| For a split second, Apache couldn't feel the pulverizing dents the belt buckle left on his back. He griped the crown of his head with his wirey hands and tucked his chin to his chest. He tensed all his limbs, pulling his knees up to his stomach without thinking, as if to mimize the area that could be bitten by the buckle. But for just a moment he let go and felt nothing. He thought of nothing, and the pain had disappeared. For that split second he was not scared, angry, or throbbing in pain. He thought to himself half-truthfully, that maybe he had just died, but then as if to thurst him back down to the brittle crust of the earth, the buckle sunk its jaws into Apache's backside. Thoughts of his young sister, and the way his mother used to be, and even the ghost-like recollection of his father filled his mind as the pain rushed back into his body. He could hear again. He heard his mother wailing, screaming at the top of her lungs, and it only made him angrier. He thought, how dare she, this bitch has kept this monster around, making excuses for him, giving him their food, their home, leaving his gin-stink all over, and now she wants to defend her son? "Fuck her", he thought. |
He knew his mother didn't like violence, but she wasnt gonna turn her back on the man keeping her addiction fed. Apache knew that tomorrow, as long has she got her fix, his mother would never mention this incident again to the monster, or her son. "What are you, some fuckin' crybaby! I thought you were a toughguy!" bellowed the monster to Apache's battered and exposed back.
His hands and forearms began to quiver as he continued to grib his unpicked hair, digging his fingers into a scalp. "Don't you eevahh steal my newports......(the monster raised the thick hide belt and cocked back his arm).....AGAIN!", and the monster released his anger into one final blow into Apache's beaten body.
Apache lay there, on the dirty kitchen floor, with his face tucked under the light, rickety table next to the refridgerator. He could smell the dried ketchup permiating from the corner of the floor. He could feel the floor rattle and shake as the monster put on his work boots and stomped out of the apartment. He felt exhaused, he wanted to fall asleep where he laid. His mother's moaning hand long since stopped. He heard nothing. He did not hear his sister, Tina. He heard the wind blowing under the backdoor. His mother had told Mr. Chalmers weeks ago about the door, but Apache could still feel the wind inside. It was cold and startling, but it felt good on his throbbing back. He thought of Tina, and quickly rose to his feet. He walked out of the kitchen, passed his mother who was silent as a mouse in the front room, the trail of tears still lingered on her face. He ran up the stairs and grabbed his black akademics tee with the image of Tupac on the front with the phrase "only god can judge me" across the back. He threw the shirt over his battered body, concealing the blood on his undershirt from his sister. He hobbled to the end of the hall, and knocked on her door. "Tina, you aight?" Apache turned the broze colored knob and entered the silent room. He looked at Tina, huddled on the corner of her bed, grasping her Dora the Explorer backpack. She sat there like a statue on her lavendar sheets, refusing to look at Apache. "Tina!" yelled Apache, and she looked up to him. "Tina, you are gonna be late for class, we gotta go." Apache reached his hand out to his sister.
"Where is Daddy?" said Tina.
"He's not our daddy Tina, he's just a man. Get your hat, lets go." Tina scooted towards the edge of her bed and reached both hands out for Apache to take her. Apache grabbed her and lifted her int the air. In a joking voice "get ya hat you little mcnugget". This made Tina smile, as it was what Apache affectionately called her when she wore her puffy winter coat. Apache grabbed his bomber jacket, and the two were out the door. Apache's mother ran to the door and yelled to the two.
"Apache! Keep your sister safe!" Tina looked back at the mother, but Apache only walked faster, with his sister in hand.