A Portion from the work in Progress Father’s Shadow

Andre ran down Eastern Parkway, he ran until none of the buildings looked familiar to him, and then he stopped and stooped over breathing hard.

“Boi, you run fas for so,” The shadow said. Andre looked around; there was a bodega on the corner of the street. Some older boys were standing at the door. They looked over at Andre and started walking towards him. Andre looked at the shadow; its eyes were suddenly bright red. The boys walked up to Andre, 

“You lost little man?” One of them asked. Andre did not respond.

“Whats wrong homeboy can’t you talk?” The grease from the boy’s hair ran down his forehead leaving dark spots on his denim shirt.

“Why are you in our hood, you trying to move in on our turf?” the boy said advancing,

“I is just teking a walk,” Andre said, The boy looked at his friends.

“You one of them island boys?”


Where do you live young blood?”

“On Eastern Parkway,”

“You want to have some fun?”

“Don interfere wid me, I is a good fighter,” Andre said as he stepped back and raised his fists.  The boys laughed,

“Come on little man, you can hang with us,” the boy said and put his hands on Andre’s shoulder. They walked past the bodega and down a side street.

They arrived at an abandoned apartment building and went inside. As they walked by open doors Andre saw people lying on broken beds or mattresses on the floor. A young man sat scratching himself as if a colony of ants were crawling all over him. Some shook violently, cursing as they did,

“Wah wrong wid dem?” Andre asked

“They want the white ghost,”

“Eh?” Andre asked,

“They want crack,” the boy said. Andre followed them into an empty apartment with other boys and girls walking around aimlessly. They stopped and looked at him. .

“Who dat?” one of the girls asked,

“This here is island boy,”

“He cute,” the girl said,

“Back off crack whore,” The boy said pushing the girl away, she fell to the ground,

“Screw you G-money,” the girl said,

“Want to have some fun island boy?’ He asked as they sat down in a corner. G-money opened a cooler, dug around in it, then handed Andre a forty ounce beer bottle. Andre hesitated. The shadow eyes appeared next to him,

“Go on me boi, tek it, me, I is a rum man meself, but tek it, it go make you feel real good” Amdre took the bottle and took a drink,

“Ewww, dats nasty, Andre said, The Shadow snickered, its red eyes bounced up ands down. ”

“Keep drinking shorty, it will make you feel nice,” G Money said and tilted the bottle up towards Andre’s mouth. Andre coughs,

“Don want anymore,”

“Come on bro drink up,” G-Money insisted, as his friends laughed and chorused his encouragement.

“Yeah man live a little,” one of the girls said

“Like dey say, live a liccle,” the shadow said. Andre closed his eyes and tilted the bottle,

“Chug chug chug,” the boys and girls shouted.