Twelve p.m. Pone picked up stick on Sharon road.
“I’m hungry as a mother fucker,” said Stick.
Stick being hungry was nothing new since he usually had food along with black women on his
“Where does it go?” asked Pone.
Stick flashed a canine smile. “Maybe I got a tape worm.”
“And you cool with that?”
“Where do the two of you want to go?” asked Pone.
Pone hated eating lunch with Stick because he was so peculiar about restaurants. If it was
Chinese or Japanese, the place better had Asians only preparing the food. Pone took him to
Taco Bell once, and the string bean man promptly said hell no when he saw all blacks. In his
mind which was something Pone never wanted to enter, what the hell do blacks know about
making Mexican food? Stick walked out of a Sub-Way shop claiming Latinos couldn’t make
him a proper sub sandwich. Pone was convinced that the owner was Latino and Stick thought he
needed to hire more white people. Any place that served fried chicken whether it was a hole in the
wall like Chicken King or commercial establishments: Kentucky Fried Chicken, Bojangles,
Churches, and Popeye’s, he didn’t care as long as he saw plenty of blacks handling the chicken.
He loved soul food joints mainly because of the culture, but the man was not a racist. Stick loved
big boned black women, but settled for smaller ones from time to time and they loved him.
“Decided yet?” asked Pone.
“In the mood for some fried chicken.”
Pone sighed. “Kentucky fried chicken it is.”
“You black and don’t love chicken, damn,” said Stick.
“Don’t care for Watermelon and Red Kool-Aid either.”
Both men laughed. They arrived at the king of fast food chicken located on Freedom drive.
Stick had his tray of food while Pone was empty handed when they sat at a table neat the back.
“I’m eating alone?” asked Stick.
Pone snorted. “Fine if it will make you feel better I’ll get one of those bowls they make.”
“You sure you black?”
“Till the day I die.”
Pone returned to the table with his chicken, gravy, cheese, corn, and mashed potato bowl. While
Stick boned his chicken, Pone examined his meal with a frown.
“It’s food in case you’ve forgotten,” said Stick.
“It’s supposed to be pop-corn chicken,” remarked Pone.
Stick shrugged. “Looks like chicken to me.”
“They cut up a breast and mixed it within.”
“I fail to see the problem,”
“The pop-corn chicken is supposed to be on top and … “ Pone shoved the bowl to Stick, and
he dove right in.
“You met with Brown,” Stick faced sown in the bowl. “Why not Rudenbaugh?”
“The enemy of my enemy is not my friend.”
“The other might get jealous,” said Stick.
“You can get cut playing with a double edge sword.”
“You trust one guy, but not the other?”
“I trust you,”
Stick blushed. “What can I do you for?”
Stick was freelance, but still recruited hard by Rudenbaugh and company. He turned down
the invitation to join because he felt he could make more money being a free agent, but with his talent,
he was still in high demand.
“I need information,”
“You expect me to go where you can’t to get it? You do know they really don’t like me.”
“You can only say no but so many times.”
Stick flashed a ghoulish grin. “How can I Help?”
There were times Stick gave Pone the chills especially when he flashed those canine teeth. It
was bad enough looking into those eyes; yellow iris, and black pupils. Pone could only imagine
the horror his victims faced before their death looking into Stick’s eyes.
“I know you can be straight with me.”
Stick nodded. “Heard about the hits. Need a shadow?”
“Just need you to ask around … you still go people?”
“Where you going with this, Pone?”
Pone connected with Stick over a bar fight, but not with each other. Some of the locals didn’t
warm up Stick’s bizarre looks and Stick being human took all the insults he could take and fist were
thrown. Stick was outnumbered and Pone knew how it felt to be picked on about a condition that was
not your fault. He had Alopecia, but he didn’t know what the hell Stick’s condition was, but all
he knew was the odds were not in Stick’s favor so he joined in on the raucous. When the smoke
cleared they were the last men standing and became friends.
“I think some outside talent took out those kids and then again they might not have always
been on the outside, know what I mean?”
Stick nodded. “You talking about outcast after getting caught and going inside the joint.”
“Can you help?”
“I know some people in the pen.”
“A lot of information are locked up inside.”
“A library under lock and key.” Stick finished off the the chicken bowl. “ Sometimes some
information seeps through the cracks.”
“Now you feeling me.” said Pone.
“Yeah … got a cousin who loves it inside, don’t ever want to get out. I’ll hook up with him.
Might take a day or two.”
“The quicker the better,”
Stick downed his coke. “Got your back.”