A place beside the king, p.1

  A Place Beside the King, p.1

A Place Beside the King

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A Place Beside the King

  A Place BESIDE the King

  (A Novelette)



  Copyright © 2014 by Malik Will

  Published by AuthorCraft Publishing

  Copyright © 2014 by Malik Will

  All rights reserved. No part of this publication may be reproduced, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means, without prior written permission.

  AuthorCraft Publishing


  Publisher’s Note: This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places, and incidents are a product of the author’s imagination. Locales and public names are sometimes used for atmospheric purposes. Any resemblance to actual people, living or dead, or to businesses, companies, events, institutions, or locales is completely coincidental.

  This eBook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This eBook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each recipient. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to the seller and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

  Table of Contents

  Chapter One

  Chapter Two

  Chapter Three

  The Night

  Day One

  Day Two

  Day Three

  The Morning

  Chapter Four

  Chapter Five

  Chapter One

  Annalisa’s right leg taps against the wooden walls of the court bench, repeatedly. She sits, daydreaming about old times between her and him. Though he is now distant memory that she’s been chasing ever since. The world is cold. She imagines of having the power to change it. And if he would’ve asked for earth to be wholesome and white just for one day, she would’ve made the world so. But now, she can’t.

  The prosecutor, Josef Simonsky, a tall white man with a greyish toupee, rises to his feet. “Mrs. Deloney, do you remember the night your son passed away?”

  She affirms with a simple nod.

  “I need you to state it. Yes or no, for the jury, ma’am.”

  “Yes, I do.”

  “In your own words, can you tell the jury what happened?”

  She takes a deep breath, before looking at the face of the defendant. A brief stare until she looks down at her palms, moist and shaking. She closes her eyes for what she thinks is a moment. It becomes a minute.

  “Mrs. Deloney?” the prosecutor calls.

  She remains quiet and still, pretending as if this was only a dream.

  “Mrs. Deloney?”

  “Yes, sir?”

  “Do you remember the night in—”

  “I do remember,” she said.

  “Can you explain to the jury what happened?”

  “Yes, sir.”

  “Sweetz sat across from me on the living room couch. A sea of holes and scars blanketed his arms like a southern road. He was engrossed in the moment. His tongue was sandwiched between his teeth as it slightly prodded free. Above his elbow, he wrapped a leather belt around his arm and tightened. On the table across from him sat a plastic bag filled with this russet-colored powder, the same as the bottle of Schlitz it sat next to. His bare foot tapped against our floors, unbothered by all the dirt that surrounded him.”

  “You wanna know what I think?” he said to me as I sat across from him.

  “Go ahead. Tell me what you think,” I replied.

  His face was stamped with an ever-welcoming grin. He pulled a spoon from his pocket and placed that russet colored powder inside it.

  “Where is my light?” he asked.

  “Oh, I got it in my purse.”

  I called for my son as he watched cartoons in front of us. I felt a surge of joy for that little cheese ball while he watched the TV. I hesitated to even disturb him. But I did.

  “Malcolm, honey. Can you hand me my purse?”

  “Okay, Momma.” He got up and rushed into the other room.

  I turned back to Sweetz. “Oh, and what was you gonna say?”

  “What?” he said with this muddled look on his face.

  “You were about to say something about what you thought.”

  “Oh. I forgot.”

  My boy ran back with the purse and handed it to me. He went back to watching TV. I searched for the lighter as he skewered out two drippings of his saliva into the spoon and mixed it until the powder became thick.

  I handed him it to him. He took it and placed it underneath the spoon until the powder became a liquid.

  I asked him if he would share. But he refused. “Nah. You don’t need this here. It’s bad for ya.”

  “What you mean? You ain’t had no problems with me doing it before.”

  “That was when I thought you had brains enough not to get hooked on this shit. But now look at you! Suppose to be my bitch but yo ass worships another God. I don’t know even why I keep yo dumb ass around.”

  I begged him for it. I told him I earned it for all the work I did the day before. And that’s when things went sour. He looked at me and, like, I could see the devil in his eyes.

  “You worked for it, huh?”

  “Yeah, I did. I really did, Sweetz.”

  “Come work for it now.”


  “You heard me. Come work for it, bitch.”

  “Malcolm is right here,” I said. “I ain’t doing that in front of my son. Our son! Let’s wait till he goes to bed.”

  “He don’t know nothing about what’s going on. Now come here!”

  “Sweetz, why don’t we just, you know…relax? Enjoy your high, nigga.”

  “Who the fuck you talking to? Don’t tell me to fucking relax!”

  My boy took notice of the mood and was no longer focused on the television.

  I tried to calm him. “Its okay, honey. Daddy and I are just playing.”

  “Get on your knees!”

  “Sweetz! Come on! Stop it!”

  He jumped from his seat. “Bitch, I said, come here.” He grabbed my hair, pulling me violently from the couch.

  “Stop! Please, Sweetz! Why you doing this in front of our son!”

  He slapped me across the face. “Shut the fuck up, bitch! Don’t fucking speak! I didn’t tell you to speak!”

  My boy rose to his feet. “Mommy! Mommy!”

  I didn’t want him to see that. I didn’t want him to view his father in a bad way. “It’s okay, honey! Mommy and Daddy are just playing. We just playing is all.”

  “It don’t look like you’re playing,” he said.

  Sweetz unzipped his pants as he held me by my hair.

  “You gone rape me in front of our son, Sweetz? Is that what you gone do?”

  He struck me again. But this time, he punched me in the mouth, splitting my top lip in two. For good measure, he kicked me in the stomach, causing a bruise to form across me. My skin turned from bright yellow to black.

  My belly was stout and nudging through my blouse, full with another life. I clenched it.

  “Mommy! Mommy!” my boy screamed again.

  “Honey, it’s okay,” I said as blood dripped from my busted lips. “I told you everything is alright. Turn around and watch TV.”

  “But you’re hurt. Daddy, you hurt Mommy!”

  “Boy, sit yo dumb ass down before I stump it,” Sweetz screamed.

  “Malcolm, honey. It’s okay! Daddy was just playing. Watch TV now. Don’t look over here!”

  “No, I can’t Mommy!”

  “Malcolm, please son! Listen to Mommy for God sakes!”

  “Boy, I will knock the hell outta you!” scream
ed Sweetz. “Turn your ass around now!”

  “It’s okay, Sweetz. I’ll do it. He just a kid. He don’t know no better.”

  I stuck my hands inside his open zipper and pulled. His penis quickly erected. And my blood-covered mouth mattered none to him. Thus, I opened it and allowed him to enter.

  But my boy still stood there. His face confused and absent as I watched him from the corner of my eyes. “Leave her alone, Daddy! You gotta be nice to her!”

  Out of nowhere, Sweetz exploded. He pushed me back and dashed toward my boy.

  “No! No! Sweetz Leave him alone!”

  He picked him up by the shirt collar and tossed him across the room. His head indented the drywall as he hit, leaving a hole and a bloodstain. I tried to run to him, but Sweetz snatched my shirt, pulling me backwards to the floor.

  “Move again, bitch, and see what happens!”

  “But he’s hurt, Sweetz! He’s hurt!”

  “That nigga fine! Now shut the fuck up!”

  “No! Let me check on my son! Our son!”

  He punched me once again and gripped his hands around my throat.

  “O-kay!” I squealed. “O-kay.”

  With those words, he unclenched my throat and grabbed my hair once again. “Open your mouth,” he said.

  So I complied.

  As I watched his penis enter and exit repeatedly, my mind found itself tracing back to the day of the boy’s birth, five years before. I was only twelve. But I was proud that day. Seven pounds, six ounces.

  I named him after my great grandfather because I had heard all these great stories about him, and that’s what I wanted my son to be. I remembered crying both tears of grief and joy. The former because of his birth and the latter because I gave birth alone. No one bothered to show up. Not even Sweetz. And now my baby boy lay hurt on the other side of that room.

  I just wanted to finish. I thought nothing else, but to finish. I counted the seconds in my head and as each one passed, my tears doubled respectively until my knees lay soaked in a pool of them.

  After exactly eight minutes and 42 seconds, he released my hair from his fists. I spat away the residue of him from my mouth and hurried toward my son. “Wake up son. Wake up.”

  Sweetz, unmoved by his son’s welfare, pulled an old eroded syringe from his side pocket. He filled it with the liquid from the spoon and injected himself in the arm. “Oh yeah. You ain’t shit,” he said.

  I turned back to him, hoping he would say something that would make it all better. “What are you saying? He won’t wake up. Our baby won’t wake up!”

  “Shut up with all that noise bitch.”

  His words grew increasingly garbled. “You ain’t shit! That’s right! That’s what I wanted to say! You ain’t shit! You ain’t never was shit! And you ain’t gonna never be shit!”

  His high had kicked in. His eyes rolled into their sockets. He leaned back into his favorite chair, scratching every few seconds at a rash that never existed, as I waited for our son to regain consciousness.

  “Malcolm! Wake up! Wake up son! Please, Malcolm! Please wake up, son! Wake up! Wake up! Wake up!”

  Chapter Two

  Three months earlier

  The time was 12:05 a.m. Officer McCoy sat, stale faced, holding a pen and notepad as she sat on the other side of the table. Her mind was gone. It had been for some time now.

  “When’s my boy coming home?” she asked.

  The officer looked up, misty-eyed and confused. He stared through the one-way mirror in the wall to the right of him. “Ma’am, do you remember anything from the night of August 5th?”

  Annalisa stared back at him—her eyes, a yellowish brown, surrounded by rheum and open sores, her lips, chapped, as white as the base she snorts. “Where’s my boy?” she asked again.

  The officer scribbled into the notepad. “Mrs. Deloney, we have arrested Darious Carter.”

  “What you arrest Sweetz for?”

  The officer again looked through the one-way mirror.

  “What you arrest him for?”

  “Your son, Mrs. Deloney… He-he’s dead.”

  Her face swelled with agony as she tucked her bottom lip underneath the top. Her bright yellow skin transformed into a pinkish hue. Her eyes clamped closed underneath its lids just so no tears could escape it. To open them would be to the world. Then she would have to face it.

  “I’m sorry for your loss, ma’am.”

  Her head moved left to right, again and again, as if she was stuck in a bad dream.

  The officer was visibly troubled as he always is when a child is involved. His demeanor grew solemn as he looked toward the floor in a quiet tempest.

  She whimpered, pulling strips of her rose-colored hair from her scalp with one hand. In the other, she punctured her fingernails into her leg, scratching back and forth.

  The room had become too grave. Detective McCoy placed his notepad into his suit coat pocket. “Stay as long as you like.”

  He walked out of the interrogation room, leaving the door open. He walks to his desk beside another detective, Sandra Diaz—his partner for the last 12 years.

  “McCoy?” she called.


  “You alright?”

  “I just...I just don’t get it.”

  “Get what?”

  “What these people have in their heads to kill an innocent child.”

  “I don’t know, man. I just know every time I hear about something like this, I just wanna go home and give my children a big tight hug. Ya know?”

  McCoy looked to the floor. “I know. Me too.”

  Apologetic, detective Diaz placed her hands on his shoulders. “I’m sorry. I don’t know what I was thinking.”

  “No, it’s okay. It’s okay. I’m alright.”

  “How’s Susan doing?” she asked.

  “She’s…we are just trying to find our way back to how things used to be.”

  “You know I’m here for you if you need me, right?”

  “Yeah, I know. I know you are.”

  “Okay. Okay. What time is it?”

  “Past midnight.”

  “Oh damn. I gotta get out of here. My mom has the kids and Oscar says he feeling a little frisky tonight.”

  “Okay, that’s a little too much information for me.”

  She grabbed her coat and places it across her back.

  “Don’t be jealous! You know you like it, you hater.” She walked out the front door.

  “Drive safe!”

  “I will. And do me a favor, McCoy. Go home to your wife!”

  “I will. Don’t worry.”

  But he didn’t. A few minutes after leaning back in that swivel leather chair he is so fond of, he fell asleep, letting time pass until the wee hours of the morning. He was awakened by the pesky vibrations of his phone. Four voicemails and seven missed calls—all from Susan.

  He tossed his phone across the desk, tipping over a cup of coffee he placed there hours before. He searched his pockets for a napkin. A survey of his surroundings showed a vacant room. All the other detectives had gone home. The lights were all dimmed, except for a sprawling light that cascaded from the interrogation room.

  He walked toward the room. The closer he got, the whimpering sounds from a shattered heart became ever audible. At the foot of the door, he saw the young girl still there, heavy in mourning.

  “You’re still here?” he said.

  “I thought…I thought you said I could stay until I’m ready.”

  McCoy walked to the table where she sat and knelt beside her. “Do you have anywhere to go?”

  She cleaned the tears from her face with her palms. “Nowhere wanna I go.”

  “Well, where is that?”

  “What you mean?”

  “Where is the place you don’t wanna go?”

  She looked away. “Home.”

  “There ain’t nothing wrong with going home sometimes.”

  She turned to him and gawked into his walnut eyes. He looked
back into hers.

  “It’s late out. I can take you there if you want.”

  “Why are you being so kind?

  “Because if you were my little girl—alone, with nowhere to go—I’d want someone to help her too. C’mon.” He offered his hand to her.

  She was hesitant. He extended it even further until she grabbed it. There, he guided her to his cruiser.

  “Just tell me where,” he said.

  “Five points.”

  His brow raised a bit. He knew that place well. Sixty percent of the city’s murders took place there. An area that stretches only three miles long, gets its name from the five-way intersection that leads into it.

  On the ride there, she spoke no words. Just leaned her head against the tinted car window as he looked back through his rearview mirror, again and again.

  He arrived at the address she provided. There stood a slew of apartments that all seem to have more people outside than in them. Children playing, with no parents to watch them. Young men, in groups stationed at each corner, stood before lines of older men who looked much weaker and frailer.

  Women as young as twelve, scantily dressed, prowled up and down those very streets as several people yell to them. They called them names. Some even laughed. But the girls still smiled.

  Annalisa opened the car door. He offered to walk her up. She declined. But he insisted until she gave in. He checked his waist for his service piece. He removed the strap from his holster just for precaution. The dark streets were filled with only eyes that stare.

  The warning calls of young kids on rooftops shouted to the boys on the ground. “5-0, 5-0.”

  They walked up the steps to the front door. She hesitated. Her eyes were closed. Her face dead. Her hands trembling. He caressed her shoulder gently.

  It calmed her. She opened the door, slow. The house, stale, held several used needles around the floor with stains that blood left. Some hers, some not.

  She walked to the couch and sat. Near her foot, laid pieces of red hair. The same as hers.

  McCoy unsure what to say, remained mute.

  “You wanna have a seat?” she asked.

  “No. I can’t.”

  “Aint nobody gonna tell on you, officer.”

  “I can’t stay. And I don’t think you should either.

  “This is all I got,” she said.

  “No it ain’t.” He extended his hand to her once more.

  “What is it?”

  “I know a better place than this.”

  “Do you?”

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