The Taco Bell Heist


R and N rated - Editor

by Robb White

Odraye Maybon Dremel IV was poorer than a shithouse rat and that was the entire problem and story of his life. Out in the street he was called OD and wore his Levi’s below his buttocks so that his paisley boxer shorts were exposed to every passing car on Station Avenue; he wore extra-large white T-shirts like all his boys and kept his do-rag wrapped so the two ends flopped like tiny rabbit ears over the middle of his face. He woke up late, spent his mornings watching cartoons, his Moms had the satellite dish, courtesy of his dope-slinging cousin Venard.

The front door to the house was canted at a crazy angle–also thanks to his cousin, who happened to be running full tilt when he collided with it, and it just happened there were two white boys—cops—a half-step behind him, panting, batons and titanium flashlights at the ready, hoping to be able to get close enough to Venard so they could lay a couple good licks on him. That was some motherfucker, he smiled. He liked telling the story, had all them ass-scratching crimeys laughing. They could laugh, too, because big, tough Venard, down on the river in the state lockup, wasn’t around to do anything about it. Three weeks after busting through Odraye’s front door, Venard shot a cop in the face off 38th Street because of a warrant over some stupid traffic beef. Now he had a death penalty on him. Too bad but fuck him; what did he ever do but push weed, buy stolen satellite dishes, and make babies?

Odraye was a father, too, and that was a big part of the problem; his baby’s momma was on him all the time about money now–money for clothes, money for food, money for toys–but shit, he had to live too, didn’t he?

Truth was, Odraye was worried. He had to make an appearance every day, he had to represent. Time was, you didn’t see fifteen, twenty youngbloods his own age hanging out on the corners in the middle of the day like this. Money was tight. Niggers from Cleveland, niggers from Erie, even niggers from Youngstown where the goddamned dago mafia was still supposed to be in charge–it all made for one combustible lifestyle in Odraye’s hood. His boy Marquis got hisself all fucked up, too. His girl Tangela having a baby, and he ain’t got money either so he walks into a bank with a note and a toy gun and gets himself a fifteen-to-life bid at the state pen in Youngstown.

Odraye missed the feeling of power from his high-school days when he and his boys ruled the corridors, took money from the white punks, and had all the blonde pussy they could handle. During football season when his body, taut with muscle after those brutal two-a-days, sprinted down the sidelines, and he imagine every female in the stadium watching him with desire. Venard had been quarterback when he was a sophomore and they were both all-city, all-county. Their TD hookups always made the sports pages. Venard’s momma was white, which gave him a tan complexion. Odraye mocked him one time for having black freckles splashed across his nose and cheeks like Morgan Freeman–but his cousin showed him why nobody ever messed with him over that mulatto shit. He looked slow, his eyes half-shut. Then he hit Odraye under his heart with a right uppercut that left him nauseated for an hour. While he lay there gagging on the sidewalk, he could hear laughter, someone had even called him a bitch.

The glory days were gone, long gone.

Odraye looked out the curtain at the street. “Slingers, bank-robbing fools and death-row bitches—all we got in this family,” he whispered to himself.





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