Reader discretion is advised: This book contains depictions of rape and includes descriptions of extreme violence and sexuality.
…“Since we’ve secured the CitiRegus accounts in Accra, Ghana, your assets can be liquid and transferable in any amount within three business days. We guarantee a steady rise in your investments to the tune of $10 million US dollars in monthly compound interest.”
Everyone in the large executive board room applauded DeMarco as, the young, black and gifted completed his presentation with confidence and skill. Amongst the 16 men present were government financial analysts from Tokyo, the president and managing staff members of Qatar’s leading hedge fund and DeMarco’s wife Aisha, managing broker at PKT. They gathered in the large, opulent, executive suite of a 37 story building in the center of Lower Manhattan, belonging exclusively to the prestigious African-American investment firm Peyton, King and Thomas.
DeMarco watched the face of Richard Peyton, and his sienna-brown hands, as they rested gently on the padded, grand mahogany, boardroom table. It was apparent that Peyton was immensely pleased with the meeting’s outcome.
While the guests were greeting each other just before their departure, Peyton, a middle-aged Texan with amazingly thick, short, gray hair, reached out his sun-leathered hands to DeMarco. The undercover rodeo fanatic leaned toward him. “I knew we were making one of the best damn decisions in the history of this firm by hiring you. I must admit, when you did not land a deal with Ioyke Nguyen within the first 12 months, I did not think you ever would. But you were right – patience is a virtue, a multi-million dollar one!” He whispered with a thick Houstonian accent. “I’ve got to get back to Texas now. They just messaged me that we struck oil on one of the Nigerian goat ranches back home!”
DeMarco flashed perfect, white teeth at the old cowboy and cleared his throat. He stood, straightening his tie before politely thanking his new partners and bidding each guest farewell before turning them over to Aisha, who was responsible for kicking up the African-American southern charm and leading them to their company-appointed, fully-stocked, luxury helicopters, which were waiting on the roof of the building.
As each person prepared to depart for either their hotel rooms or John F. Kennedy International, Aisha slipped from the crowd to her successful husband and murmured in DeMarco’s ear, “You got some big fishes this time.” Her softly-painted, sculpted lips lightly brushed his cheek promising more to come at the appropriate time.
Aisha glanced at DeMarco’s marred cheek and frowned, “I am going to make you an appointment tomorrow to see a dermatologist. You need to get that looked at.”
She pointed to the darkening, lightening-shaped gash on the right side of his face, then turned and rushed back to her charges.
DeMarco’s hand moved involuntarily to his face, but he was in no mood to deal with that right now. He had been cultivating the relationship with these leading Japanese and Qatarian investors since the mid 2000s.
Mr. Nguyen was well known amongst the upper echelon of international money changers with a reputation of being the man who was really in charge of the country of Japan. He had been a tough nut to crack, but was instrumental in facilitating a relationship between the Qatarians and PKT. Now DeMarco was dreaming about untapped potential behind the Great Wall of the Red Dragon and the Dragon’s brother in Peru….
…Scurrying, bushy-tailed squirrels rushed to their tree houses with stuffed cheeks as night fell over McKenzie Park. Located two blocks from the condo, DeMarco enjoyed evening jogs there just before returning home for a steamy shower that usually put him right to sleep.
To his left, a young father chased his toddler who resisted returning home for the evening. The young pixie-like mom stood back cheering them on, causing the child to believe he had a running chance to escape inside a bush.
The smoggy texture of New York night air filled DeMarco’s lungs as his crosstrainers pounded the pavement in a rhythmic procession of intention. Tonight for the first time in days, he allowed himself to ponder his own mother’s words. Initially and even now he had decided to ignore the news and to act as if nothing had been said. No one would be affected by his silence, or so he thought.
The man that reared him, John Thomas, had been good to him. He was the one who sparked the interest that resulted in DeMarco’s investment career, giving him $50 to invest in penny stocks at the age of ten.
“Black people have spent to much time spending money, and not enough time growing it,” he had said.
With that, he had coached DeMarco in stock market research and the man opened an online investment subaccount, which led to DeMarco receiving his first dividend check, under his dad’s subaccount and tutelage. His dad did not make a move in that account unless directed by DeMarco. He loved his dad, and besides, there was too much going on at the office to ponder this now – it would have to wait.
Zrogen glided overhead, watching the man who was deep in thought. DeMarco was a strong, courageous, young man, intent on obtaining any prize he set his mind to. The Astral-Human guide eavesdropped on DeMarco’s thought waves, unable to identify with the mixed emotions about the adoption.
Zrogen had been created, and at this point it did not matter by whom – the only thing that mattered is that he had to prove his worth on his own.
Out of the corner of Zrogen’ vision, he saw a hooded figure running a few paces behind DeMarco, but keeping up with him, nonetheless.
DeMarco stopped for just a second to bend over and take a breath, resting his hands on his knees. He had been running faster than usual, without realizing it, and his lungs were burning, but in his mind, he had to continue. It was the only way to clear his thoughts for a restful night. During this time, the hooded figure jogged in place not too far behind, both hands in his pockets.
Couples and picnickers gathered their blankets and other belongings with quiet chatter as night fell over the city of Manhattan. Lone mama birds, carrying a dinner of worms and bugs, rushed back to nests filled with open beaks to feed.
Usually DeMarco would head home at about this time, but tonight he needed to be free. He wanted to run until all of his strength was depleted, and there was no more left in him. Only then could he enjoy the state of dreamlessness that he so craved.
Abruptly, he turned the corner, heading off the jogger’s trail, underneath a stony overpass near the creek that ran through the middle of the park. The hooded figure picked up speed, closing the distance between DeMarco and himself. Zrogen injected strongly into DeMarco’s thoughts, “Listen!”
As DeMarco ran into the dark entryway, his intense thought pattern was broken, and he noticed the pounding of running feet behind him. Instinctively, he turned towards the sound of the fast approaching footsteps that splashed through water, which had collected under the small bridge.
Striking without warning, the six foot tall, hooded figure pulled a large, heavy stone out of his pocket and made a flash attempt to smash DeMarco’s skull in the dimly lit darkness within the cold, grafitti’d walls.
Almost without thinking, and with a mighty strength he did not know he possessed, DeMarco grabbed the stranger’s arm and slammed him easily against the stone side of the underpass.
The stranger, taken aback by his supposed victim’s overwhelming power, struggled uselessly to free himself from DeMarco’s iron grip in order to escape. His intended victim seemed taller up close and appeared to be growing larger than life in front of him.
Before DeMarco could catch himself, his free hand balled into a fist that turned deadly, slamming into and breaking the nose of his assailant with powerful force. He then channeled his rage, confusion and frustration around the man’s neck, cutting off any breath that tried to enter or leave the stranger’s body.
“Release him!” Zrogen boomed in a loud voice.
DeMarco came to himself and released the stranger, rising to his feet while the hooded gangster lay on the ground choking on blood, gurgling and grabbing his own neck.
His unseen hood friends watched in horror behind distant shrubbery at this robbery gone wrong.
DeMarco towered over the young man, feet spread apart and firmly planted in water on the paved surface. “Get the fuck out of here, and if I catch you at this park again, you will leave in a body bag!” He said through clenched teeth.
Filled with terrifying fear the young criminal stumbled to his feet and sprinted backwards, finally turning to run full speed in the opposite direction of where DeMarco had been headed.
DeMarco watched the wounded man run out of sight then crumpled to the ground, placing his head between his bent knees. He breathed in deep heaves finally looking up and placing the palm of his right hand against his forehead. He noticed his hands were wet. He looked at them in the light of the walkway lamp. They were coated in his brother’s blood.
Shocked back into reality by the trail of blood, DeMarco jumped up, his heart thumping unapologetically in his chest. He bent to clean his hands quickly in a small puddle of water, drying them on his sweat shirt, then wiped his mouth with his arm while checking around for onlookers.
Fortunately, there were none.
Seconds later he jogged out of the tunnel and into the moonlight as if nothing had happened, accompanied by the cobblestone sidewalk lighting in the park. He was soaked with sweat, still trembling, but not from fear, from the remaining rage that still coursed through his veins in wild, electrical currents.
For the first time Zrogen wondered if he was supposed to protect DeMarco from the people, or the people from DeMarco…
…Monk walked swiftly down the main street of town, his shoulders slightly hunched with both hands in his tight jean pockets. Fall had definitely set in, influencing his gait as he passed a few college-age kids. An unkind wind whistled past his ears leaving them cold and pink. Chilly fingers turned up the collar of his jacket, then he stuffed his white, frozen hands in the pockets of his faded, brown leather garment, which needed a good cleaning. Rough fingers caressed the revolver he had safely tucked inside.
A couple of sorority girls giggled, swinging their long hair from side to side in a show for the group of frat brothers that accompanied them. They walked, oblivious to Monk and appeared to be headed toward the park for a late night of guitar music under the moon.
Despite cool weather, the girls were scantily clad in skimpy clothing in an effort not to return to their dorm rooms alone.
Monk looked over to one of the old pine trees and saw a young couple half naked under a blanket, fucking like rabbits in the spring. They definitely don’t look like they have any money to spare. He thought.
One of the young, blonde guys with the larger group broke off to pick up beer for his immature comrades.
“Here man. Let me go with you. It’s kinda dark out there,” one of the older frat brothers said.
“No, I got it,” the younger blond replied trying to impress the girls. “I’ll be right back. Beer for the guys, fruity coolers for the ladies,” the naive first year student said and sprinted off toward his destination.
Bingo, Monk thought as he followed the young man who wore $500 sneakers, keeping a good distance between them, yet close enough to pounce once given the opportunity.
In a thoughtless move, the boy decided to take a short cut between two buildings. Monk skipped into a silent jog. Within seconds, the black revolver in Monk’s pocket was removed and slammed against the flesh on the side of the young man’s temple, causing him to fall in a rain puddle in the middle of the gutter.
“WAIT!” The young man cried out, half dazed. “You can have everything. Take my watch, my phone, whatever you want!”
By this time, blood was gushing from his head, as were tears from his terror-filled eyes. The man attacking him looked caucasian, but appeared large and dark in the moonlight.
Monk remained silent, roughly covering the boys mouth, driving a knee into a specific area in the small of his back. The boy immediately stopped moving, temporarily paralysed. Monk stood and stomped the kid’s head, as if he really needed to.
The seasoned criminal acted quickly and efficiently, taking the young man’s watch and wallet, dropping all the IDs on the ground near the student’s feet.
There were three, crisp, one hundred dollar bills folded neatly inside the new leather wallet.
Monk grunted, still primally intoxicated and trembling from the thrill of the hunt.
Satisfied with his prize, he stuffed the money in his pocket, tossed the wallet and quickly turned to go to the local sandwich shop to buy salami sandwiches for his friend and himself. He paused a moment, having a brief flashback of his days in prison.
Monk, blood still coursing wildly through his blue veins, turned back to the young unconscious college kid. He swiftly knelt down, ripping the boy’s pants from his cold buttocks. The boy had peed on himself during the ordeal with Monk and somehow the smell of someone else’s urine turned Monk on. Savagely, he pulled his swollen penis from his pants to relieve himself inside the boy’s large intestine — something he’d promised himself he’d never again do after the judge had let him out of prison, because he’d looked like the judge’s son.
Unfortunately, Monk hardly ever kept his promises – not even to himself…