Blood Shot

I’ve been in Blogsome Bay for a while now. Seen a lot. From heavenly bodies to the body of my love after her soul had left for heaven—it’s been a crazy experience.

I’ve seen a dude almost drown, and a bitch almost die from mosquito bites. I’ve been shot at, beat up, drugged, starved, almost killed in the trunk of a car, locked up, sexed, rendered light-headed by bad breath, ridiculed and even mistaken for James Blake at the local Sav-Mart.

So I’ve seen a lot while here in Blogsome. But never—here or anywhere else in life—had I seen someone killed in cold blood like I saw Angela killed by Barnes. One shot, right to the temple. A sharp, concise shot. It was so on point, it didn’t even splatter any blood on me, and I was less than five feet away.

I must be numb to it all, because I didn’t even flinch. I just waited to see what Barnes was going to do next. His chest heaved as he ordered his men to move the body to the next room, never taking his eyes off me. “Take her,” he said, with all the emotion of a stone. “Make sure she’s dead.”

There was no doubt about that. She never screamed. Never flinched. Just fell in a heap next to me. As soon as his men were gone, he spoke to me in measured tones, trying to get inside my head.

“I did you a favor, Mason. You know that, right?” His face broke into a huge smile. “That bitch had wrong in her heart. She says she was gonna off Andrew, but don’t you think you’d be next?”

What the fuck, I thought before responding, “What would make me think I’m not next right now?”

Barnes’ smile turned into a full-out belly laugh. “Good one, Mr. Mason,” he said between guffaws. “Seriously, if I wanted you dead, you’d be dead already. You are merely bait to lure your father here. Once he’s taken care of, I’ll set you free.”

“How do you know I’d let you get away with killing my father?” I asked. I mean, it wouldn’t have made a difference to me either way, since I’d erased him from my life. But still, I had to know.

“You don’t care about him anymore. Not after he sent you to a strange town and let you get pummeled and drugged. You remember that beat down, don’t you, Mason? I know my boys remember it well,” he said, turning to his men for recognition. “Plus, once you found out why he really sent you away, I knew that was it for you. I knew he was dead to you.”

“Not quite dead yet,” said a voice from outside the door. The voice was familiar, but I swear, I didn’t need anymore surprises.

“Show yourself!” Barnes yelled, gun drawn.

“Gladly, muthafucka!”

It was my father. What the fuck was this nigga doing, with his old ass? Did he call himself saving me? Or was he really here for little Miss Sunshine? If so, I’d gladly tell him that his little Sun wouldn’t be shining no more.

But I never got the chance. As soon as he entered the room and began to utter a word, Barnes shot him once in the chest. My father dropped to his knees, gasping for air, all the while trying to make eye contact with me.

I stared at him as he fell and, at that moment, didn’t know what to feel. Sure, I hated him for everything he’d done, for everything he stood for. But seeing him struggling for breath didn’t supply me with the glee I’d imagined. All it did was send a chill through my body.

Barnes made sure I was snapped back to reality as he stood over my father like a jackal stands over his prey. One more shot straight to the temple, at point-blank range, and the struggle was over. My father, the man that gave me life, and then took it away, was gone. Dead. And I was speechless. All those times I’d thought about doing it didn’t compare to seeing it done.

As his other two boys ran back into the room, guns flailing, Barnes turned to me with a crazed look. “See that, Mason? See how I looked out for you AGAIN? That’s what you call revenge, muthafucka,” he said, while whirling around and spitting in the blood that flowed from my father’s warm body. “That’s what you call payback! You kill my mentor, I kill you. Bitch.”

His eyes were glossed over, as if actually fulfilling the mission he’d worked so long and hard preparing for had finally sent him over the edge. I kept one eye on his gun as my other eye followed two of his boys as they meticulously strapped on rubber gloves and cleaned up the mess that was my dad.

“Mason, LOOK AT ME! I’m trying to tell you something, brotha!” Barnes had my full attention. “I’m trying to tell you that life is a bitch. And then you die. Just like your father was a bitch, and then he died.” The smile from earlier returned to his face as his eyes widened. “Guess who else is a little bitch, Mason?”

His gun was pointed directly at my head. I literally stared down the barrel of his glock, no praying, no yelling. Still numb.

“What happened to you setting me free?” is all that escaped my lips.

“Yeah, you’re right,” Barnes replied as his finger itched to pull the trigger. “Well, the freedom I had in mind was based more on a freedom from having to worry about turning me in. It was more figurative. Killing you to help you achieve that freedom? Literal.”

One shot. Then another. Then two more in rapid succession. For the second time in less than ten minutes, I thought I was dead. Until I saw Barnes drop at my feet. And then looked to the left and saw his boys fall like dominoes.

All I could do was tremble. Shake as if I’d seen my life flash before my eyes. But I hadn’t. I couldn’t, after I’d seen two of my blood shot right in front of me. I had nothing left.

Nope, it wasn’t my life that was in front of me. As I looked up, it was a tall figure all dressed in black, and an odor that was all too familiar.

“Mason. You okay, my light-skinned brotha?”