Lessons from TCU (The Corner University)

Submitted into Contest #105 in response to: Write your story from the perspective of a side character.... view prompt



Me, Boodle, Dirty Money, Mongrel, Fatback and Rocket Man, were all chilling on the corner of Kerr and 9th Blvd. Rocket Man was on the phone talking to Dollarz; telling him that the new foot soldiers better be ready by Thursday afternoon. A fly shorty wearing a green and yellow Allen Iverson basketball jersey, black Nike leggings, and a pair of Dark Mocha Jordan 1 Retro's, came walking up and says she's looking for somebody.

"Hey which one of you is rocket man?" shorty asked.

"Who wants to know?" I say.

"I don't have time for games. I need to know who rocket man is and where I can find him," she says.

Rocket Man keeps talking on the phone like he ain't hear nothing.

"Don't nobody know you squawk. You just bustin up on me and my crew asking questions and making demands. Roll out," I tell her.

"My NAME is Kenze. So now you know me arrright? " she says all smart.

"What you want with rocket man any way?" I ask her.

She says, "I got to tell him something."

"Like what?" I ask.

Rocket Man is sitting on a broke down barber chair somebody drug out here. He slap boxing with Fatback.

"None of your business that's what," shorty shot back.

"Ok squawk if I see him I'll be sure not to tell him you looking for him," I say.

Everybody laughs. She rolls her eyes and crossed her arms.

"Look it's about his sister Ra'nesha," she says.

Rocket Man jumps up and gets in her face and says, "Suh. What about my sister?" Rocket Man don't play about his sister. He's very protective of her.

Rocket Man and Ra'nesha mom, Melanie, is a 'hophead'. Melanie started doing drugs in her teens. She started with weed and smoked it every day with her friends. Then her friends turned her on to speed and ecstasy. She started taking speed all the time except when she got pregnant with them. She and her jades used to boost from the mall a lot too.

When Rocket Man turned four she was arrested for shoplifting out of Baby Gap. She had to go to drug and alcohol counselling. For a while she stopped messing with drugs, but not for very long. Maybe about a year is all. She started smoking weed again and started taking ice. Her mama always had Rocket Man and Ra'nesha cuz Melanie was always out clubbing and hanging out getting high. She got arrested again for boosting; but this time the judge gave her jail time and took her kids from her.

Ra'nesha and Rocket Man went into foster care cuz they grandma had died by then. The system tried to separate them but Rocket Man wasn't tryna hear it. He used to see how the dudes looked at his sister. As a lil dude he swore wasn't nobody gonna molest his sister; that he would always protect her.

Since they grown up now; they live different lives but they still real close. Rocket Man stay on his grind. He went from foot soldier to a lieutenant in seven years. He good at gettin paper. He always telling us the key to success is never discuss cheese with rats, talk bread with birds, or make moves with snakes. Ra'nesha...she went to nursing school and she a RN at Irving King Hospital.

Shorty stepped back and said, "You ain't gotta be all in my face."

"Start talking squawk," he growled.

"Your sister sent me to come and get you. She's having some problems with a 'dexter stan' from her job," shorty said.

"You know how Ra'nesha is she don't like hurting nobody's feelings. So she went out to the movies with dude cuz he kept asking. He told her he wanted her to come back to his crib when the movie was over. She said he kept trying to rub up on her butt while they were standing in line. Then in the movies he kept trying to feel on her. She finally got mad and dumped her popcorn and Sprite on him and walked out," shorty tells him.

"Since then he's been butt hurt and salty. He always tryna get her in trouble at work. He stay stalking her on her IG. Ra'nesha called off work last Thursday to go and chill with me and some of our home girls in Puerto Rico. Only thing is she lied to her supervisor and told her she had a family emergency. That she had to go to Memphis to take care of it.

Dude got some pics of all of us having a great time while we was in Puerto Rico, and, now he's threatening Ra'nesha saying she better be nice and go out with him again. Plus he wants 'friends with benefits' status anytime he wants or else he gonna tell her supervisor and send the pics as proof. He told her she had to give him an answer by 6 p.m. today," shorty explains.

"That's why I'm here. She knows that jerk be following her and she didn't want him to see you and your crew so he can tell her that he'll snitch on ya'll to get her to do what he wants," shorty finishes.

When Rocket Man starts sniffing and grabbing his nose while shaking his head that mean he about to go ham.

He gone look at me and say, "we gotta ride". He gone leave Dirty Money in charge till we finished.

We gone go ova to his auntee Robin's house go down in the basement and get some 'dezzies' and some other stuff we need.

"Crenshaw we gotta ride," Rocket Man says to me. "Dirty Money you keep a eye on thangs til we get back."

"Where this dude at?" he asks shorty.

"Ra'nesha said he lived close to the movie theaters on Parker Blvd," shorty tells him.

"Ok shorty thanks fo the info. Tell my sister I got her hundo p trill," Rocket Man says. Rocket Man throws up his signature lieutenant sign. We answer back by throwing up our set sign.

We jump in my Madza Miata and go over to his auntee Robin's house. We get our 'dezzies' then ride over to Parker Blvd.

Rocket Man text Ra'nesha and asked her what did ole boy drive. She text back a Silver 2019 Toyota Camry. Next he called Dollarz and told him to get some foot soldiers on GPS duty.

 A hour later we sitting outside Shelbyville Villa. Boodle brought me a 95 Ford Taurus from the spot and took my Miata back to my granny's house.

After about 25 minutes we see ole boy headed to his car. We pull down our mask and peel out fast; drive over and crash into his car just as he's about to reach it.

Rocket Man jumps out and points a Glock 19 in dudes face.

"Get in," he yells. I already let the passenger seat down and I'm sitting in the back on the drivers side.

"Please, please, don't hurt me. What do you want?" dude says.

"Shut up playboy," I say as I duct tape his chest to the seat. Then I zip tie his hands together and get his phone and wallet. I shove a tennis ball in his mouth and slap duct tape over it.

"Ambitionz AZ A Ridah' by Tupac is playing on repeat. Rocket Man ain't saying nothing; just driving. We drive for a good 45 mins and right before we get to the city limits we dip off left onto a dirt road. We drive for about four miles and cut the engine.

I cut dude loose from the seat and drag him out of the car.

Dude is crying and choking on the tennis ball.

Chauncey shows up five minutes later. Chauncey is Rocket Man's cousin. He also a third year IT tech. He takes the phone from me and over rides dudes security and wipes all his social media accounts then he fries the phone with a blow torch... our version of a hard reset.

Chauncey leaves. Usually Rocket Man will let me, his main mans, have a little fun, but, like I told ya he don't play about his sister. So he handles ole boy himself. He puts on a pair of gloves. He sits dude up against a tree. Then he stands with his left Timberland in dudes crouch his hands behind his back .

"You know a shorty by the name of Ra'nesha?" he ask.

Dude starts whimpering.

"Shake ya head yes or no?" Rocket Man tells him.

Dude shakes his head yes.

"Heard you went out with her, is that right?"

Dude shakes his head yes. His face is wet and snotty. "Ya'll had a good time?" Rocket Man asks.

Dude don't reply. He just looks down and keeps on crying.

"Well she told me she didn't have a good time. In fact she told me you acted very ungentlemanly and kept on acting that way.

So she dumped her popcorn and soda on you and left."

"Says now you threatening her with some pics tryna have her fired off her job and make her do thangs she don't wanna do. Still not acting like a gentleman. Is that right?"

Dude don't respond. Rocket Man stomps in his crouch and dude wimpers louder.

"I said is that right?" Dude shakes his head yes.

Rocket Man reaches down and removes the tennis ball and stuffs the Glock 19 in dudes mouth real quick.

"What's this dudes name?" he ask me.

I read his driver's license. "Jordon Croft," I say.

"Ya mama still alive? You got sisters, auntee's, female cousins?" Rocket Man ask him.

"Yes,"he croaks.

"Would you like it if some dirty dog dude was messing with them like you doing to Ra'nesha, huh,?" he ask.

"Who gone take care of yo mama after you gone Jordon? Do you have life insurance?" Rocket Man says.

"No....come on man ...come on please, please, don't do this," he begs his voice garbled because of the gun in his mouth.

"Ok. I might be nice this one time. However there's some thangs you gotta do. Before six p.m. you gotta bring all your electronic devices ova to my man Gordon Frost spot on Deleware Ave. and have them wiped.

Then tomorrow you gotta send Ra'Nesha some flowers with an apology note." Rocket Man says.

"Ok, ok, yes ,yes .... I will I swear I will," Jordon cries.

Rocket Man slaps his face. "Good to hear my man."

"If I hear Ra'nesha has anymore problems from you. Imma come see you and next time Imma hit ya with a '6 banger' til I get tired. Ya feel me?" Rocket Man tells him.

"Yes..I, I, I won't. I mean she won't," Jordon stutters.

Cee...Put em to sleep.

I smile. Looks like I get to have some fun after all. Nite nite Jordon.

July 31, 2021 19:32

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Michael Martin
04:13 Aug 09, 2021

I can't explain why but I really enjoyed reading this. The vernacular, dialect, etc... made it even more interesting. I could see what was coming (though you kept us guessing as to whether he'd live through it or not so that kept the suspense up a bit), but the way this was written kept me interested throughout.


Andrea Magee
08:21 Aug 09, 2021

Thank you! I'm glad you liked it. It was fun to write.😊


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Gip Roberts
20:09 Aug 05, 2021

Talk about a story that grew on me as I read! I love all the nicknames of the characters and the wording choice with all the slang. It made it different from what I'm used to reading. The line: "Since then he's been butthurt and salty" to describe the aftermath of Ra'Nesha dumping popcorn over Jordon's head was hilarious. What I loved the most was seeing Rocket Man and his sidekick get their revenge on that pathetic jerk. You wrote it in a way that really made me feel the hero's anger.


Andrea Magee
21:04 Aug 05, 2021

Thank you 😊....It was fun to write.


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