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The Syndicate

BOOK: The Syndicate
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The Syndicate:
Carl Weber Presents
Brick & Storm
All copyrighted material within is Attributor Protected.
Urban Books, LLC
97 N18th Street
Wyandanch, NY 11798
 
The Syndicate: Carl Weber Presents
Copyright © 2016 Brick & Storm
 
All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form or by any means without prior consent of the Publisher, except brief quotes used in reviews.
ISBN: 978-1-6228-6987-9
 
 
 
This is a work of fiction. Any references or similarities to actual events, real people, living or dead, or to real locales are intended to give the novel a sense of reality. Any similarity in other names, characters, places, and incidents is entirely coincidental.
 
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Prelude
Claudette McPhearson walked out of the Clayton County Juvenile Center with a smile on her beautiful face. At sixty years old, the woman still had a youthful disposition about her. She loved children; more specifically, she loved disadvantaged youth. Claudette had been taking in children since she was thirty years old after her husband died in a suspicious fire. They had never gotten a chance to have kids and, even after that, she never had a chance to have children with anyone else.
“I'll see you all next week,” she said to the guards as she waved and walked out into the stifling night's summer heat.
Atlanta's weather can be so muggy and wet,
she thought as she looked up to the sky.
Looks like rain,
she thought while waving one more time at the guards. They all loved Ms. Claudette, as they called her. The woman had been a staple in the juvenile facility for many years, often taking in some of the children once they were released by the state.
Claudette stuffed her bag underneath her arm after she pulled her umbrella out just in case. She smiled as her black Mary Janes clacked against the steel gray concrete. Normally she would call a cab or one of her foster sons would pick her up, but Jojo, her youngest, was late that day. He either was always late or couldn't make it. She sent him a text reminding him but decided that she'd just take the bus. It was no big deal to her. She enjoyed the quietness of the bus this time of night. She chuckled thinking that the Lord knew the bus was better than riding with Jojo and listening to some song about a trap queen.
Whatever the hell that is,
she mused.
She stumbled a bit as she walked. Her ankle was killing her. Old age had come calling and she hated it. She was still spry but she couldn't deny that her body was telling her to slow down. She was a buxom woman. Not fat in the least, but definitely not small either. Most people claimed she looked like a plumper version of the model Iman. Age and good eating had added an extra twenty pounds over the years but she didn't have diabetes or high blood pressure, things that plagued most black women her age. For the most part, she had done well for herself. She had eight remaining foster children, the youngest one being seventeen. She had raised them, loved and nurtured them into young adults and she was proud of that. Jojo, Melissa, Shanelle, Inez, Lamont, Naveen, Javon, and Cory were her pride and joy.
Javon and Cory were her oldest. Blood brothers, she took them from a life of crime and now both were upstanding citizens, one working for corporate America and the other a law student. Naveen was good with his hands, always building, fixing, or making something. She'd sent him to a tech school for civil engineering. Lamont, well, Lamont was hood and there was no way around that. The young man just had it in him. He would fight at the drop of a dime, was fiercely overprotective of his brothers and sisters and, no matter how hard Claudette had tried, she still couldn't get him not to fight. The boy was a fighter at heart. So she put him in the ring and had a professional boxer training him for his first fight.
Inez, oh, her beautiful Inez sometimes gave her heart attacks. She, too, had anger issues, but they stemmed from a life of always having to fight to prove her right to be seen as human. Just shy of twenty-one Inez was a pre-med student who was well on her way to becoming a great surgeon. Shanelle was a business woman. She could convince any man or woman to buy anything she had to offer. But she was also good with a gun. With her eyes closed Shanelle could take a deer down even if the deer was running full speed ahead. Yes, yes, Claudette had to hone that craft as well as Shanelle's business savvy.
Melissa was her math guru. The girl could look at any number once, remember it, or solve an equation without so much as blinking an eye. Not to mention she was good with money. The girl could count money quicker than your eye could see and she was also good at saving it. Melissa also had a problem when it came to sex. She couldn't say no. She had been introduced to sex way too early and, as a result, she was hypersexual. Claudette had a long talk with her child about the consequences of her behavior as well as other things that would remain a secret between her and Melissa. However, Melissa's accounting degree would come in handy; yes, it would.
Claudette's smile widened as she thought about her youngest son, Jojo. Her little chemist, she called him. Jojo had been with her since he was eight. He was a precocious child. Throughout the years, he had almost blown up her kitchen mixing chemicals he shouldn't have had. Not to mention he almost killed himself in her bathroom when he decided that closing the door while he was mixing ammonia and bleach was a good thing. Since then, Claudette had found every kind of science program in and out of school she could place him in. From science fairs to chemistry camps, Jojo was always in attendance.
Claudette stopped at the walkway of a four-way intersection. She saw one other person standing at the bus stop, a man. That didn't bother her. The old woman was rarely afraid of anything other than losing her children. The smile as she thought of them was still plastered on her face as a black car slowly turned the corner behind her. Claudette was just about to cross the street when the car sped up a bit. The man at the bus stop looked up and started to walk toward her.
She slid her hand into her purse to grip something that she always kept near and dear to her. While she didn't fear any man on God's green earth, Claudette was no fool either. The man was dressed in all black. The cap on his head hid his face. Claudette kept an unassuming smile on her face as she strutted forward. She knew what was about to happen before the man made up his mind to do it. He bumped into Claudette, grabbed her purse, and tried to shove the old woman to the ground. What he didn't see coming was the slice across his carotid artery. One smooth slice widened his eyes. However, it was the look of unmitigated pleasure in the old woman's eyes that sent him reeling. The man clumsily stumbled back, choking on his own blood while trying to catch his balance.
They hadn't told him the old woman would be armed. Nobody told him to watch her smooth sleight of hand just as no one had told him the real reason they had sent him to kill Claudette McPhearson and to make it look like a robbery. They'd only paid the man ten grand and shown him her picture. As he fell to the ground clutching his throat trying to stop the profusely bleeding wound, Claudette McPhearson stood over the man as if taunting him.
She smiled like she hadn't just sentenced a man to death and said, “You've gotta be quicker than that.”
Just as she kneeled to jam another blade the man hadn't seen between his ribs to pierce his heart, the black car increased speed. The first bullet hit her shoulder, knocking her backward. Claudette was nimble for her age. She rolled over onto her shoulder and grabbed the gun that had fallen out of her purse. She fired off a few shots, two of which hit the driver, and rushed to hide behind a parked car on the side of the street. Two more bullets hit her in the back and kidney.
She had known the day would come sooner or later when someone would be bold enough to try to take her out. Claudette had no fear and no qualms about it. It came with the territory, she often told herself. She stayed down as tires squeaked and skidded. She knew they were either turning around or the injuries to the driver had made them come to a screeching halt. She saw no plausible escape route, which meant they had thought their plan out thoroughly. They waited until she had gotten to a spot where there was little chance of escape and a far less chance for her survival.
Her mind was on the eight children she would leave behind if she didn't make it out alive. She'd raised them well. Had taught them all she knew on survival. All the lessons, the talking, and the teachings, honing their crafts. She desperately hoped they understood the method to her madness after all was said and done.
The wound to her shoulder hurt immensely. The injury to her back and kidney were damn near causing her paralysis. It was almost unbearable. She heard when the car stopped. It hovered just beside the car she used to hide. The doors to the black old-school Cutlass Supreme opened. Two different sets of shoes hit the ground. One had a soft thud and the other clacked like the person had on combat boots.
This was the end and she knew it. She wouldn't give them a chance to take her out on her knees though. Claudette stood and faced her adversaries. She'd take one of them with her, she knew that for a fact. So as soon as the first one stepped around the car where she had been hiding, she took aim, but the shock of who the person was stopped her in her tracks. Before her mind could catch up with her reflexes, or before she remembered there was another shooter behind her, a bullet to the back of her head put her to rest.
Her lifeless body hit the ground in a slow thud. Her last thoughts were on the eight children she left behind.
BOOK: The Syndicate
2.86Mb size Format: txt, pdf, ePub
ads

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