3.97 - Wolf of Magnolia

3.97 - Wolf of Magnolia

I wonder if that guys name was actually Rod? I don’t know, I’m trying not to care. Caring has only gotten me in trouble. Caring about someone who set me up to get killed is wasted energy. Isaac told me they shot all the people in the house, then shot up the house. They made it look like a real shoot out. They were going to take Rod and feed him to alligators, but decided they probably wouldn’t eat him. So, they shot him too. They gave me a portion of the money to spend, but I just tucked it away. They went out last night and had a good time. I’m surprised none of this bothered Isaac, but he’s dedicated. He really will do whatever it takes to become Adze. It just keeps coming back to me, how I didn’t see it coming. 

For now, I’m sitting outside a liquor store. I’m drinking lemonade in a brown paper bag, because I don’t think drinking when my emotions are all over the place is a great idea. The idea was to gather information. Sampson has been putting out information, starting gossip. The streets are talking and we’re supposed to be out here seeing what we can hear. It’s a Friday night, and the liquor stores were always a jumping spot in college. Once we could buy liquor we’d basically tailgate the liquor store. Not that I would go more than a handful of times. It seems like New Orleans is no different. The crowd is young and loud. Late 20s and early 30s, I keep my head down. It doesn’t make sense for me to be playing a wino when I’m basically the same age as everyone out here. I just listen over the music when people talk about Harold.

“You hear about Horse,” one man asks, my cue to listen in.

“I heard he keeps wolves locked up in the old projects.”

“Wolves? You’re crazy.”

“Nah, people can hear them howling at the moon. And you know Bumpy?”

“Bumpy with the big head or Bumpy with the little legs?”

“Little leg Bumpy.”

“Yeah, I know him. I ain’t seen him in a minute.”

“That’s because he’s dead.”

“Damn, how that happen?”

“Horse, he got them wolves. They said he was short on Horse’s money, so he went over there to talk it out. Horse set the wolves free on him. They said he didn’t make it out the hallway before the wolves got him.”

“If he’s dead, how do we know it was wolves?”

“Because when they found his body it had a bunch of claw and teeth marks.”

“You really believe that?”

“I don’t know. Sometimes when I’m driving home late at night, I can hear stuff in them buildings. People screaming, wolves howling.”

“You need to quit smoking so much.”

“Probably,” the two men laugh and switch to talking about The Saints.

I slowly get up, pretending to be drunk, just to change positions and blend in. I take a spot on the side of the building and listen. I don’t have to be close to hear, I just need to listen. I’m still working on how to focus my hearing, but I’m getting better. It takes about half an hour before I hear anyone else talking. This time two women, I’m guessing prostitutes.

“Girl, tell me why Carl wanted me to go work in Horse’s house.”

“You playing.”

“Nah, he thinks I can get more money in there. Says I don’t have to look for tricks. As long as I keep the cat clean, they’ll come to me. He tried to give me some shit about it being safer.”

“Not at Horse’s house. I had a girl who said they be beating girls with hangers and burning them in there.”

“Them places is sick, I heard they got teenage girls working in there.”

“Teenage girls can’t sell pussy to no grown man.”

“You right, you right.”

“It’s messed up that old woman is running the place. We need to be looking out for each other. I wouldn’t want my daughter out here working.”

“Right, she act like she giving them a career because she has them hunching in houses, not cars.”

“You know how they get all high and mighty when they don’t have a pimp.”

Sampson said he wanted us to get intel, learn about what Harold is doing. Keeping wolves, selling drugs is about what I expected to hear. A brothel with teenage girls, not exactly what anyone wants to hear on a Friday night. I already know Sampson is going to say that our business is taking out Horse and not to get sidetracked, but this is Horse’s work, and I need to redeem myself. I quickly finish my bottle of lemonade and make my way over to the women.

“Hey, can y’all tell me where Horse’s place is? I think my sister might be there,” I ask without being invited to the discussion.

“I can show you, but don’t do anything stupid. If you go in there all fired up, they’ll kill you and feed you to Horse’s wolves,” one of the women responds.

“I’m not worried about it. Just want to bring my sister home.”

The three of us walk a few blocks, and they point me in the right direction from there. I don’t have a plan for what I’ll do when I get there. I just know, I’ll free all the women in there. It’ll put a dent in Horse’s operation, and I’ll finally feel good about something. I can’t help but wonder if I’m chasing the chance to be a hero, or really trying to help people. I wonder if Destiny would be proud of me, gathering my own intel and running my own operation to set people free.


Post a Comment