Click here for previous "Royce."
"Just put that shit down, baby girl!" Oberon said to Lady. "Why you always gotta be pointin' guns an' shit at a nigga? Can't we talk it out?"
"I have been waiting years to take yo ass out" Lady growled at Oberon.
"I know you ain't still mad about the heroin shit! That was years ago! Not like I fuckin' stuck that needle in ya arm..." Oberon said while keeping his hands in the air. Anne was not near to calm her down so he had to choose his words very carefully. Not one of his strengths.
"Nigga, you did stick that needle in my arm! Did you know I lost that baby after that shit?" she screamed. "Did you?!"
"That's sum fucked up shit, fo' sho'. But ain't like you wanted a baby, right? Am I right?" he asked. "So the way I see shit you owe me for doin' you a favor" Oberon laughed. Lady fired two shots at Oberon, one hitting him in the shoulder. "Stop fuckin' 'round, Ladine!" he shouted.
The thing he hated so much about Albany's mansion was the thing he loved: the size of it. He crawled behind a couch and fished underneath for his gun. Lady fired two more shots, on of them missed him by less than an inch, knocking his diamond stud from his ear.
"Bitch!" He heard a thump and quickly jumped from behind the couch firing wildly. "Fuck..."
Djinn stood over Lady's unconscious body. He had snuck behind her and cracked a bat against the base of her spine. He looked down at his shirt and felt the blood begin to spread quickly.
"I always knew it would be you..." Djinn said to Oberon as he collapsed to the floor.
"No! Fuck!" Oberon screamed. He ran over to Djinn and picked him up, throwing Djinn's arm over his shoulder. "Come on, nigga. I know you ain't dead. Come on, man. Shit." Oberon walked with Djinn's limp body in his arms to the main lobby. "Albany! That bitch shot Djinn! Albany!!!"
Albany sat in his bedroom wearing a towel. He watched the entire thing on his closed circuit television. He had forty cameras in his mansion. He saw Oberon beat Lady mercilessly. He had the upper hand until he tried to remove her clothing. Now he was watching as Oberon cried for help after shooting Djinn. Oberon let Djinn's body fall to the ground with an audible smack.
Albany stood and stretched. He had waited for "The War" for a while now. He just hoped that he would have been better prepared for the fact that both of his men would fail him so miserably.
"Albany, please!" Oberon shouted. "I know you hear me!"
"Of course he can, darkie" Van Housen said. Oberon spun around and fired three shots at Van Housen. All three bullets missed him. Van Housen put one bullet right in-between Oberon's eyes.
"Fuck you" Oberon whispered as he fell to the ground, his face smacking against the marbled tile.
"No, fuck you" Van Housen said as he stomped hard on the back of Oberon's head. Suddenly he heard a scream and turned to see his boss, Solomon, being held by Anne.
"This is family business, baby Hitler" Anne said to Van Housen. "I suggest you get the fuck out of here right now." Anne fired one shot into Solomon's arm making him scream as he had all those years ago after Royce pulled his scalp half off.
"Listen up, double stuff" Van Housen said. "I don't care if you shoot that little shit."
"You traitorous bastard!" Solomon shouted. "I made you!" He struggled against Anne but she dropped him and planted her foot in the small of his back pinning him to the ground. "I will kill the both of you" he said.
"Sure you will" Van Housen said before firing a shot into the top of Solomon's head. "Now, what was that about me leaving?" he asked Anne. He took a step forward and suddenly spat blood all over the floor. "The fuck..." he said as he fell to one knee.
"Leave my mama alone" Lady said. She stood behind Van Housen with a straight razor in her hand covered in blood. Van Housen turned on his knee and punched Lady in the jaw sending her flying. Anne stepped forward and slipped on Solomon's blood causing her to crash to the floor with a sickening smack. Van Housen stood and spit more blood on the floor.
"No way I am gonna let a nigger, let alone a girl nigger, kill me" Van Housen said.
"How about one from the sand?" someone said. Van Housen looked around to find the voice. He saw Djinn on the ground with a gun aimed at him.
"Yeah, right..." Van Housen said before his face disappeared.
Lady stumbled over to Djinn and kicked the gun away from him. He looked her in the eyes and smiled.
"'Whoever kills a person unjustly it is as though he has killed all...mankind. And whoever saves a life, it is as though he had saved all mankind.'" Djinn said as he closed his eyes and gasped. He took Lady by her hand and opened his eyes. "'I will strike terror into the hearts of those who disbelieve. Smite, then, the upper part of their necks and smite off all fingertips'" he said as he took her hand and placed it upon his blade.
Lady looked over at Anne who was just getting up from her fall. Anne walked over and stood over Lady and Djinn. She rubbed the back of her head and looked at her hand. There was blood on it.
"I think he wants me to kill him" Lady said.
"I heard" Anne said. "Can you?" she asked. Lady sighed and stood up. She took the blade and held it to the light. It had an inscription on the handle that read:
"And kill them wherever you find them, and drive them out from whence they drove you out, and persecution is severer than slaughter, and do not fight with them at the Sacred Mosque until they fight with you in it, but if they do fight you, then slay them; such is the recompense of the unbelievers."
Lady tilted Djinn's neck back with the heel of her boot. She raised the blade high in the air and cut his head off with one clean swipe. Blood began to spill out too quickly for Lady to avoid. It ran all over her boots. Anne took a step back and coughed.
"Have you seen Royce?" Anne asked.
"Not since what happened with The Baptist. Didn' he almost lose his arm?" Lady asked. A few days prior Juan Baptista attacked Royce at a stoplight. Royce battled valiantly until fifteen members of Juan's former gang overpowered him. Juan promised the each $10,000 for helping. Royce killed thirteen of them before Juan sliced halfway through Royce's arm with his blade. Royce did not remove the blade, but used the leather strap to pull Juan to him. He then took the blade and cut Juan's arms off before driving home and going to sleep.
Suddenly they heard a car pulling up near the front door. Royce arrived wearing a black suit with a red tie. A new look for him Anne noted. He had a gun in one hand and a switchblade in the other.
"Where have you been?" Anne asked. Royce ignored her and looked around the room. He saw Solomon, Van Housen, Oberon, and Djinn's dead bodies. He looked at Anne and she shrugged and pointed at Lady. He looked at Lady and saw her swollen jaw, her cut shoulder, and black eye.
"What? Never seen a woman before?" Lady asked Royce. Anne sighed and rubbed the back of her head again. Royce walked over to Anne and sighed.
"I know, baby brother. He is upstairs hiding. I will go with you..." Anne began to say before Royce handed her his gun. She looked at it and smiled. "What is going through that head of yours?" she asked.
"He don't want our help?" Lady wondered aloud.
"No" Anne said. "He doesn't need our help. This is his fight. This is his war." Anne gave Royce a hug and kissed him on the cheek. "Make sure you come back home later. I am making your favorite. Fish and chips." Royce sighed and walked over to Lady. She flinched when he stuck his hand towards her.
"What?" Lady asked.
"He's introducing himself" Anne said.
"Oh" Lady said. "Hi." She shook his hand. When she tried to release her grip he tightened his. Royce looked her in the eyes and placed his other hand on her shoulder.
"She will, brother" Anne said to Royce. "Don't you worry about that." Anne took Royce by the hand and they walked towards the stairwell.
"See ya later, Royce" Lady said. Royce blinked hard at her and sighed.
"It was never your fault" Anne told Royce. "You hear me?" she asked. "I love you, Royce-Royce..." she said as he headed upstairs.
Albany watched this all take place. It disgusted him. What did any of them know of love he thought to himself. Royce had never known the touch of another woman. Anne had never known the love that came from giving birth to a child. Albany felt he knew love. He loved his life. He loved his mansion, his cars, his clothes, his money, and his power. That was what love was.
Things you can touch, taste, and hear.
He watched on screen as Royce walked down the long hallways that led to his room. Albany would not bother getting dressed. He knew that as soon as this was taken care he could take a nice relaxing shower and sauna before calling the police to clean up this mess. There was a knock at the door. Albany smiled and pressed a button opening it for Royce to enter.
"Hello, brother" Albany said before firing six shots into Royce. "Goodbye, brother" Albany chuckled as Royce fell to the floor. "How anti-climactic" Albany said as he took a sip of his scotch. "If I knew it was that easy I would have..." he said before stopping. He heard movement from behind. He turned around and Royce was on his feet. "Impossible..." he whispered as Royce approached.
Royce had three shots in his chest, two in his neck, and one on the side of his head. Yet he continued walking. Albany ran around his large bed and searched his drawer for a weapon. He found a knife and swung it at Royce. The blade came within an inch of Royce's face but he let it pass. Royce grabbed Albany's arm and while staring his older brother in the eyes snapped his forearm in half.
"Argh!!!" Albany screamed. Royce punched Albany, sending him flying over the bed and onto the floor. Albany rose holding his flopping arm. "Let us talk this out, brother" Albany pleaded. "I can give you whatever you want" he said. "Anything." Royce raised Albany's shattered arm and snapped four of his fingers. "Stop!" Albany screamed. "If you are going to kill me then just fucking do it! Stop toying with me!" Albany demanded.
Royce took his switchblade and jammed it deep into Albany's ample stomach. Albany gasped hard and dropped to his knees. He knew not to pull the blade free. He still believed that he would get put of this battle alive.
"What happened to the promise, brother? 'Never her. Never me. Never family'?" Albany coughed up blood as he tried to control his breathing. "Tell me, brother? What happened to the promise?!"
Royce walked over to Albany and yanked the blade out of his stomach causing blood to pour out of Albany faster than he could keep it in. Albany sat on his behind and tried to plug the hole with his towel. He looked at Royce for help and began to shake violently.
"What are you doing?" Albany asked as Royce reached into his pocket. He pulled out a cigarette, lighter, and a couple of old photos. "I am bleeding to death and you smoke?"
Royce held up one of the pictures. It was of Anne as a child holding Royce in her arms.
"Never her" Royce said as he set the picture ablaze.
He held up a picture of himself in high school. The edges torn and a large crease down the center of the picture, giving it the illusion that lightning was travelling through his face.
Albany remembered the day that picture was taken. It was when Royce was 14 and had killed a family that lived nearby because the father had beaten Albany in front of his college mates. Anne said that day was the first of many times Royce died.
"Never me" Royce said as he threw the photo next to the first one. The both of them burning slowly at first. Then like lovers long departed coming together in one glorious flame.
The last picture he held up was one of Castor Danish, their mother Ann Danish, Anne-Marie at age 3, and Albany at age 5. They were all smiling as their father's arms cradled them.
"'Never family...'" Albany said as Royce slit his throat.
Blood sprayed across Royce's face. He took Albany's towel and wiped it away. Albany clawed at Royce's leg. Royce kicked it away and walked into the bathroom. Royce looked at the family photo and sighed. He looked into the mirror and slowly combed his hair back.
In the other room Albany thrashed on the floor, trying to get to his feet but slipping repeatedly in his own blood. Royce continued looking in the mirror and the photo. Castor Danish looked almost exactly like Royce but with a small beard and large mustache. Royce looked down at the counter of the sink and saw a gun.
Lady raced home with Anne. She wanted to get there as soon as possible. She felt that the longer she and Anne were outside the better their chances of being arrested or killed were.
"Are you okay, mama?" she asked Anne.
"Yeah, I'm okay" she replied. Her voice was slurred and she could not stop coughing. "You know what?" Anne said.
"No. What?" Lady asked.
"I am glad that I didn't kill you back then..." Anne said as she slowly slumped forward in the passenger seat.
"Me, too! I mean, hell, can you imagine...?" she trailed off noticing Anne leaning forward. "The fuck?!" she shouted. "Anne! What's wrong?" Lady stopped in the middle of the street blocking traffic in every direction. "Anne! Mama! Mama! What's..."
She noticed all of the blood coming out of the back of Anne's head. It had gathered at her backside and ran down to the floor. Lady screamed for help. She unbuckled her seat-belt and grabbed Anne by the face.
"No! Wake up, damn it!" she shouted. "You ain't dead, mama!" Lady rocked Anne in her arms. She still had Anne fifteen minutes later when the police showed up.
Back at Albany's mansion Royce unbuttoned his shirt. Blood was all over his chest and the front of his pants. He sighed and buttoned his shirt back up. He walked over Albany's body and looked out of the window. He saw red and blue lights in the distance.
Royce Edward Danish March 4th 1930 - November 9th 2007
Anne-Marie Danish June 11th 1923 - November 9th 2007
Albany Castor Danish February 19th 1921 - November 9th 2007