Li’l Bro and Sis decided that finding Twin and rescuing her from Pimp Dealer was going to be up to them. Mommy would have stopped them if she’d known. And Founder (the former “Peanut”), who was beginning to show up in newspapers and magazines, never mentioned his family. It was like they’d never existed.
Together they came up with a plan to find Twin. If they were going to be successful, they had to get close to Guy and Man and the prostitutes. How to do that was the problem. Neither of them had any “experience” in the bidness those people were in. They’d have to do something risky but they didn’t care. They were on a mission.
They decided Lil Bro would try to get information from Guy and Man. He’d follow one and then the other, hoping to hear something the kids could use to find Twin. Sis wanted to take an ever greater risk, the most dangerous thing. She’d pretend she was interested in making some real money and tell that to the “ladies” at the beauty parlor. Lil Bro didn’t like that idea and said so. Sis decided that maybe he was right; she just wanted so badly to find Twin and bring her home. They decided she should go to work like usual and wait for Lil Bro to come back with whatever information he’d gotten.
The kids didn’t know about the threat Pimp Dealer had made to Mommy if he caught anyone trying to find Twin. Only Mommy and Twin knew.
Lil Bro started following Guy first. He figured the addict wouldn’t notice him, him being so high all the time. He followed him back to the barbershop, over to the bar, to the alley where he did some drug business and from there to the crackhouse. Eventually he made it back to Pimp Dealer’s, where some of the Crew were hanging out. Lil Bro snuck up behind some bushes and listened through the open window. Guy was talking to Do-Good. He could hear Man laughing in the other room.
“You been all over town,” Do-Good said.
“How you know where I been?” asked Guy.
“Now, you know we got eyes all over,” Do-Good chuckled. “I betchu didn’t even see dat you had company.”
“Whatchu mean, company?”
“I mean dat li’l bro a Pimp Dealer’s girl.”
“What, you mean … ?
“Yep, chu kno’ exactly who I mean.”
“Naw, I woulda seen him.”
Do-Good chuckled again. “You so high you wouldn’t a known if Santa Claus an’ his reindeer was followin’ you.”
“Aw, man,” said Guy. “Where he at now?”
It was about then that Lil Bro felt the large hand around his neck. He’d been so busy listening to Guy and Do-Good he hadn’t even noticed a Crew member come up behind him. He choked as the hand got tighter.
“There he at,” laughed Do-Good. “Bring him on in here,” he ordered the Crew member. He turned to Guy. “Whataya think I oughta do to him?” He thought about it for a hot second. “Oh, I know. Boy, where yo’ mama and dat cute Sis a yours?”
Lil Bro’s eyes grew wide. He knew Mommy was home but he hadn’t seen Sis since they’d put the plan together. His eyes got bigger as the hand around his neck almost stopped his breath.
“Dey at home, huh, little boy?” Do-Good’s eyes became slits. “You gonna tell me or do I havta mess you up ta get it outta ya?”
Lil Bro knew what he meant by that. But he was the man of the house now. It was his job to protect his family.
“Oh, so you gonna be grown, huh? Well, maybe we should just do to you what Snake wanted to do to yo’ big brother. And I mean everything Snake was gonna do. You know what I’m talkin’ about, dontcha?”
Lil Bro knew indeed. The stories about Snake still lived in the neighborhood. Mamas scared their children into behaving by telling them about Snake and his cruelty.
“Yeah,” said Guy, who’d been quiet up until now. “I’d like to see dat myself,” he snickered. “He ain’t as cute as Peanut, though.”
“Uh huh,” snickered Do-Good. He stopped and thought again. “Butchu know what? I don’t need him ta tell me where his mama be at. Ah knows ‘xactly where she is.”
“How you know?” asked Guy.
“’Cause good women got good habits, dat’s how. And it’s Monday afternoon. She home doin’ da laundry.” He turned to Guy. “Maybe I oughta go over dere fo’ a visit. You wanna go wit’ me? She old but she still pretty hot.”
Lil Bro had tears in his eyes. He knew what they were planning. How could he get word to Mommy and Sis to hide, that Do-Good and Guy were on their way over there? He didn’t even want to think about what they’d do once they got there.
He didn’t know about the threat. He didn’t know Man had already left, either.
He did know why Do-Good was called that. It wasn’t just that he was smart and could write stuff, it was because he liked doing what he did and, from word on the street, he did it well. Nobody was left to say anything if Do-Good was on the job. And sometimes he’d write about it and read it to Pimp Dealer. Do-Good always had the words and he wasn’t so dumb as to save anything on paper; he always burned it. Pimp Dealer used to call it his “bedtime story.”
Tomorrow in “Promises of Starlight”: Lil Bro hears it happening