Criminal is powered by Vocal creators. You support Author Faheem by reading, sharing and tipping stories... more

Criminal is powered by Vocal.
Vocal is a platform that provides storytelling tools and engaged communities for writers, musicians, filmmakers, podcasters, and other creators to get discovered and fund their creativity.

How does Vocal work?
Creators share their stories on Vocal’s communities. In return, creators earn money when they are tipped and when their stories are read.

How do I join Vocal?
Vocal welcomes creators of all shapes and sizes. Join for free and start creating.

To learn more about Vocal, visit our resources.

Show less

Vicious

Something must be done.

Buddha is reclined in the rented Charcoal Nissan GTR. His eyes and attention are focused on his iPhone. He's scrolling YouTube when he notices the title Animal Fights. Buddha's interested in conspiracy theories, wildlife mysteries, Illuminati, and whatever other strange topics that he feels are relevant.

He clicks on Animal Fights and what he witnesses is amazing. A squirrel attacks, and devours a big snake. He's always thought that squirrels were omnivores, not carnivores. Buddha is convinced that there are people in high places tampering with the life process and the natural order of things.

The doors to the black Hummer slam. The unexpected sound startles Buddha. He's been caught slipping. Many people have paid a detrimental price with their lives for not paying attention. Buddha reacts quickly, by scrolling through his phone but he doesn't have True's number saved. Nor does he have the time to continue scrolling. Buddha has to put the phone away. The bright light from the 3D screen draws too much unnecessary attention. He hopes no one noticed the glare.

"Did you see that man?" Tank inquires.

"See what?"

"That light."

"Man you paranoid. You must've smoked too much Sour this morning. You need to leave that weed alone. It makes you too paranoid.”

Tank is not beat in other words, he’s not concerned with what Bop has to say. He knows what he saw and he also knows that he's not seeing things. He saw a bright light inside the Charcoal Nissan GTR. Tank looks again from a distance, but this time he doesn't see anything. To be on the safe side, he walks over toward the GTR to take one final peek inside while Bop trails behind.

Buddha's heart is beating abnormally. The last thing he wants is to be detected behind enemy lines. He knows the consequences are devastating. He would definitely be injured if not murdered. Taking food off of a man's plate with mouths to feed is serious, anywhere you go in this country.

Buddha tries not to breathe. There's also a nagging itch deep down in his throat, that he is desperately trying not to cough to comfort. At this point, what Buddha really wants to do is put the GTR in reverse, and take off. But where would he go? What would happen if he is captured? The punishment would most definitely be death by a Banga firing squad for Desertion. Desertion is a capital Banga offense.

“Shush you hear that man?” Something isn't right. Tank can feel it. He just can't fully recollect where he knows the feeling. He never once factors that his innermost connection is trying to warn him before destruction.

“Hear what?” Bop asks.

Suddenly, A cat jumps out of the garbage dumpster with a reasonable portion of someone's last night's grubbings dangling from its mouth. Tank drops the laundry bag and instinctively reaches in the pocket of his goose down jacket. His weapon is kept there for emergency purposes.

“Easy cowboy, hold your horses. Cats have to eat too,” Bop says sarcastically.

“You’re right, but I can't take any chances. Cats got nine lives Gunners only have one,” Tank states as he bends down to retrieve the bag.

The two Bangers continue to move along. Tank unusually hangs back a few steps.

“Come on man. Walk up.”

“Watch your mouth man. You are not talking to one of your children.” Tank replies.

Tank's iPhone rings, interrupting the bickering.

"What's up Latoiya?" he quickly answers.

"What ya doing baby?"

"Besides thinking about you, I'm trying to handle some business."

"Yeah right, your business is probably smutting in-between the sheets and tickling feet with your side piece." Although Latoiya is the mistress, she's extremely insecure based on Tank's promiscuity.

“Come on now," Tank chuckles. Without drama or confusion, a relationship has no real meaning or purpose to him.

"Switch me to face time so I can see what's going on," Tank requests.

The unexpected can and will always happen whenever a person least expects it to happen. That's a fact, the Gunner is way out of sync. This is not like him. He is usually paranoid, looking all around surveying his surroundings. Especially when he is in possession of a controlled, dangerous, highly sought after and highly fought after substance.

Tank walks right past the GTR without looking inside as he intended. The phone conversation has him distracted. This is a big mistake. Only this time Tank will not have the chance to correct it, nor regret it.

Buddha waits until the two Gunners are a safe distance away before he tries to video call a number he believes to belong to True.

The phone rings once. The phone rings twice. The phone rings three times. Still, he doesn't get an answer. At this point, Buddha is niccing like heck. To quench his unmanageable, uncontrollable nicotine desires he lights up a cigarette. The Bic causes a flash of light that luckily no one notices. Buddha just doesn't get enough.

Building 151

True stands in the pissy hallway alone. The hallway is more like a dungeon or a death chamber. The floor is sticky, the ventilation is poor, preventing proper air circulation. There's definitely some form of contamination that doesn't comply with the state's regulations.

The dim hall light blinks on for approximately five seconds. Five seconds later the light will flicker for a second or two before shutting off completely. Five seconds later the light will blink back on again. This process will repeat itself over and over and over again. The residents have more life-threatening things to think about rather than complaining to the maintenance workers. Besides some of the lights in their apartments are cut off due to non-payment.

True tries to quickly decipher all the graffiti letters before the light flickers back off again. While examining the hieroglyphics, he discovers the word Gunner and some of the members’ aliases. Some he is familiar with and others are strangers and imposters. Some were ex-classmates. True even graduated from elementary with some of them, then moved right along to Correctional Facilities in their company. Most of them were once childhood friends. Now sadly, misunderstanding, disagreement, and ignorance have turned a majority of them into rivals. Life's circumstances have a strange way of producing change.

Some families have been converted into enemies. Nobodies have been transformed into somebodies. A private invitation has been replaced with public information and minding your business has been substituted with social media putting everybody in your business. Open your eyes. We are taught that Revelation is coming, but it's already happening.

True has to move around wiggling his fingers and toes to keep his blood circulating. The arctic weather conditions are extremely discomforting, and unhealthy.

Each step true makes the rubber from the sole of his Foamposite sneakers squeak. Excretion and God knows what other sinful particles are on the disgusting floor.

True blows into the palms of his hands in an attempt to create warmth. Clouds of thick smoke illuminate the dark corridor like the chemtrails that are always in the Arizona skies. It's as cold as a chilling History Channel episode of I Shouldn't Be Alive.

True coughs and gurgles before spitting out green mucus. The morning is approaching. The smell of bacon frying intertwining with the stench of stale urine becomes overwhelming throughout the building. If you don't have a strong stomach it would have you seasick; nauseous throwing up and shit. The odor is just that hideous. Loud talking can also be heard coming from several of the apartments. It doesn't take long for that loud talking to quickly become loud arguing. The problem is that someone is dope sick, and doesn't yet have the money to get another fix. In another apartment, the problem is someone is hungover and needs another drink of alcohol to recover.

The end of the month is the most anguishing period for poor residences throughout the United States. During this time food supplies, drug supplies, personal supplies are depleted. Attitudes and violent tendencies flare up. Everyone wants and needs more, yet there’s not enough to go around.

By the time the first of the month comes around. Most of the checks are spent before they are even sent. Direct deposits straight to the next man's pockets.

Rusty hinges squeak loudly, as the lock clicks, and the door abruptly opens. True instinctively reaches quickly and raises his semi-autos. He's done this many times before, so he's exceptionally crafted. The light blinks back off. It's a false alarm. True lowers his twin tools back into the camouflage of darkness. Two no hablo ingles, Spanish speaking, hard-working, Mexican men enter the building both clutching Dunkin Donuts coffee trays filled with coffee for the rest of their compadres.

The light flickers back on again just as they walk up the first landing, and pass by True. The struggle also appears to click back on again. The bacon is still stinking. The dope fiend is still dope sick, and now plotting on how to get his next fix. The alcoholic is still waiting on the Corner liquor store to open. The arguing has turned into fighting and weeping. The sad part about it is that the kids are watching. In Kool G Rap's song Streets of New York, he said: "Upstairs I cover my ears and tears. The man downstairs must have drank too many beers. Cause every day of his life he beats his wife. Till one day she decides to pull a butcher knife."

True fumbles around in his pocket for his iPhone. He feels it vibrating in his North face puffy fat goose jacket. By the time he finally locates the mobile device, it is silent. He quickly checks it. Two missed video calls from Buddha 973-373-1476.

There's no time to return the call. The ground is wet, True hears footsteps. There's also chit-chat in the courts. This also catches his attention. He listens closer. Someone is holding a conversation with a female. The bizarre conversations are getting nearer and clearer.

“After you put the phone in the closet put it under the bed. I want you to put it anywhere, and everywhere I think somebody might hide."

Latoya chuckles. She feels loved. "What about right here in between my thick, juicy thighs." She places her iPhone between her smooth thighs. The sophisticated Apple camera is zoomed in on her private parts.

"Hold on for one second baby."

Tank quickly rearranges the laundry bag from his right hand to his left hand. He also relocates his cellular device between his left shoulder and left ear. As Tank yanks the door open, Bop shoves him from behind. Tank stumbles and trips inside the building.

WE THE PEOPLE IN COMMUNITIES ALL OVER THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA CHARGE ALL THOSE WHO HAVE CRUSHED OUR HOPES AND SLIT OUR THROATS WITH THE GENOCIDAL CRIME OF TREASON AND WE REFUSE TO CONTINUE LETTING THIS HAPPEN WITHOUT REPERCUSSION.

Majority of violent crimes committed are committed by someone the victim knew personally. It's extremely difficult for a stranger to get close enough to put your life in danger.

Tank's so-called best friend has betrayed him. What a horrible way for a man's life to end. Actually, Bop was never a friend, all he ever did was pretend. He is guilty of Treason. That's a crime punishable by physical extermination.

Sparks strike and ignite. Bullets are ricochet through the confines of the corridor.

A powerful P89 bullet has entered Tank's cranium through the nasal bone. The slug does an uncorrectable amount of damage as it travels quite a ways, at the speed of sound. It only takes a tick for the transition between life and death to take place. The process is just that quick.

Tank's iPhone falls and flops right before his body drops. The crime scene is a forensic investigators nightmare with DNA splattered everywhere.

Latoiya can hear bullets whizzing past the phone's' speaker. However, the screen is dark preventing her from seeing anything. Her intuition tells her that something bad has happened to Tank. She cries like a grizzly in the wilderness separated from her parents.

"Please, Lord! Oh, God!" Latoya panics.

All the ohnoing, pleaselording and boohooing will not bring Tank back. Latoiya will have to somehow manage without his help. All good things come to an end. Despite how many tears drop, Life doesn't stop.

"Tank tell me that you're okay. Say something baby?" Latoiya still has blind hope. She strongly believes that her man is alive. She needs him desperately.

Tank doesn't respond. It's not that he doesn't want to. It's because he can't.

Latoiya continues to hoot and holler uncontrollably. She's hurt very badly. It's unfortunate that her story has to end with the loss of a friend. However, Latoiya is just a character who represents countless women throughout America who've lost strong men and best friends in the seemingly never-ending struggle for survival.

Three more live rounds are fired further defacing the corpse, increasing the expensive funeral cost, also adding another burden for Tank's loved ones to bear. Tank doesn't have life insurance. The family will have to take the cheapest route possible for burial. There will be a 20 by 24 picture of him placed in a wooden frame that will sit neatly on top of a fancy rented casket. After the funeral services, Tank's lifeless body will be transferred to a pine box, then pitched in a crowded ditch. Ain't that a bitch, but it happens more often than mentioned.

True’s Nikes squeak loudly as he makes his way down a flight of stairs. He doesn't have any time to waste. The Banger is eager to get what he came for. He quickly snatches the laundry bag up off the floor without breaking stride. He then exits the building like a thief in the night. True hasn't just stolen a highly addictive, highly demanded controlled, dangerous substance. He has stolen a priceless specimen, something that can never be replaced. True has stolen someone else's life without pity or sympathy. You find this mentality quite frequently in America's high poverty, overpopulated cities. True Bangs is just one example out of the countless cases. His character represents tribes of Nomadic people right here in the United States of America who harbor pain, emptiness and loneliness as a result of growing up motherless, fatherless, and loveless. SOMETHING MUST BE DONE.

Deprived

Readers, being deprived a father is a horrendous issue that is commonly experienced in poor communities throughout the United States of America. I can definitely sympathize with the pain of all the fatherless children. However, the best person qualified to give insight on that topic is someone who fit those shoes. In a search for the solution, I reached out to Sameerah. Sameerah is not just my cousin, she's one of my closest most trusted friends.

Sameerah never got the opportunity to bond with her biological father. His life was cut short. Imagine being a woman in this cold world absent your natural provider, protector, and guide. It's unimaginable. Majority of these pains and shames are never discussed.

Without any further ado, this is what Sameerah had to say during one of our conversations.

Sameerah: I was just reminiscing about our days.

Faheem: Our best days are on the way. Part two coming soon at a theater near you.

Sameerah: LOL true.

Faheem: Ay cuzzo, I have a platform to tell my stories. I want to do a piece called "Deprived A Father." I want to ask you a few interview questions on that subject. Is that cool? Trying to keep keeping it real and make it happen big.

Sameerah: I’m down.

Faheem: As a child, I'm sure that you had friends with the balance both parents provide in a household. Do you think a father would have changed the outcome of your life?

Sameerah: In a normal household the child doesn’t have to wonder. They know common things about the father. For example favorite color food song. They experience firmness honesty and other characteristics whether good bad or indifferent. I didn't feel that joy. I had to ask questions. Those answers are the closest I would ever get to actual experiences. To answer your question, absolutely being deprived a father has affected the outcome of my life. I say that because the love a daughter has for her father is like a river flowing into an ocean. The love the daughter has for her father flows into the relationship with other men. In my personal experiences, I've learned that a father is the best teacher for a woman trying to understand a man. Every child has the right to know their father. The absence of my daddy has caused me to not learn how to completely love a man.

Faheem: I appreciate your response it gives perspective. If you could speak to the individual or individuals responsible for your father's death what would you say?

Sameerah: We grow in stages our values change. Therefore, what was once important to us is no longer relevant. Disputes disagreements misunderstandings monetary debts can all be resolved. My father’s life can not be replaced. I was badly affected by the untimely death of my father. I have lost a part of me. The fact is I am totally innocent in the situation. I did not deserve to be deprived of a father. The question that I have for the individual or individuals that murdered my father is, did that make them a man?

Readers, in a further attempt to understand Sameerah's condition I was inspired to begin researching.

I found that there were many great studies/experiments on human behavior. In these studies, mice were used in place of human beings. I learned that the mouse's DNA looks startlingly like ours; in fact, we share more than 90 percent of the same genes as a mouse [source: Koshland Science Museum]. When it comes to the ways our molecules work, mice and people are similar.

While conducting research with colleagues at the medical faculty at McGill University in Canada, Dr. Gabriella Gobbi said, "This is the first time research findings have shown that paternal deprivation during development affects the neurobiology of the offspring."

Growing up without a father could permanently alter the structure of the brain and produce children who are more abnormal in social behavior, defiant, aggressive and angry.

The difference was far greater in daughters than in sons raised without fathers.

Thank you for your valuable time and attention. You've helped me a great deal by reading my story. If you wish to further extend a hand tell a friend and/or kindly leave a tip. All contributions will be used toward the spread of a positive message. Please be on the lookout for more from Sameerah.

Read next: Nursery Rhymes
Author Faheem
Author Faheem

Self-published author of the Vicious, These Boots Too Big, Generational Curse & Rough Stuff. Faheem is a native of Newark, NJ. His works contain a strong positive message & shines light on struggles that all readers can relate too.


Now Reading
Vicious
Read Next
Nursery Rhymes