The Writing Disorder



New Fiction


by DC Curtis and Bones Kendall

The following excerpt is from the 234 page novel: Truth & Pain starring the Gangsters & Retards in ... The Mystique-cal Person-a of MC Cripple Crip by DC Curtis and Bones Kendall.

       Bryan sees something down the street.
      "Hey," he says, "who's that? Is it...a stranger?"
      On the sidewalk, traveling their way, comes a black teenage boy's baby face under dark shades, a crooked baseball cap over his long dreads. He flares a huge smile, and from fifty feet they see three gold teeth right up front. A crisp white T-shirt peeks out of an unbuttoned red and black plaid. Excessive gold necklaces challenge the way-huge, gem studded belt and buckle.
      Think 1980's Los Angeles gangsta rapper mixed with 1990's Jamaican dance hall rapper and you are most truly getting the picture. Except this off the hook booghetto pimp is rollin' deep in a wheelchair.
      Yep, he's hand pumping a beat up, old school wheelchair, straight up to the group.
      Bryan speaks first with one of his always honest observations: "Hey, you're in a wheelchair."
      "Yeah," the young stranger responds, "it's cool 'cause I got lucky. The other guy, I capped his ass."
      Making a gun with his hand, he jabs the index finger barrel to Janice's forehead.
      "BAM! Right between the eyes," he finishes.
      Janice absolutely melts.
      Learoy, always suspicious and cocksure, gets in his face right off. "Mmm-hmm. Tell me, Too Short, what's your thing?"
      "Shoot, I'm on the positive tip, baby." He flashes real charm her way. "Me go back to jail? Not a chance in hail. I'm making me a grip, being MC Cripple Crip."
      Pho shadows over him, towering, and rumbles his deep voice, "We don't like violent people hanging out here, Mr. Crip."
      "Easy there big guy," Cripple Crip looks contrite. "I killed, I robbed, did my run as the Boss Baller… but then, the accident… ," one almost hears the spiritual humming rise in the background, "and I saw the light! It was a wake up call."
      Janice composes herself. "Cheating death like that can really change people."
      "Cheating death?" Cripple Crip talks sense to her, "Girl, what you mean? I'm talkin' 'bout prison when you got no legs to run and your eggs the ones they lookin' to beat."
      Pho and Carlos shudder at the thought; Janice steams full on for this wheel-bound hunk; Learoy lets her major doubts burn through.
      Dutch is totally impressed. "Yo, I'm a rapper too, like you."
      Cripple Crip sizes him up and looks to have some fun. "Whoa, hold on now. A white rapper? Now that's original, gangsta, a real first for the ages."
      Dutch, not the sharpest marble in the bag, takes it as a compliment and busts a move in deference, then smiles like a total dweeb. Actually, the busting of the move is not bad; the kid does have some talent, and he's not totally a total dweeb. Just a little bit of a total dweeb.
      Cripple Crip hesitates, not sure if shooting Dutch down is the right thing to do. "A'ight. Not like me, not quite like MC Cripple Crip. I got no spat with white rappers, unless they rich. You ain't rich, is ya? You ain't no boogie hangin' in the 'hood are ya?"
      Janice flinches just a snib, relieved when no one looks her way.
      Dutch lets it flow, "Brother, I'm rich with soul, I'm rich with rhyme, but if we talkin' money, I ain't even got a…a…a…a..."
      Carlos can't help himself. "A DIME! Pendejo! A DIME!"
      Cripple Crip laughs. "That's good. You okay, cracker rapper."
      Pho's phone vibrates from a Moon text. The sharp Cripple Crip picks up that they are communicating.
      Nodding at Moon he asks, "S'up with the 411 on her?"
      "She said she can't smell where you're from," Pho says. "You from Valley City?"
      Cripple Crip looks puzzled and smells his armpit.
      "Moon's blind," Mad Girl loves explaining things, "and deaf. She smells real good. I once seen her whiff up Dutch from four blocks away."
      Now Dutch smells his armpit.
      "S'cool," Cripple Crip doesn't slip a beat, "I dig blind Asian chicks too. I'm from CeePeeTee… Compton, LA. Back there, everybody wanna kill me. I'm here for a fresh start on life."
      Janice jumps at another chance to gush, "Well you came to the right place! Everyone, no matter what cards the past has dealt them, gets a fresh start at the corner of Truth and Pain."
      "A'ight. So, ladies," Cripple Crip makes it smooth, "what's the game in this 'hood?"
      Learoy can't bear it, "Nigga, please! You got a ways to go before you can play like that."
      "Oh, you one of them," he comes back. "Okay, we won't be talking much, but it was sho' nice meetin' you, Miss Nigga Please!"
      The kids crack up. Learoy is uncharacteristically caught off guard.
      Cripple Crip leans back over to Janice. "How you like black guys, white girl?"
      "We were just discussing how race is meaningless in the world. I mean, except for certain cultural issues, perhaps demographics, environment… " she trails off and bats her eyelashes.
      "Yeah, baby, race. I wrote a song about it."
      "Really?" Janice asks. "A rap about race? That's so unique!" The girl is way gone.
      "Yeah," Cripple Crip draws himself up, "it goes I'll kill you if you white, yellow, brown, or black. So shut yo' mouth! Quit talkin' that smack!"
      "Yo, man, that flows, yo," Dutch says. "You know, there are other rappers in wheelchairs around here with the wrong attitude." He gives Carlos a BIG look. "But you, yo, you've got the right attitude for a crippled rapper."
      "These days, my urbanically oppressed, light hued friend," Cripple Crip becomes the teacher, "the proper term is 'Handi-Rapper.' But 'Non-Typical-Hip-Hop-Artist' will also do."
      Carlos, strangely quiet throughout most of this meeting, suddenly starts smiling, then shaking, then rocking in his chair, almost bursting with repressed mirth.
      Then he can't help it.
      "HAAAAAAAAAAAAAA ha ha ha ha ha ha!" He takes in a big gasp of air. "Ha ha ha ha ha! I showed you! I showed all of you! This proves what I been sayin' all along: If I was black you'd think differently about my rappin'!" Carlos does his version of a victory dance in his chair, which is a bit of bumping up and down on his rump and snapping his toes under Dutch's nose.
      "Check this," he goes on, "MC Cripple Crip is a persona, not a person, a PERSONA, I created. This guy's not a real rapper. He's my pal, pretending. His whole story is what I made up and told him to say. Go ahead, tell 'em Reggie. Tell 'em about the persona."
      As one, the kids look from Carlos to Cripple Crip, then back, then back again, then sort of sideways. There's doubt, tension, silence.
      Cripple Crip cocks his head at an angle, taking in Carlos. "Who's Reggie?" Then he gets beasty on Carlos's ass, "What you talkin' bout, fool? Cripple Crip is a person-uh, you created? The old me, I'd a killed you for saying less. You lucky you din't get shot just now."
      "Yeah, Carlos," Dutch is sold, "you sure are one lucky beaner."
      Carlos can't believe it. "I'm telling you! This guy's name is Reggie Troupe. I paid him twenty bucks to pretend to be MC Cripple Crip. I got that wheelchair out of G.R.A.S.S. storage even. It's not his. I did it to prove you guys would flock around a rapper in a wheelchair just because he's black! Those were even my rhymes he busted out. C'mon, Reggie, tell them!"
      "Tell them what?" Cripple Crip is hotter now. "Fool, I never did nothin' to you. Why you trippin'? This is like what I tried leaving behind me in LA."
      Carlos's phone vibrates from its holder on his switchbox. He snatches it up with his foot, flips it open, and reads a text from Moon: "Dude, I never thought I'd say this about you, but you're a player-hater." He jams the phone back down in disgust.
      "Wait, I'm not lying." Carlos grows more and more anxious while his eyes dart about. Then something dawns on him. "Look, this guy's not MC Cripple Crip. Shoot. He's not even a cripple! I'll show you!"
      Carlos grasps his wheelchair's joystick with his toes and jets over to Cripple Crip's side. On the way he pushes a button on his switchbox and the footrest down below flips over, converting into a small cattle catcher looking thing, like what used to be on old fashioned train locomotives.
      He rams into Cripple Crip's chair, wedging the cattle catcher looking thing under it, then backs up and rams it again, over and over, getting it into a rocking motion, trying to build up enough steam to upset it.
      Mad Girl can't help herself, "Yes! Git 'em, Carlos, git 'em! Git 'em good!" She loves a brawl.
      "Carlos," Janice uses her everything-will-remain-under-control tone, "this is NOT how we greet attractive young men whom I like at Truth and Pain."
      Carlos finally succeeds in tipping Cripple Crip over.
      He crashes onto the sidewalk.
      Janice shrieks!
      Mad Girl wobbles over to Cripple Crip and starts up, "UNO! DOS! TRES! GOOOAAAL! GOOOAAAL! GOOOAAAL!" She shoe-slides around him chanting: "He put your smack hand way down, way down, way, way, way down!"
      "There now, see!" Carlos's eyes glaze fanatically. "Watch him walk. Go on, Reggie, get off your lyin' butt and walk! WALK I say!!"
      Cripple Crip rests on his side, entangled in the wheelchair. He curls his hands up under his chin, so weak, so paralyzed, so pitiful. He doesn't get up.
      "Please, hep me," Cripple Crip rasps. "Hep me, please. I can't move. Oh the pain and humility, gettin' dis'd by a fellow cripple, just because I'm black."
      Now Carlos shrieks, beyond the point of no return, eyes blazing, face blotching red, lips in a snarl. He rushes Cripple Crip, brandishing his ultimate weapon: The Foot!
      He goes for Cripple Crip's throat!
      The kids scream at him to stop! Only Mad Girl keeps egging him on, loving that it's going too far.
      He does stop! But only because his foot can't reach. He stretches his leg out as far as he can but it falls short. For a brief, silent second his toes hover inches above Cripple Crip's chin, quivering in the air.
      "Ay, chingada! Pinche cabrón foot!" Carlos flicks switches and the cattle plow retracts while the hydraulics lower the front of his wheelchair, allowing his foot to settle slowly down onto Cripple Crip's Adam's apple. Ahhh, that's more like it.
      Carlos strangles Cripple Crip with his foot, thrusting it at his larynx and wrapping his violently homicidal insole around his gullet. He's possessed! Nothing, nothing can stop him!!! Holy fu--------

Text Copyright © 2009 by Truth & Pain, LLC

DC Curtis and Bones Kendall are educators with prior experience in the motion picture and television industry. They have been collaborating since they first met while studying English at UCLA. Curtis holds an MA in Education and Kendall an MFA in Writing from California Institute of the Arts. Kendall also wrote a collection of poems, Mikka Mi Amor. For more information: Truth & Pain



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