From “My Father’s Shadow”

Andre ran down Eastern Parkway, he ran until none of the buildings looked familiar to him, and then he stopped and stooped over breathing hard.
“Bouy, you run fas for so,” The shadow said. Andre looked around; there was a bodega on the corner of the street. Some older boys were standing at the door. They looked over at Andre and started walking towards him. Andre looked at the shadow; its eyes were suddenly bright red. The boys walked up to Andre, 
“You lost little man?” One of them asked. Andre did not respond.
“Whats wrong homeboy can’t you talk?” The grease from the boy’s hair ran down his forehead leaving dark spots on his denim shirt.
“Why are you in our hood, you trying to move in on our turf?” the boy said advancing,
“I is just teking a walk,” Andre said, The boy looked at his friends.
“You one of them island boys?”
“Yes,”
Where do you live young blood?”
“On Eastern Parkway,”
“You want to have some fun?”
“Don interfere wid me, I is a good fighter,” Andre said as he stpped back and raised his fists.  The boys laughed,
“Come on little man, you can hang with us,” the boy said and put his hands on Andre’s shoulder.
They walked past the bodega and down a side street.

They arrived at an abandoned apartment building and went inside. As they walked by open doors Andre saw people lying on broken beds or mattresses on the floor. A young man sat scratching himself as if a colony of ants were crawling all over him. Some shook violently, cursing as they did,
“Wah wrong wid dem?” Andre asked
“They want the white ghost,”
“Eh?” Andre asked,
“They want crack,” the boy said. Andre followed them into an empty apartment with other boys and girls walking around aimlessly. They stopped and looked at him. .
“Who dat?” one of the girls asked,
“This here is island boy,”
“He cute,” the girl said,
“Back off crack whore,” The boy said pushing the girl away, she fell to the ground,
“Screw you G-money,” the girl said,
“Want to have some fun island boy?’ He asked as they sat down in a corner and handed Andre a forty ounce from a cooler. Andre hesitated. The shadow eyes appeared next to him,
“Go on me bouy, tek it,” Amdre took the bottle and took a drink,
“Ewww, dats nasty,”
“Keep drinking shorty, it will make you feel nice,” G Money said and tilted the bottle up towards Andre’s mouth. Andre coughs,
“Don want anymore,”
“Come on bro drink up,” G-Money as his friends laughed and chorused his encouragement.
“Yeah man live a little,” one of the girls said
“Like dey say, live a liccle,” the shadow said. Andre closed his eyes and tilted the bottle,
“Chug chug chug,” the boys and girls shouted.
Later that night Andre stumbled around going from one dilapidated apartment to the next. Sad faces and blank stares looked at him,

“Go away!” A half naked woman screamed as she reached to put on her blouse. A man materialized in front of him,
“Get to fuck out of here,” he said and slammed the door in Andre’s face. Each apartment had people in it some sticking needles in their arms, some sniffed on lines of white powder. In one apartment two men got into a fight and the others pushed them off as they stumbled around the room. The strung out girl from before walked up grabbed his arm and pulled him into an apartment.  A mattress lay on the floor; someone had peeled the paint out off the walls, yellow light from a lamp created shadows across the room. She pushed him onto the mattress. Andre fell backwards the room spinning around him. The girl was pulling his pants down, Andre tried to resist but he was too drunk. He felt the cool air against his warm skin, and then he felt her warm mouth down there. A rat scurried across the floor and disappeared into a hole in the corner.He tried to push her head away, but his body felt like it was on fire and his heart slammed against his chest. Then the girl was on top of him moving. His head felt hot, then his body tensed up and every vein throbbed. The girl rolled off of him and he passed out.

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