Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Maurice Broaddus - King Maker - Part 1

Something Interesting for you avid readers out there.

The folks at Angry robot have made abailable the first chapter of a new promising book, King Maker, and i thought i would bring it to you personally.

I will be introducing it in 3/4 parts so make sure you stay tuned over the next couple of days to get the full story.

I've already started nagging my contacts at AR to send me a full printed copy of this great new novel.

Well enough of my chatting, here is Part 1 of the King Maker Sample.

“It ain’t even right,” King said to stave off the impending
silence. He drummed his fingers along the
steering wheel. Absently noting the recently closed
or unoccupied stores in several strip malls along
Lafayette Road, it was as if blank spaces pocked his
neighborhood. Even the newly opened Wal-Mart
struggled, though neighborhood lore held that
within its first week it had to let fifty of its employees
go for excessive shoplifting. He hated driving, preferring
to walk when he could, but Big Momma
asked him to pick up her son and even loaned him
her car to do it. King hardly knew Prez – as he was
known around the way, though born Preston Wilcox
– but Big Momma was a neighborhood fixture. Her
word that he was a good kid was all King needed,
despite the boy striking him as just another neighborhood
“I know.” Prez had a just-shy-of-amiable halfsmile
on his face. The wisps of an attempted goatee
sprouted along the sides of his mouth. Eyes fixed on
the road, he nestled into his oversized Kellogg’s
jacket, a picture of the Honey Smacks frog danced
on the back. Though late in the summer, the temperatures
remained fairly mild.
“You should have your own spot.” King heard the
lecturing tone in his voice, but chalked it up to wanting
to mentor the boy. The streets had their lure and
anything he could do to inoculate Prez to their madness,
well, he couldn’t help himself. His street, his
responsibility – that had always been his way.
“Ain’t no shame in it.” A sullenness quilted Prez’s
face, man-child struggling with independence but
having to retreat to his moms. Grandmoms, technically.
His moms turned him over to Big Momma so
that raising a child wouldn’t slow her down. He
knew full well that he’d have to hide any of his foolishness
from Big Momma because she would have
none of it.
“I know. Big Momma ain’t gonna let her baby
sleep out on the street.”
“Shit, I’d still be on my own if this dude who I
stayed with had let me know that he was moving
out and his cousin would be taking his place. But his
cousin wasn’t trying to pay no rent, and it wasn’t like
either of us were on the lease. So, boom, the landlord
kicks us out. We only had till Monday to get our
stuff out of there before he puts it out. And the
cousin ain’t even started to pack his stuff up.”
“Yeah,” King said without commitment, part from
having nothing to add, part due to distraction. He
eased off the gas as they passed a row of apartments.
A little girl skipped into an open door while a
woman struggled with pulling a basket of clothes
from the backseat of her car.
“What’s up?” Prez asked, noting King’s focused attention.
“Nothing.” It wasn’t as if King was going to say
“That’s my baby’s momma’s place. Look at her. You
know she be having men all up in there all hours of
the night. In front of Nakia.”
Prez spied a buxom, dark-complexioned woman
walking in the front door of her apartment carrying
a load of laundry. “Pretty girl.”
“Reminds me of someone I used to know.”
King flipped through radio stations, though Black
radio in Indianapolis only came in two flavors: hip
hop and adult soul. He loved hip hop, but he really
needed something with a melody right now. His
mom called his taste in music the legacy of his father.
King had no true sense of who Luther White was,
only the legend his mother made him out to be. It
was easy to be a legend when you were long dead
and gone.
As if Saturday afternoon traffic in front of Meijer
wasn’t going to be bad enough, they crept the last
mile to the Breton Court townhouses due to construction
on the only street leading there. Prez
eased back in his seat and put one of his Timberlands
on King’s dashboard. A half-muttered “my
bad” and the foot lowering followed a stern gaze
from King. Kids today, King thought, no respect for
Sliding into one of the parking spots, one assigned
per townhouse, King grabbed the two bags of clothes
from his trunk, to which Prez nodded in appreciation,
and carried them toward Big Momma’s.
Already outside holding court, she slowly fanned
herself with a tattered magazine. Her usual courtesans,
the neighbors from across the way, sat around
the plastic table. King couldn’t quite remember the
name of his neighbor who lived across from Big
Momma, though they seemed like a nice family.
Every Sunday they dressed up for church along with
their two kids. The neighborhood kids (half of whom
Big Momma ostensibly babysat) played with a garden
hose, spraying each other and turning the center
of the court into a mud slick, a dirt-floored “slip‘n’slide”.
The white-haired candy lady, who had lived in
the court longer than anyone else, stood on her
porch passing out popsicles to any kid who took a
break from the hose. Her cats keened against the
front storm door like children denied the chance to
play with their friends.
“Damn,” he said to himself, as Prez left him with
his bags to hook up with a couple of neighborhood
knuckleheads who were setting up shop on the corner.
Their fixed gazes dared him to do something
about their presence. His face flushed with heat, but
he wasn’t about to return a hard look for each one
he received, nor could he afford to get bent out of
shape every time some fool stepped to him wrong.
Attitude and anger came in shorter supply for him
these days so he chose his spots rather than exhaust
himself on every bit of drama. However righteous
his rage.

1 comment:

DEZMOND said...

it's a very interesting book cover for the KING MAKER.