The Gangstas of Lakeview Terrace

“Ima punch that guidance lady in her shit.” Alisha punched her fist into her palm and made squirrely eyes at the wall, the chair, and the table before bouncing over to Kennedy.

Kennedy was busy mixing three different kinds of week, some tobacco from a Black & Mild, and a dash of crushed Xanax on an ornate reproduction of an antique coffee table. “She gave you an F?”

“No, you stupid. That was that cracker-ass dyke with the elephant ass.” She fell into the sofa cushions, stayed for a second before hopping back up and staring at Kennedy’s project.

The kid in the fraternity-cliché polo shirt and surf shorts laid out rolling papers and started divvying up his experiment. “Shit.”

“Exactly.” Alisha flung her hands up and started pacing the living room. “Fuck. I can’t be graduating with no losers out at that shit ass school.”

“Dolla Sign got his shit at da ‘tent.”

Alisha glared at the Eminem wannabe on the loveseat, baggy pants exposing boxers with dolphins on them. “I ain’t getting’ no fuckin’ GED, nigga.” She punched his skinny ass shoulder and perched on the arm of the loveseat.

Ian screwed up his face at her and rubbed his tribal tattoo that festooned an unreadable area code. “Shit, you go punch that bitch you be lucky you get that. Your P.O. gonna bam your stupid ass.” He made a motion that blurred the lines between a punch and miming shutting a door.

“Shut up, nigga. I gotta think.” She went back to pacing, wired on a mix of Ritalin and codeine with a Red Bull chaser.

Her rounded Dominican ass swished as she paced, temporarily mesmerizing Kennedy until Ian hit him in the face with a flying lighter. “Focus, you fuck.”

Devon came out of the kitchen, holding five bags of chips. “Why don’t you just do what my cousin did?” He tossed chips around the room before cracking open a bag of sun-dried tomato flavor. “Man, crackers got some weird shit.”

Ian sat up, “Don’t go lumpin’ me with these bitches.”

Alisha squinted at him. “You live next do’, nigga.” She looked back at Devon. “Did he pay like three hun’ed for that thing? I ain’ got it like that.”

Devon shrugged. “We could always rob these bitches.”

Kennedy had finally managed to light one of the joints and laughed out smoke. When he was done choking, he said, “Like take the TVs and shit? Fuck, bro.”

Ian was off the loveseat hopping around like something out of a rap video, his neck bobbing to a beat that only existed in the headphones he was wearing. “Yo, like fuck, yo.”

Alisha smacked him in the chest. “Sit down, nigga. I ain’ goin’ to no ‘tent again.”

He stepped back, “Chill, sista. We take the shit ova to my crib, unload it befo’ my old girl comes home.”

Sounded easy enough. An hour later, they’d eaten all the chips and smoked up all the weed. Kennedy was melted into the couch cushions, headphones loud enough to scare off any stray thoughts that might have fought through the pharmaceutical fog. “These crackers got some shit.”

Ian jumped off the couch, looking twitchy. “We gotta get the shit and go, bro. These bitches be watchin’.”

Devon wandered in from the bedroom holding a pair of wooden boxes. “Check this shit out.”

Kennedy, hoping it was more weed, popped up and grabbed the top one.

Alisha reached for the bottom one.

Ian twitched his head a few times. “I gotta take a leak, like fuck.”

Devon moved over for him to head down the hallway to the bathroom where they’d found the Xanax and the Ritalin. “Whatcha think?”

Alisha opened her box, dumped it on the coffee table. Big, brassy necklaces and gaudy cocktail rings tumbled into the leftover power and seeds. “Cheap ass shit.”

Kennedy cracked his and peeked. “Fuck yeah.” He stuck his hand in, curled his finger around the trigger and lifted out a Ruger P95. “Sweet.” He pointed it at the TV, pointed it at a reproduction oil painting of a palm tree, pointed it at Devon.

“Don’t point that fucker at me, nigga.”

Alisha went around Devon to the kitchen, rolling her eyes.

Kennedy briefly trained the barrel on her twitching ass until she’d rounded the corner. Then he grinned and nodded. “We can rob more than these niggas with this, bro.”

Devon shook his head. “You know tha’s how my cousin got caught up, right?”

“We ain’ your cuz. You said yo’self he was drivin’ while black. I ain’ black.” He pointed the gun at the ceiling and got up to illustrate his lack of blackness in dance. His finger depressed the trigger when he did and the sound echoed off the walls. “Damn, fuck!” He yanked the headphones out of his ears and rubbed one with the hand still holding the gun.

“Fuck you!” Devon ran for the door. “I ain’t getting caught up in this shit.”

Kennedy saw the perfect scapegoat running away, and turned to train the Ruger on him.

Alisha came back into the living room carrying a bottle of tequila. She looked from Devon grabbing the door handle, trying to unlock it since they’d come in through the back, to Kennedy holding the gun. She dropped the Dos Manos Blanco. It bounced off the tile, breaking into two chunks and splashing booze on her shoes.

Kennedy jumped, firing again.

The bullet hit Devon in the upper left arm, passed through to his heart. He looked down, grabbed it and started to speak before falling and hitting his head on brass urn.

Alisha stared for several seconds before her brain told her to run.

Kennedy turned, thinking if she got away she’d tell on him, and shot at her, around her, through her, until she stopped running and he’d run out of bullets.

He sat on the couch, trying to think what he should do next. He didn’t hear the sirens. He might not have thought they were for him anyway. He picked up one of the roaches from under the shitty jewelry and lit it.