CALL ME THE BREEZE
SCOTT L. ANDERSON
Ed "Cool Breeze" Byrd had come to believe that he was a major player in the street scene of downtown Orlando. Although he didn't have a string of whores like some pimps, he did have one, that was a start. Even if she wasn't the smartest bitch to ever walk down the street. He had a good side business going on selling quarters, halves, and ounces of weed to the tourists who were in town to see Walt and the Mouse, and the college kids who were here to get laid and loaded. Ed had even pimped himself out a few times to some white college bitches from some backwater town up north who had wanted to see what a black stud like himself was like in the sack. He hadn't disappointed. He thought anyway.
He had struck gold though with the blackmail scheme. Orlando was not only a tourist town but it was also a Navy town. There was a boot camp here and Florida was full of bases. It brought in sailors and officers alike. And white boys are no different than them white bitches. Them white boys want to see what that black trim is all about. That's where Cool Breeze came in.
Breeze had his whore, Belinda, dumb as a stump but still a damn fine looking girl, pick up unsuspecting sailors and take them to the Pink Fox motel, which is where Cool Breeze had greased the hand of the manager with a three hundred dollar monthly payment and a weekly blow job from Belinda, to allow Breeze to install a two way mirror in one of the rooms.
Once the sailor was brought into the room and started getting in on with Belinda, Breeze would either photograph or videotape the session, which he would sell to the underground porno trade. Depending on the john, Breeze would then quite often bust into the room with his .45 drawn and blackmail the john right out of his wallet and any expensive jewelry he might have.
Twice it had gone wrong. One white boy, a bodybuilder, had actually jumped up and charged the Breeze Man. Breeze, while backpedaling in fright, had fired off an accidental round which caught the john square in the chest.
The second time the boy had like a religious fit or something when Breeze had busted in and started screaming about what his momma would do if she ever found out he had been tapping a black woman. Breeze had to stick him with his blade to shut him up. He couldn't shoot him. Otto, the motel manager, had almost kicked Breeze out after the time he had shot the cracker with his piece. Breeze even had to rent one of those cleaning vacuums you get at the grocery store to clean the carpet in the room after that one.
He had dumped both bodies in a dumpster. Once behind a Shoneys, because they were racist bastards. And the other one behind a McDonalds, because once he had gone into one to use their can and the manager had forced him to buy something first. Plus, he hated their fucking fries. No one had fries like White Castle. Couldn't get them in Florida though. He never knew if the bodies were ever found. Breeze wasn't big on the news or reading papers.
But with two other marks he had hit the jackpot.
Breeze was behind the mirror one slow Thursday night when Belinda brought in a john and Breeze almost passed out in excitement when he saw who it was. It was the goddamn executive officer of the Naval training facility, the same prick that had signed off on Cool Breeze's very own dishonorable discharge.
Breeze had enlisted in Detroit and hadn't done well enough on the entrance exam to get a school guaranteed to him. So after boot camp, which took him thirteen weeks, instead of the normal nine, Breeze had to stay in Orlando for on the job training before he was to be assigned a ship, where most likely his assignments would be the chipping and sanding of paint and the cleaning of shitters. While in this rigorous training phase of his career, Breeze had taken it upon himself to expose his crank to a female recruit and had invited her to feast upon it. He had been arrested, court martialed, and discharged within a week. He remained in Orlando because he enjoyed the climate much more than Detroit. Plus in Detroit there was about two thousand people he had fucked over who wanted Breeze either dead or very hurt.
The man who was now humping Belinda wildly was the same asshole who had had Breeze drummed out of the service, calling Breeze a "disgusting piece of crap" and a "disgrace to the uniform." Breeze now had in his possession the taped around the world event of the officer and Belinda, and he received a six hundred dollar a month retainer to make sure that no one ever would see the tape.
His second monthly payment came from another officer. This one was a ensign but a female. She had paid Belinda a hundred dollars to go down on her and had gotten so worked up that she had returned the favor. She paid Breeze four hundred a month to keep the video out of sight, but he had also sold the video to his underground buddies. No one was the wiser.
So all in all, the Breeze should have been a happy camper but he wasn't. He was in fact, a nervous wreck. He was standing on the street, about a half a block from his digs, a fifth floor walkup, in front of his favorite bar and grill, The Bearded Clam, with Belinda, and Breeze felt like he could shit cream corn at any minute. What had happened last night had fucking freaked him. Scared the absolute shit out of him.
He had been behind the mirror when the door to the adjoining room had opened and Brenda came in with this big, football playing, weightlifting type. He had a military haircut but it almost looked like he was trying to grown one of those mohawk looking things that those Sid Vicious dudes used to wear around Detroit. More like that wrestler, the one in The Road Warriors, he used to watch them on Ted Turner's superstation, it looked more like that. But the guy was big, he was scary looking, and he had freaky fucking eyes. Big tattoo of a pit bull on his back. Breeze decided to let this one pass. He was trouble.
Brenda had given the dude a half and half and after the Road Warrior had gotten done with the second half, the guy had gotten up, ripped off his rubber and thrown it at Breeze's mirror. It had stuck right in front of Breeze's face, and then the monster had grinned right at the mirror and did one of those finger/gun cocking things. He paid Belinda, had gotten dressed, and then walked out.
Breeze was freaked beyond belief.
Belinda had to have told the guy. How the hell else would he have known? He was standing in front of the Clam, holding onto Belinda by both arms, and screaming so loud at her that her face was speckled with Breeze's spit. He didn't give a shit if anyone heard. HOW THE HELL DID THAT GUY KNOW?
The Warrior was grinning as he watched the couple through his binoculars. He was sitting on a chair in front of a window in Ed "Cool Breeze" Byrd's apartment. The apartment had a cheap lock purchased at Wal Mart. It had been a cinch to pick. The door was such a piece of shit he could have kicked it off the hinges it had wanted to but he was afraid of waking up the neighbors. The apartment was one of those ancient old dumps that had been built in the 1950s, had a grace period of a decade or so, then went straight down the crapper, until a few years ago when it became trendy to fix up old crack and whorehouses and then rent them out at upscale prices. Byrd was the only black that the Warrior had seen in the building. Probably made the yuppies feel good living among the common folk.
The neighborhood hadn't quite caught up. It was still littered with hookers, tattoo parlors, adult book stores, and pawn shops, but it too was becoming a trendy place to go slumming in for an evening. Looking up and down the street you could see an occasional Mercedes Benz parked in front of a strip club, or a BMW in the parking lot of an old skin flick theater.
Warrior gazed around the apartment. It was decorated in a 70s kind of decor, like a cross between Shaft and All In the Family. He looked back down onto the street, Breeze was still reaming out his hooker. It didn't take much to shake the place down, it was really just a big studio apartment with a separate bathroom. It even had one of those old Murphy style beds. Breeze had one of those huge, ancient stereo systems set up on a big book case. When he opened the cabinet he immediately found what he was looking for. A stack of videotapes and they were even labeled. The still photos that he had taken were wrapped with rubber bands and had the date and time when they were taken. Holy shit, was this guy anal or just plain stupid? Warrior slipped the videos and pictures he was looking for into the gym bag he always carried on his gigs.
This job had really been a vacation, lotta other cases had been harder and smarter, but not this dumbass. It was hard to believe that the military actually paid him to do this shit. His dad had been right. All that special forces training would eventually pay off. The old man just would never know how.
After Warrior located Breeze, who had the nocturnal habits of a pimp, he spent his days on the beach, and nights tailing Breeze.
The man disgusted Warrior. He was a bottom feeder of the worst sort. But the third night he had done something really stupid. He had snorted up a few lines of Peruvian flake and had picked up Breeze's whore, took her back to the room and laid the coals to her, all the while hoping Breeze would jump him so that he could beat him to death with his bare hands. The chick was hot but that had been really fucking dumb. Gotta be more professional.
Warrior fanned through some still photos in the gym bag. There he was getting reamed, steamed, and dry cleaned in bright Kodak color. He stuck that packet in his pocket, no need to let the brass see those, and continued searching the apartment. In a wooden cigar box on top of the television was an ounce of some pot that smelled like it came right out of the personal stash of the King of Thailand, or whatever it was called now. That also went into his pocket, but he took a single joint that was in the box and fired it up as he continued his search.
He wandered into the bathroom as he puffed away. Boy, was this some sweet tasting bud. The buzz was coming on fast and strong. Warrior grabbed the top of the toilet tank and lifted it up. Bingo! Floating inside the tank was a shitpot of cash inside a couple of zip lock bags. He pulled the cash out of the bags, in typical Byrd style it was broken up in twenties, fifties, and hundreds. The hundreds he fit into his pocket and the rest went into the gym bag. Warrior finished the joint and dropped it sizzling into the bowl. A quick check of the window showed Mr. Breeze still in front of the bar. He gave a thought about burning another doobie while he waited for the pimp to come home but decided against it, remembering his boneheaded move from the night before. He opened up a closet door in the mini kitchen and saw a long object wrapped in a beach towel stuck behind some brooms and mops.
Son of a bitch! It was the most awesome rifle he had ever seen. The fucking thing looked deadly. Warrior pulled back the bolt. It was loaded. Holy shit! This was an AK-47, a Russian made assault rifle. It looked brand new and had been fitted with a scope. Where had a total shitbag like Cool Breeze Byrd gotten his hands on a piece like this?
The "shitbag" had stolen it out of the Jeep of a retired Green Beret, who while drunk on his ass, had been screwing Belinda. Breeze had shelled out a couple of hundred bucks to a gunsmith to strip the weapon down completely and give it a total overhaul and cleaning. The weapon looked like it had just rolled off the factory floor in Stalingrad.
The Warrior started to giggle. Wouldn't it be a kick in the ass to pop Cool Breeze at long range with his own weapon? Right in downtown Orlando? He slid the chair back over in front of the window and sighted the rifle in on Cool Breeze's head. He was still bitching and raising hell with Belinda. The neon lights of the bar lit up the couple like it was daylight.
Here I am in the book depository, he thought. Dallas. Here comes Kennedy. I'm Oswald! Lee mother Harvey fucking Oswald! Cross hairs straight on Breezes' head.
Just playing around here, he said to himself. It would be totally crazy to waste him from here. Just goofing around. I'll take him out when gets back to the apartment. Be a pro, dude. Can't screw this gig up. Higher ups don't want any heat.
"Bitch, you had to have known. That cracker motherfucker threw his scumbag right against my mirror after he be done fucking you. Then he smiled right at me. How the fuck else would have known less you told him, bitch? Huh?"
"Breeze, why would I tell him, huh? He just be another trick. That's all. He was just crazy. Just acting crazy. All coked up and acting up. He didn't know you was there. Dude was probably on them steroids or something. He scared me." Belinda was close to tears.
"Maybe he a fucking cop, bitch. You ever think of that? Maybe you want to get out the business and ready to punk out the Breeze." He slapped Belinda across mouth, hard.
A man walking past the two stopped. "Hey! Knock that shit off." He took a step towards Cool Breeze.
Byrd reached into his jacket and snapped out his switchblade. "You want to be a man, asshole? Get in my affairs?" The man put his hands up in the air and backed down the street.
"That's what I fucking thought," Breeze screamed down the street. He turned back to Belinda who was wiping the blood from her mouth with a handkerchief.
"I'm going to the crib and to get me a beer and something to smoke. Clean your ass up and get to work." Breeze began his practiced pimp roll down the sidewalk. He stopped suddenly as he glanced up at his apartment window which was easily visible from the street.
"What in the fu... " The top of Cool Breeze's head vaporized in a bloody mary mist. He fell straight back against a parking meter and sat there like he had just had one too many to drink.
Belinda put both hands to her mouth and screamed and screamed and screamed until she collapsed to her hands and knees and puked her Popeye's Fried Chicken onto the sidewalk.
The Warrior jumped back from the window. "Yes," he yelled, "what a shot, what a fucking shot!" He threw the rifle onto the couch, grabbed his bag, and busted ass out the door. He went down the stairs five at a time and came out in the back alley, where his contact from the base was waiting to rush him to the airfield.
He still couldn't believe he got paid for having so much fun.