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The Powder By Thomas Gils


Every metropolitan has its own heartbeat, where the people explore its streets. Streets and alleys are the little things that keep it going, urban veins that transport us around the city. Unfortunately some of these veins are infested with drug dealers that try to take over the minds of the youth. The city and their people have to fight against this contamination that causes huge problems. On one of the corners of these alleys there is a boy. He’s tall and lean and in the dim light of a broken lamp post, we can just about see his dark brown hair. People are rushing past him, like he is invisible. Although he is quiet most of the time, he does sometimes speak out. When a girl walked past, rushing to where ever she had to be, he said “Hey you, pretty girl, where are you rushing off to? Come over here and I will show you how to have a good time.” She picked up her pace and once she passed him she kept looking over her shoulder to check if he wasn’t following her. If we could take a small journey to the center of the city we would find at least forty kids like Adam. There is also another sort of person that visits the dark spaces of the city. He is a normal kid just like Adam,

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but while Adam sells drugs; John is an avid user. He goes to a great school, has loving parents, that do not know that he uses. All in all he is a functional child. The only similarity between these two boys is that they both have been corrupted with the taint of drugs.

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Chapter 1 Standing on his usual corner waiting for his buyer, Adam was freezing his butt off. All he had to keep him occupied were some rats scurrying across the street. The stench of the alley hits Adams nostrils. The smell, of throw up and stale booze mixed into one, assaulted his sinuses. He never understood the type of people that drink so much that they have to puke in an alley, feeling sorry for themselves. It was not pleasant to stand there for a long time. Finally, on the other side of the street he saw a shadow in the shape of a person moving towards him, slowly but with intent. When the person passed by a light, Adam saw a disheveled looking boy, around seventeen years old, wearing a ketchup stained T-shirt, torn jeans and dirty broken sneakers with no socks. When he got closer he whispered anxiously “Are you Adam? I’m John” By the sound of his voice Adam could make out that this boy was very nervous. “How much are you looking for?” Adam said. The teenager started rummaging in all of his jeans pockets. He found a crumbled up note in his back pocket and tried flattening

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it with his hands. He looked at it and answered in a whisper “How much can I get for twenty?” Adam was stunned not only because this guy mentioned his name but also because no one ever asked for only half a gram before. Instead of answering he just held up a small see through bag with an even smaller amount of white powder. Before realizing what happened the bag was snatched out of his hands and a twenty Euro note was thrown at him. John walked away as quickly as he could, he did not want anyone to see him near the dealer. You never knew who was watching. On his way home the only thing he could think about was this white powder stuffed away in his jeans. The thought of locking himself up in his room, putting on his latest Eminem CD and then carefully cutting up the cocaine in thin lines ready to be snorted, already gave him a feeling as if he was on top of the world. A confidence boost that he could handle anything, everything and anyone, even his parents. He knew they meant well, but if they weren’t arguing then they were forever on his case about school and homework. For a split second he was tempted to use some of his drugs right there and then. He was able to sustain his

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urge knowing it would be better to save it for the party that was coming up. Before he knew it, John was standing in front of his house. He took a deep breath and regained his posture and thoughts before entering. He greeted his parents as usual and the evening passed slowly. He was told it was time to go to bed and that his parents loved him. This last statement always made him laugh to himself. He went to bed quickly, but not before hiding his small precious bag somewhere in his room.

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Chapter 2 The sun was shining on Adams back, voices were drifting up towards him and they were starting to sound like his mom calling “Adam, Adam are you up yet?” “Come on, it’s time.“ Deep sounding grunts were the only answer that he could muster at this early time of day. The thumping of footsteps on the stairs warned him that his mum would enter his room any second. Like every morning his mum started shaking him, saying “Come on, you lazy one. Get up.” Adam finally got to his feet, stumbled to the bathroom and took a nice shower. Once he was dressed he headed downstairs, had his breakfast and rushed off to school. While Adam was in school being a model student; John was skipping school with his group of friends smoking cigarettes and marijuana at the local park. Mumbling voices is all that John could hear while smoking his joint. “Hey man, are you paying attention?” That brought John back to the conversation that he had been taking part of before he drifted off. Upset for being disturbed in his day dream he snapped “Leave me alone, loser! What you were saying wasn’t that interesting anyway” The other guy was not willing to start an

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argument with John and continued talking to the others in the group. John took one more deep breath from his joint and zoned out again. Then he seemed to be falling deeper and deeper into a black hole. It felt like he had not been on the world for at least an hour but his friends assured him that he had passed out for only 2 minutes. John just stayed on the ground with the leaves rustling in the wind, sounding like waves breaking on the beach. He stared at the canopy of branches above him and saw the sun trying to break through. Beauty struck a chord deep within him, so peacefully. Suddenly he got up and without saying anything to his friends he decided to head on home.

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Chapter 3 Adam was sitting through his classes though his mind was not connected on the lesson at hand. Not that the teachers noticed. His grades were good and he managed not to draw any attention to himself. That suited him fine. He was thinking about how he was going to spend the money that he was making through selling cocaine. Business was good, he could buy whatever he wanted. He loved this feeling. The sound of the bells peel sounded amazingly jubilant that day. It symbolized the start of the holiday and therefore the start of the most amazing parties. Adam loved these small school breaks. Parents weren’t able to take days of work, so the kids had to take care of themselves, which resulted in random parties, where drugs always seemed to find its way in. These were the weeks that he made most of his money. Suddenly it dawned on him that it was his father’s fiftieth birthday in a few days and he wasn’t sure if his mum had organized a surprise party. If so, then his relatives surely would come over and stay for a while.

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This could be a problem because it meant that it was not possible for him to leave his house and stand on his usual corner. He had to figure out what was going to happen. He was worried that he was going to miss out on making lots of money selling his cocaine to these rich kids that wanted to buy drugs and possibly sell it on themselves. While Adam was in intense thought, someone was calling him. “Hey, Adam, hey man, listen up? Why are you walking away from me? Are you losing your mind?� When Adam heard this voice it did not register as a voice of one of his friends, because no one would question why he would walk away from them. Then it dawned on him, there was only one person that would dare to use that type of tone, and this person was not someone he wanted to ignore. It was David, his boss and supplier, standing there with his Armani jeans and jacket, Nike shoes, white tight t-shirt with his gold chain and amulet, in the shape of a gun, clearly visible. He was the one that told you where you where allowed to sell drugs. He was the one that collected all earnings and payed out a commission to kids like Adam. David asked how business was going, but Adam could sense that there were more serious things at hand. Page 10

Sure enough, what his boss had to say made his hairs on his arms stand up.

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Chapter 4 While Adam was listing to his boss, John was at his house with his friends. They had been drinking some beers and watching MTV until it was time for John to get ready for the party. Clothes were thrown all over his bed and bedroom floor. After hours of searching through his outfits, John decided to go to the party as he was dressed. He was getting anxious because he could not remember where he had saved his precious bag of white powder. Sweat was breaking out all over his body and his hart was racing rapidly. “Where? Where? Where?” was all that went through his head, like a mantra. He made himself sit down on his the edge of his bed, in order to calm himself and to start thinking more clearly. All of a sudden the doorbell rang. It was such a penetrating sound, like standing next to a mist horn. John panicked. A terrible thought crossed his mind. What if his parents found his stash and informed the police, just to teach him a lesson. He was sure that was it, the cops are at his door right now to take him in for questioning. What else could it be? He started hyperventilating. “Calm down” he started saying to Page 12

himself. “You’re wrong, it’s probably just some guy trying to sell something.””Anyway, your parents wouldn’t do such a thing.” Once he regained his posture, he went downstairs. He took in one more breath and wanted to open the door. “Don’t!” his friends hissed at him. John hesitated and looked sideways towards his peers. “Why not?” he whispered. “It’s the cops, man!” they replied. John felt as if the floor was taken from under his feet. He had to steady himself against the wall. Then like a lightning bolt, he ran upstairs, grabbed his backpack and stuffed all the cash he could find in one of the side pockets. Only when he was opening his bedroom window, he heard the hysterical laughter. His friends had played a prank on him. He felt so stupid and gullible to have believed them. The feeling of humiliation soon gave way to a feeling of rage. An image, of him holding a gun to their backs and seeing them begging for their lives, flashed through his mind. He laughed thinking of their possible reaction, when they would see that is was just a water gun.

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Chapter 5

While sipping on his diet coke, the conversation he had with David flashbacked through his mind. What the hell did he mean when he said “We have to take care of some liabilities”? It was nerve racking. Surely he meant that he’d have to kill someone and possibly someone he has been selling to. Why else would David ask him? The thought of what would happen if he messed up, frightened him to death. Either way, he would lose. Either it was David that would be after him for not following orders, or the cops for homicide. This was going to be the craziest holiday he has ever lived through… hopefully. He prayed that David would realize that he was not capable of such an act and that he would send one of his cronies to do this clean-up job. He was a dealer, for Christ sake! It was one thing to sell drugs and be a hot-shot dealer, it sure was something completely different to kill

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someone. This whole thing was scaring the hell out of Adam. While these thoughts were crossing through his mind an idea came to the fore front. He shivered. The person that was going to be “wacked” was possible a teenager that started dealing without David’s consent. He wanted to be the biggest and only supplier and wanted absolute power. Adam knew when he started dealing and building up a relationship with David, that serious crimes were related to drugs. Crimes he had managed to stay away from, until now.

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Chapter 6 The party was in full swing. Some kids were dancing to the beat of the music, some were playing games drinking shots of alcohol in the kitchen and some were even making out in the bedrooms. In the basement however, the music was falling on deaf ears. A group of teenagers, sitting on ragged sofas, focused their attention to a dirty stained coffee table. Someone there was cutting some cocaine in a ceremonial manner. Thin lines of coke where drawn on an old mirror. Everyone in this secluded group was holding on to a rolled up twenty Euro note, waiting for their turn to snort up the white powder. John eventually had found his stash. He was so relieved that he already had his fix before coming to the party. He was feeling all pumped up. Normally he was a shy kid, with a low self-esteem. No way would he dare to enter a party like this, even with his friends already inside. Now he walked around with confidence and attitude. Girls tried to get his attention. He loved it. He knew he wanted only one thing, to keep this high going for the rest of the night.

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He had to find someone at the party that willing to sell on some of their drugs. That shouldn’t be too hard, because a lot of teenagers did this. They sold some of their drugs on at a higher price to be able to sustain their habit, but if this meant that he did not have to go to the alley, then so be it. He just had to be careful not to overdose. He had no idea what quality he would be buying, so he had to be prudent. John got lucky; he wanted a secluded spot to get his fix. He decided on the bathroom on the first floor of the house. He sat down on the cold tiles and displayed his drugs. Once his coke was cut, he waited and had another drink admiring his handy work. Then he couldn’t hold it any longer. Just as he started to snort up, there was heavy knocking on the door. He wanted to ignore it and feel the powder go up his nose, but the noise was annoying and making him agitated. He got up to open the door, started saying “Who the fuck are you?” and lost all sensation in his legs. His friends, who had been looking for him, were able to catch him just before he smashed to the floor. They carried him out onto the patio and laid him on his side, so that he would not choke on his own vomit. Page 17

Chapter 7 The dark streets where really making him depressive because of them I was always pissed whenever he had to make a deal and also this attitude made the deals go by quicker and the sellers did not want to hang around for long after their buys so that the cops would not be attracted. The deal that was coming up now was going to be really important for me because of all the coke that this guy wanted to buy. This crazy dude wanted to buy one whole kilogram off of me and that suited me perfectly because that meant that the price that I could sell it at was immense and my commission was going to bring me up a couple of thousand Euros richer. Then I spotted a person leaning against the wall and I walked calmly towards him and did not have to rush because if he saw that there was something shady about this like he was a cop I could easily sprint towards the alley next to him and vanish for a long time. He stopped under a streetlight and beckoned for the guy to follow me down the road and he did. He was really straining his ears to hear if any sirens where going off but the neighborhood was deathly quiet. The deal went down quicker than any other deal that I have ever done and that is no surprise because the buyer was also walking around with 100 000 Page 18

Euros hidden inside his backpack if the cops came around and started to ask why he was carrying so much money around. They could easily arrest him on suspicion. What made me stop before he accepted the money was that most of the people that he had sold to where kids or people that lived in this neighborhood this man was different he was dressed in a nice suit and had a briefcase instead of a backpack of money, this only made him stop for a bit but not long enough for the man to notice the lapse. That was my last deal of the night and now he had had to pick up his pace and get over to David’s house before the meeting started because he had to give him his money and also get my commission before the others arrived. David’s house is not really a house that you expected a drug boss to have. It was a nice house with a huge garden and was also inside a gated community. So I had to knock on the door and also be frisked by one of David’s thugs, this only took a couple of minutes because he had to only frisk his person and also the briefcase. When Adam was inside he headed directly to the study where David was always situated before these meetings and dropped the briefcase on the desk and told him “I want my commission after the meeting I don’t feel comfortable sitting there with a large amount of cash on my person.” He expected him to rebel and tell Adam that he was the boss and he paid out the commission whenever he felt Page 19

like it but all he said was “I guess you’re right.” This shocked Adam but he did not show it to him after all he was the one that taught me to show no fear. After that David and Adam walked to the kitchen where the meetings were held because if the boys got hungry they could just go to the fridge and fix something up for themselves. But of course they had to ask permission first. The meeting had the general direction that there were some loss ends that need to be tied up. This meant that no one was to make any more deals till those were tied up. Then a question sprang to my mind and I asked “Do we all have to be involved in this tying up?” Then the dread answer came out of David’s mouth “Of course all of you have one target.” This stunned the room of normally rowdy boys in to a silence. Adam knew that this was going to be coming because I was thinking about it none stop since David had told me about it a couple of days earlier. While everyone was quiet, one of David’s thugs came around and handed out pictures to each and every one of them. Everyone understood what these pictures represented, these pictures where are loss ends that we all had to tie up. The scary thing was that we were all ready to do this because it was the best for the business. And the mindset that was spread out through this group was what is good for the boss is good for us.

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Although Adam did not feel entirely comfortable with the task at hand but if he wanted to keep on making money. Then he noticed the boy that I sold to a couple of days ago, what was his name again, that’s it was John. Adam then checked the picture in my back pocket. This then shocked me it was a match my loss end was John, what the hell no way I was going to pull the trigger on some one that never did anything against me. So he walked as calmly up to him and asked “Hey are you John?” all he replied was “Yeah what do you want?” Adam’s reply was simple “I just wanted to know if you know a place where I can get a cheap drink?” his reply was simple he told me to follow him because he wanted to go there himself. While we were walking Adam was actually thinking about pulling the gun on him and just not to get into trouble with David but then that part of his brain kicked in that always talked to me before he started to deal cocaine and it has been kept quiet by him by will till now. So just to prove that he was in control and that David did not control my life, decide to warn John what David wanted to do with his life. What the hell is this guy going on about he have never meet him before. Wait is this guy that where he bought his coke from, yea it is. What the hell he was sent to kill him because this insane drug boss thinks that I am a loss end that needs tying up. This guy is insane for believing Page 21

that sort of bullshit. No wonder that he feels guilty about trying to kill me. I had no idea that the world were my precious white powder came from was so messed up, if I knew that it would not even stop me I think it would just take a greater hold over me. So no matter what this guy tells me I am not going to go into rehab because of one maniac want to kill me that is not going to stop me from feeling great. After that explanation that stupid ass has the balls to tell Adam that he would like to buy another 10 grams off of him and that he has no money on him so that we have to go to his house to pick it up. What the hell is wrong with this dude he just told him that he is about to die and he doesn’t give a fuck. “What the hell is wrong with you? I just told that my boss would like to kill you and all you care about is to get more cocaine.� This shocked John but not enough to have him stop using drugs and thus Adam thought that he might have to shock him into giving up drugs. So he made him follow Adam outside. When we were outside Adam forced him to follow me into an alley and I pulled out the gun that was given to me by David, when John saw the glint of the gun he tried to run away but Adam saw his reaction and quickly put the gun away and John visibly calmed down. When I was talking to him again he

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seemed to take him some time again to register what he was saying. “What can we do to stop David?” this comment took me by surprise because I thought that he would just scream and go hide in his house but no he wanted to take down the drug lord. This is the one thing that he have been worrying about because he knew that one day he would have to both go to the cops and tell them about David or Adam would have to do it myself. The most appealing thing about it is that the cops would take direct action against him but if the boys went after him themselves. They would have to either sacrifice John’s life or Adam’s life which he was not looking forward to doing. When he came out of my thoughts and looked into the eyes of John he was sure that he saw a fire burning behind them and that was what convinced Adam that he should go there himself and finish this once and for all. While I was trying to find a way to get to David’s he was sure that John was going to run away but no he was sticking to his side like a loyal lap dog. I was sure that he was going to bail on me once we got to David’s. There was no way of telling what he was going to do when thugs were pointing guns in his face and he had to make decisions that would change his life and the life of others. Once Adam had found a taxi to drop us off near David’s house he had to make sure that John was going Page 23

to be okay with what we were going to do, Adam was also making sure that he was not going to freak once he had to pull the trigger. While that crazy boy was telling John that he was in trouble he was sure that he was making a joke and was going to tell him that John’s friends were behind this. Then when he pulled that gun he was forcibly reminded that this was no joke this was serious and I was sure that he was going to react like a scared kid but no something clicked inside him and this fire sprung in my eyes he must of seen it because he then headed out directly to get a taxi to the drug lord David. John still had no idea how he was going to help because he had no gun, he could not box but maybe he could make sure that the cops came on time. This is what he was going to contribute to this raid he guessed that he should call it in. While John was thinking they had already arrived at David’s house and Adam was ready to make the raid on the house. Adam was making sure that David and his thugs were nowhere near the back door when they were going to enter the house. After waiting for a couple of minutes we entered the house, he directly made sure that we were heading to the study were I was sure David was Page 24

sitting true to form he was there and he was there with three thugs and they all had their guns out. Shots started to be fired his now positive that most of his shots hit but the burning feeling that I had in his chest was probably from the bullets that David had shot and the burning feeling was intensifying and then everything went black and all the senses that he could control was my hearing he heard the sirens and the dealers screaming like scared children and David swearing and then everything went dead.

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The Powder  

Short story