Authors: lazarus Infinity
© 2013 by lazarusInfinity. All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in a retrieval system, transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic, mechanical photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without prior written permission by the author.
This is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents either are products of the author’s imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual persons, living or dead, events or locales is entirely coincidental.
Cover designed by Kit Foster Design:
Ain’t no grave can hold my body down
When I hear that trumpet sound
I’m gonna rise right out of the ground
Ain’t no grave can hold my body down.”
“You see, the problem with this country nowadays is n
obody has the gumption to bite into the heart of the problem anymore,” the man said as he cut deeply into the gorgeous mass of beef served on an elegant dish before him. King cut prime rib courtesy of the Rib Room in the French Quarter had been a favorite of his for many years. A popular haunt for high society figures, celebrities and the upper echelon of the city’s pecking order, the Rib Room was more of a tradition for his family than a casual dining experience. With its refined décor, impeccable service and the finest selection of culinary delights, Joseph Devereaux savored every bit of juicy flavor as the fork entered his mouth. Medium rare; incredible flavor with just a little blood to satiate his refined palate. Man was made to devour flesh every now and then. It was natural; a primal way of life that he understood all too well and often incorporated into the business world.
A well-known and respec
ted figure in Louisiana political circles for many years, he was a tall, boisterous figure of a man with his well-tailored suits and gallant Southern charm. Making his living off the family business in sugarcane, cotton and various securities, he was also one of those guys behind the iron curtain of politics that became the stuff of legend. His father, the late Alexander Devereaux was an old running buddy of guys like Huey P. Long and Clay Shaw. Through various contacts behind the scenes, he’d even helped Clay Shaw found the historic New Orleans Trade Mart. In those days, the Devereaux family also had a rather discreet history of gun running. Coupled with their trade negotiations with Cuba, El Salvador and various parts of Latin America, the profitable partnership helped the family live as high on the hog as possible. Eventually things began to turn sour in the summer of 1963, during the anti-Castro movement when Lee Harvey Oswald was spotted handing out pro-Castro leaflets down on Canal St. This was already a bit of a sore subject, as history would later prove Oswald to be a pawn of various channels within the U.S. government. The American intelligence community in those days had plans of their own, not just on the Castro issue but also in organized crime along with the Vietnam War. Eventually tensions would grow high, brimming to a fever pitch one humid day in November of 1963 when John F. Kennedy, the 35
President of the United States was assassinated.
Sitting next to his wife Delphine, quite the respected socialite as w
ell, the Devereaux clan’s historic ties in Louisiana corruption and organized crime made them a powerful force to be reckoned with for many years. From the days of working hand in hand with former governor Edwin Edwards, the family even had ties with the infamous ‘Godfather of New Orleans’ in Carlos Marcello. Quite the formidable figure in her own right, while many saw Joseph Devereaux as the head of the family, many who knew them personally saw Delphine as the power behind the throne. Hell, in some social circles, she
the throne, and reveled in the knowledge of this as she bit down on a generous portion of prime rib herself. Rare. Bloody. Perfect.
“This country’s gone to Hell in a hand basket if you ask me,” Joseph continued. “All these illegals and whatnot destroying our economy, getting a free ride at the expense of decent, hardworking Americans. Got these gays running around screaming for their damn rights, destroying the very fabric of Americana, soiling the population with their degenerate indecency and disease…and that’s why we have this ‘problem’ now.”
With the precis
ion of a determined and skilled surgeon, Joseph sliced away at his prime rib. The veins in the tops of his hands throbbed intensely as he made his point.
“Damn shame if you ask me,” he said.
“Back in the 80s the government had this little problem of ours contained, and with a very specific purpose. Now it’s all shot to Hell, breaking out not only across the country but other parts of the goddamn world. Complete and utter chaos…and what does our so-called ‘President’ do?”
He took a massive bite into the cut of beef.
“Well it’s not surprising. See that’s what happens when you open up the White House to a-“
And with that, Delphine waved her hand, cutting him off.
Joseph looked across the table to see the slightly distraught face of his son Blake. A strapping young man at the tender age of 23, his striking features and figure had become a rather chiseled copy of his father’s from earlier years. A political science major at Loyola University, he was already pegged to carry on the Devereaux legacy in every way. Famous throughout the upper social class circles of New Orleans, the young buck’s penchant for women and drink became well documented. The apple certainly didn’t fall far from the tree. Beneath the polished, chiseled exterior of the young lad’s face was a longing that brought a bit of melancholy to the moment.
“Joseph, I’ll not have that kind
of talk right now,” Delphine commanded. “Not civilized conversation at the dinner table, especially in front of our son.”
“I’m just stating the obvious honey,” he fired back. “We’ve had these second rate protesters popping up all throughout the city, complaining about equal rights, affordable medica
l care and the like, all the while taking a free ride on the backs of decent Americans like you and I. This situation has gotten so out of control that we’ve had to cordon off the savages in cages around the city…and even that’s beginning to become a problem! Talk about ‘the 99%’...my ass!”
“Can we give it a rest for one day please?” the young man commanded.
“This city is out of control and most of my friends have either skipped town or died. Pretty soon there won’t be much of a city left to hold on to and you’re sitting here having dinner like nothing’s happened. If only we’d been there to protect-“
“We’ve talked about this enough son,” his mother added sharply. “This hasn’t been an easy thing for us to accept at all but she’s gone. Your father and I tried everything we could to get her back, but she wouldn’t listen. She made her decision and it cost her. Best
thing to do now is to focus on what we can salvage. Eat your dinner Blake. It’s one of the few pleasantries we have left before everything is really shot to Hell.”
Blake looked on at his mother and father consuming their meals under the bright lights that did absolutely nothing to illuminate his dark mood. His blackened redfish coupled with his favorite cauliflower puree
would not fare much better to lift his spirits either. Not on this day. The son simply looked on with utter disdain coupled with nausea as the parents consumed their meal without a care in the world. Joseph Devereaux took a moment to take it all in. Ingesting the splendor of the room as he sipped on a bracing glass of Macallan 25, the memories of ‘Old New Orleans’ seemed to march through his mind as vibrantly as a parade. Putting the glass down and slicing away at the flesh before him, he looked over to his son.
“New Orleans will be great again son, I promise. It’s like I said, you just have to have the gumption to bite into the heart of the problem.”
“Juan’s or Felipe’s?” the driver asked.
He was a burly yet bookish
figure of a man in his late 20’s. His long dreadlocks pulled back revealed quite a deceptive face; one that could show tremendous warmth and humor one minute followed by intense fury and vengeance the next. Barabbas Purify quickly dabbed at his chin, removing a slight crimson stain with a handkerchief. He groaned slightly at a few drops of crimson unnoticed earlier that had made their way onto his prized John Lennon t-shirt that he’d gotten from a friend in New York City. Visibly annoyed to the ever-commercial sounds of Pop radio, his muscular arms completely covered in tattoos of doves, roses and cherry blossoms could easily cause a few double takes. There was certainly more to the lad than met the eye. He reached for the glove compartment, retrieving a small bottle of eye drops. Staring at his weary visage in the rearview mirror, it was evident he hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep in a while.
I say Juan’s hands down,” Barabbas beamed.
Juan’s Flying Burrito was
one of the most beloved Mexican restaurants in town. With two locations in the New Orleans area, it was the one on world famous Magazine St. that held the most nostalgia for him. One of the best places to be on a Friday night, the Veggie Punk burritos along with the Luau Quesadilla were too much to resist for him. Coupled with an ice-cold glass of Don Julio Blanco, the memories made him almost as misty-eyed as the drops of Visine. It was where he had some of his craziest times from college. It was also where he first met…her.
“You gotta be
kidding me,” the tall, bespectacled figure in the passenger seat groaned. “Juan’s is badass, but there’s no way it can compare to Felipe’s! Have you tried their steak tacos? And the queso is unreal!”
Nicodemus Jackson was a spry 28-year old with a metabolism that
was flat out ridiculous. Barabbas often found it rather agitating how the kid could pile on the food, yet never gain a pound. He could feel his growing gut protruding out over his belt buckle as he went on and on. Close friends since high school, they were a regular dynamic duo. Getting into as much trouble as they got each other out of it, Barabbas was the more sensible of the duo. Nicodemus…not so much.
“I’m not fucking with Felipe’s anymore,” Barabbas fired back.
I have spent way too much cash in that place. Their food is pretty fresh but I seriously think they put crack in that queso. Why do you think the place is always packed? It’s like freaking zombies in there!”
Barabbas was no stranger to Felipe’s by any means. Game night on a Sunday was the typical spot to catch Nicodemus betting money on a Saints game. That of course was before the infamous ‘Bountygate scandal’ that left the team without a coach and Nicodemus without his usual scam.
With star quarterback Drew Brees carrying the team on his shoulders, the Saints were having a dramatic, Cinderella season. The boys had somehow made it through the playoffs and were now heading into the Super Bowl. With the game now taking place in New Orleans, the city was in a constant state of chaos. For the first time in its history, the Super Bowl would be taking place right in the middle of the annual Mardi Gras season. Military and media presence abound, many wondered if New Orleans would actually survive the madness.
“That Roger Goodell
is a real piece of trash,” Nicodemus screamed as if on cue.
Barabbas should’ve seen it coming. The NFL commissioner didn’t gain any new fans with his suspension of sever
al key Saints players and personnel, and the city wasted no time in showing its displeasure of him by posting ‘DO NOT SERVE THIS MAN’ signs throughout many restaurants in the city.
“Why don’t you tell us how you really feel brother?” Barabbas chuckled as he checked the rearview mirror.
The street behind him was awfully desolate, painting a visage of a virtually deserted part of town.
“Can you believe that asshole will actually be in our city?” Nicodemus asked. “Bastard did all he could to keep us out of the Super Bowl this year. I would love to run into that cocksucker. Just once.”
“You wouldn’t do a damn thing and you know it,” Barabbas said. “With all the security in town for the game, you wouldn’t get within ten feet of that son of a bitch.”
Barabbas continued to look around at his surroundings.
“Come to think of it, that’s what’s bothering me. You’d think that with everything going on in the city, this thing would’ve been cancelled. Why isn’t anyone saying anything?”
Nicodemus gave him a perturbed look.
“You’re kidding right? With all the millions this city would lose on revenue, do you really think they’d cancel the Super Bowl
Mardi Gras? No way they’re shutting the city down now. Even if-“
Out of nowhere, a piercing wail silenced the duo. They looked around in all directions. Nothing was spotted on th
e street. A virtual ghost town completely devoid of life, they were in a part of the city seemingly cut off from the rest of the civilized world. The duo exited the car, a prized black MINI Cooper with gold racing stripes down the middle. A fully customized John Cooper Works Edition complete with a ‘Who Dat’ license plate, the car was a thing of beauty. Sleek. Swift. Badass. Nicodemus wasted no time checking his appearance in the side mirror before donning his prized
jacket complete with fingerless driving gloves and his trusty baseball bat.
You gotta be fucking kidding me right?” Barabbas groaned at the sight. “You look like a damn fool with that thing on.”
“Jealousy will get you nowhere my brother,” Nicodemus said. You could use a few of my fashion tips if you ask me.”
Barabbas couldn’t help shaking his head as he approached the trunk of the car.
“That’s a damn shame. First your annoying
bubblegum Pop music, now this. And to think you actually call