Chapter 1: The Rising
Published: Monday, October 8, 2012
Updated: Monday, October 8, 2012 12:10
Yasser Shaikh, a senior majoring in biotechnology, will provide The Spectrum with a chapter from his fiction story that depicts the life of a college senior law student who happens to get involved in a Mexican mafia drug cartel and soon finds himself running from the cops. This is chapter one, “The Rising.”
Born in the family of a gunsmith, Mario Ramirez was never afraid of guns. He spent his childhood, and the later years, looking down corroded and jammed barrels of AK-47s and Beretta 93Rs. Except for one occasion, where the residual gunpowder combusted and burnt his hair, Mario was never scared viewing through a barrel. But this was different. He was looking down the barrel of a Glock 18, but he was not cleaning it this time. Rather, it was about to clean him off.
The man holding the gun was a friend. But that didn’t do anything to alleviate his anxiety. The El Salvadorian asked him in a rough tone, “I will ask you one last time Mario, quien mató a mi hermano? Who killed my brother? Say it!”
Mario was already saying his prayers. He couldn’t tell even if he knew the name of the person. “I dont know. Lo juro por mi madre. You have to believe me amigo.”
But Eduardo was not taking no for an answer. His brother Edmundo was killed last night. And he knew it had to do something with the Mafia. He had seen the pictures of the Black Hand tattoo on the back of his brother’s lifeless body. It was flashed over the news. It was a deshonra for his family. And Eduardo decided to take revenge.
The last person to have seen his brother was Mario, who was Edmundo’s boss and friend of two years. Ever since he had sneaked into the land of América. And Eduardo, better known as the killing machine-máquina de matar-amongst his friends, knew that Mario was privy to something he was not telling. But Mario knew he would be in trouble if he spoke anything against the dreaded eMe.
If he did not speak Eduardo would only kill him, but if he did pass out a word against the Mafia, his family would be killed, his daughters raped and his sons castrated. He would trade his life anytime for the safety of his family. It was the Hispanic Code, “familia es lo primero”- family came first.
Ed knew that Mario would not say anything. But he wanted to send a message to the people who had taken his brother away. He pulled the trigger on his silenced pistol twice in a row. And in a matter of seconds, Mario was dead. “Que tenga paz” he muttered under his breath, as if he had just killed a priest. He then tore a sheaf of page from the register at the counter and wrote in Mario’s blood, “Yo te encontraré. ¡Hijo de puta!”
This was a strong enough message, he thought. He sneaked out the back door and by the time he reached Flatbush Avenue Subway Station, the body was found and reported by Mario’s youngest daughter Elvira.
Eduardo huddled in the crowded train and kept his head immersed behind a copy of “El Diario.” There was news about his brother’s death on the front page with a picture of the “M” tattoo on his back. The writer was a Dominican and criticized the Mexicans for shaming the Hispanic community in New York. But Eduardo was least interested in knowing her views about the Hispanic Moral Code.
He got off the train at Bowery a little while later. He had to make one more stop before he returned to his safe haven in the Bronx. But he was not here to kill anyone. Instead he was here to meet a friend, someone who had been his information network for the past eight years, Sergeant Jim “Ricochet” Hernández.