The Meth Chronicles Volume 1
The Chill13 gang of Los Angeles is ruthless. Drugs, murder, robbery, prostitution, violent rivalries. They are a parasitic drain on society that seemingly cannot be eradicated because like the Hydra, remove one head and another appears. That is until they kill a Redondo Beach police officer in the commission of a robbery and then attack the family of a very powerful Curandera visiting L.A. from Mexico.
The Curandera empowers the two Redondo Beach detectives hot on the case with a small sliver of her abilities and together they take on the ruthless gang, saving a young boy targeted for recruitment in the process.
Rock is a stark, oftentimes disturbing view of the underbelly of L.A. gang life and meth, but it’s also a very unique book with many compelling storylines, including the double entendre of the title, for Rock is partly a story of a literal black rock.
Diego Rivera was facing the ocean and could actually see the place they were going to rob from his parking stall. It was a restaurant built on pylons over the water, yet it was inside the main pier complex, kind of in its own man-made cove. The name Sinbad flashed in neon, contrasting with the darkened sky of the Pacific Coast.
He was in the outermost parking lot of the Redondo Beach Pier in Los Angeles County. Redondo Beach was a peaceful city of about one hundred thousand people and they didn’t get the big city crime here—usually. A comforting thought to Diego, as it meant their police department would be unprepared.
The area was mostly filled with rich white people, and as far as Diego was concerned, when he thought of rich white people, the skin whitened on his hands as he over-gripped the steering wheel, unconsciously choking them. Rich white people had never done anything but look down on him.
At five foot seven and a hundred and forty pounds, Diego Rivera had the body of a man wrapped in copper wire. After doing a three-year stretch in Avenal State Prison for strong-armed robbery, Diego also wore the obligatory teardrop tattoos that his gang required, one for each year he had been in.
He looked in the mirror at his slicked-back hair and stern features and he even scared himself, well figuratively. He looked at his watch. It was ten forty-five and the restaurant closed in fifteen minutes. He could see the upper parking lot that served the restaurant directly. It was a niche parking lot tucked way back from the main pier. So was Sinbad’s Restaurant for that matter. If one wanted to go there, one either walked from the main pier or parked up top in their small lot. Of course, one could park where he was and walk over, but he hadn’t noticed a single person do that in the last two days. Apparently all those fat and spoiled white people he hated were too lazy to walk up a flight of stairs to eat a meal.
He picked this spot for several reasons. The first of which was that he had disabled all the cameras two days beforehand. He simply spray-painted over them with black paint. After two days, no had come to repair them yet. The second reason was that the exit from this lot had many more escape possibilities than the pier’s main entrance, which actually headed up toward the town’s police department.
He climbed the stairs to the upper parking lot that served Sinbad’s. Stopping at the top of the staircase, he surveyed the whole lot. There were less than thirty cars total, which was just about how many they estimated there would be. They’d been watching the shifts and decided that Thursday was the night to do this. Diego lit a cigarette and took a puff. He knew better than to leave the butt, the cops could even snag you from a dropped butt nowadays.
He wore a baseball hat when he got out of the car, and he was an expert at dipping it to hide his tattooed tears. As soon as people observed the tears on his cheek, they couldn’t be any more terrified of him.
Diego knew where the cameras were on this level, too, but found it too risky a move to disable them in the open like he had the others. Instead, when the authorities reviewed the tape, they just would be looking at a nondescript medium build man in a hoody and jeans, wearing a baseball cap. He also had one more secret weapon that he would put on before the heist. He tapped his pocket and felt the bulge of his bandanna. Diego extinguished the smoke and stuck the butt in his back pocket, the warm afterglow noticeable to him through the denim of his jeans. It also brought the other object in the pocket into his thoughts—his stiletto.
Outside the main entrance, he surveyed for any potential interference. Once the robbery started, he would take anyone who wandered up as a hostage. Inside his hoody pocket were ten zip ties and a Glock nine-millimeter handgun that he had no compunction about using if provoked.
Suddenly, from inside he heard a woman scream and he knew it had begun. Then he saw one of his gang violently ushering a female out from the bathroom. The plan was to start in the bathrooms and kitchen so no cell phone enthusiast could ruin their party. He saw the front entrance was clear and he focused on the area in front of the restaurant. So far their luck had held. No new patrons or couples were walking by that might straggle in at the wrong time. As he was looking to the left, the front door suddenly flew open and a white male in a business suit burst through the entrance way. He was trying to make it to the short set of steps that lead to the upper parking lot.
Diego was very quick to respond and before the man even reached the first step, the butt of his Glock found a nice resting spot on the man’s skull. He quickly zip-tied the man’s limbs like a spider incapacitating its prey. He realized now that the action might have been caught on some camera for future review, but thankfully he had placed the bandanna on just before he’d heard the scream.
He pulled the thirty-something runner back to the restaurant and opened the door. Once he threw the puto through the entrance, he could hear all the fun. The first thing he heard was a woman whimpering and one of his gang yelling at her to shut up. That brought a smile to his face. The man he’d knocked out started to come to, so Diego obliged him with a nasty second lick from the butt of the Glock, this time on the temple, and Diego was sure this businessman would rise no more tonight.
He looked up in time to see a man jump up and protest. He was a white male who looked to be about sixty. Diego could tell he was some sort of big shot by the way he was telling them they had better run now, because there was no way in hell they were getting away with this.
Diego looked around the restaurant. As the night waned, the restaurant had closed every other dining area except one, so his four men had no problem covering the fifteen or so tables that were still occupied. Diego saw Rosie react to the objecting man in a way that made him so proud. Ever since he’d killed her boyfriend in a knife fight, she had done nothing but impress the fuck out of him at every opportunity. Rosie wanted a real man to lead her, and when her boyfriend said the wrong thing to a real man, Diego killed him immediately.
At first, the pompous man in the restaurant didn’t get why one of the waitresses was screaming at him, telling him to shut his fucking face or she would cut his heart out. But when she actually picked up a steak knife and made a move for his overbearing ass, he sat down, just as instructed, his face flush and his white hair falling down on his profusely sweating and red forehead.
Diego was a ghost; no one had seen him come in. He knew he was being derelict in his door duty, but he couldn’t take his eyes off of his woman at work. His gang was removing the patrons’ items as well as those of the restaurant. Only the Manager and the kitchen staff were not in on their heist. So from a patron’s point of view, the world must have gone upside down when it was the staff that robbed them at a fine restaurant in Redondo Beach.
Rosie didn’t relent when the guy sat down, she kept pointing the knife and uttering things like, “You think you’re special, Motherfucker? You’re not special.”
Diego was just about to turn to go back when it happened. A patron in the corner table with his date sat up and shot the gang member closest to him. He immediately got the drop on the other three as they were watching Rosie. He was yelling “RBPD,” and Diego had one opportunity before the hombre moved forward and the central planter blocked him. He raised the Glock and fired, hitting the cop in the head and killing him instantly. His body fell straight to the ground and Rosie let out a banshee-like scream as she flew across the room and started stabbing the fallen man repeatedly in the chest.
The cop’s date screamed bloody murder. In fact, she wouldn’t stop screaming. Diego ran across the room and pointed the gun at her, but she wouldn’t stop. He raged, “SHUT UP,” as a nearby couple, sitting with their nine-year-old daughter looked on in horror. While the cop’s date continued her wailing, Diego made eye contact with the terrified mother. She screamed as well and blanketed her child in a human shield as her husband pleaded with him not to shoot them.
Diego was suddenly dealing with too many things. Even though he was a hardened criminal, he had a hard time concentrating when too many things were happening at once. That was why he included Rosie in in the first place; she had a cool head in a crisis. But he should have noticed that she hadn’t slept in a few days. That was a mistake. He had the cop’s date screaming, the people pleading, and Rosie repeatedly stabbing the cop he’d just killed, creating a cacophony of sound and images that he couldn’t deal with. On top of that, his gang was looking to him for leadership.
First, he pistol-whipped the cop’s screaming date, right on the side of the face. She fell whimpering. Then he walked over to Rosie. She was a mess. Covered in blood and angry, he could see she had been up a long time by the maddened look in her eyes. Any time Rosie had been up for too long and something happened, it sent her to the irrational place. Diego was the only person Rosie wouldn’t kill on sight.
The horrified patrons watched as Diego approached her. She instinctively clawed at him as he reached down, partially removing his bandanna by accident. Not being in a position to barter, Diego knocked her out with a single punch to the top of the head. She fell right in place, but as he bent down to pick her up, his bandanna fell off.
Using the ball cap to shield his face he scooped her up, but he never saw the little girl peeking through her mother’s arms at the man who just killed a police officer in the line of duty, but if he had, he would have known that she would never be the same again because of him.
Diego bolted out, carrying Rosie as if she were a rag doll, and he never said a word as he ran by the remaining gang members. They knew the plan, no man left behind. He had no idea which member of the gang had been shot by the cop as they wore bandannas as soon as the robbery started, but one thing he knew, the heat was going to be on for a while over this.
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