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Concrete Jungle


    Franco is a successful businessman from Chicago who discovers some harsh truths about his current girlfriend and his family, and he will soon learn that his life is also in danger one winter weekend in February. Concrete Jungle is an urban fiction short story novella.

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    Jahlil gave Deon a quick right jab to his ribs, and Deon staggered but didn’t fall to the floor. Deon saw Jahlil’s left hook coming directly toward the right temple of his head seemingly in slow motion, but he couldn’t do anything to stop it. Jahlil then landed the final blow, and Deon hit the floor without being able to brace his fall. He had never been knocked out by anyone, and that moment seemed so surreal.

    Deon could still hear Jahlil and Stacy talking a minute later, but their dialogue sounded like a faint echo because his head was still ringing from Jahlil’s knockout punch. He lay on his deceased grandmother’s living room floor in a semi-conscious state and couldn’t move, and no matter how hard he tried, he couldn’t snap out of his haziness. It literally felt like not being able to wake up from a bad dream.

    “Damn, man, did you put him in a coma?” Stacy asked.

    “He’ll live,” Jahlil answered. “Let’s get this money.”

    “Where did Hassan say the stash was?” 

    “It should be buried in the floor in his bedroom upstairs.”

    “Do you think he was telling the truth about where he hid the money?”

    “I don’t know, but we’re about to find out.”

    “I think we’re gonna need a saw to cut the floor open, Jah.”

    “Nah, man, we don’t have time for all that. There has to be another way to get this money out the floor.”

    “Come on, let’s go upstairs and see what we’re working with.”

    Deon opened his eyes and tried to rise to his feet, but he initially couldn’t lift his body off of the floor. He watched Jahlil and Stacy disappear upstairs, and he drifted in and out of being cognizant for what felt like an eternity. He desperately wanted to get up and bolt out of there because he had a gut feeling that Jahlil was coming back to finish him off. He needed to find the strength to stand up, so he began to crawl toward the front door. He was dazed to the point of his immobility feeling like paralysis, but he was determined to regain full consciousness because his life depended on it.

    He eventually managed to pull himself together, and he staggered out the front door before Jahlil and Stacy came back downstairs. His head was pounding, his ribs felt like they were broken, and he felt like he was going to pass out once more. He fought like hell to stay focused because he knew that it was a strong possibility that if he totally lost consciousness again, he would be finished.

    Jahlil and Stacy returned to the living room a few minutes later only to discover that Deon had vanished. They rushed out the front door and onto the sidewalk to see if they could spot him.

    “Where do you think he went?” Stacy asked.

    “Come on, he couldn’t have gone too far,” Jahlil answered.

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