Sitting lacing my new tennis shoes on the stoop watching the traffic of people walk by and greet one another with formalities and handshakes. Two young kids slap box beside the box chevy with the hood up that somebody’s uncle is working on. The blood that was spilled on the concrete a few days ago has given way to the rain and footsteps of people carrying it with them, leaving only a light red mark now. It is a regular day on the Eastside of Americus Ga, me and a few friends are sitting around enjoying the warm weather and women showing a little more skin than the weeks before. J was in court so I was waiting on a phone call to find out whats what. I knew if I didn’t hear anything by 4:30 he probably had to go in and I would talk to his sister the next day to get everything he told me to pick up in case he had to go in prison. I opened my second beer and tried and failed to make a shot into the basket sitting on the bottom step of the porch. “That nigga gonna go in there and start laughing I’m telling ya bruh, they gon give J time on contempt that nigga crazy like that” a friend of mine says and makes his bottle cap shot “BAM”. As I laugh at his comment I notice down the street right next to the middle school a midnight black late-model SUV pulling up the street. This city is small so by now I know everybody who is anybody’s car and I know I’ve never seen that particular car before. I tap my friend’s elbow and directed his attention to the car rolling through the stop sign, we both reached for our loaded handguns which were underneath our metal picnic chairs. I feel the handle of the pistol and keep my eyes glued to the car. “Ya’ll niggas get back” I command the young kids who by now have quit slap boxing and were in the middle of the road talking to girls. Fearing the worst I didn’t want anybody hurt in any crossfire, I stood up and walked behind the box Chevy that was in the front yard in case I needed it for cover, while walking towards it I noticed the New Orleans Saints licence plate. I could feel my adrenaline start to take over and my muscles tighten with every step. The window rolled down and a man dark as night with dred locks in his hair and a multi colored headband holding them back leaned out of the window. “Hey boy, by tomorrow ya’ll niggas is off this corner this shit ours ya heard me” he said before the SUV sped off again before a moments notice. I took a deep breath and rubbed by face leaving the weapon on the tire in front of me. It was four weeks after hurricane Katrina ripped through the Bayou, I had heard from a few people in Atlanta about New Orleans transplants coming and trying to take over various sections of the city but I never imagined they would try to come to Americus. “Get everybody together tonight at midnight we gotta talk” was the mass text I sent out before leaving.