Xavier Alonzo Gambol is a 16 years old high school sophomore, National Honor Student and All-State Baseball Player with an 85 mph fastball. His family and friends affectionately knew him as Xavy. Sunday morning he was baptized. Sunday night he went to the movies with friends. Monday morning he came home … dead!
Xavy Gambol’s was a young life full of potential, tragically cut short. His death … the death of a teenage boy; would spark a shockwave of activity throughout the city. The police need the cooperation of the citizens in the roughest housing projects in the city to help bring justice to the family. Cooperation they will never get because where they live, street justice is more feared than the police.
Thelonious Uriah Gambol is now a Preacher. His family and friends know him as TUG. He is a now father, a husband, a brother and a son. He is now a man with a job and a family to care for. This is now! Back then, Tug was known in the streets as ThUG. Tug needs ThUG to find Xavy’s killer and bring justice to the family. The police either can’t or won’t do it. So ThUG has to do it himself … As only he knows how.
The good news for the family … is that Tug was Xavy’s favorite uncle. The bad news for the killer … is that Xavy was ThUG’s favorite nephew! Xavy’s death must be avenged. Justice must be served. In order to find a killer, a Preacher must go back. Back to the person he thought dead and buried. Back … to an Altar Ego!
Sonny Boy was an early riser who liked to get to the office by six o’clock. Being the first one at work every morning gave him time to make fresh coffee and wake up slowly before the rest of his co-workers arrived around seven. Billye was in the shower Monday morning when the doorbell rang. She stuck her head out the shower curtain and called, “Xavier, get the door.” Her chin dripping water to the floor, she waited for a reply. Nothing. The doorbell rang again. “Xavier Gambol, I’m in the shower. Get your butt up and answer the door.” Still no reply. Assuming that Xavy had not answered her because he was too tired from coming in late – he wasn’t at home when she had gone to bed at eleven - Billye decided to give her son a personal invitation to join the living. Billye grabbed her robe, and leaving the water in the shower running, walked out of her bathroom and into her bedroom. She glanced at the alarm clock and saw that the time was six-twelve. She made her way to Xavy’s room and slammed open the door. “I said answer the door!” Billye yelled. Her anger was met with silence as the empty bedroom echoed her disgust. That damn boy must’ve forgotten his key. Billye cursed the whole way down from his bedroom to the front door. What the hell is he thinking coming in here at the crack of dawn? I go to work, I give him new sneakers, he has the latest video games and still I have to put up with this shit. I’m a grown ass woman with a job and this boy thinks that he can stay out all night. I can see I’m going to have to whoop his ass good today! As she arrived at the bottom of the staircase, Billye could see two shadows on the porch through the window in the front door. Not expecting company at the door this early in the morning, Billye tightened the belt in her robe and brushed the wet hair from her face. Who would Xavier be bringing home with him at this hour? Reaching the front door and ready to snatch a knot in her son’s narrow behind, Billye flung the door open forcefully to a surprise of epic proportions. There were two men in boring, dark suits, standing there with grim looks on their faces. One man was black, the other of Hispanic decent. “Morning Ma’am,” the black man in the navy blue suit said to Billye. He pulled out a badge and showed it to her. Badge 512. Detective. Hammond Police, was inscribed on the gold badge. Billye knew enough about the law, through Myles’ job and Tug’s childhood shenanigans, to know that the Police showing up at your front door meant they were there to arrest someone or that someone had died. Of course, if someone had been arrested, you, or whomever they called with their one free phone call, received a phone call from them, not the police. Police at your door may as well have been the Grim Reaper himself knocking to tell you of your misfortune. Police at the front door? Xavier still hadn’t answered me from his room when I called him from my shower to answer the door. Needing to prove her first instinct wrong, Billye screamed … “Xavier!” hoping her son was somewhere else in the house since he was not in his bed. Nothing but silence returned her call. Again she yelled, this time in the motherly call all children hate to hear, “Xavier Aloysius Gambol, get your tail down these steps right now!” Silence continued to answer her call. Silence yelled back down the stairs angrily, wondering why she was disturbing the quiet in the house. “Ma’am?” the detective called to Billye urgently. “NO!” Billye replied abruptly to the officer’s inference. Holding up her opened palm hand to stop him from letting out whatever he had planned to say next. Billye took two steps up the stairs and shouted her only son’s full name once again. This time like she was mad at him for being late. “Ma’am?” the detective touched Billye on the shoulder. “Can I talk to you about Xavier?” Quickly putting two and two together, Billye shrieked, backed down the stairs, and slowly reached up to the sky, “No. No. Don’t you dare say it,” Billye pleaded. Her knees buckled, her body suddenly feeling faint. The two police officers stepped to the stairs and caught Billye by her arms as the reality sank in that her baby boy would never come home again. “Why God?” she cried to the ceiling. “Nooooo!”
Having begun his writing career while still on active duty in the military, Adrian Sexton has continued his writing through his recent retirement from the service.
A bright, young writer whose words leap off the page at you, his novels focus on how contemporary African-American life maintains a poignant motif, incorporating vernacular and slang from popular and urban cultures. He weaves tales in various settings throughout the United States involving a diverse variety of characters such as preachers, ex-gang members, pro athletes, lawyers, politicians and military men.
Now a permanent resident of Virginia, he is currently working on his third novel, the much anticipated sequel to Chemistry Matters.