A novel by R.S. Little
Hell to the no is a down-to-urban novel that tells the story of a one-man crime spree, named Tony who is a low level street thug trying to make it big. His heart is filled with anger, hate and rage until he meets Tamika. His life of crime has little meaning until he meets The REV.
Tamika a light-skinned honey whose heart is heavy but her spirit is pure. Tamika’s life has been nothing but strife. Her mother is a known heroin addict and prostitute who abandoned her only daughter to the streets.
The Rev is a shady spiritual leader. His religion is his money and he doesn’t care what it takes to get it. The Rev.’s greed, twisted personality and beliefs are exposed.
Can love conquer religion? Can love survive the Rev?
Hell to the No!!!
A Little Publications.com
1. The Rev.
The Reverend Karl J. Johnson, Jr. was born in Augusta, Georgia in the spring of 1926. The exact date of his birth was unknown. In those days, black folks' birthdays weren’t recorded by the census. Karl, Jr. was the second oldest child of Shirley and Karl, Sr. Shirley was only 15 years old when she met Karl, Sr. a young sharecropper with a sixth grade education. Karl, Sr. and Shirley had 13 children; three had died at birth.
Karl, Sr. worked hard in the fields to take care of his family of six boys and four girls. He believed in hard work and going to church regularly. Karl, Sr. had been a hero during World War I and believed in America’s dream. The Johnsons were third-generation living on the farm. The cotton fields spread out as far as the eye could see. The cottage was one large room with dirt covering the floor. The walls were made of mud and brick. There was no electricity or running water, and there was an outhouse that was used as their toilet. Their cottage was located behind a large white house that had served as the master’s quarters during slavery times. There were cows, chickens, hens, roosters, and goats in the large barn.
Karl, Jr. excelled in Bible study and as a junior minister. His gift was interpreting Revelations with extraordinary clarity. Even though he had only completed eighth grade in public school he was bright and enthusiastic about learning. Karl, Jr. asked a lot of questions and studied regularly. Karl’s conviction in God’s teaching was strong.
Samantha “Sam” Jones, his childhood sweetheart, commanded the attention of their young male peers with her voluptuous shape, dark-skin, thick legs and long hair. She knew she could have any boy in their community, but her heart, mind and soul were only for Karl. Samantha and Karl knew each other from church and made plans to marry. They could always be seen walking and talking together. They were in love and totally committed to each other.
Karl, Jr. waited for Sam at the side of the road. Outside the schoolyard is where they had always met but on this day she didn’t show up. At first he thought she was running her mouth with her classmates but they hadn’t seen her all day. The police, church members and community workers searched the woods and the lake for her. Karl, Jr. reassured himself that no one would ever hurt such a sweet person as he looked for Samantha.
“Oh, my god,” he said as his hands covered his face; he fell to his knees and sobbed loudly. Her nose was broken and a large, open gash appeared on her head. A large broken tree branch covered with her blood lay next to her. Her white cotton panties were stuck inside her mouth and her bra was tightly wrapped around her throat. Her legs showed of scratches and bruises. While she was covered in mud it appeared that she been dragged from the road. Large insects had begun to feast on her decomposing body.
Karl put her dress back on her limp body, placing her arms and legs inside her dress. Karl untied the bra from her neck and looked to see if the gold cross was still hanging around her neck. It had been his prized possession. He wept as he searched the ground for the necklace but he could not find it. He searched the edges of the river bank, the grass and the wooded area, but there was nothing. He picked her up off the ground and carried her body across the field. Her mother Edna spotted him and ran toward them screaming.
“No, not my baby,” Edna said as Karl carried Sam’s body into the house and placed her on the bed. Karl picked up a blanket and covered her body. He couldn’t believe this had happened. Edna was shocked and could no longer grasp the reality of the death of her child. Paralyzed, Edna fell into her rocking chair.
“Why did god let this happen,” Karl asked, doubting his faith. All he could do was cry and lie down beside his Samantha.
Nathaniel “Nate” Jones, Samantha’s father, comforted his wife as she cried over their daughter’s death. On that day he died with his daughter. Nate was crushed that he would have to bury his daughter. Nate was a skilled man who didn’t take any disrespect from anybody. The Jones family house sat on two acres of prime farmland. The Joneses were a prominent family and truly were among the few black folks to own their land. Nate began to drink daily and let the alcohol get the best of him. Their land became un-kept and harvest just didn’t seem to make a difference to him.
Young Karl was speechless; he vowed that he would kill whoever had done this. There were no suspects interviewed; nor did they find the killer. The case went cold and after two years it was closed. Many assumed it was the KKK but there was no proof. Karl began to drink, swear and have sexual relations with prostitutes in the local area. Karl turned his back on his god.
In June 1942 Karl, Jr. joined the United States Navy. He believed that he would get his fair share by joining the war effort. It was in the Navy that he would get the title of Reverend because he would minister to the black troops. Karl attained the rank of chaplain. He would get to travel to Japan, China, Korea and Hawaii. Karl loved to travel, but missed his home. In July 1946 Karl was discharged from the Navy and returned to Augusta, Georgia.
When he returned home his mother, father, sisters and brothers threw him a welcome-home party. They enjoyed seeing their son and brother safely home again.
Karl and Melvin had been friends since childhood. Melvin had signed up for the war but didn’t get accepted because of his poor eyesight. Even though he could see out of his right eye, his left eye was nearly closed shut, rendering it blind. Consequently, Melvin wore thick glasses and squinted when he talked. Melvin stood about 5’9” with a slim build.
Melvin and Karl went out to the local bar that night. They celebrated Karl’s homecoming by drinking shots of liquor. When the waitress came over to take their order, she leaned over and a small cross fell from her bosom. Karl immediately recognized the cross; it was the cross that he had given Samantha. He looked at the waitress and he stopped himself from jumping out of his seat.
“What’s your name,” he asked.
“Jessica,” she replied as she smiled.
“Let me get two more,” Karl said.
“Okay, Sugar,” Jessica said as she walked to the bar.
Karl’s head fell into his hands and his eyes became teary. He remembered the horror of finding Samantha’s body.
“What’s da matter,” Melvin asked, noticing Karl’s sudden mood change.
“Well, it’s that,” Karl began to say, but he quickly shut his mouth. He did not want Melvin to know what he had seen. His sadness turned to fury, but he knew that he needed to keep calm.
Sweat began to break out on his forehead; his eyes pierced Jessica’s chest. Karl tried not to look at her but his curiosity was getting the better of him. His mind was racing as he wondered, “How did she get the cross? Who gave it to her? Who was she related to?”
“Mel, how long she been workin’ here,” Karl asked.
“That’s Cory’s gal; she moved here from Alabama about a couple of months after Sammy went missing,” Melvin replied.
Jessica walked over toward them with the drinks. Her long and powerful legs shook as they moved. Her shirt that was tied in a knot would expose her flabby stomach. She was a large gal with a pretty face.
“That’s a beautiful necklace. Where did you get it from,” Karl asked as she placed their drinks on the table.
“Ooh dis little charm was a birthday present from my sweetie, Cory,” said Jessica.
Karl grabbed his drink and gulped it down as fast as he could.
“How could Cory do such a thing; he cared for her.” Karl couldn’t believe his ears. The rage he felt could only be assuaged by full payback. He wanted nothing but revenge.
Cory was the neighborhood bad-ass who was involved with bootlegging and gambling in Augusta, Georgia.
Karl sat in that chair watching Jessica’s every move. It was about 11:30 p.m.; Melvin was drunk and had passed out at the table with a drink in his hand. Karl picked Mel up, carried him to the car, and dropped him off in the back seat of the car. As he walked around the car, he saw a dark shadow come from the woods. The figure came closer to him. He couldn’t see anything but white teeth.
“Hey, man, it’s me,” Cory said as he approached Karl.
“Hey, Cory,” Karl yelled.
“Is dat you, Karl,” Cory asked as he embraced him.
A loud “crack” came from his nose. Karl had thrust his head into Cory’s face and blood spilled from his nose. Karl punched him to the stomach causing him to lean forward. Cory instinctively reached for his knife but dropped it when Karl’s knee collided with Cory’s groin, leaving him paralyzed. Karl grabbed the knife with his right hand and a head full of hair with his left hand. He pulled Cory’s head back exposing his neck. And without hesitation, Karl cut Cory’s throat and severed his artery. Cory grabbed his wound trying to stop the blood flow, but he fell to his knees as the blood began to discharge out of his neck.
“That’s for Samantha,” Karl whispered in his ear.
Cory’s eyes widened and he tried to gasp for air. Karl kicked him and spat on him as he lay there.
Jessica came out of the bar looking for her man. She spotted a figure on the ground.
“Cory, Cory,” she yelled. She tried to pick him up and let out a loud scream when she realized blood covered her hands.
“Please help, please help,” she screamed horribly as she ran back into the bar.
Karl started the car and pulled off, racing down the road.
“Mel, wake up,” Karl yelled as he slapped him. Melvin woke up out of his drunken stupor.
“What,” yelled Mel.
“I killed somebody,” Karl said as he drove to Atlanta. Karl jumped onto a railroad car and arrived in South Philadelphia in that summer of 1946.