Excerpt for The American Disease, Episode 3 by , available in its entirety at Smashwords

The American Disease / Episode 3: “Money Over Everything” / Omar Tyree 55




Mystery / Suspense / Drama


Omar Tyree

Copyright © 2018 By Omar Tyree at Smashwords

This book is a work of fiction. Any names, characters, places

and incidents are either products of the author’s imagination or

are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales

or person, living or dead, is entirely coincidental.

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced in any form,

including electronically or audio without permission from

Hot Lava Entertainment, Charlotte, North Carolina


Library of Congress Catalog Number:

Cover Art By: Donnie Ramsey

Proofread By: Ellen Sudderth

Typeset By: Nicola Mitchell

Final Corrections By: Omar Tyree

Episode 3:

Money Over


Life I

Private investigator Robert Hunter was persistent at hunting down Billy Green’s young cousin for another conversation. He wanted a one-on-one with the man away from the barbershop, where they could talk more freely. So he caught up to him inside the parking lot of a neighborhood grocery store.

Billy’s young cousin spotted the P.I. in a dark grey business suit with his thick jet black hair, shining in the early sunlight, and the young man stutter stepped. He was carrying two bags of groceries in his hands, and he didn’t know if he wanted to turn around or keep walking toward his car. However, Robert had taken a great angle to cut him off before the young man could reach his brown Buick Cascada.

Realizing that he was trapped, the young man shook his low-cut head in defiance, while dressed in navy blue workout sweats, and he decided to walk harder and faster toward his vehicle, as if he was ready to bowl the private investigator over.

“I don’t know why you’re harassing me, man. I don’t have nothing to say. We told you that already.”

Robert grinned and was unyielding. “Come on, Anthony, we’re talking about your big cousin here. I know you looked up to him. Tell me about the big plans you brought up during his burial.”

Anthony shot him a look and wondered how the P.I. knew his name. But he was an investigator, so he had probably asked a few people.

“Look, man, everybody has plans,” Anthony grumbled. “Don’t you?”

He switched the second grocery bag to his right hand and pulled out his car keys from his left pocket.

“With the way you spoke about it at the burial, I figured you two had some plans worked out together,” Robert pressed him.

“Yeah, he’s my fuckin’ cousin. Of course we had some plans together,” Anthony stopped and barked.

“But his friend Mackenzie didn’t care about those plans too much, huh?”

Anthony paused to gather his thoughts. “Mack didn’t care about nothing, man. He barely gave his mom any money,” he commented. “But you should already know that by now. You an investigator, right? Well, investigate his shit. And you’ll find out everything you need to know.”

“Oh, I will investigate Mack. I just wanted to start with you first.”

“For what? What you think you gon’ get outta me?”

With a few other shoppers walking by, Anthony felt a touch of embarrassment about airing his frustration. And it was none of their business.

Robert said, “You tell me. I could sit in the car with you and talk right now.”

“I got things to do, man,” Anthony countered. “But you gon’ wake up this early in the morning to catch me, huh? Am I that important?”

“The early bird gets the worm,” Robert joked. “And sure you’re important.”

“I ain’t no damn worm, man. And I ain’t no squeal either.”

“What’s there to squeal about it?” the P.I. asked him smoothly.

Anthony signed and looked around to make sure it was safe to give the man a clue. Once he decided their surroundings were clear, he spoke more calmly.

“Look, man, if you really wanna investigate something then find out where Mack got his money from. That’s what you really need to be asking.”

Robert nodded and thought about it. He said, “I already know where he got the money from.”

Anthony looked confused. “Then why are you out here bothering me? That’s your case right there. But they sent you out here to bother the little guy, right? That’s all my cousin talked about,” he hinted.

“Nobody cares about a black man’s plans, not even his own friend,” he went on. “And I ain’t know Mack all that well either. If you ask me, he was a weirdo.”

“A weirdo in what way?”

Anthony grimaced and shook his head. “You go find out for yourself, man. I did enough talking already.”

Robert nodded again and pulled out a business card from his suit jacket. “Well, if you’d like to talk about anything else, you just let me know.”

Anthony eyed his business card and didn’t take it. “Don’t hold your breath, man. After awhile, you just gotta let the dead rest in peace.”

Robert shoved his business card back into his pocket. “I’m just trying to understand why they’re dead in the first place.”

Anthony finally popped his car door open with the remote. He said, “Disappointment, man. Black people live with too many disappointments.”

As the young black placed his groceries onto the back seat of his car, Robert chuckled behind him. He said, “Tell me about it. I’m a Native American. Who has more disappointments than us?”

Anthony looked back at him and frowned. He opened the driver’s side door to climb in and said, “Well, you should know better. The white man ’dun fucked y’all up too. And now you out here working for him?”

He chuckled and climbed into his car, satisfied with their ending.

As his brown Buick drove off, Robert Hunter was forced to think about Anthony’s final comments in silence. But he didn’t like any of his conclusions.

“Shit... Fuck that,” he grumbled and headed back to his black Lincoln. Whenever he thought too much about race matters, it tended to cloud the simplicity of his job, so he refused to do it.


“So, the doctors said you need to take it easy for awhile, huh?” Gabby Caldwell asked her daughter. She sat on the edge of her daughter’s massive king-sized bed.

Ebony Akins took a deep breath as she gently placed her infant daughter into her crib. It was less than five feet away from the bed. Mission accomplished, she turned and faced her mother.

“They said much more than that, Mom. They said I need to lose weight and change my diet.”

Gabby grimaced. “Well, that’s just rude. They really told you that?”

Ebony shrugged and joined her mother on the bed. “I mean, it is what it is, Mom. They said I had high blood pressure, high cholesterol and too much fat around my heart.”

“Well, you just had a baby? What do they expect, for you go right back to where you were?”

“Having a baby has nothing to do with it, Mom. There’s plenty of mothers out here who are not dealing with what I’m having to deal with.”

“Well, we’re big boned women, baby; that runs in our family.”

Ebony shook her head. “Momma, I’ve been hearing that my whole life, but at some point we gotta look at why that is. Everybody ain’t big in our family. But for the ones who are, I can guarantee that we’ve all been eating wrong. And the doctors said that I can’t afford to do it anymore.

“I can’t afford to be out here passing out from hyperventilation when I got babies to raise,” she insisted.

“Well, don’t your husband have a private chef?”

“He does, but we don’t eat everything from him. You know I like to cook my own food. But I guess I need to stop now.”

Her mother shook her head and said, “Just because the doctor told you that.”

“Momma, I fell the hell out when nobody was home but me and the kids, and I was lucky that my girlfriend was on the phone with me, because I don’t know how long I could have been out there. You know Little Gary doesn’t pay attention to nothing but them video games.”

Gabby continued to shake her head. She couldn’t remember many small bodied women in their whole southern-raised family. She hadn’t been below two-hundred pounds since her high school days back in the 1960s.

She said, “Well, I don’t know what they expect for you to do. Are you gonna get liposuction?”

Ebony frowned and shook it off. “Mom, I don’t have to do that. I just have to change my diet and work out more. I only weigh one-eighty. But I might have to get breast reduction though.”

She gently caressed her breasts and added, “These things are a li’l too big right now.”

Gabby looked horrified. “Well, you can’t do that while you’re still breast feeding Heather.”

Ebony slowly shook her head again. “Of course not, Mom. But I want to try and get back down to like… one-fifty-five or something,” she commented with a pause.

Her mother frowned and said, “Girl, you ain’t in high school. You gon’ kill yourself.”

Ebony stood up from her bed and displayed her figure. She stood at a solid five-foot and seven inches. “Mom, I got a lot of stuff I can tighten up on this wagon.”

She proceeded to squeeze her own ass, pinch her stomach, pinch her thighs, and pinch both of her arms, as if she was fresh fowl at a chicken farm.

“Well, what do you think about me then?” Gabby asked her daughter.

Ebony looked at her oversized mother and didn’t want to go there. “Mom, we’re in total different situations. You don’t have to think about competing with or impressing anybody. But I gotta think about these li’l strip club, hoochies mommas out here every day, and they’re in shape.”

“Answer my question, Ebony. What do you think about my weight?” her mother pressed her.

Ebony felt conflicted. “Well, Mom, you never cared about your weight.”

“So, you think I didn’t have to compete?” Gabby questioned.

Ebony attempted to smile it off. “Not right now you don’t. You got thirteen grandkids.”

“So, that means that I can’t have no man?”

Her mother stood up from the edge of the bed at five-foot five and could never see her shoes without bending over or kicking her feet out.

Nevertheless, she slammed her hand on her right hip and said, “I can still get me a man if I want one.”

Ebony couldn’t stop herself from laughing.

“What’s so funny?” her mother challenged her. “I don’t see nothing funny.”

“Mom, stop it.”

Gabby said, “You never even looked at me that way, have you? You just see me as your mother. As if I didn’t have to spread my legs open to make you.”

Ebony slammed her hands to her face in embarrassment. “Oh, my God, Mom! Stop it!”

“I’m serious. Ain’t no stork drop you kids off at my door. I had to make every last one of y’all.”

“Mom, please!”

“Please what? We all have to compete out here. But you think I’m too fat to compete.”

“I did not say that,” Ebony protested. She would never say that to her mother.

“Well, you’re thinking it, because I’m much bigger than you, and shorter. So how many pounds you think I should lose?”

Ebony shook her head and tried to ignore her. She even felt an urge to walk out of the room.

“So, you’ve always considered me as fat?”

“Mom, you’re my mother. None of that matters.”

“So, if I wasn’t your mother, would I be fat then?”

“But you are my mother.”

Gabby shook her head and said, “After all these years, you’ve been walking around here considering me fat and unattractive.”

Ebony looked at her mother seriously with all jokes aside.

“Mom, that’s not even funny anymore.”

“But it’s the truth. And if those doctors told you that, then what do you think they would tell me.”

Ebony shook it off again. “I’m done talking about this. One thing doesn’t lead to another.” She was feeling extremely uncomfortable.

Gabby finally waved her daughter off and said, “Anyway… so Darius is interviewing with more new teams this week?”

“Oh God, yes!” Ebony perked, glad to change the subject. She was also excited for her husband. “This process has really been nerve wrecking for all of us. I mean, you really feel like you’re on the slave blocks.”

Gabby sat back down on the edge of the bed, looked around the room and grunted. “If this what you call, slavery, then a whole lot of people would love to sold into this.”

Ebony sat back down beside her. “Mom, you know what I mean. It’s the whole idea of having a price tag on you.”

“Yeah, I know what you mean. But everybody has a price tag on them,” the mother told her. “So, at least your husband’s is high. Because if he had a job at the factory, they would offer him fifteen dollars an hour and you wouldn’t even be able to live in this neighborhood.”

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