Excerpt: Seoul Revelations by Bobby Cenoura

Seoul Revelations
by Bobby Cenoura

In the late 90s, Washington D.C., affectionately dubbed “Chocolate City”, was recovering from the crack epidemic and the label of “murder capital”. Interaction beyond the bulletproof glass that divides Black customers and Korean merchants is what drives SEOUL REVELATIONS. Race, culture and inner city survival are examined and revealed.

SEOUL REVELATIONS is a story of friendship and betrayal; one that analyzes the challenges of a budding interracial relationship between Marcus Richardson, a young Black community college student and aspiring four-year university enrollee, and Kim Han, a young Korean American college girl whose father runs Sunbeam Market, a liquor store/bodega in Marcus' inner city neighborhood. Marcus, wanting to escape the snares of the inner city, has built a friendship of trust and fresh perspective with Kim.

Meanwhile his best friend Tyrell deals with issues of depression and self-esteem because he feels that he lives his life in Marcus’ shadow. Neighborhood thug Delonte Harris has no intentions of leaving the ‘hood, in fact, he intends on becoming a major player in the local drug game. He gets an opportunity from a regional kingpin Parnell “P-nutt” Jacobs.

Worlds collide when Delonte cheats P-Nutt and is given an ultimatum to recover the money plus interest or face execution. Delonte sets his sights on Sunbeam Market as a target for robbery which drastically impacts Marcus’ and Kim’s relationship.

Excerpt from Seoul Revelations

Ms. Thompson knelt down a little and talked to Marcus. “Honey, I am honored that a handsome young man like you would stand up for a lady like Ms. Thompson. Not many grown men would do such a thing, but what you have to understand, honeychild, is that it is your duty to get your education. I know you are a young man, and you have to stand up for what’s yours. I want you to use your head. Students like Jamal can take you places where you don’t want to go.”

The beef between Marcus and Jamal and had marinated, and the entire 7th grade was buzzing about and wanted to see a barbecue at 3:20 p.m.

After school, Marcus, Tyrell and Delonte walked to the football field. All Marcus was thinking about how he would fight Jamal. Pride drug him to the battlefield, and no matter what he would retain his honor.

It was amazing that at such a young age they have a concept of honor. One could hear about numerous shootings in the city, sometimes because someone stepped on someone’s shoe, or looked at them wrong. Where was the honor in such senseless violence?

In feudal Japan, a man would be killed for stepping over the sword of a samurai. These timeless shoguns, symbols of nobility and martial art, could arguably be the most senseless or the most honorable, depending on how you look at it. In those times, if you wanted to live, or you didn’t want to kill, you would not step over the sword of the samurai. They lived by a code—and people of the street, follow these codes to determine who is who.

The only people talking about “senseless” are those with something to lose. They don’t want to lose their lives, or limbs, or go to jail and lose time, or lose their job, or reputation. There is a fear behind loss.

Everyone cleared a circle for the two fighters as Marcus stood in the middle.

JR said, “Go on,” and hit Jamal on the back. Jamal walked with his fists balled toward Marcus. As he approached, Marcus recalled a story his mother told him about David and Goliath. Marc felt as if he was David and Jamal was Goliath, the giant uncircumcised Philistine. This was the battlefield of the Lord. His fear left him and he walked toward Jamal. They both came to each other’s presence and then Jamal moved in close, face-to-face with Marcus, again.

Since Marcus was shorter, Jamal craned his neck down to talk in his face. “Pop all that junk you was poppin’ earlier.”

Marcus inched down a little, and Delonte saw it and shouted, “Come on, Marc, don’t punk out! Hit him!”

Jamal continued to talk in Marcus’ face as he shrunk lower.

“Come on, you punk, talk that trash again, so I can steal you in your face.”

Marcus crouched a little lower.

Jamal inched down lower to taunt Marcus.

Marcus pushed from his heels and using the force of his legs, sprung up like a frog from a lilly pad, ramming his head into the bridge of Jamal’s nose. Marcus followed Ms. Thompson’s advice: he used his head.

The crowd roared as Jamal shouted in pain.

Jamal, briefly through tears, saw JR laughing in the background. Before he could react, Marcus took lead of the fight tempo.

When Marcus was little, jokingly, he would pick up his mother by the lower legs just above the knees. From then on, he realized he could lift people bigger than him by using leverage of their legs and removing the center of their gravity.

Marcus slipped a punch that Jamal desperately threw. From the side, he scooped Jamal, and Jamal landed on his upper back and head. Jamal was completely taken by surprise by Marcus’ strength.

On the shoulder of a giant, Marcus felt like Jack climbing the beanstalk. But by this time he had pinned his knees into Jamal’s biceps and straddled his chest. Jamal struggled and wriggled to get free. The roars and laughter turned into silence as everyone realized the predicament that Jamal was in.

Marcus raised his fist and as he did, he saw Jamal turn his head to the side and close his eyes. As he saw the tears streaming down Jamal’s’ face, partially in pain and in embarrassment, Marcus’ anger subsided. Jamal opened one eye to see Marcus lowering his fist.

“Get up, man.” Marcus hollered. Marcus climbed off Jamal.

Everyone in the crowd watched Marcus with surprise.

“Finish him off!” Delonte shouted.

Even JR was silent. Everyone looked at the red blood mixed with boogers pouring out of Jamal’s nose like half-frozen cherry Kool-Aid.

Jamal crawled, and then rose up, jittery and shaken that the little warrior had taken him down. What messed his head up more was the mercy that Marcus showed him.

Marcus backed up a little to give the big man space. “Let’s squash this beef.” Marcus said. Jamal nodded the affirmative.

( Continued... )

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About the Author
Bobby Cenoura
  is a literary artist born and raised in the Washington DC area. He holds a bachelor’s degree in business and social sciences. Bobby has been an avid storyteller since his early childhood. He is also familiar with black market economics. Bobby’s literature, influenced by experiences and imagination, is called “quasi urban”. In addition to street literature, Bobby also plans on ushering in a genre he calls “Male Angst”, which deals with men’s dating issues.

Seoul Revelations by Bobby Cenoura
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