GM: Three sheriff’s deputies stare down at two broken and bloody bodies.
“Shit. Overdid it.”
“You kept hitting them over the head, you psycho. That’s not how you’re supposed to do it.”
“My old man always hit them over the head, and they pinned a medal on his chest.”
“You didn’t see this shit in the old days, that’s for sure.”
“All this shit. They’re fucking animals in this place. Even that kid.”
“Yeah. Looks like he cut this guy’s throat in his sleep.”
“These people would eat their own fucking young.”
“The Italians are all right.”
“Yeah, I sure bet they are, Jordan.”
“So how the fuck are we gonna explain this?”
There’s a loud guffaw. “How long you worked here? It happened however the fuck we say it happened.”
The guards slash open both mattresses, check behind the toilet, and spend the next few minutes searching the cell for contraband. They find a stash of heroin and argue over how to split the money.
GM: “…I’m so relieved to hear that. Thank you, Carson,” Luke says as he ends the call. He turns to Cécilia, who’s snuggled up next to him in bed, and tells her the good news. She can sleep in her own apartment again without being afraid.
Cécilia tells him she doesn’t mind staying over at his place. Luke smiles back that he doesn’t mind it either. Still, the pair’s good humor swiftly fades when Cécilia mentions that, “I never wanted him dead, but… I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t relieved.”
“He was a killer, Cécilia,” Luke says gravely. “He murdered his own cellmate in his sleep. God knows what he’d have done once he got out. Don’t forget he was tangled up with Emmett Delacroix, too.”
Cécilia slowly nods. “I’m glad it’s off my sisters’ minds, too. Yvette was… so angry about it. Adeline, Yvonne, and Noëlle were all so scared for me. And we hadn’t even told Simmone, I don’t think she could have handled it.”
“You’re not her mom, you know.” Luke then adds more gently, “It’s not your fault what happened that night. To any of them.”
“I know,” Cécilia grants. “But I’m worried about her. Noëlle, too. She doesn’t get enough attention. Maybe that’ll change once Yvette and Yvonne are off to college. And those two…”
“Cécilia, you’re a wonderful big sister to them all. Really. You’re like a second mom. But after this whole thing with Fernandez… look, you know that business trip I mentioned I was taking to Riyadh?”
“How would you like to come along? I can’t get out of the ‘business’ part,” he smiles, “but I could take some extra time off and we can make it a vacation too. It’ll be just us, with nothing to worry about. How would you like to see Arabia?”
“That sounds wonderful, Luke,” Cécilia beams.
GM: “Sue ma doll, ya done look right as rain,” Bud smiles as he snaps the picture of Sue posing outside of Brielle Fernandez’s house.
“Can we go in?” Sue beams up at him.
“We jus’ may, darlin’, we jus’ may,” Bud grins as he scribbles, Sue loves your ma’s house! Wants to visit again real soon! onto the note he includes with the photo.
Mouse still owes him $200 for this week. He trusts the young man will get the message.
GM: Brielle cries as the phone drops from her trembling fingers. Her baby boy is dead. How? How? He was always such a good boy. Such a sweet boy. He’d never have hurt a fly. How could… how could this have happened?
She cries, and no one is left in the empty house to comfort her.
GM: “He was gonna get eaten alive in here, man,” Big Dawg says. “Us, yeah, we’re frequent fliers. New bootie like him, with a bullet? He wasn’t ever gonna learn to jail.”
“Pretty face like his?” Showerz smirks. “You know how things are for a punk. You want to see him paradin’ around in a skirt and makeup? Puttin’ on kool-aid lipstick? He dead anyway, he started doin’ that. Get the ninja, or just raped to death. You want him to die a june bug?”
“Guess not,” sighs Fizzy, rubbing his head. “Fuck, though. I mean…”
“Fuck, him.” Big Dawg spits to the side. “Villars says this shit’s his fault. Fuck, him.”
“Amen!” repeats Showerz.
GM: “Hey, Angela?” Emma asks as she looks away from her phone.
“You know that guy I called the cops on? The black one, with the bloody face, who tried to break in?”
“I remember that,” Angela nods. “You did the right thing. He sounded super sketchy.”
GM: A knock sounds against Brielle’s front door. She opens it.
“Hello there, ma’am. I’m a friend o’ yer girl’s,” Bud grins. When the woman gives him a confused look, he laughs. “Sorry, slip o’ the tongue. Boy’s. Mighty sorry for yer loss.”
“Hi!” pipes Sue.
Brielle dazedly looks between the two.
“I’m… sorry, this isn’t a good time. Can I help you?”
The big man’s grin widens. It’s fierce, white, and hungry.
“You bet you can.”
He calmly strolls into the house without Brielle’s permission, then closes the door after Sue as she skips in.
They take the back door out several hours later.
That will mean fewer potential witnesses when the police inevitably arrive.
GM: “Hey, Daddy?” Bentley asks.
“Mmm-hmm, sweet pea?”
“Um… my client’s dead.”
“Daddy, I said he’s dead.”
“Mmm-hmm, we’ll get you another, sweet pea.”
“I feel bad I hung up on him.”
“I had a… a dream last night. I was meat. Like, at a grocery store deli, ground up and in a cage, and… I don’t know. But these… wolves were circling around me, sniffing me, and licking their chops. I felt like I was gonna die. Or that I was dead, already.”
“Daddy, are you listening to me?”
GM: Paloma scoffs from behind her desk. “Fizzy’s baby brother killed someone. Yeah.”
Bert Villars grins at her. “Don’t underestimate what people can do when they’re desperate enough. Besides, killers run in that family.”
“Guess it’s late to call off Bud.”
Villars’ grin twitches in place. “Paloma, my dear, it’s always too late to call off Bud.”
GM: Dozens of comments stream below Mouse’s YouTube videos.
this is why we can’t have good things >:(
And this kids is why you don’t wanna become famous
R.I.P. Mouse, a True Legend, a Star and Light, loved and missed by Millions
fuck the police
fuck the pigs
Where do cops hide after committing a crime?
Behind their badge.
> Donut shop
> In your mama pussy :D
> 1 US cops are too fat to hide in a pussy. plus…they ain’t getting none of that
> 1 cops are too fat to see their dicks
> Hiding behind a glass of whiskey or beer because being a cop probably sucks. Probably will lead to suicide and divorce (if they are married) because they have too much pride to change anything
> They already behind the badge
> and you hide behind your screen
> Cops keep you safe, you bunch of dick weeds. Imagine an America with cops. And don’t say it will be a better place.
> This video shows a cop keep the public safe ?and all the other shooting that come from a civil employee and lets not forget about the racist white noise that flows through the conscious of alot of cops in America. This man did nothing to get shot. These are not cops they are racist trigger happy murders with a uniform.
> cops dont shoot anyone in this video
MOUSE IS NOT DEAD IN THE HISTORY OF MUSIC AND HE IS NOT DEAD IN MY EARS
> u mean heart?
That cop needs to be put in jail for atemted murder.
Well that was depressing.
R.I.P All black brother’s and sistah’s.
I would have been nice if you would have included the circumstances surrounding each celebrities death or at least the official cause of death.
> hes a celeb?
> CELEBRITY OR NOT MAY HE REST IN PARADISE
Why you shoot me?
I don’t know.
Is this joke?
“Just listen to the cops and you won’t get shot” *still gets shot
my sister has asma this makes me so sad :*(
Support: this hurts my heartz
> yah but dat nigger did!
> HAHAHAH FUCK NIGGERS!!!! :D
> You people are what is wrong with America.
> WHATEVER CUCK!
GM: Land of the free home of the brave. The police in America are one of the biggest jokes sometimes
Cop needs to be charged with attempted murder!
omg i had no idea these person had died.
RIP mouse :(
A guy walks down the street.
Police come in and fire 5 shots at him.
Police: u saw him drinking dat apple juice righttttt?!?!!
Rip greatness Amen ===(
Who cares if one more light goes out?
In a sky of a million stars
It flickers, flickers
Who cares when someone’s time runs out?
If a moment is all we are
We’re quicker, quicker
Who cares if one more light goes out?
Well I do
America , the biggest joke
GOODNIGHT SWEET PRINCE YOUR IN HEAVEN NOW
GM: Jocelyn twists her hands in the confession booth.
“…he didn’t seem to actually understand what he’d done wrong. I think he actually thought he was being romantic, stalking that girl back to her apartment. Caroline felt really bad about it, and… honestly, I did too. We seriously tortured him, and all it did… all he did was cry.”
“What does it mean to be sanctified under the kine’s definition of the word, childe?” inquires the cool voice from behind the grill.
“To be holy,” Jocelyn answers after a moment.
Another pause. “I don’t understand, Mother. I mean, I don’t know.”
“Then incline your ears, o child of the night. Sanctify originates from the Greek word hagiazo, which means to be ‘separate’ or to be ‘set apart.’ In the Bible, sanctification relates to a sovereign act of God whereby He ‘sets apart’ a person, place, or thing in order that His purposes may be accomplished. In the Book of Exodus, God sanctifies a place of worship. ‘And there I will meet with the children of Israel, and the tabernacle shall be sanctified by My glory,’ says Exodus 29:43. Even a day can be sanctified as seen in Genesis 2:3 where the seventh day is ‘set apart’ as a holy day of rest. ‘Then God blessed the seventh day and sanctified it, because in it He rested from all His work which God had created and made.’”
“Similarly, when a person is sanctified he or she is being set apart by God for a specific divine purpose. The very moment the kine are saved in Christ, they are also immediately sanctified and begin the process of being conformed to the image of Christ. As God’s children they are ‘set apart’ from that moment to carry out His divine purposes unto eternity. Hebrews says, ‘For by one offering He has perfected forever those who are being sanctified.’”
“Sanctification is not salvation. We are condemned to an eternity of suffering and torment for what we are, and yet those who follow the gospel of Longinus are Sanctified. Why is this?”
“We’re following our purpose,” Jocelyn answers, then continues more firmly, “We’ve been set apart, for a specific, holy purpose.”
“That is correct, childe. We have been set apart for the use intended by our designer. Our use is holy, even as we ourselves are damned.”
“So, for that boy, Fernandez…”
The confessional booth’s shadows hang thick and heavy. Jocelyn wrings her hand.
“We’re damned, because we sinned. And we still sin, and do terrible things.” Jocelyn seems to dwell on those final words. “But for a good cause. A holy cause.”
“It is the will of God that you are what you are, and the will of God is that the Damned exist to show the evils of turning from Him,” the cool voice somberly recites.
The Testament’s words are powerful, and speak to Jocelyn’s soul. She closes her eyes, so that the confessional may be truly dark, and knows fear in the shadow of the Almighty. It is by God’s will that she stalks the night. It is by God’s will that she brought suffering and torment upon a baying sheep.
“But, Mother, I’m not… I’m not sure if what I did was right. If what I did was sanctified. All we did was hurt him, and it didn’t… it didn’t change anything. It just hurt him.”
“Do you believe he sinned, childe?”
“Yes, but I don’t think he k…”
“It is what God knows that is material, childe. Were his actions an affront against God?”
“Yes, Mother,” Jocelyn answers. “Caroline said the girl, Cécilia, was god-fearing and going to be her sister-in-law.” Her voice grows harder. “She’d even tried to help the guy when he looked her number up and called her, all out of the blue. Then stalked her back to her apartment like a creep. I had a friend, well, friend of a friend in college, who had to deal with a stalker. I heard it was so awful for her that she dropped out.”
“Do you believe the kine you punished would have committed this sin again, my childe?”
Jocelyn thinks. “Maybe. I don’t think he wanted to scare her, but…” She frowns. “Well, okay, he didn’t. But I’m not sure he cared that he did, honestly. And he seemed really clueless about why a girl wouldn’t like that kind of attention. So, I guess I could see him doing it again.” She continues more weakly, “But I’m not still not completely sure that he would. Or even that… just hurting him would do anything about it.”
“Follow him, my childe,” the cool voice calmly instructs. “Test him. Tempt him as this girl did, but with your own flesh. If he sins again, and ‘stalks’ you as he did his last victim, kill him. The Testament is clear. By visiting God’s vengeance upon the wicked, we fulfill our purpose and are Sanctified.”
Jocelyn bows her head and traces the sign of the lance over her heart.
“Yes, Mother. Thanks be to God.”
GM: Benjamin Edwards, pastor of the Holy Name of Jesus Catholic Church, has presided over many funerals in his time. Few, however, have been stranger than Mercurial Fernandez’.
Brielle’s will left most of her estate to Mouse: she disinherited Fizzy after he walked out on their family as a teenager. The two reconciled after his stepfather died, but Brielle never wrote him back into her will. Not until he stopped hanging around the RidaHoodz, went to college or got a real job, and showed he was on the right track. Neither of them were holding their breaths on that happening.
Louisiana state law, however, imposes no survivorship period on the beneficiaries of wills. All of the will-less Mouse’s estate passes to Fizzy, as his half-brother and next-closest of kin. That modest estate includes all of Brielle’s, and Fizzy receives what initially appears to be a very promising windfall of cash: his mother’s house, car, savings, possessions, and other assorted effects, many of which she had inherited last year from her deceased husband.
The first outstanding debt to settle are Mouse’s court-imposed fees, which come out to $6,300. A much larger problem is the burglary of Brielle’s house. The missing electronics, jewelry, prescription drugs, and other items are inconvenient but expected: the far larger headache is the identity theft. Thieves completely clear out his mother’s bank accounts, rack up fraudulent charges on her credit cards, apply for new cards, take out payday loans, and otherwise use the deceased woman’s identity to drum up as much short-term cash as they can. An arrested prostitute in Central City, subsequently released on bail, gives her name as Brielle Fernandez. Another woman shows up to Tulane Medical Center with Brielle’s insurance card and racks up some very expensive bills. What galls Fizzy most of all, however, is the news that his mother’s car has been stolen. That’s what his gang is supposed to do!
The final kick in the nuts is that he has to pay the federal estate twice. Mouse’s estate paid it once, and now he has to pay it again.
Setting his deceased mother’s affairs in order would normally be quite impossible to do from prison. Dealing with the physical and identity theft as well is simply impossible—until a smiling Bert Villars steps in. The oily lawyer is only too happy to offer to “take care of everything” for Fizzy.
Fizzy makes the grim but calculated choice that he’ll lose less money getting swindled by his lawyer than he will by having no lawyer at all.
The other RidaHoodz, meanwhile, are furious and blame their incarceration on Fizzy’s little brother. They claim that Fizzy is “fucking loaded” now that Bert Villars is selling his mom’s house for him, and demand that Fizzy’s inheritance go towards paying their legal fees, also accrued through Bert Villars. Protestations that he will have very little money left are met with deaf ears. Fizzy makes another grim but calculated choice to pay the gang’s legal bills. One does not wish to be without friends in Orleans Parish Prison.
Bert Villars is true to his word, however, and plugs the monetary holes in the sinking ship that is Fizzy’s inheritance in record time. The grimebag lawyer claims to be genuinely hurt when Fizzy sarcastically wonders if it was an inside job. After all, he remarks to Paloma, just because they do regular business with the man who stole from Fizzy, and indirectly caused the circumstances that led to his mother dying, doesn’t mean it was an inside job. When the obese secretary asks if they’d be making more money if it was an inside job, Villars thinks on that for several moments before leering, “only a little bit more.”
Between Mouse’s court fees, the RidaHoodz’ collective legal counsel and court fees, Bert Villars’ added fees for serving as an estate lawyer, the many thefts from Brielle’s estate, and the taxes associated with selling Brielle’s house and other assets, there is barely any money left. Bert Villars laughs at the comparison with “a plague of fucking locusts!” and tells him he’s lucky still have anything. Fizzy needs that money for commissary: another essential resource towards survival in prison. He makes the brutally pragmatic decision not to pay for his little brother’s funeral. He still tells Villars to make it happen, though. “You fuckin’ owe me, amount of business I brought you!” he rages at his lawyer from across the steel table.
Villars offers another oily smile as he replies that he “may have a way” that will not only pay for Mouse’s funeral, but potentially turn a profit.
That way, of course, is Mouse’s Patreon.
It’s still open and bringing in donations after the two wildly popular YouTube videos he made. Those videos have ignited further interest in his prior videos, which already had a decent number of views. Bert Villars scents an untapped market, and one with a limited shelf life. It’s not as if Mouse is about to make any more videos—or that Patreon donations will continue to trickle in once people realize he’s dead.
Lots of things get smuggled into Orleans Parish Prison. A phone isn’t hard. Fizzy starts his video with, “Look, y’all, my brother’s dead. Cops did it,” before telling an essentially true but highly sensationalized version of Mouse’s death. He leaves out events like following Cécilia Devillers home to her apartment that are unlikely to engender sympathy. He also leaves out details that simply don’t make for a good story, like Bud the loan shark or Mouse knifing a fellow inmate to death in their shared cell. Fizzy weaves a grandiose and outraged narrative where his brother was racially profiled and harassed by police, cruelly beaten and pepper-sprayed, arrested on bullshit charges, and released only to be arrested again less than 24 hours later because he looked like a ‘suspicious character’—due to the injuries he suffered at the police’s own hands. The tale concludes with Mouse being savagely beaten to death by sheriff’s deputies after he protested OPP’s appalling conditions and announced his intention to file a class-action lawsuit on behalf of the other inmates.
An oily grin spreads over Bert Villars’ face as he watches the funeral’s GoFundMe donations roll in. He bills Fizzy for the time he and Paloma spend processing those. He bills Fizzy for a lot of other things too. All told, Mouse’s death has been more profitable to his business than the young man’s life ever was.
The funeral Father Edwards presides over is a strange affair. For one, it’s a partly ticketed event: Fizzy films another video selling the right to attend his brother’s funeral over Kickstarter. Backers who pledge more than the minimum ticket price can lay flowers over Mouse’s tombstone (bought at a marked up price whose profits go to Bert Villars) or deliver eulogies.
Then there are the attendees themselves.
Mouse’s uncle Clarence attends along with Jerome and Tyronne, the only two other RidaHoodz both able and willing to show up to the funeral. Fizzy, Dontell, and Dauntay have all been arrested. D’Angelo is sour over half the gang getting arrested and spends the afternoon getting high. Dauntay’s amateur porn star girlfriend J’Nelle has “gone off the deep end” in his words, and does not surprise anyone when she fails to attend.
Bentley Downs objects to paying to attend Mouse’s funeral, “out of principle.” She contacts Bert Villars and says some things she shouldn’t. The grimebag lawyer threatens her with a defamation lawsuit he has absolutely no intention of taking to court. Bentley runs to her dad, who has equally little interest in getting into a potential legal battle, and simply tells her he’ll pay for the funeral ticket. She looks slightly huffed and more than a little trepidatious around the RidaHoodz, who are equally bemused by the “rich white girl’s” presence.
The attendee who no one expects, though, is the ‘racist desk check’ Emma McCarthy. Angela Greer accompanies her as “moral support” after she said she wasn’t sure if she should go.
Becca honestly doesn’t know what to make of the varied (and lurid) accounts of Mouse’s activities shortly before his death, but shows up because it seems like “the decent thing to do.” She sighs at the ticket’s cost now that she isn’t making extra spending money from babysitting Westley. The law student isn’t sure off-hand whether it’s legal to charge money for attending Mouse’s funeral, but figures it’s for a good enough cause.
Most of the people who show up, though, are strangers to the Fernandez family. The majority of Mouse’s audience lived outside New Orleans, but there are enough local subscribers to make their presence felt—and, in fact, to outnumber all of the other attendants by a fair margin. The hashtag #ALegendNeverDies trends locally.
Father Edwards starts the service respectfully, but everything goes to shit once the YouTubers recognize “the racist desk check.” Boos drown out Bentley’s eulogy before a shouting match ensues over the priest’s indignant protests. An angry YouTuber who brought a full bottle of Dr. Pepper (evidently considering the funeral an entertainment event, or perhaps simply cluelessly rude) dumps it over Emma’s face and shirt.
She screams and tries to get away. The YouTubers bellow their collective rage, grief, and hilarity—a bizarre combination of emotions that even some of the RidaHoodz, hardened criminals all, find unsettling for its nihilism in the face of a family tragedy.
Angela Greer promptly yanks the empty bottle out of the assailant’s hands and gives him a forceful, “Back off!” that stops the internet tough guy in his tracks, but fails to stop a panicking Emma from hurrying to get away. Someone sticks out their foot and trips her, laughing all the while.
Father Edwards shouts, “Enough!” as he stoops to help the bruised and even more upset woman up, only to get two greasy pizza slices thrown in his face. Someone else laughs and kicks him in the shins, hard, from behind. Someone else yells, “What the fuck man!” and throws a punch at the priest’s attacker. Angela Greer tries to pull him and Emma out as the crowd descends into violence—and at least as many gawking, laughing YouTubers whip out their phones to record the whole thing.
Mouse’s funeral degenerates into something between a riot, an entertainment spectacle, and a loved one’s goodbye gone catastrophically wrong. The RidaHoodz flee the scenes before the police arrive. The YouTubers who throw food items andcold drinks while yelling “Pigs killed Mouse!” “Fuck you pigs!” “A legend never dies!” pay for it with pepper spray, broken bones, and finally, the explosive roar of a gunshot.
All but the most nihilistic of Mouse’s fans break ranks and flee. All the while, their idol’s voice discordantly booms out over the screams, shouts, and crunches from a dozen phones in almost surreal fashion:
“You call me a pervert…”
“Really I’m just black…”
“You sack of shit desk chick…”
“Fuck y’all and your mob…”
“It’s an allegory for the uninitiated…”
“Derogatory for the uneducated…”
“For all the racist desk chicks out there…”
“Education for your entertain, you fucking racist plebs…”
Police send over a dozen broken, bleeding, and moaning people off to Orleans Parish Prison. Bentley is hysterical as she wipes her pepper-sprayed face and screams for her dad. A broken-ribbed Angela Greer is too preoccupied looking after a barely conscious Emma, whose head wound is bleeding like crazy, think over how much Summer is going to gloat about seeing her in jail. Father Edwards ministers to the wounded and traumatized as best he can and counsels patience. Many YouTubers suffer complete breakdowns, screaming louder than Bentley as they try to rub pepper spray from their eyes and question whether this is all a nightmare. A few of them sneer and bitterly laugh: their only regret is losing their phones.
The white girls are released after calls are made, but Bert Villars scents even more profit and presents himself to still-arrested black YouTubers as a “racial justice attorney” who “defended Mouse to his dying breath!” and is only too happy to offer “affordable legal representation to all.”
The real kicker is how he really did represent Mouse. He can’t sell his services fast enough.
His favorite client, though, is the shot man who’s in the hospital and barely lucid. It’s all-too easy to get him to sign all the necessary papers. The grimebag lawyer was known as “Twilight Zone Villars” before the first pimp or crack king ever called on his service, and it’s a role he’s come to miss.
Local media outlets, meanwhile, can’t get enough of the “riot at local musician’s funeral” story. It turns up everywhere. A young journalist named David Joffe catches wind first, and is glad: the resultant freelance work for the Times-Picayune and several other outlets helps pay the bills. Another young journalist named Jackson Long hears about Mouse’s funeral second, and is glad too: he didn’t want a police hit piece to be his big break. When his wife Caitlin points out several ways he could have spun a more neutral cast on events, he argues with her that he couldn’t have and goes to bed in a foul mood. Jackson Kibbe publishes a “Stalker Mercurial Fernandez Exposed” hit piece detailing the various criminal charges Mouse faced before his death. Luke Malveaux reads it and coldly tells him to “leave the Devillers out of this. Leave out everything to do with them, or you’re dead to my family.” Kibbe grudgingly acquiesces and “Axis” posts the full story anyways on his private news blog. Slim Ray writes an op-ed for the Times-Picayune about the novel and commercialized nature of Mouse’s funeral. It was funded by GoFundMe donations and attended by YouTube viewers who bought tickets over Kickstarter. What implications does this have? “Has death, too, become another source of likes?” Big Ray tells his son that moments like this remind him why he doesn’t mind being retired, then talks about the Limbo Kings’ next bowling game.
Mouse’s YouTube channel continues to draw thousands of views. It’s inevitable when memes start to circulate.
Just as Mouse’s death became a sensation over the internet, the internet sensationalizes real life. Emma finds the “racist desk chick” epithet impossible to dodge. Students harass her constantly. Members of several hate groups upset her nearly as much when they try to recruit her. The student petition to remove her as JL House’s desk coordinator doesn’t gain traction, but she resigns the job after the sheer amount of stress it brings. Her grades start to slip. The once-apolitical woman grows bitter over how “they never even let me say ’I’m sorry’” joins the College Republicans. Angela Greer promises her another way that she can feel like she’s doing something worthwhile, and invites her to attend one of the Kappas’ meeting.
Fizzy, meanwhile, smells a cash cow and has Bert Villars start new GoFundMe appeals (to raise funds for his legal bills) with more YouTube “from prison” videos. The two start looking into merchandising options and media interviews. Villars scoffs incredulously to Paloma when some of the order-on-demand T-shirts actually sell.
When enough sell, he starts thinking about a web series or book deal. He reaches out to people in the entertainment industry. Fizzy hounds his lawyer to cash in on as many opportunities as possible: the more money he has in prison, the better. The internet’s attention is fickle, too, and what’s viral today is old news tomorrow. There’s no telling how long Mouse’s current stardom will last, so they need to make the most of it. Villars hopes to inflate the “murdered musician’s” life story into the next Michael Brown. Maybe they can even sue the city like Tyrone Johnson did.
Yes, he sees big things ahead for the dead young musician. Bright things. Glorious things.
In Orleans Parish Prison, Fizzy raises a glass of pruno, or prison wine: grape juice, white bread in a sock, raisins, yeast, and as much sugar as they could get ahold of, left to ferment inside three plastic trash bags for a week. He toasts his brother’s memory in a dixie cup alongside Showerz and Big Dawg.
“Here’s t’ my my baby brother.”
“Cash cow,” Big Dawg chimes.
“Meme of the year,” Showerz smirks.
The three dixie cups tap.
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