(C)Copyrights 2016 By Halim A. Flowers
All Rights Reserved
18 – By Halim A. Flowers
Inspired by the real life events of my Chief and Grandfather Ashanti
(December 11, 1950 – Predawn)
“GET DOWN!” Sergeant Keys screams at me at the top of his lungs amidst the barrage of incoming gunfire as I am momentarily paralyzed by the sight of seeing my friend Porkchop get his torso blown twenty feet in the air before his intestines rain down upon me like April’s precipitation before the flowers of May. Completely unaware of space and time, along with my immediate surroundings, I’m unable to utter a word or move any of my limbs as a piece of Porkchop’s guts dangles from my helmet just a few inches in front of my left eye. “Ugh,” is all I’m able to mumble as Private Williams, a big corn eating white boy from Nebraska tackles me just seconds before a loud EXPLOSION violently assaults my eardrums after I am slammed to the earth unexpectedly. My ears, now feelings as if blood is leaking out of them, are ringing as I stare into the eyes of Porkchop’s lifeless corpse laying down on the ground a few feet across from me.
“RUN!” I hear Sergeant Keys yell loudly. For some strange reason, I am immediately snatched away from my paralysis by the sound of his voice. And, without any further incitement, I get up quickly , pick up the remaining half of Porkchop’s corpse, and RUN like hell. My only problem is that I never take the time to look back to see what direction that I am running towards. Hopefully, I’m sprinting directly to the refuge of Korean soldiers.
I don’t believe too much in anything religious besides the divine feeling that I get when I smoke a joint and listen to Charlie ‘Yardbird’ Parker blow his horn. But if their is a God, I hope that he’s guiding me to safety as I continue my sprint through the Korean Peninsula with my buddy Porkchop’s upper body held tightly in my embrace.
(December 11, 1950 – Afternoon)
“What happened to you this morning?” Sweetpea asks me as I exit the medical tent at our infantry’s encampment. All I can think about right now is how heartbroken Porkchop’s mama is going to be when she receives the unfortunate news that her only child has just been blown in half in a foreign land fighting an Asian people that had no quarrels with him or his people.
“What man?” I snap back in irritation. For the last seven weeks, all I’ve seen is death, blood, guts, brains, bullets, and fire. Every time that I try to close my eyes to steal a few seconds of peace in my sleep, I am quickly greeted with nightmares of explosions and murder; leaving me to wake up every night drenched in cold sweat as if I have just sprinted through the lowest level of hell.
“You went ghost out there this morning,” he rebukes me. Sweetpea is a slick talking cat from Detroit. We were both stationed together on the base in Japan. A self-proclaimed lady’s man, Sweetpea took me to a Geisha spot in Okinawa to get my first piece of treasure from a woman. After that night, you couldn’t keep me away from Kime, the young Japanese girl that I had unknowingly feel in love with. I promised her that I would take her back to America with me after this war. But now, I wasn’t even sure if I was going to live long enough to see my eighteenth birthday tomorrow.
“Ghost, man what you jiving about Sweetpea?”
“Nigga, you act like you saw a ghost out there. Sergeant Keys screaming at you to get your black ass down before you get yourself killed out there by them slant-eyed bastards, and you just standing there looking crazy like you had just saw baby Jesus descend from his manger up there in the heaven,” he says before he smacks me hard on my back as he breaks out into laughter.
“Nigga, you think Porkchop getting blown in half today is something to laugh about?” I question him sternly as I ball up my fist. Seems outright no good to me for this chump to be laughing in my face about what happened to me in combat this morning when he knows how close Porkchop and I were.
“I know you mad about your home slice getting killed in the field, but war brings death just as sure as the Klansmen in the south bring burning crosses and white hoods. As soldiers, we all signed up for coffins. Don’t make no good sense for you to be getting yourself killed just cause it was Porkchop’s time to go. He wouldn’t have wanted that little Jimmie, and God aint want it for you either. It just wasn’t your time.”
“Man, you can miss me with that jive rap about some damn God in the sky with a flock of flying baby white angels,” I rebuke him, still frustrated about my boy Porkchop. Porkchop and I had met up at basic training in California, and we were inseparable since we had both stepped off of the bus together. He was from Cleveland, Ohio, the only child of a preacher and a mother who was a school teacher. Me being from Cincinnati, and us being the only blacks in our training platoon from Ohio, we had naturally formed an alliance in the hot desert sands out west. From California, we were sent to Japan together, then to the killing fields of Korea, which we were falsely told was going to be an ‘easy’ war for America. I should have known better to believe what them white folks were telling people over the radio about the war back in the States.
“You don’t believe in God?” Sweetpea questions me as he removes his cap from his head, revealing his shiny black bald scalp. Standing over six feet three inches tall, he looks down upon my five foot five inch frame authoritatively as if I had just cursed his mama.
“Hell nah!” I reply emphatically.
“I be damn, you sure is lucky you aint get struck down by lightening as you as said something as silly as that.”
“All that praying aint help Porkchop out there this morning.”
“Boy, every man got his time to die, don’t you know that?”
“All I know is that Porkchop wasted too much of the little bit of time that he had to live at night praying to some damn ghost god in the sky that couldn’t stop that grenade from blowing him in half,” I counter, resolute that it was a preacher’s con to believe in anything that you couldn’t see. If there was ever such a thing as heaven, then white folks were sure living it up on earth while Negros were living in the hell of Jim Crow and second-class citizenship back home. After growing up during the Great Depression as a child, I was sure that the only reason colored folks didn’t jump off of tall buildings to kill themselves like the rich white people had done was because blacks were just too damn poor to even afford to commit suicide.
“Boy, they must got something in that water up in Cincinnati. Talking like that in Texas would get you skinned good by your own mama,” he castigates me as he turns up his upper lip in disgust at my blasphemy. I’m just as appalled by his spookism in return. Preparing to walk away, I remind him, “At least we can drink water in Ohio. In Texas, you niggas still got to wait till you can find a Colored fountain through the back door of a desert before you can even dream about getting a sip. Keep begging Jesus on your hands and knees while master Jim Crow keeps his boot on your goddamn neck!” I quickly walk away before that big black ugly goon could swing a punch at me or utter a reply condemning me to the furnace of the fairytale hell that he believes in. Hell, the only thing that I believe in after seeing two-thirds of our platoon mowed down in combat the last seven weeks is that I aint dying fighting this white man’s war in Korea before my eighteenth birthday.
Halim Flowers
Halim Flowers
DOB- 09-01-80
Washington, D.C.
30 years to life
Contact Information-
Halim Flowers
Federal Correctional Institution Gilmer
P.O. Box 6000
Glennville, West Virginia 26351

My name is Halim Flowers and I am an author, poet, blogger(CriminalU.co), and at-risk youth advocate. I have been incarcerated for 18 years, since I was 16 years of age for aiding and abetting a felony murder in a case where I was not the shooter and the person charged as the gunman had his case dismissed and was never tried for this offense. I know it sounds crazy but it is my destiny for now and I embrace. My passion in life is learning and helping to enlighten and inspire others, especially helping to develop the character and lives of young men. I was featured in an Emmy award winning documentary about my experiences as a child at the adult D.C. Jail titled "Thug Life In DC"(See Thug Life In DC at YouTube) and I have authored nine books in the genres of self-help, prisoner reform, juvenile justice, memoir, and poetry(See Halim Flowers at Amazon.com). I very contrite for my past criminal offenses and seriously committed to helping our youth to understand "Victim's Impact" and breaking the "school-to-prison pipeline".