by James Jones
To: King Milge
- This story was told by Laurence Johnson, your Chronicler, as he lay dying and I thought it would be of some interest to you. I cannot give you any additional commentary, as I am still taken aback by it.
- Your Faithful Servant,
- Assistant Chronicler-Kingdom of the Willows
I hope that I am not too late, that my statement will not go unheard. I was a great warrior long before I ever joined the court of Atlanta, though I hid that fact for many years. Please, stay and hear my story, as I am dying, and can harm no one. I was a warrior in those days, the 1960's, but I was not of Glamour, I was the stuff of nightmares, I was a Dauntain. Please, don't run away, the Banality that once fueled me, that drove me to the crimes I committed is long since gone from me, my only wish is to have a clear soul before I die. I was a happy child growing up, raised by my parents in a small, all white neighborhood. I had hoped that life could be that happy forever. My hopes were dashed when my father came home one night, drunk and angry. I had gone to bed earlier that evening, but his shouting had awoken me. I snack in just in time to see him strike my mother with a bottle, and then turn toward me. I half expected him, no, wanted him, to strike me down, as he did with mother, but he didn't. He just looked at me with a tear down his eye and asked me to call a doctor.
Mother lived, but she was never the same, she was much more...quiet. All I remember afterwards is father saying, "Damn niggers" over and over again. It seems that the reason he hit mother was because they got into an argument over a neck tie party they had with a black man who had been seen talking to a white woman. What? You've never heard of a necktie party before? That is where they string a man up, hang 'em, you know? After that day I swore that this would never happen again, I realized that it was the negroes that made my father hit my mother, and I would make them all pay.
When I was 18, I decided to enroll in the police academy and become an officer. I was accepted and graduated with honors and became a proud member of the Birmingham Police Department. I can remember it like it was yesterday, "Laurence Johnson, you are going to be one of the best policemen this city has ever seen". It was one of the proudest moments of my life. I remember having long conversations with one of my classmates, Eugene Connor, but his friends called him "Bull". I helped him to see the need for stern measures in dealing with negroes. Even then I knew my place as a muse, even then.
I remember feeling a grim admiration for the officers in Albany when that damn nigger King started stirring up trouble, and felt an equally grim elation when I found out that he was going to try to bring his sickening taint here next. It was with an almost paternal pride that I watched the events unfold, as I watched Bull order us to descend upon the blacks like avenging angels, with water and fang. It was with a tear in my eye as I saw the video footage and the reaction from across the world. I knew then that King would have to die for destroying my dream, and replacing it with his nightmare.
Without knowing it, I summoned the best man for the job. He was in prison, and hated King almost as much as I did. I arranged for his transfer, and for me to be the driver. Unfortunately I encountered a little "accident" in which I was knocked unconscious and he escaped. King was dead a week later. I guess all movements need muses. Always the muse, I was, always the muse. Now, leave me, friend. That is the last story of Laurence Johnson, one of the greatest Eshu storytellers of all time.