Prologue: "Slaughter in the Favela" (Copyright Registration Number: TXu 1-804-435)
Slaughter in the Favela
"In Rio, a “Favela” is, crudely, called a slum. They dot the city broadly. They reek of piss, diapers, booze, pot and burning cocaine. Strong gusts of rotting fish carcasses and overcooked, charred Farofa and burned rice blow through the air too. The tiny, snarled roads are littered in the, uncollected trash of its residents. Couples argued. Baby after crying, screaming baby rebounded off the walls and rough-cut window frames and openings. Music, staticky TV stations, and soccer game commentary could be heard through vintage boom boxes in most buildings. Often the screeching of Brasilian “thrash metal” and the booming lows of hip-hop added to the mélange of noise.
In the apartments of the drug dealers, and in their parked cars, the rumbling bass of their sound systems shook the night without regard for their neighbors. You could tell the criminal’s flats because you could hear the loud, clear Dolby jingle at the beginning of their bootlegged DVD movies. The big fish lived in nice homes and apartments in lovely parts of the city. The drug mules lived in the slums, but whatever nice things they had, they never lived in fear of anyone stealing their shit. Nobody would. Nobody fucked with them but the cops.
The young man ran for his life in every sense of the word. Except for some random crack heads, whores, and beer-swilling, buzzed dirty cops, the slum’s streets were mostly empty at this hour. No Favelas were currently at war with one another, so the gunshots were silent. Five men chased the guy, throwing bottles and bricks at him as he ran. More than once, he took a hit to the head from one of the missiles. The addicts looked up, only long enough, to make sure it wasn’t someone they knew. Nobody goes into a favela, that doesn’t live there, or know someone who does --- except the pigs. Not one person did anything for the victim. With one eye struggling to keep focus on the mouth opening, all they did was suck the glass dick until the popping stopped.
The butane jet and flint lighters clicked, hissed and glowed against the glass pipes here and there--- their users pressed back against the buildings and stairways – in the shadows along the avenue. The entire alley reeked of burning copper and rocks. There were sounds of rubber tubing snapping into place as the junkies tied it off as a tourniquet in readiness for the push into an available, decrepit vein, or in the webbed skin between their toes. Life after dark, in the Favelas, was pretty much like this always. Not all Favelas are as treacherous.
Not one person --- especially not the old people—said or did a thing to stop the gang of five. They didn’t live there, but they were recognizable to anyone looking closely enough. The kid was finally caught. He had no more run in him. The attackers dragged the man into darkened indentation along the alleyway where they proceeded to kick, stomp and spit on the man as they called him “fucking faggot” in Brasilian Portuguese. They punctuated the syllables with impossibly strong striking blows. They held the connection for several moments, as if they were making it more severe by doing so. After one punch, all six front teeth--- from canine to canine--- broke off into the victim’s mouth as his upper lip was ripped open as his mouth flooded with blood. After a blow to the stomach, they flew from his mouth onto the piss-stained alley floor.
They wouldn’t knock him out though. They wanted him to feel every second of the punishment for his crime. Maybe he flirted with one or more of the men? Maybe he winked? Perhaps he grabbed one of them in the wrong place? Maybe one of the men flirted with him with a wink or tilt of the head, and he responded too blatantly? He would pay for his offence with this mob, no matter what he did. They would see to it.
Two of the men hoisted and held his wrecked, standing body against the bars that covered the windows of a little corner store. The third ripped off the man’s white and bloodied t-shirt and the fourth and fifth men lashed his arms and neck to the bars, so that he couldn’t fall down. The dentist took a step back and, with a running start, like Pele on the field, kicked the man directly in the junk, with a force that lifted his body off the ground. He sadistically held the top of his foot in place as the man yelled and cried from the blow. “Fucking faggot”, “bitch”, “whore” rang out from the other men’s throats. The man yanked and tugged against the bars in a worthless stab at getting away--- the bars moving noticeably, yet silently, beneath the neighborhood’s clatter.
The object lesson? Choose wisely where you go at night in Rio. How you behave, what you say or do to, or with, people you don’t know. Do not go into the favela alone. For some in Rio de Janeiro, gay is not OK.
But if you’re a part of the nation’s sports franchise, murder seems to be..."
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