I was leafing through a paper today when the following headline caught my eye: “Father of 10 Slain”. A pleasant-looking man in corn rows smiled forth from the accompanying photo. I kept reading.
The victim was a 38 year-old man, originally from Jamaica, who was apparently relaxing at the euphoniously named ‘G’s Chill ‘n Grill’ in the early morning hours when he was unceremoniously gunned down for no reason anyone could name.
My first thought was “10 kids and he’s out at 2:30 in the morning?” I wondered to myself what his wife might have been thinking (at the time)? A little further into the story it turned out he victim’s family was truly of the “extended” kind, consisting of 6 different child-bearing partners.
Five of the six partners congregated immediately at the site of the shooting to console each other (!). One of them pointed to the fact that all the “partners” got along was so well was evidence of what a great guy the victim was. (Someone else went to some lengths to point out he “took care” of all his children.)
The more I read, the more something started gnawing at my imagination; I started wondering what Elmore Leonard would do with this as a foundation for a plot line? ‘Chill ‘n’ Grill? Hmm…What kind of “characters” might likely frequent that joint? ( How about Jamaican mob figures?)
Of course, the whole story turns on the simmering question – who done it?
Now a guy who had 6 (more than) girlfriends could easily have had more. Maybe one of them could have had a jealous boyfriend or two unwilling to part with their affections?
I was mulling around the more obvious twists and turns for a possible story when it struck me – 5 out of 6 partners showed up for a consolation gathering. Where was #6? Hmmm……