Short Story

24Mar14

If my so-called “partner” was truly worthy of all the puppy-dog love and admiration he gets from the boss, the guys, and even the goddamn hookers at Denny’s on Sunset, he’d be here. Right now. Buying me a draft for all the shit I’ve been through without him.

“Kid’s on a sickbed and the wife’s on a church mission,” my ass. More like the kid’s healthy with Ms. Jones next door and you took your saintly wife on a second honeymoon to try to keep her mind off the blonde, struggling actor you can’t compete with no matter how much Viagra you pop after your sad, lonely, home-cooked, evening TV dinner.

Two weeks off is enough, man. I’ve got a life too. And without you, that life is exactly what’s on the line out here in the streets. Tremaine DuPont has his boys on a roll, killing the Garcias and all. Perez is retaliating of course, Chang won’t take sides, Tremaine won’t take “No” for an answer, and looka here! We have a massacre every fucking day. And is it YOUR sorry, tan-lined ass out here getting shot at? No. Bitch, it’s MINE.

Fuck. Better get home while I’m ok to drive.

One day, when I’m running the precinct, bums like Roberts won’t be here to dump all the shit on us rooks. We’re the one’s who do the dirty work. Sure, Roberts. You can read him his rights. I’ll just keep my knees buried in the sewer ditch here, holding the knife-wielding son of a gun in a choke hold that’s not endangering my life at all. I know you can’t even wrap your arms around your own body, with that sack of lard under your tits.

I’ve just gotta keep going. Keep up the good work. Andrews says I’m dependable. McArthur keeps me honest, but the guy likes me no doubt. And let’s just say my dashing good looks have nothing to do with it, but Lisa upstairs says she’s not the only one keeping an eye on me…

Things could be better, but I’ve got a lot going well for me. A promising career, a new apartment, and maybe a lady… in the future… to keep me company. Work’s the shits right now. But it can’t get any worse, can it?

Wrong alley. I’m not that tipsy am I? Ok, here we are. Right where I left you. You, my squad car. But you, Tremaine? Where the FUCK did you come from!!?

Hands in the air!!! Hands in the AIR!!! HANDS IN THE FUCKING AIR!!! DO YOU HEAR ME YOU SORRY PIECE OF SH…

“I don’t mean no harm, boss. I saw yo car and… Please…”

He’s bleeding. On my shoes. Fucking Roberts… why the fuck am I alone here?

“Perez, his…”

I DON’T WANNA HEAR IT! SHUT UP, HANDS ON THE CAR, AND SPREAD YOUR LEGS! NOW! I said NOW, DuPont! GET UP OFF YOUR ASS AND….

Winded from yelling, I can’t help but exhale and look at him there. Sorry son of a bitch. Can’t even stand. “Never let your guard down, NEVER.” I remember you saying that, McArthur. You probably would have shot the mass killer by now… Roberts too… but I… I just…

“Fuck you AND yo white boy profanity. Sheet. Twenty-eight years of runnin these streets wit da HARDest muhfuckers out there and I’m goin out listenin to fucken MISTER GODDAMN ROGERS cussin the fucken cracka ass shit he learned in pre-school. Help a nigga and gimme a goddamn cigarrette. I’m dyin.”

Who does this crook think I am? I don’t know how the fuck he knew my last name was Rogers, but I’m no cardigan-wearing fool. I have a gun. Looks like he’s unarmed. But you never know. “Never let your guard down. NEVER.” Better radio in for back up.

Hey 876, Code 2. Whats your 20? 10-4. Santee Alley. Copy. EYYY! EYY YOU! Don’t MOVE!

I swear he reached in his pocket. I SWEAR. Out of the corner of my eye I swear I saw something silver and shiny. But all I see is a bloody ebony hand clutching a Malbaro pack of cigarettes, and more blood. Everywhere.

“I’m all out, boss. Help me. I’m dyin.”

Yeah, 876, we need an ambulance here. Yeah. DuPont. DuPont. Copy.

“No need, yo. Just make sure you slam Perez’s sorry ass, Rogers. If yo boys don’t do it, mine will.”

No, DuPont. You’re going to a hospital and YOUR sorry ass is gonna be thrown straight in jail. See if you can kill any more innocent people in there.

“Whateva. I don give a fuh. Hand me a goddamn cigarette.”

You don’t realize how you have made life HELL on earth for people, do you!? I have lost FRIENDS out there because of you. Better if I leave you out here to die. Leave you to the RATS you piece of shit.

“Dzamn, Rogers. Calm down, yo. Blame that dirty wetback, Perez. HE’S the killer. Nigga’s gotta look out for the family, Rogers. You have a family? Huh?? Naw? Well you dun know shit.”

I know there’s families out there that were RUINED because of you. Fathers. Gone. Sons. Gone.

“I never knew my daddy. But I got a boy. You think I’m ‘sposed to let dat fuckin maricon run his shit and kill MY family!? Do I LOOK like a fuckin pussy to you? Brotha stands here SHANKED by a fuckin mariachi COWARD and you tellin him he gotta feel guilty and shit for doin whus RIGHT!?”

I do the right thing. I DO. You’re a killer and you deserve to die.

“Sheet. You go on tell that to my son, Rogers. You go on.”

By now, there’s no chance. I see the wound’s deep. Lots of blood. He’s such a dark man, and wearing dark clothes; I wouldn’t be able to see the blood on him here in the dark if it weren’t for the moonlight. A dark night. A dark man. I must look like a fucking glow stick.

“You tell that to my son, Rogers. You tell him. You tell… Destin… my son…”

I watch this gangster, this killer dying before my eyes, and realize he’s neither of those things… at least not right now. He’s human.

“853? 853? Do you copy? 10-76. ETA 02:48. Do you copy?”

McArthur’s voice on the radio sounds a mile away. I prop Tremaine to sit up against the car and pull a pack of cigarettes out of my pocket. Reaching for a cigarette I glimpse my own hand in the moonlight, and see a stain of blood, red as a scarlet wool cardigan against my pale skin.

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