Back in nineteen eighty-two, I lived with my wife Samantha, my son Frank and my daughter Erica. An average detective leading an average life, providing for my family in suburbia. Trying to keep clean, surrounded by dirt.
I received a phone call. It was my wife, Samantha.
“You far from home?” Asked Samantha.
“Not far away, just a few case files left. Shouldn’t be more than an hour or two,” I said as I perused some case files, working late.
“Don’t be late, there’s a roast in the oven. You can’t keep doing this, it’s Father’s Day!” said Samantha, obviously annoyed.
“Can’t promise anything, but I should be back on time,” I said as I read one of the files.
“Don’t let the kids down, they’ve been looking forward to this,”
“I know, the boss is on my ass. You know how it is.”
“I know, just get yourself home before the kids are asleep.”
“fine.” I said in frustration.
I hung up, went back to it. The reports had built up, I was behind. There was a spry of murders I’d been investigating. It was ugly, but I knew we’d get them in the end.
The office was like any other in the force, littered with desks, a few side offices with windows and blinds. Papers everywhere, people working answering calls and going about their business.
I reached into my draw grabbing a bottle of single malt. Poured a glass, had a few sips. Smooth, but I had work to do. Cases wouldn’t solve themselves.
The case I worked on currently, involved a family of three. Seems witnesses saw a delivery man enter the house shortly before hearing screams. The man used a box cutter first slitting the husbands throat, then bludgeoning his wife with a lamp. The girl hearing the screams hid in her closet as the murder fled through the back yard, over the fence to a waiting car.
We didn’t have a lot to go on. The plates fakes, well done too. The car a red station wagon, probably stolen. One was found burnt out in the forest not far from the scene. Plates removed.
I downed the rest of my glass, stretched my legs for a while. The family could wait, I had to think. There had to be something I missed. There was something we all missed.
Returning to my desk, I opened other case files, various murders. Some families being brutally beaten, stabbed or poisoned. All unwitting to the false entry of the man. There had to be more than met the eye. Where was it. That piece that would connect everything together.
There was no connection between victims. They didn’t work within close proximity. There was no social connection and they weren’t linked by any third parties. There seemed to be no rhyme or reason, no justification for the brutality.
Pouring myself another glass I tried to relax, tried to let things flow. Tried to figure it all out. I got nothing. I finished the reports and headed home for the night. I was starving, some roast pork sounded real good just about now.
I left the office, said goodbye to James, the officer at the front desk. He buzzed me through. Entering the car park, felt a chill on the air, subtle, but enough to affect me. The wind blew making me adjust my scarf, I buttoned up my jacket.
Finally entering my Crown Vic, I drove out, made my way to the four o five, sped down the highway. The thought of the roast making my mouth water. Hadn’t eaten since lunch.
I arrived in my area. Pulled into my driveway, exited the car. I loved that car, it was my Crown Vic, buffed with wax, mirror finish.
I arrived at my house, a yellow brick, red tile roof, three-bedroom place. We loved that house; it was our first. We’d just about paid it off, was thankful we no longer had the mortgage on my salary.
As I opened the door, I heard a muffled sound. I removed my gun and proceeded to clear the house. First checking the living room, then the hallway to the bathroom and the bathroom itself. I checked the kids’ room, nothing. I entered our bedroom.
I saw an armed man holding his gun against Samantha’s head. I walked in on a robbery. Another man was going through our safe. Placing my wife’s rings and necklaces into a pillow case he acquired from our bed. Our stash of cash was one of the first things to go.
I knew I was a good shot. I spent plenty of time at the firing range. Was one of the best shots on the force. “Put the gun down and nobody’s going to get hurt!” I yelled; I’d dealt with this kind of scum before. I noticed the man holding my wife Samantha shaking. Probably a junkie, shit!
“I’ve got your wife, don’t do nothing. Let us take your shit and everything will be great,” the junkie said. I noticed the accomplice didn’t have a gun. I took the shot, hit him square in the eye, blood splattered across the wall. The robber fell to the floor. I pointed the gun at his accomplice.
As the accomplice backed away and my wife was freed, the junkie started convulsing. The gun fired hitting my son of twelve years old in the chest. The other man ran, I fell to the floor over my son Frank, applied pressure to the wound. My wife distraught called an ambulance. My son Paul had been hit in the heart. He died shortly thereafter; the carpet covered with blood. As I held my sons’ lifeless body to my chest, my wife screamed out in emotional agony. There was nothing the medics could do.
During the first few hours the police came, took our statements and the coroner took the bodies. I hugged Samantha; she was in shock. Just sat there motionless, didn’t say a word. I wrapped her in a blanket.
Hardened by my job I knew what to do, but I was still in tears. I wasn’t immovable, but I had to look after Samantha and Erica. Erica was too young to understand what was happening, but together we grieved. Erica in her own way.
I took time off work to be with my family, but with every passing day me and my wife got further and further apart. She blamed me for my actions, she blamed me for the death of our son. In some ways I blamed myself. I could have handled it differently, but he was a junkie. What would he have done? He wasn’t thinking clearly, was he? I had no way of knowing.
What would have happened if I’d let him have what he wanted. What would have happened if I dropped my weapon? What would have happened if I let things play through? Would any of us still be alive, would all of us? The guilt was immense, I started drinking heavily. I let things lapse as Samantha and I separated.
I lost my family, all that was left was my work. I dove in, I vowed to bring the man who fled to justice and any other fool who happened to cross my path. My kind of justice. I was sick of being bound by regulations, sick of letting the scum get away for what they call lack, of sufficient evidence.
I moved out of the family home as did Samantha, neither of us could live there after what happened. The ghost of our past lingering constantly. We sold the house, I lived in a decrepit hotel apartment. Cockroaches, grime on the walls. Would have got them to shut the place down, but it was cheap. I needed a place to live.
Real cesspit, was barely a night where I didn’t hear a domestic, occasionally had to do something about it. Called my brothers a few times, broke a man’s arm when he couldn’t keep his dick in his pants. Luckily the doors were cheap. Rarely needed my sidearm. Months had passed living in that shitty apartment.
As I did every night, I was drinking cheap scotch, listening to the CB radio, police frequency, wasted. There had been another murder. A twenty-nine-year-old woman, robbery. I downed a few coffees and bolted down the stairs to my Crown Vic. I raced down to the scene of the crime, first driving around the neighbourhood looking for the bastard we still hadn’t caught. The man who got away, the one who ruined my life.
I got lucky, there was a suspicious looking man walking out of the area, wearing a black hood, black jeans, hands inside his pockets. I flashed the siren, he ran. The chase was on, I smiled. I knew it wouldn’t be long before I caught the cunt. He was a fair distance in front of my car, but the area had high fences. He couldn’t escape. I ran the bastard down with my Crown Vic.
After hitting the cunt with my car, I immediately applied the brakes, screeching to a halt. There perpetrator was thrown a few feet. Lay on the ground writhing in pain. I sprung out of the car and cuffed him. I noticed traces of blood under his fingernails, there was no doubt in my mind, he’s guilty.
I found meth amphetamines in his side pocket; it was time to question him. I slammed my fist into the scums nose, “where did you get this?” The cunt spat in my face. I went back to the car and retrieved a phone book and a brick. “What are you going to do with those?” The perpetrator asked in fear.
“Where did you get the meth?”
“I can’t tell you. They’ll kill me!” I Placed the phone book over his arm, using the brick to break his bones. He screamed in agony, still hand cuffed.
I said, “I’ll kill you!” The man laughed, I broke his finger and applied pressure to both his arm and finger. “Where did you get the meth?” I yelled; I twisted his broken arm about ninety degrees.
“A dealer named Hobbs, in Arcadia street.”
“Show me!” I yelled.
I placed the murderer inside my car. Drove down to Arcadia street slowly. The man pointed out the drug den. Shady criminals sat outside on an old mouldy couch; the wooden house run down. Probably abandoned, should have been torn down years ago. Porch was falling apart.
I took the man in, explaining the man ran, I had to hit him with my Crown Vic. He broke his finger and arm during his attempted escape. With a wink the other officers took the man in. He matched the description of the man she’d been seen with at the local bar. The blood under his fingernails matched the victims, the final nail in his coffin.
Later I would raid the drug den, with probable cause in tow, but for now, I needed a good night’s rest. I dreamed of playing baseball with my son, Frank. He always punched his gloves while waiting for me to pitch, as he did in the dream. I woke tears rolling down my face. I grabbed the bottle on my bedside table and took a swig, wiped the tears from my face. I didn’t feel like going to work, only wanted to drink, but my partner Ferguson was counting on me and I’d missed too many days already.
I got in the shower, washed the filth from my body. Still unshaven I left for the station. My Crown Vic had seen better days. It no longer held a mirror finish, covered with a film of grit. Fast food packaging, pieces of food encrusted with mould littered the inside. Everything a man needs to barely sustain himself. I’ll admit, I’d gained a few pounds. The department had somehow overlooked the mess. I was still performing. here…