Isis parked her jeep on the opposite side of the street from Sammy Russo’s hangout--a meat market in South Ozone, Queens. She thought about the last time she’d seen the handsome gangster. It was fourteen years ago, after she’d gotten her first assignment as a member of the N.Y.P.D. She had been assigned to patrol South Ozone, Queens. One day while she was driving home from work, her car had begun to smoke. She’d parked it on Liberty Ave. Some men started harassing her because of the color her skin, or because they knew that she was a cop--Isis wasn’t sure. But before she could react, Sammy “The Face” Russo appeared, like magic--to her rescue. He walked up to one of the men and bitch slapped him. He told the rest of them that he would put a bullet in their fuckin’ heads if they didn’t back away. Isis could remember thinking, My knight in shining armor. The memory made her smile.
Isis checked her reflection in the rearview mirror. She knew that she would have to get pass one, or maybe two, of Russo’s men before they would let her see their boss. She’d checked her Glock before she stepped out of her Durango.
“I’m here to see, Mr. Russo,” Isis said, as she stepped toward a glass counter. A large man was bent over a chopping block. He held a bloody cleaver in his hand. Isis looked around. There was sawdust on the floor and a variety of axes, knives, and other chopping implements were hanging on the wall behind the counter. The place smelled of smoked meat, sawdust, and blood. “Hey!” Isis shouted at the large man. “Did you hear what the fuck I said?”
Without looking at the detective, the butcher said, “What da hell do ya want?”
“I want to see your boss.”
“He ain’t here.”
“Where the hell is he?”
The butcher finally lifted his head and said, “Do I look like his dear, old mammy?” Isis almost gasped when she saw his face. The man’s nose looked as if it had been broken a hundred times and he had the biggest head Isis had ever seen on a human being. And when he spoke, his voice sounded as if his voice cords were made of sandpaper, harsh and abrasive. He raised his ax and began striking a deer carcass. “Like…I…said…he...ain’t...here.”
Isis didn’t flinch. She noticed a door behind the counter. “What’s in there?” she said as she tried to maneuver around the butcher. He blocked her way. The butcher towered over Isis. He must have stood over six-foot-five and weighed well over three hundred pounds.
“Nuttin,” he growled.
Isis looked up at the butcher. “My goodness, you’re a regular Frankenstein, ain’t cha?” she said as she jabbed her finger at the butcher’s abdomen, which was right in her face
“Yeah, I came out of my mammy’s pussy like dis, cop.” The butcher smiled, and when he did a lonely tooth was all that Isis saw. “You standing real close to me, cop. You makin’ my dick hard.” The butcher showed no respect for the law. But his biggest mistake was only two seconds away. “Yeah, you a sexy, little bitch--” The butcher reached out his hand to touch Isis’ face.
“No, no, no…no touching,” she said as she grabbed the butcher’s middle and index fingers. Isis pulled the butcher’s fingers back until she heard a dull pop. At the same time, she threw her knee up and rammed into the butcher’s groin. Pain danced across the butcher’s face. His mouth was agape. Isis then slammed her elbow into the butcher’s jaw and she heard another dull pop. “Oh my God. I’m so sorry,” she said, as the butcher fell to the floor blocking the door that she wanted to enter. “My anger management instructor would not approve of this kind of behavior.” Isis leaned over and whispered, “But he’s not here now, is he?” The butcher tried to grab Isis’s ankle, but she moved it and launched her foot into his mouth--knocking out his only tooth. When she removed her foot, the tooth was stuck in the laces of her Nikes.
On the other side of the door, Sammy “The Face” was discussing business with some of his men when he heard, THUMP! THUMP! THUMP! “What the hell was that?” he said. One of his men said that the butcher was probably scaring the kids again. “Well, go out there and tell him to keep it down.” When the man opened the door, he was shocked to see a beautiful woman standing over the butcher’s body. She held the butcher by the collar, and her blood-stained knuckles were poised over his beaten face.
“Hi,” Isis said as she let go of the butcher’s collar. “I’m here to see Sammy Russo, is he in?”
The man stared at the lady, then looked down at his partner. “Damn!” The man reached for his gun, but the lady was faster.
“I wouldn’t do that if I were you.” The man froze. Isis saw two other men. They had their guns pointed in her direction. “Put ‘em down, or I’ll blow his fuckin’ face off,” Isis said calmly.
“Stand down,” a voice from somewhere in the room said. The men did as they were told. “Let her in.” Isis lowered her 9mm and walked passed the trio and into the presence of Sammy “The Face” Russo.
Sammy “The Face” as he is affectionately called in the neighborhood, was the head of the largest drug operation in Queens. Sammy approached Isis. She couldn’t help but think, He’s still beautiful, after all these years. Isis held out her hand. Sammy kissed it, then he placed both his hands over hers. “It so good to see you again, Isis.” The kiss on the hand made the detective blush.
“Come,” he said. “Let’s have a seat.” Sammy lead Isis towards a large desk. It was the only piece of furniture in the room beside his cranberry colored high back leather chair. “No-nuts, bring my old friend here a chair.”
Sammy and Isis spent a few minutes talking about the good ole days back in Far Rockaway, then the tone of their conversation changed. “So, what can I do you for you, Detective?”
“How do you know Jonathan Jacobs?”
“Big John? He’s my lawyer.”
“Yeah.” Sammy stared into Isis’s eyes. “As a matter of fact,” Sammy glanced at his watch, “He’s late for a meeting. We were supposed to meet at three.”
“You haven’t heard the news, then. Jonathan Jacobs was killed today. His body was found inside his Harlem apartment.” There was no show of emotion on Sammy’s face.
“Well, from what we picked up from witnesses, he was apparently killed by two girls.”
“Girls…” Sammy broke out into a belly laugh. “I’ve always told that guy that his chicks would be the death of him.”
Isis stared at him.
“I’ve always told him that,” Sammy said as his laughter subsided. “So, Detective, do you think I had something to do with Big John’s death? Like, I hired the girls to take him out or something?”
Isis hadn’t thought about that.
“Did you, Sammy?”
The Face laughed again. Isis continue to stare. He went on to tell Isis that Jonathan Jacobs was a trusted friend and that he had no reason to harm the man. Isis believed him. The drug dealer walked the detective out to her vehicle.
“I never got the chance to tell you how sorry I was when I heard that your mom had died in that…” Sammy paused to find the right words, “...In that freakin’ courthouse.” Isis stopped in front of her Durango. She turned and looked the drug dealer squarely in the eyes.
“Who killed my father, Sammy?”
The Face told Isis that dropping a dime wasn’t in his job description. But he did tell her that the man who is now the biggest drug dealer in Harlem, would probably know.